Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The One Where I Answer 55 Questions (Part 1)

Last week sometime, I was perusing my blog feed minding my own business when I came upon wondrous blog post by the amazing Notebook Sisters: 55 questions about books. Questions about where I get to talk about books and myself? I'm always game for that. These 55 questions, which the Notebook Sisters believe originated here, are what I bring to you today. Well, at least the first part. I agree with Cait and Mime, 55 questions is a lot. 

Well, at least not in one post. 

So, without further ado, I present to you 27 questions about yours truly.

1. Favorite childhood book:

     Soooooooo, confession time:

I, Mackenzie, here at "Oh, For the Love of Books" did not grow up reading. 

     But don't go grabbing your torches and pitchforks quite yet. I wasn't necessarily a reader, but I did read. Only when I found those really rare books that captured me. My sister was always the reader and would bug the crap out of me to read and brag about all that she read so I decided I was better than reading. Naturally. Doing the exact opposite of what I'm told to do? Welcome to childhood. 

Anyways, what books I did read were simply phenomenal. Two series that stuck with me were the Harry Potter series (who wasn't impacted by these?) and both The Song of the Lioness series and the Immortals series by Tamora Pierce. Both J.K. Rowling and Tamora Pierce are goddesses amongst man. Most of y'all have definitely probably read HP, but if y'all have not been lucky enough to be blessed by the awesomeness that is Pierce, I suggest you remedy it immediately. Else I might take the torches and pitchforks to you....I kid. I kid. Somewhat. 

2. What are you reading right now?

     I am currently re-reading the gloriousness that is Throne of Glass by yet another goddess amongst man, Sarah J. Maas. I've decided to re-read the whole series in preparation for Heir of Fire (WLEJHRWOEFJWOIEJFO!!). I just finished The Assassin's Blade and my emotions are currently a wreck. Naturally, I've decided The Assassin's Blade did not produce enough feels and decided to jump right into Throne of Glass without giving myself the necessary time to get myself together. Please ignore my feels. They may dissipate....eventually.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

....um......none...PLEASE DON'T HURT ME! I JUST MOVED HERE!!!

4. Bad book habit:

Umm....okay, just give me a moment......ugh, sorry, can't think of one. Which means I'm perfect. Obviously. And humble.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Please see #3.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

Yes, And I absolutely adore it #NoShame. I'm a traveler and having an e-reader is a wonderful help. Also, I usually get ARCs through Netgalley and it's much easier to read on a Kindle rather than a computer. Actually, ARCs are really all I use it for. I still really love owning books. I can't ever give that up completely.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once?

Well, I prefer to read one book at a time. However, that doesn't mean I don't read more than one at a time. Usually that happens when I'm not totally in love with a book or I'm not in the mood. I'll start it, put it down and start another book, and when I'm finished with the second book, I may or may not pick up the first one again.

8. Have your reading habit changed since you started to blog?

Not that I can recall. I guess I try to read more and take advantage of free time?

 9. Least favorite book you've read so far this year?

Unfortunately, I feel like I've had quite a few I've been disappointed with. To name a few:

All of those were books that I wasn't sure what to expect, but was disappointed anyway. There are two books that I had high(er) expectations for, yet fell somewhat flat for me: Kiss of Deception and The Queen of the Tearling. Both were books that the blogosphere were practically exploding over, yet left me with somewhat confused feelings. Both were books I devoured while reading, yet still found many issues. The Kiss of Deception didn't leave me with quite as mixed emotions as The Queen of the Tearling (as you can see from the review), but both were less than savory.

10. Favorite book you've read this year? 

Impossible. There is no one book, but many. Therefore, A LIST!

Cress - Cress is just absolutely, preciously adorkable. As if that wasn't good enough, the romantic interest is Captain Thorne. *SWOON*

The Falconer  - Aileana is one butt-whoopin, faerie-killing machine. She. Is. Awesome. With a beautiful Scottish setting, a snarky, intelligent, kick-butt heroine, and, of course, the incredibly mysterious Kiaran, this book is a favorite. BUT THAT ENDING! GAHHHH! Oh, and Kiaran. 

The Winner's Curse - So beautiful. I didn't know what to expect, but this just blew me out of the water. I actually plan on re-reading it before writing a review. It was that good. 

The House of Hades - It's Rick Riordan. I'm fully convinced that he is one of the gods of olympus hiding amongst us rather mundane mortals. 

The Grisha Trilogy - I re-read this and the FEEEELINGSSSSS. I can't believe this series is over with! I'm in denial. My only consolation is the fact that the Great Leigh Bardugo is writing another series set in the Grisha universe. I suppose that sates my appetite somewhat. 

The Assassin's Blade - I read all of the novella's save for the last one (and The Healer that was exclusive in this book) before this book came out. Then I stupidly bought this book. They were super good. But the last one. The last one. MY FEEELLINNGGGSSSS! It gutted me. Destroyed me. I even knew what happened, just not how. And the how is what destroyed me. Beautiful, haunting, heart-breaking, and feels-destroying. But oh so satisfying. 

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Never. Well, basically never. Unless textbooks count. 

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

I don't really know actually. If it comes to genres, I'll read most any fiction, except contemporary. I just don't like contemporary. I read to escape. Contemporary doesn't allow that in my opinion. I may not be huge fans of some genres (urban, horror, thriller) but I'll still read them. They may just not be my forte, per se. 

13. Can you read in the car?

If you don't mind me puking all over you, then yeah. I don't like getting sick though, so I'll go with the safe HECK NO! 

14. Favorite place to read?

Anywhere at home that's comfortable. I really love the chair by the window I have in my room. We also have a reading room with two chairs looking out a window that's so comfortable to read it. And my couch. I love my couch. 

15. What is your policy on book lending?

Non-existant. Not many of my friends really read to be honest. If I lend them to anyone, it's usually my sister. The only thing I hate that she does is using the cover for a book mark. I mean she takes off the whole cover and shoves it in the book instead of just using the flap. IT'S BOOK CANNIBALISM! Other than that, if I lend em out, I just ask that they take care of them.

16. Do you dog-ear books?

What is this blasphemy?

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Okay, I totally get why people do this and, to be honest, I even envy them. With the writing, the books look so loved and worn. But, but, BUT! I just can't bring myself to do this. 

18. Not even with textbooks?

Not even with textbooks.

19. What is your favorite language to read in.

English. Else I wouldn't understand a thing I was reading and it would be far less enjoyable. 
Though, I do hear it's a great way to help learn a new language! 

20. What makes you love a book?

You know, I can't really pinpoint it. Not making me want to gouge my eyes out usually helps. But I'm usually relatively easy to please. At least I think so. But what makes a book great? Wonderfully complex and amazing characters, an engaging plot, action-packed awesomeness, and FEELS! I need to feel connected and actually care about the characters. Also, added bonus points for maps. And really, to make a book awesome in my opinion, you need all of these dumped in one awesomely fantastic medieval-like fantasy world (with magic). I love fantasy. 

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

If I love it, I'll recommend it. Usually I don't recommend though. I'm truly awful at it. 

22. Favorite genre?

FANTASYYYYY (see #20)! Seriously, give me fantasy any day of the week and I'm a happy gal. I love exploring new worlds with magic, wonderful characters, adventure, and complex systems. Also, if it's got a medieval vibe to it, it's basically perfection. 

23. Genre you rarely read but wish you did:

Oh. Um. I don't know. I guess classics. Unless I had to read them for school, I avoided them like the plague. I feel like I should like the classics. But I don't. 

24. Favorite biography?

You're assuming I've read one...

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Part of one. When I was considering opening an Etsy store I read the how-to guide for idiots. Quite informative actually.  

26. Favorite Cookbook?

Any Christmas/dessert recipe book. I actually only have one, but it has my favorite seasonal dessert in it: Pumpkin cheesecake bars. To. Die. For. 

27. Most inspiration book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?

Oh. I don't know if inspired is necessarily the right word, but I do truly love the Throne of Glass series. For one, phenomenal writing, characters, and world-building. If I ever was a writer, this is what I'd aspire to be. But, I love it too because I love complex characters who aren't perfect and had to make incredibly hard decisions. I'm a psychology major and I absolutely love delving into personalities and the mind and decision-making when it comes to difficult situations. It's amazing what people will do to survive and it blows my mind how two people can be in the same situation, yet react completely different. It simply amazes me. And Celaena is as complex as it gets. I totally understand why she is how she is and I love delving into her past and really learning about her. She may be an assassin, but she's much more than that. It  goes to show that you truly can't judge a book by its cover. It's what's between the pages, the inner story, that counts. 

So my dears, what about you? I'd love to know some of y'alls answers to questions! And if you make a blog post, let me know! I'd love to read it! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The One With the Challenge Updates

Well, it's more than halfway through the year which means I'm late in updating all my challenges! 
To be honest, I almost forgot I was even part of challenges. Yeahhhhhh, shows how good I am at doing these things. But I still have 5 months left so there's still hope. Right? 

Defy (Defy #1) by Sara B. Larson - 2.5 stars
Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A. C. Gaughen - 4 stars
The Queen’s Choice (Heirs of Chrior #1) by Cayla Kluver - DNF
Camelot Burning (Metal & Lace #1) by Kathryn Rose - 1.5 stars
Sworn to Raise (Courtlight #1) - Terah Edun 2.5 stars
Manor of Secrets by Katherine Longshore - 3.5/4 stars
Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea #1) by Jennifer Ellision - 3.5/4 stars

The Blood of Eden series
Book 3: The Forever Song (review coming soon)

Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan
Unfortunately, I don't have any reviews for these books. WHY DON'T I?!?! 


Lucky No. 14:
1. Visit the Country: Read a book that has a setting in a country you really want to visit in real life - House of Hades - always wanted to go to Rome and Greece!
3. Blame it on Bloggers: Read a book because you've read the sparkling reviews from other bloggers - Kiss of Deception - raving after raving review for this book. Or, The Queen of the Tearling - another book that had mostly raving reviews. Both were enjoyable for me, but both had their issues. 
5. (Not So) Fresh From the Oven: Read a book released last year that you never had a chance to read - Etiquette and Espionage - Why did I wait so long?!  
8. Chunky Brick: Read a book more than 500 pages - Cress - ABSOLUTELY ADORED IT! So amazing. Cress is preciously adorkable and THORNE *swoon*. 
12. Freebies Time: Read a free book (giveaway, ARC, birthday, ect) - Threats of Sky and Sea   - Thanks netgalley ;)

Soooo, I haven't really kept up with these challenges. Obviously. But, I'm such a mood reader that I don't read for challenges, just whatever the heck I want to read. Also, I've just read really little this year. Y'all don't even WANT to know how behind I am on my Goodreads challenge! But, blogging life isn't about these challenges. They just hopefully help me read a bit more and they're always fun to participate in :) 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The One with the Top Ten Characters I Woul Want on a Deserted Island With Me (#3)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.  Each week a new Top Ten list topic is posted and book bloggers fill in their own choices. 

This Week's Topics is

Top 10 Characters I Would Want on a Deserted Island With Me

For hotness or otherwise.....

1. Celaena (Throne of Glass)
Because she's Celaena. First off, she's snarky and we can complain to each other about our unfortunate circumstances. However, we'd totally be rocking it on the beach. She'll totally make it fun with all her sarcastic wit. Also, she kicks butt. I'm pretty sure she could take on whatever unsavory creature comes our way. 

2. Cress (Cress)
Yes, sweet, adorkable Cress. She's a techie! Sureeee there aren't going to be any technological advances on a deserted island, but I feel like she's a gal who could make a communicator out of coconut and twigs. 

3. Captain Thorne (Cress
Move over Cress, he's mine now. He'd make living on a deserted island bearable with his wit and humor. And hotness. Can't forget that.

4. Hermione (Harry Potter)
One word: magic. You know, so we could actually survive. There's probably a spell out there somewhere for building a boat. And if not, the LeviOsa charm will come in handy for lifting large pieces of wood to build said boat. Also, she's is the brightest witch of her age, so she'll know what to eat and what not to eat. She can make a magical tent or treehouse. And, if all else fails, she could just apparate us out of there.

5. Chaol (Throne of Glass)
Because he's really, really, ridiculously good-looking. Also, he'd take being on a deserted island in stride. And practice sword-fighting on the beach. 

6. Percy Jackson (The Lightning Thief)
He's the son of the Sea god! We're on a deserted Island in the middle of the ocean! How could I not want this kid? He can use his awesome, watery skills to get us off the island. And make a really cool waterside of some sort. He can make a rainbow for an Isis-message to let people know where we are. 
Also, wit. He makes any situation fun. And not to hard on the eyes either ;)

7. Annabeth (The Lightning Thief
Because, let's face it, where would Percy be without this girl? She's a super genius! Both she and Percy can call in favors with the gods which is always helpful. She's also an architectural genius which means she knows how to build a boat. And while we are waiting for the boat to be built, we can live it out in style with the amazing treehouse I know Annabeth will build. It will put HGTV to shame.  

8. Cinder (Cinder)
She's a mechanic and tinkerer. I feel like with her, Hermione, Cress, and Annabeth, we should be able to build a freakin boat....

9. Katniss (The Hunger Games)
Not gonna lie, I think she's kind a downer. Not a fun as the other people on this list. But, she's hunts. I eat. 

10. Nikolai (Siege and Storm)
Because he's Nikolai. He's also incredibly inventive. And funny. And hot. And intelligent. And snarky. And hot. And sarcastic. And a privateer. And a prince. And hot......

I think I have a pretty good list going here. Honestly, I wouldn't mind being on a deserted island with this motley group of awesomeness. I'd have a blast hanging with all the gals kicking butt, swapping stories, exchanging wit and looking at the gloriousness that is the men shirtless. I think I'd like to hang out on this island a bit soaking up the rays, building campfires, and awesome tree houses (and having fun with water slides and waves a la Percy) before heading out. I'll be sure to mark it on a map so as to come back and visit. 

Monday, July 21, 2014


The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1)
by Mary E. Pearson
Source: Bought (B&N)
Pages: 492
Format: Hardback

Available Now

Goodreads Synopsis: 

In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

This is yet another book that has been making the rounds of the blogosphere as of late. Everywhere I turn it's Kiss of Deception this or Kiss of Deception that. So, naturally, I had to give it a go. 

Before I read:
Initially, before even starting the book I had some reservations. 
1. This was obviously a book focusing on romance. Sure, the summary makes it sound like there is a lot of adventuring and unlocking of secrets, but from what reviews I've read, the men are a big focus of the story.
2. Love triangle. These actually don't always bother me, so long as it's done well. And by done well, I mean she chooses. Sure there can be tension between her and the other guy (because he's obviously going to be uber hot, amirite?), but she still knows who she wants. 
3. Perhaps the most serious of reservations was my hesitations towards Lia. You can see right there in the summary that she flees an alliance. FLEES AN ALLIANCE! Alliances are to smother tensions and prevent countries from killing each other. HOW CAN I GET BEHIND HER ABANDONMENT OF HER COUNTRY? It's selfish. Obviously tensions are high, which is the reason for the alliance in the first place. But, I also totally feel her. See? I'm not completely cold hearted. So, while a bit hesitant, I went into this book with an open mind.

The results?

Those reservations were unfounded. 
Well, at least somewhat. 

This book was good and it was enjoyable, but I wasn't head-over-heels either. It was just solidly enjoyable. 

Somewhat unfounded reservation #1 - This one is somewhat unfounded, not because the romance isn't an integral part of the plot, but because that is not necessarily what Lia focuses on consistently. The romance is integral because you don't know who is who. Therefore, the boys play a big part. BUT, Lia isn't sitting there constantly mooning over them. She's got her own life to live. Now, do the boys entrance upon said life often? Yes. But, eh. I'm not going to say no to two mysterious men. 

Somewhat unfounded reservation #2 - Yes, there is a love triangle. And no, you don't immediately know who she is going to choose. However, she does choose. She even feels bad when she feels that she's played on the other's emotions. Sure, the other is ridiculously good looking too, but, though there may be some instances, she still knows. Good for her.

Also, what I really loved about the love triangle, and it actually kept me reading, was the fact that you don't know which boy is which. That's right. This is a guessing game. You know a prince and an assassin are sent for her, but since both are hiding secrets, you don't know which is which. I thought I might've guessed, but then I kept psyching myself out thinking "well that's what she wants you to think" sort of thing. I enjoyed it. 

Somewhat unfounded reservation #3 - I ended up liking Lia a lot more than I thought I would. Do I agree with her decision? Eh. But I also don't necessarily fault her for it either. Her brothers were given plenty of freedom, but since she was a "first daughter" she was restricted in many areas. I can't hate her for wanting choice. And this girl is fiery. She's got a sharp tongue that can bring a man to his knees. But, what I really loved about her was how hard-working she was. This trait is what redeemed her in my eyes. This chick knew exactly what kind of life she was getting into by leaving. She knew she wouldn't have attendants or an overabundance of food. She knew she'd have to work. 
And she did it anyways. 
I've never seen someone enjoy work so much. I envied her. She went at it with such vigor that I couldn't help but root for her. 
SLIGHT SPOILER: Though, as much as I love her, I do have to say this though: What did she think would happen? She's almost surprised when she hear's stories about threats of war, etc. It was incredibly naive of her and she comes to regret her actions far to late. END SPOILER.

However, this does bring me to a couple of things that made this book good but not great.

1. So, as you know, you're not supposed to know which guy is the assassin and which is the prince. This kept it fun and interesting, but also made me realize that there aren't many differences personality-wise between the two. Also, though this does focus on romance, I also didn't feel like we got to delve deep into either personality enough to get me to love either boy. Neither guy is really fleshed out.  Maybe this is because they are both hiding their identities in this book. Hopefully the second book, since you learn at the end of the first one who's who, will delve deeper into their personalities. Also, kinda insta-attraction. It's why the assassin doesn't kill her right off (crappy assassin in my opinion). 

2. Nothing really happens in this book until the end. The first 3/4 are of Lia's new life and the secretive boys. But the plot doesn't really kick into high gear until the last quarter. The first part was interesting, then it goes through a bit of a dry spell where I wasp like "LET'S GET A MOVE ON!". But it's this last part where we're finally going somewhere and doing something. The plot is finally moving forward. 

Alongside the plot not going anywhere is the world not really being delved into. The world is described and there is a map (lots of extra points for that), but the history isn't delved into. Now, I'm assuming this is following the trope of lots of discoveries and her being lied to or something or other, but still. It could've been delved into a bit more. Again, the history of the world goes alongside the plot where it doesn't really pick up till the last quarter. However, I really did enjoy those little tidbits taken from some of this worlds books in between the chapters. 

Ohhhh how could I forget?! I was so caught up in talking about the plot, the boys, and Lia that I totally forgot another plus in this book. Bindi, Gwenyth, and Pauline. Bindi is the somewhat cross, but really a sweet momma bear owner of the inn/tavern. Gwenyth, the saucy and mysterious barmaid that tells Lia like it is. And Pauline. Sweet, naive Pauline. What I liked most about her was her relationship with Lia. Though she was Lia's servant, they both treated each other as equals and were good friends. Love it. 


This book was enjoyable. I ended up liking Lia more than I originally thought I would and liked the guessing game when it came to the guys. However, I believe the lack of plot movement and the fact that I wasn't head-over-heels for either of the boys kept this from being great. However, the last quarter, when things start moving and Lia becomes incredibly determined and really shines and we start learning more about the world and it's history, I got interested. I'm definitely looking forward to book number two. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

The One Where I Ramble About My Confusing Feelings Towards THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)
by Erika Johansen
Source: Bought
Format: Hardback
Pages: 448
Available now

Goodreads synopsis:

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive.

The Queen of the Tearling introduces readers to a world as fully imagined and terrifying as that of The Hunger Games, with characters as vivid and intriguing as those of The Game of Thrones, and a wholly original heroine. Combining thrilling action and twisting plot turns, it is a magnificent debut from the talented Erika Johansen.

Let's face it. Unless you've been living under a rock for about 6 months, you've heard of this book. I have seen raving after raving review of this book with all it's epic high fantasy-ness and intriguing plot and plain but tough in her own way heroine. So, naturally, I went out and spent my money on it. 







Eh. I'm not sure.....
Apparently, I missed the "really awesomely fantastic OIWJEFOWEJF" book part. And yet, I didn't. 
Honestly, I really have absolutely no idea how I feel about this book. 

When I finally got my hands on it, I devoured it. This book is huge with really small writing, yet I took ever opportunity to read it. That should mean I loved it, right?
This is one of those books where I was eating up the pages like 

  The book was pulling at me saying "read me, love me, worship meeeeeeee".

Then I finished the book and looked more like this....

And right about now, I have a really unflattering look of confusion upon my face. 

Writing this review? Impossible. How can I  say I loved it, yet felt it lacking in so many places? After finishing this book, I knew I had to get all my thoughts down, no matter how jumbled they were. So, I sat down at work and wrote an e-mail to myself with bullet points of all the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly (because who actually works at work, amirite?)  It's a confusing and messy mixture of words. However, it's really the only way to write this thing. 
So, without further ado, here are my incredibly eloquent, long, and not in the least bit confusing bullet points with both the positive and the negative of this....interesting book. 

  • First off, loveeee the cover and style of this book. It feels so old timey and even had a BUILT-IN BOOKMARK! 

  • It was good. Obviously. Else I wouldn't have devoured it like I did. But, this is one of those books where, after you finish, you're like "wait....what?". Sure, a couple things bugged me during, but after actually finishing and allowing things to sink it, I realized I had many issues. 

  • So...the Caden are supposed to be like super awesome assassins.....except they aren't. Don't get me wrong, Mace is skilled, I get that. Butttttt shouldn't assassins be all lithe and really skilled? Mace is just brute stregth, but I feel as if the assassins could've, ya know, dodged the mace. But they didn't. He took down like 4!? Couldn't one have distracted while another came from behind with a knife or something? Also, SUPER quick fight. I feel that if it had gone into a bit more detail to really show how the Mace beat them, it'd be more believable. But he swung his Mace and sayonara! 

  • Also...how was NO one able to find her? I'm assuming Magic of some sort. Still not sure though.

  • The Red Queen is very one dimensional when you stop to think about it. She's evil for the sake of being evil. But why? Again, I know that this will be discussed (hopefully) in future books, but there could've been a glimpse of her past. Her evilness was definitely mainly the shock factor. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to see why she's evil (and psycho) and I was intrigued by her few chapters, but still left wanting. 

  • I like Kelsea. She's tough and intelligent (somewhat) and though insecure, she holds her own. But I still had issues.

  • Her insecurities. I think it's awesome when a heroine isn't your typical model-pretty. It's realistic because not everyone is going to look like that (myself included). The problem lies in the fact that here she is complaining about being "plain" (overused) yet is quite cruel to a woman who isn't pretty according to her, yet the woman obviously believed so. Example? " and for all the anguish that Kelsea's own reflection had caused her lately, she saw something far worse than being ugly: being ugly and thinking you were beautiful." What's wrong with that? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it? Neither Kelsea nor this woman may fit into the "standards of beauty", but it doesn't mean they aren't or that someone won't find them beautiful. Had it just been her complaining about her being plain, I would've been annoyed slightly only because the word was overused, but it was this quote that diminished my view of her. I understand jealousy, but to a girl who has confidence (even if she does have a crappy attitude)?

  • For all her faults, I still liked her. But, I definitely have some issues with her...politics. Look, I'm a realist. I admit it. And Kelsea....is an idealist. So, our....politics...differ. One, I don't really care for when author's shove their beliefs down your throat and unfortunately, that happens. Often. Normally, whether I agree with them or not, if it's subtle I'm totally okay. This was definitely a bit forced. And applicable today. So, since this takes place in the future, it's hinting that basically because things weren't done a certain way, it caused all our problems, eventual downfall, etc. She's definitely and idealist, and I congratulate her on it, but things just aren't that simple. I think that is really the problem. Not so much that we may differ in views, but that she thinks it's just so easy. Politics are NEVER easy. Part of me wants to be like YAY! she's going to be a great leader who cares about helping, but she also has NO grasp whatsoever on politics if she thinks you can just say it and it will happen. There are a lot more factors than that. Sorry girl. 

  • Spoiler (sort of)Also, call me cold and heartless but what she did at the beginning when she gets to the castle was completely and utterly idiotic. This goes along with the whole thinking politics are easy. So....you're going to take you'r whole country to a war which y'all know you ain't gonna win, to save a few? Yes, I'm heartless. Sue me. Like, if she had a fighting chance or thought it through or negotiated or something, then maybe. But WHAT DID SHE THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN?! Don't get me wrong. I commend her and even kind of like it, but the fact that she thought that'd be the end of it or that there would be no repercussions is what bothered me. End spoiler

  • I do like the harem of sexy men though. It's a bit weird because they're all older than her, but I do admit, I love myself a silver fox ;) 

  • Also, THEY have a head on their shoulder. Which most likely comes with age. Which is good for Kelsea. I like her, but she's got a lot of growing up to do and I chalk that up to her being raised in a cottage with only two people. She hasn't had an opportunity to learn from anyone else or engage in critical thinking. I'm excited to see where she goes and how she changes and grows up.

  • Oh, and the Fetch! How could I forget about him? He's not in here nearly as much as he should be. Sure, we only catch a glimpse of him, but call me interested. He's mysterious. Though....I'm not actually sure of his purpose.

  • And, surprisingly, the whole world thing didn't bother me that much. Maybe because I expected it? Basically this takes place in the future that went back to medieval times. Now, the explanations for how it came to be or how there were no doctors wasn't exactly logical in my book, but maybe we'll get a better (truer) explanation later on. 

  • Also, I'm definitely over the whole anti-religion thing. Sometimes she handles it well, but very few times. Don't get me wrong, I know that religious systems aren't perfect and have been/are even now corrupt however, to paint all religion negatively and to bring it up often and have it as an integral part is a bit grating. The saving grace? The one good religious guy. I like him. You go adorable, sweet old man. 

  • I did like the random POV changes. They tied in really well and it actually gave us a glimpse of what is actually going on. 

  • Spoiler (sort of - nothing detailed, but overview of plot)
  • After finishing, I just feel like nothing actually happened. She became queen and that's it. Basically. Like it's traveling from the cottage to the castle, some attempts on her life, reaching the kingdom, doing one grand (stupid) gesture, more attempts, one final grand attempt and that's it. It's not necessarily that nothing happened, but nothing was accomplished. End spoiler.
As you can see, those points are all over the place and definitely not in chronological order. Heck, I'm not even sure I hit it all. But, this is all I wrote at the time and I don't really feel like writing even more (heck, this thing is long enough as is!). 

So, in case you skipped the rather confusing and jumbled mess that is the review above, here is the run down: 
I both loved it and hated it. This book is good. The main character has potential, though she also has a lot of growing up to do. She's got good ideas and really cares, but is also immature at times. There is a harem of sexy, older men. The villain is more shock factor than anything, but I'm interested to see where it goes. The Fetch is hot. And mysterious. Not in here enough, but I look forward to reading more about him. The world-building isn't A+ and I'm not sure exactly how it works out, but it's definitely different. While some political shoving and religious hating nagged me, it was also ignorable (somewhat - it was just a little bit too much of HERE! HERE ARE MY POLITICAL VIEWS! THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY CORRECT! TAKE THEM! IMPLEMENT THEM! NOWWWW). Also, looking back, I don't feel like the plot really moved anywhere. But I liked it. I think. I don't know. I'm confused....
So, remember when I mentioned the harem of silver foxes? Well here's a post full of them so that you'll think reading my long review was worth it. Which it totally was.
You're welcome.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The One Where I'm Waiting On Wednesday (36)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine in which we showcase upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating.

 Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle #1)
by Heather Demetrios
Release date: October 7, 2014

Goodreads Summary:

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself. 

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

Why I'm Waiting

Honestly, I didn't really think this would be something I'd like. Sure it's a fantasy, but it seems a bit romantic for me. Not that I don't like romance, I just don't like it to be solely romance and have angst. Please save me from the angst. 
But this? There's just something soooo exquisite (yes, I just did that) sounding about it. It's sounds like a truly delectable world just waiting to be delved into. And I admit that the men sound intriguing.  And steamy ;) 

Monday, July 14, 2014


Threats of Sky and Sea (Threats of Sky and Sea #1)
by Jennifer Ellision
Source: Netgalley
Format: ebook
Pages: 360

Goodreads Summary:

Sixteen year-old Breena Perdit has spent her life as a barmaid, innocent to her father’s past and happily free from the Elemental gifts that would condemn her to a life in the Egrian King’s army. Until the day that three Elemental soldiers recognize her father as a traitor to the throne and Bree’s father is thrown in jail—along with the secrets from his last mission as the King’s assassin. Secrets that could help the King win a war. Secrets he refuses to share.

Desperate to escape before the King’s capricious whims prove her and her father’s downfall, Bree bargains with him: information for their lives. It’s a good trade. And she has faith she’ll get them both out of the King’s grasp with time.

But that was before the discovery that she’s the weapon the King’s been waiting for in his war.

Now, time is running out. To save her father’s life and understand her own, Bree must unravel the knot of her father’s past before the King takes his life– and uses her to bring a nation to its knees.

This is one of those books that just kinda flies by under the radar waiting to be seen as the gem it is. Honestly, I don't even remember how I came upon this book, but as soon as I read summary, I knew (or hoped) it'd be something I'd enjoy. I was happy to find that it was still on Netgalley and took my chances on getting accepted and I'm so glad I did. 

This book was just all-around enjoyable. Did it still need some work? Yes. But that doesn't mean it wasn't good. I, for one, found myself eager to pick up my Kindle at every opportunity in order to finish it. 

This book follows the basic premises of most fantasy novels, yet was also refreshing.
First off, I really came to adore Breena. She's not exactly your typical heroine what with being a bar maiden and all, yet I loved her all the same. She is spirited, yet has common sense. She tends toward impulsivity, yet she catches herself, thinks things through, and realizes when to hold her tongue and when not to. Example? 

"There are times for defiance, but now is not one of them."
*taken from ARC - may change in final copy.

See?! INTELLIGENT with a healthy dose of common sense! She's been thrown into a situation that isn't exactly in her favor, yet she takes it in stride. She knows things can't always be changed and she accepts it. She tries to change what she can, but she's also understands when things are out of her control. She's simply a breath of fresh air.   

Also, another aspect not often found in books nowadays is a good relationship with parents. Sure, things aren't exactly what they seem when it comes to her dad (gotta make it interesting), but he truly cares about her and she him. They have a loving and caring relationship that adds freshness to the usual horrible/absent parenting. 

This book also has some great secondary characters found in the refreshingly sweet and calming Tregle and bristly, actually-hiding-her-true-emotions Princess Aleta. Add in a greedy, manipulative, heartless king and a too-trigger-happy Lady Katherine and you've got yourselves your villains. 

Another refreshing thing? The romance doesn't overtake the core plot of this book. Look, I'm all for romance, I just hate when characters become obsessed or do stupid things because of said love interest. I like romance, but I don't like it to be the focus. Therefore, it's always refreshing when it's there, but put on the back burner. Caden was sweet and genuine and had a thirst for knowledge. While I wasn't falling head-over-heels for him, I did see why Breena was starting to have feelings for him. 

While the idea of elementals is nothing new, I'm always intrigued by it (also, just starting Avatar so this is helping my obsession. Why haven't I started this series earlier?!). However, I will say the world-building could use some work. I believe some confusion was due to the elemental gifts (they can change the ecosystem) but it was a bit confusing. However, I was still intrigued by the various kingdoms and can't wait for the world to become even more fully fleshed out. 

Thoroughly enjoyable. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it actually. While I do feel as if this first book skimmed the top of what this world has to offer, I was more than happy with it. Breena is a breath of fresh air. She's got the fiery attitude, but it's mixed with a healthy dose of common sense. It keeps her balanced, but she's not above rebellion. She's been thrown into a rather unfortunate situation, yet takes it in stride. This book also even threw a surprise my way! While I knew one, I certainly didn't guess the other! This book is a gem that's flown under the radar, but I'm here to make it shine ;) Read it!