Thursday, November 27, 2014

Review: The Island of Excess Love by Francesca Lia Block

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Series: Love in the Time of Global Warming #2
Pages: 224
Received: Received an e-copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: August 26, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Pen has lost her parents. She’s lost her eye. But she has fought Kronen; she has won back her fragile friends and her beloved brother. Now Pen, Hex, Ash, Ez, and Venice are living in the pink house by the sea, getting by on hard work, companionship, and dreams. Until the day a foreboding ship appears in the harbor across from their home. As soon as the ship arrives, they all start having strange visions of destruction and violence. Trance-like, they head for the ship and their new battles begin.

This companion to Love in the Time of Global Warming follows Pen as she searches for love among the ruins, this time using Virgil’s epic Aeneidas her guide. A powerful and stunning book filled with Francesca Lia Block’s beautiful language and inspiring characters.

My Review:

I remember when Love in the Time of Global Warming came out last year, the writing style that Francesca Lia Block had enraptured me. So when I found out that a new book to the series was coming out I wanted more. I truly believe that this book was just as amazing as the first one. Francesca Lia Block has a way with words that she captures your attention and you don't realize how quickly time flies as you read the book.

After everything that happened in the first book, Pen is on a new mission when this ship arrives at their home and changes how the characters perceive what is happening around them. What I really love about these stories is how Francesca Lia Block uses a classic story to parallel what is happening to Pen and her friends. In this book, the story of Aeneidas is used and you see how Pen constantly refers back to what she remembers from the story.

The one thing about these books are that they are very short, before you know it you have become engrossed in the story and then all of a sudden it ends. That is my one small complaint, I wish that Francesca could extend the story just a little more, without going overboard. There is a lot of information to these stories that you really need to pay attention, and I think they would be enjoyed even more reading them one after another.

This book gives us so much more of Pen and her friends, and I loved getting to know them a little better, and truly seeing inside their minds when they are on this mysterious ship. There are a lot of new hurdles that Pen must overcome, one of those is searching for love in this dangerous world she has found herself in. These are characters that you will come to remember and love, Francesca Lia Block truly knows how to inspire her readers. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Review: Trial by Fire by Jospehine Angelini

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Series: The Worldwalker Trilogy #1
Pages: 374
Received: Received an e-copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.

My Review:

I have to say that I have a thing for witch books for some reason, and reading about this book had me interested. I really liked the idea behind this book, Lily mysteriously finds herself in alternate universe, similar to hers in ways but still so different. I felt that Josephine Angelini took the idea of multiple universes to a great level, Lily travels to this new Salem and finds that her self in this world is a completely different person.

Lily finds herself in a dark universe, but her life truly changes when she is brought into New Salem, whereas in her old universe, her health was life-threatening, she is a strong character in the new universe. Lily has a lot to learn about this new place she has fallen into, she is taught about the magical abilities of the Crucibles and how they rule this universe. I really liked the slow world building that Angelini has going, Lily slowly learns who has the power in this world and how everything is controlled. She quickly learns that she has been placed in the middle of a war and that she must choose which side she will work with. I really liked Lily's character, she is tough and yet you can see that she is scared about being in this new place, but she is very determined to do anything she can to get home.

I am interested to know more about the group of rebels that take Lily under their wing and help her learn her magical potential. Readers slowly get a bit of their history of how they came together and why they chose this path. I truly enjoyed the build up, especially between Lily and Rowan, they have a great dynamic with one another, and I really liked how their relationship grew and they began to truly trust one another.

Angelini has created a very dark world where no one is safe no matter where you are, there is danger lurking around every corner. This book opens up a new world and has readers on the edge of their seat by the end, Angelini leaves you wanting more, the ending leaves many unanswered questions about Lily and what she will do now that she has done so much. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Kissing Frogs by Alisha Sevigny

Publisher: Fierce Ink Press
Pages: 189
Received: Received an e-copy from Fierce Ink Press in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: November 18, 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:

Finding Prince Charming sure is hard work

Popular high school senior Jessica Stone has a secret: she used to be a nerd — a goody two-shoes, grade-skipping, all-state spelling bee champ kind of nerd. But she gave herself the ultimate makeover and applied all her academic genius to study and imitate the social elite and now she rules the school. With her cool new friends and hottest-guy-in-school boyfriend, life’s a beach — and that’s where she’s headed for spring break. That is, until her biology teacher breaks the bad news that she’s failing and her only chance to make up the grade is to join the conservation club in Panama to save the golden frog.

Jess finds herself in a foreign country with a new social crew, including a ghost from her past that could threaten her queen bee reputation. Travis Henley may have grown up, but he still likes to play childish games and as payment for retrieving her lost ring from the bottom of a jungle pool, he wants three non-dates. The last thing Jess wants to do is be around him any more than she has to, but she’s desperate to keep him quiet and agrees. Soon she begins to realize the worth of her inner nerd, and that one frog in particular could be her prince in disguise.

My Review:

This is a cute little book. It's a very quick read being such a short book and I definitely flew through it. Jessica is someone who spent a lot of time remaking herself to become popular in high school, she grew up being a nerd and she wanted to hide that part of herself. As spring break comes up, Jessica is forced to change her plans from going to the beach to spending a week in Panama with the conservation club.

Jessica has worked so hard to change herself and now a ghost from her past threatens to bring out her secret inner nerd. As the trip grows to a close, Jessica begins to see that her true self may not really be that bad of a person to bring out in public. Jess begins to spend more time around Travis and he shows her that who she really is, isn't that bad.

I liked Travis, he was adorable and it was cute to see him try to make up for how he used to act with Jess when they were younger. Readers can see that he wants Jess to have fun and bring out her true nerdy self, that's what really got my attention with this book was how it is about a true nerd that is trying to hide herself. This is a very relateable story in many ways, though it goes a little far out sometimes, it is still a very cute book. One that I think many people will enjoy and can easily read through in a day. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Review: Earth & Sky by Megan Crewe

Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Series: Earth & Sky #1
Pages: 336
Received: Received a copy from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: October 28, 2014
Buy From / Buy From

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Skylar has been haunted for as long as she can remember by fleeting yet powerful sensations that something is horribly wrong. But despite the panic attacks tormenting her, nothing ever happens, and Sky’s beginning to think she’s crazy. Then she meets a mysterious, otherworldly boy named Win and discovers the shocking truth her premonitions have tapped into: our world no longer belongs to us. For thousands of years, Earth has been at the mercy of alien scientists who care nothing for its inhabitants and are using us as the unwitting subjects of their time-manipulating experiments. Win belongs to a rebel faction seeking to put a stop to it, and he needs Skylar’s help--but with each shift in the past, the very fabric of reality is unraveling, and soon there may be no Earth left to save.

My Review:

This is surprisingly my first Megan Crewe book, I am truly disappointed in myself for not picking up one of her books earlier and after this I plan to read her other stories ASAP. Megan Crewe imagines our world to be something different, what if the way our lives were was not actually what was happening and that we are truly missing out on something. This story really makes you contemplate a lot of different things, Megan Crewe brings in the idea that life on Earth is an experiment and that there is another life force that is changing reality.

Skylar is an intriguing character, when readers meet her in the beginning, you see that she is special, but you are not absolutely sure in what way. Skylar can sense that things are not always right and it is a scary thought that takes over her body, she has panic attacks and can see things happening that no one else is able to see. When Skylar meets Win, she realizes that she has these feelings because there is something else going on in the world, and the history is being messed with. Skylar begins to help Win as he attempts to stop these aliens from his home planet from experimenting on Earth. What I enjoyed is the way time travel is added into this story, Win and Skylar travel all over time to find missing pieces of a weapon that could save everyone on Earth from these aliens.

Megan Crewe uses this story to show how time can be changed so easily when traveling back, but what Win and Skylar don't realize is that they are also changing history the more they travel. It is almost coming to the point that Skylar can not tell what is reality anymore and they need to fight harder to keep these time-manipulating experiments from happening. This story also kept a great pace, Megan Crewe took her time to explain the idea of these aliens and their experiment, also on how this rebel faction came to be.

I really loved how this story made me think about life and history, thinking about how easily the future could be changed. I want to see where the rest of this series will go from here! I'm so glad I decided to finally pick up a Megan Crewe book, this was a great one to start with, though I can't wait to go and read her past books as well. 


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