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Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld

Summary:
Believing is dangerous. Darcy Patel is afraid to believe all the hype. But it’s really happening-her teen novel is getting published. Instead of heading to college, she’s living in New York City, where she’s welcomed into the dazzling world of YA publishing. That means books tours, parties with her favorite authors, and finding a place to live that won’t leave her penniless. It means sleepless nights rewriting her first draft and struggling to find the perfect ending…all while dealing with the intoxicating, terrifying experience of falling in love-with another writer.
Told in alternating chapters is Darcy’s novel, the thrilling story of Lizzie, who wills her way into the afterworld to survive a deadly terrorist attack. With survival comes the responsibility to guide the restless spirits that walk our world, including one ghost with whom she shares a surprising personal connection. But Lizzie’s not alone in her new calling-she has counsel from a fellow spirit guide, a very desirable one, who is torn between wanting Lizzie and warning her that…believing is dangerous.

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Review:
So yesterday I made my first trip to my new local library since I moved her three months ago. I’ve been reading all the new books I’ve bought and rereading all the books I brought with me and I finally finished everything on my book shelf. So it was the perfect time for an adventure to the library. I’m glad I did because I picked up three new books which will all be reviewed here in the near future.
The first book I got was Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. He’s an author I’ve read quite a bit of and I’ve liked everything I’ve read by him. When I read the description I was very intrigued. A book about a teenage girl successfully writing and publishing a book, who wouldn’t love that? And when I learned that we would get to read about our main character while also reading the story she wrote, I knew I had to read it.
I loved following Darcy as she came up into the publishing world. As someone who would love to be a successful published author one day, she was really awesome to read about. I loved learning more about the publishing world. Reading about Darcy’s struggle to make her editor happy by changing different parts of her story was really interesting to me because I know what the struggle of writing and not being happy with parts and rewriting. I liked Darcy. She was very unsure of herself for a lot of this book, while she knew what she wanted, she didn’t seem to have much confidence in herself. She was always second guessing herself, always wondering if her book was really that good, if she’s made the right choices. While I understand being eighteen and unsure of what to do with my life, I feel like she should have had more faith in herself, after all, she’s in the process of getting a book published at the age of eighteen. That’s pretty impressive. I loved all of the friends Darcy made once she moved to New York City. Imogen was definitely my favorite. I loved their blossoming relationship, but again, if Darcy would have been a little more confident the couple would have avoided more than one major blowout. But to be fair, every relationship has ups and downs, it wouldn’t be realistic if they didn’t fight a little bit. The rest of Darcy’s friends were awesome, they added a bit of hilarity to the story. I loved them all. I think I loved Darcy’s younger sister the most. At fourteen she’s a firecracker. She always has something witty to say and she’s Darcy’s biggest supporter. I loved how close these two were. Their love for one another was very clear and I really enjoyed their relationship.
Now, Darcy’s story was told in alternating chapters and I can’t decide which story I liked better. I loved being able to read the finished story as Darcy learned what she needed to change and how she was going to do that. Her story about Lizzie was fascinating, and very unique. I don’t know where to start. The story was gripping, every chapter change I almost just skipped to the next one to find out what happened next in Lizzie’s life. I’m not going to go into too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away. But I loved Lizzie’s story just as much as Darcy’s.
I really enjoyed this book. It took me less than a day to finish it because I just couldn’t put it down. Scott Westerfeld has outdone himself yet again. I recommend this book to anyone that likes to read. So go buy it, or get it from the library like I did.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.

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Flamecaster – Cinda Willaims Chima

Summary:
A burning vengeance.
Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic-and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers now to save a life, but to take it?
A blood-based curse.
Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would one day make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.
Destiny’s fiery hand.
Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the ruthless king, Ash and Jenna will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.
Se in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series, a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

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Review:
So if you read my last review you all know that I absolutely loved the Seven Realms series. Flamecaster is the next series based in the same world, only it’s a generation later. I also very much loved this book. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that the next three books aren’t out and there aren’t even any expected publication dates, which I guess it understandable seeing as this book just came out in April. But still, I don’t care if I’m being unreasonable! I need to know what’s going to happen next!
Cinda Williams Chima is an amazing writer. The way she sets up the plot for what going to come next and the setting, ugh, I wish this world was a real place. From the way she describes it, it’s beautiful even after twenty five years of war with Arden. She explains everything in such good detail I feel like I’m there with Ash when he’s at Oden’s Ford, or right alongside Jenna in Delphi. I just really enjoy the way the story is written. It’s an extremely action packed story; pretty much right from the start of the book, but there’s also a bit of romance and quite a few devastating parts as well as surprise after surprise. Chima seems to know exactly how to make it straight to my heart and get me way too involved in the story and beyond in love with the characters. She also does one of my favorite things, she tells the story from more than one perspective. From this, I knew as soon as I started to read the story that our two main characters, Ash and Jenna, would eventually meet. I love that I get more than just one part of the story. I get to see what’s going on in other parts of the world all at the same time.
The beginning of Flamecaster threw me off a little bit. In the start of the book Ash is thirteen and Jenna is twelve. We read a few chapters of their lives at this age while they both experience something traumatic and life changing. Then the story fast forwards four years. I took me by surprise and had me confused for a few pages until I realized what had happened. It’s not that I didn’t like the time jump, because I totally understand why the author did it, I just think she should have done it a little more clearly. Maybe she could have labeled underneath the chapter title “four years later” or something like that.
As always the characters are my favorite part to talk about. In Flamecaster I feel like there are so many more characters I’d like to talk about compared to the Seven Realms series. I think maybe there are just more characters that I’ve started to love. So I’ll start with our favorite prince, Adrian sul’Han also called Ash. He’s so his father’s son it’s ridiculous. He keeps secrets just like his father did, though his secrets didn’t blow up in his face like they did for his father, thankfully. He’s a smart and brave young man throughout all of these pages. Though, not everything he does is terribly intelligent. He gets it into his head that he needs to kill the king of Arden, which is why most of this story takes place in Arden. I thought that was cool because the last series took place mostly in the Fells and I really enjoyed getting to read about one of the other kingdoms in the Seven Realms. I understood why Ash felt that he needed to kill the king, but at the same time I don’t think he really needed to. I think it would have happened without his help and he should have gone back home instead of going to Arden. Part of me is glad he went because then he never would have met Jenna and we wouldn’t have gotten to learn more about his sort of friend Lila either. Thankfully, at the end of the story Ash decides it’s time for him to go home. At this point he’s grown up a great deal and I really enjoyed following him on his adventures to get to this point.
Jenna Bandelow was a very interesting character. I wasn’t totally sure where her part in the story was going to take us, except obviously towards Ash. Even after finishing this book I only have a slightly better understanding of what part she’s going to play in the Shattered Realms series, though I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a big one. I loved Jenna from the very start. She really cares about the people in her life and does her absolute best to protect them at any cost, even when doing so could cost her her life. Because of one of these moments she has to change her identity and starts her life over as a boy. She’s passionate about what she believes in and knows exactly what she wants. She actually reminds me a little bit of Queen Raisa. She consistently takes risks to try to make her town a better place and she never stops trying to do the right thing. I’m very excited to see where the rest of this series takes Jenna.
While Ash is studying at Oden’s Ford in the beginning of this story we meet Lila, who isn’t someone that I would call his friend, but they get closer to that by the end of this book. Lila was a very confusing character. I knew that I liked her, but I couldn’t always tell whose side she was on. She was a spy for the Arden kingdom, but never seemed to really agree with what she was doing and always seemed to have another goal in mind. When we finally find out who she really is I liked her even more. I knew there was something about her that I liked and as soon as that surprise was revealed I was very glad. I’m sure she’ll be a big part of the next three books and I’m excited to see more of her.
Flamecaster, the first book in the Shattered Realms series, was amazing. I’m glad I decided to buy it and even gladder I finally got around to reading it. I am going to try to patiently wait for the next three books to come out, but it will probably be more anxiously waiting than patiently. If you like action packed books with tons of plot twists with a bit of romance in the middle this is definitely the book for you.


The Seven Realms Series – Cinda Williams Chima

Hello readers! I’ve been reading the Seven Realms series this week. There are four books in this series and they were just too good to put down. Since I own all four of them I figured I would just read them and then review all four in one post.

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The Demon King Summary:
Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister, Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he can’t sell. For as long as Han can remember, he’s worn thick silver cuffs engraved with runes. They’re clearly magicked-as he grows, they grow, and he’s never been able to get them off.
Han’s life gets even harder after he takes a powerful amulet from Micah Bayar, the son of the High Wizard. The amulet once belonged to the Demon King, the wizard who nearly destroyed the world a millennium ago. With a magical piece so powerful at stake, the Bayars will stop at nothing to reclaim it from Han.
Meanwhile, Raisa ana’Marianna, princess heir of the Fells, has her own battles to fight. Although Raisa will become eligible for marriage after her sixteenth name day, she isn’t looking forward to trading in her common sense for a prince with a big castle and a tiny brain. Raisa aspires to be like Hanalea-the legendary warrior queen who killed the Demon King and saved the world. But it seems that her mother has other plans for her-plans that include a suitor who goes against everything the queendom stands for.
The Exiled Queen Summary:
Haunted by the loss of his mother and sister, Han Alister journeys south to being his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery-but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.
Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her best friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden’s Ford. If she can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf Queen.
The Gray Wolf Throne Summary:
Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.
Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it-he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive-and even that might not be enough.
The Crimson Crown Summary:
For young Queen Raisa ana’Marianna, maintaining peace even within her own castle walls is nearly impossible; tension between wizards and Clan has reached a fevered pitch. With surrounding kingdoms seeking to prey on the Fells’ inner turmoil, Raisa’s best hope is to unite her people against the common enemy. But that enemy might be the person with whom she’s falling in love.
Through a complicated web of lies and unholy alliances, former streetlord Han Alister has become a member of the Wizard Council of the Fells. Navigating the cut-throat world of blue blood politics has never been more dangerous, and Han seems to inspire hostility among Clan and wizards alike. His only ally is the queen, and despite the perils involved, Han finds it impossible to ignore his feelings for Raisa. Before long, Han finds himself in possession of a secret believed to be lost to history, a discovery powerful enough to unite the people of the Fells. But will the secret die with him before he can use it?
Review:
The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima is amazing. I absolutely loved these books. The characters, the setting, the way it was written. Everything about this series was great. This is a fantasy series that takes place in a made up world. The detail that’s put into this world is one of my favorite parts. As we read through all four books we learn more and more about each country. We also got to learn quite a bit about this world’s history, and the many versions of it that are known around the world. We get to see the effect of the events from the past and how they shaped the way the world works now. I loved learning all the different versions of the world’s history and finally figuring out which one was the truth. Seeing that all of the current politics and bigger issues were really for no reason because their view of how history unfolded was not completely accurate. It just goes to show that an accurate keeping of time and events can be very important.
These four books were all written very well. The span of time never seemed to moving too quickly or too slowly. That’s something I notice in some books, so much happens in such a short period of time it almost seems impossible. These books didn’t have that. Many things happened in these pages, but they didn’t all happen at once and we actually got to see a noticeable amount of time pass within all of the craziness of the story. I also like that this is a book that follows two different perspectives. While we didn’t get to see it from all the different characters views, we did get to follow Han and Raisa as they both overcame quite a bit.
Now, my favorite part to write about, the characters. I’ll start with Raisa ana’Marianna, the princess heir and eventually queen of the Fells. I liked her from the very start of this series. She’s always had very strong opinions about her life and what she wanted to do with it. While, yes, she knew she was a princess and would eventually be queen, so she knew that there would be many things in her life she would have to sacrifice for the good of the Fells. She did her best to do what was right for her as a person as well. She had a back bone and never let it waver. There were times where she let people think she was going to waver and then came back stronger than ever. Raisa always tried to do what she thought was best for her people, even before she became the queen. As princess heir she had so many ideas of how to make certain things better, but her mother never wanted to listen to her. When she was put in a situation that could have potentially brought the Fells to war, she did was she thought was best and fled to Oden’s Ford to go to school in disguise. Raisa was probably my favorite character because she tried her best to do what she thought was best. I really enjoyed watching her grow into a queen that could and would actually make a different for her people.
Next is Han Alister, a man with many names. We first meet him as Cuffs because of the mysterious silver cuffs around his wrists that he’s never been able to get off, and not for lack of trying. Han was a very interesting character to follow. I wasn’t really sure where his story was going to take us until his run in with Rasia at one of the local temples. He seemed like a kid who’d ended up with the wrong crowd because he needed to find a way to make money to help his family survive. Even though Han had gotten out of that business, his reputation followed him. When a chance meeting happens and he gets a wizard amulet things start to change. He’s hunted and beaten and somehow manages to escape every time. Even though all Han wants is to escape the life and help his family survive he’s pulled into danger time and time again. I think the change and growth in Han was the most noticeable out of all the characters in this series. He gets some very surprising news about his family lines and it completely changes his life, well, except for the danger part. He studies hard for his new task and finds ways to polish himself as well as his skills so he can fit in better with the blue bloods. The only bad thing I have to say about Han is that he kept too many secrets, but in his defense, they were pretty big secrets and I can understand why he didn’t want to share them. Other than that I really liked what his character brought to this story.
Now, the Bayar family was the one thing I didn’t like about this series. They were a necessary evil because every story needs a villain. The High Wizard was a thorn in Raisa’s side in every single one of the books in the Seven Realms series. He was constantly stirring up trouble and I wish someone took care of him as soon as this series started. That would have eliminated so many of the battles Raisa had to face. The High Wizard’s daughter, Fiona, was someone I wasn’t sure about when I first met her. She had potential to be someone very helpful to the plot line. She proved very quickly that she was on her father’s side, and sometimes on her own side with her own goals. Finally, the High Wizard’s son, Micah Bayar, he played a very key role in this story. He was what made Raisa flee to school instead of staying in her home and being with her family. As much as I would like to hate Micah, I can’t seem to bring myself to actually hate him. He played a part in so much of the chaos that happened in these books. But there were also so many times that his words or actions were to help keep Raisa safe, or to postpone something so that he could figure out how to keep her safe. So as much as I wanted to hate Micah, I just couldn’t.
The Clans had mixed feelings from me. There were many among the Clans that I really enjoyed reading about, like Willow and her son, Fire Dancer, his cousin Digging Bird. But there were others that really annoyed me, like Reid Nightwalker. He had hopes that he would marry Raisa even though he had no plans to be loyal to her in their marriage and just expected her to accept that. I’m glad of Reid’s fate in this story; he totally deserved everything he got. Then there was Raisa’s father, Averill. The royal consort. He really annoyed me because even though he had no real power over the Fells, he tried to make all kinds of plans behind Raisa’s back. Supposedly these plans were to protect her, but in the end it only hurt her more.
The few characters that I didn’t like that much in no way changed the way I felt about The Seven Realms Series. I absolutely loved these books and I’m glad I own them so I can reread them whenever I want. I would suggest these books to anyone and everyone just because I liked them so much. So, pretty please go get them from the library or the bookstore. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


The Rose Society – Marie Lu

Summary:

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all…

Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra with her sister to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her.

But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed by only fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good when her very existence depends on darkness?

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Review:

The Rose Society was definitely not what I expected. Like the first book, I absolutely loved the setting. We got to see more of this fantasy world when the Daggers go to Beldain to seek the help of their Queen, Maeve. We meet more Elites in this country because they’re celebrated in Beldain rather than punished as they are in most other places.

The next thing that I’m glad was continued from the first book was the changing of perspectives. I really enjoy getting to read the story from many different aspects, always knowing more than the main character. I feel like I get to know more of the characters better this way. I just like to know the whole story and reading from each different characters story gives me that.

While we didn’t get to see as much of The Dagger Society as we did in the first book, I liked the parts that we did see. They’re still trying to complete their goal even though they lost of the most important members of their group. They’ve figured out a way around this and they’re still trying to do good for the world. I like the Daggers a lot. They seem like good people just trying to make the world a better place for others like themselves. And while I might not like every way that they try to do this, their end goal is still what is important, mostly because they don’t go to the extremes that Adelina does in The Rose Society.

Now, our dear Adelina, she seems to be doing pretty good in the beginning of the book. She’s trying to make her own group of Elites, which she names The Rose Society. Just like in the first book, these people she’s gathered start to care about her. Specifically, Magiano. He’s probably my favorite character in this book. He knows what he wants and generally knows how to get it. While following Adelina, he starts  to genuinely care for her and for a little while, it seems as though she feels the same way. I liked Magiano because he doesn’t hold back, he always says what’s in his mind even if he knows it won’t be agreed with. As the story progresses and Adelina gets closer and closer to her goal of taking over Kenettra, she starts doing more irrational things, using her powers to the extreme when she doesn’t always need to. I liked Adelina quite a bit in the first book, but that slowly faded for me in this sequel. She’s slowly losing control over her powers and her mind. It’s clear that the further we read in this book the crazier she gets. She starts hallucinating, her powers giving her illusions that she can’t control. Though I can’t talk that badly about her because she gets what she wants by the end of this book, regardless of who’s in her way.

I’m excited to read the next book in this series, The Midnight Star. I’m very intrigued to see where Marie Lu is going to take these characters.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


The Young Elites – Marie Lu

Summary:
A decade ago, a deadly blood fever swept through the nation. Most of the infected perished, but some survivors were left with strange markings, rumored to signify powerful gifts for those who possess them. And though their identities remain secret, this group of survivors has come to be called The Young Elites.
The Inquisition Axis seeks to destroy them. The Dagger Society aims to find them before the Inquisition Axis. And Adelina Amouteru just wants to be left alone. But two truths will soon surface:
Adelinas powers are far from ordinary…
And she is not to be crossed.

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Review:
The Young Elites by Marie Lu was a recent Barnes and Nobel buy. I read The Legend Series by her and really liked them, so when I saw that she had come out with some new books I was very interested. As soon as I read the description on the back of the book I knew I had to get it. I’m very glad I did. I really liked this book and I’m very excited to dig into the second as soon as I finish this review.
So as soon as I read “powerful gifts” in the description of this book I knew I was going to like it. The story starts out following Adelina in her home, where her father is a terror and her sister, Violetta, is the only one he seems to love. When Adelina overhears a conversation between her father and someone who would like to purchase her as a mistress she knows it’s time for her to run. She makes her escape in the cover of the night and is quickly found by her father where she finally finds the power she received from surviving the blood fever. Shortly after this she’s captured by the Inquisition Axis and sentenced to execution. This is when the story gets really good. The Dagger Society comes to her rescue and claims her as one of their own. I liked Adelina for the most part. She’s a girl that’s been wronged most of her life and finally has a chance to do right and show her true potential. She’s very unsure of herself because of all of the self doubt and hatred instilled in her as she was raised. Throughout the pages she grows much more confident and determined to show that she was worth the risk of saving her. As her power grows and she learns slowly to try and control it, she starts to feel like she belongs with these people that saved her. Until one Inquisitor finds her and threatens her sister’s life in exchange for betraying her newfound friends. Instead of telling the other young elites she keeps her secret and tries to find a way to save Violetta by herself. This is something I never like when they happen in stories. JUST TELL YOUR FRIENDS PLEASE. They may not be able to help right away, but you will save yourself so much trouble and hurt and betrayal in the end. It always infuriates me when the main character keeps secrets from people that care or are starting to care about her. Other than this secret I really like Adelina. She’s a determined character who just wants to be cared for by others.
The Dagger Society, filled with young elites, was a very interesting group filled with a variety of people. The leader, Enzo, was my favorite. He saw something in Adelina that he thought would be useful to their group. The more he got to know her the more he started to care for her. I really enjoyed watching the two of them get to know one another and finally start to open up to one another. The other members of The Dagger Society were all very hesitant to welcome Adelina at first, but as they got to know her they welcomed her more and more. Except one of course, there’s always one that remains doubtful.
The setting of The Young Elites was also something I liked. It’s set in a fantasy world with places that are mapped on a few pages in the beginning of the book. I loved that Lu put a lot of description about these places while Adelina travels around. I felt like I could really see where she was going when she went somewhere new.
Something else I really liked was that Lu gives us many different perspectives to read this story from. Each new chapter is labeled with whose perspective we will be following. I really enjoy books that let me see many different sides of the story.
The climax of this book was so unexpected. Talk about a plot twist. Something I really enjoy when reading is when books actually catch me by surprise and this one definitely did. I’m writing this review as fast as I can because I really want to start the next book in the series, The Rose Society. So if you’ve read The Legend Series or you like books with people that have powers, this is a book you should pick up and read. I really liked it. Give it a read and let me know what you think!
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


The Obsession – Nora Roberts

Summary:
“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her”
Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s even known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up-especially the determined Xander Keaton.
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

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Review:
Nora Roberts will always be a favorite author of mine. There isn’t a single book of hers that I haven’t been able to just lose myself in its pages. The Obsession was no different. This book had me hooked from the first chapter. Naomi at twelve years old having to go through something no child should ever have to see or experience. Her father, a serial killer, and she had found and saved one of his victims. I really loved Naomi through the whole book. She was a very strong and spunky character. She knew what she wanted and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind about her feelings. She knew exactly who she was. When she moved to Sunrise Cove her whole world was turned around. She never thought she would find a place to settle down, but she did. And she soon found that what she wanted wasn’t exactly what she’d always thought she wanted.
Enter Xander Keaton. I loved him from the moment her changed her flat tire. And even more when they found the stray dog together and he convinced her to keep him. He’s a super bookworm and that only made me love him more. He’s handsome of course, and knows exactly how to handle Naomi. I really liked the fact that he trusted her, and once he figured out that she was the daughter of Thomas Bowes he didn’t confront her about it. He let her have her time and space. That’s something not all people can do. Most would immediately start asking questions. But not Xander, he knew she would tell him when she was ready. He’s just an all around decent guy, and I couldn’t have picked anyone better for Naomi.
I absolutely adored Naomi’s uncles, Seth and Harry, and her brother, Mason. They were her saving grace in the beginning of this story. Her uncles helped her get away from all the craziness involved with her father. They really pushed her to try to move on and have a normal life. They were always there, always routing for her to do her best. And her brother Mason, the only other person in the world that understood how she was feeling half the time. He was an awesome character who supported Naomi when she needed it the most. He always knew what to say to make her feel better and get her head back on straight. As Mason grew up he made his life better and better. He went to college and got a psychology degree. Then started working for the FBI. He really did his best to make the world a better place after what his father did. I really admired his strength to be able to stop people like his father every day. Instead of trying to put it behind him, like Naomi, he faced it head on, challenged it, and made the world a better place.
This book was awesome. I read it in a few hours, it was just so fast paced I couldn’t seem to put it down. Any one that has read any of Nora Robert’s books and liked them, The Obsession will be no different. I highly suggest it to anyone that likes mystery with a bit of romance in there.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


Top Ten Tuesday, Beach Reads

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, is Beach Reads Week. This is a favorite of mine because I’m a total beach bum. And my favorite beach activity is reading while laying in the beautiful sunlight. So, this week’s topic has a few options and I’m going to try to touch on all of them; top ten great beach reads, top ten book I plan to read on the beach, top ten not typical beach reads, or top ten authors to read on the beach.

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1 )Janet Evanovich –  She’s one of my favorite authors. Her books are all hilarious. They’re the perfect beach reads that will have people staring at your hysterical laughter.

2) The Belgariad & The Malloreon by David Eddings – This was a series that I recently finished. While it’s definitely not a typical beach read, they’re certainly books you can spend a few hours getting totally lost in.

3) The Last Vampire Series by Christopher Pike – If I’m being honest, I’m a sucker for a good vampire series and this definitely was. Another that’s not a typical beach read but the story will take you far away from the beach.

4) Nora Roberts – Anything by Nora is always good. Her romance novels are great beach reads that have me cracking up like a crazy person.

5) The  Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – I’m stealing one from Antonia’s TTT. This was an amazing series, and while it’s not a typical beach read I would read it at the beach anyway.

6) Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima – I’ve read this series once before, and the next series just came out, so this is a series I’m planning to read at the beach this summer.

7) Talon Series by Julie Kagawa – This is a series filled with action and adventure. The next book in the series just came out, so I definitely plan on reading this book at the beach very soon.

8) The 5th Wave Series – The third and final book just came out, The Final Star. I’m going to be reading this at the beach as soon as possible.

9) Newsoul Series by Jodi Meadows – I read this series a few years ago and its really stuck with me. Ill be trying to read it again this summer on the beach.

10) John Green – Any of the books he has written are good beach reads. While some of them might make you bawl your eyes out in public, they’re all fantastic books.

These are my top ten this week. I love to read on the beach so this one was very fun for me.


The Heir & The Crown by Kiera Cass

 

Once again, I couldn’t help but immediately start the next book after finishing The Heir. So I’m reviewing the last two books in the Selection series together like I did the first three together in my last review.

the heir the crown

The Heir Summary:

Princess Eadlyn has grown up hearing endless stories about how her mother and father met. Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won the heart of Prince Maxon-and they lived happily ever after. Eadlyn has always found their fairy-tale story romantic, but she has no interest in trying to repeat it. If it were up to her, she’d put off marriage for as long as possible.

But a princess’s life is never entirely her own, and Eadlyn can’t escape her very own Selection-no matter how fervently she protests.

Eadlyn doesn’t expect her story to end in romance. But as the competition begins, one entry just may capture Eadlyn’s heart, showing her all the possibilities that lie in front of her… and proving that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she’s always thought.

The Crown Summary:

When Eadlyn became the first princess of Illea to hold her own Selection, she didn’t think she would fall in love with any of her thirty five suitors. She spent the first few weeks of the competition counting down the days until she could send them all home. But as events at the palace force Eadlyn even further into the spotlight, she realizes that she might not be content remaining alone.

Eadlyn still isn’t sure she’ll find the fairy-tale ending her parents did twenty years ago. But sometimesthe heart has a way of surprising you…and soon Eadlyn much make a choice that feels more impossible-and more important-than she ever imagined.

Review:

I was really excited to read these books. The first three in the series were just so awesome. I was very intrigued to see the life that America and Maxon had made together. Sadly, that was the best part of the book. Being able to read about America and Maxon again was by far the best part of these two books. Their  daughter, Eadlyn, was exactly what she seemed she would be. A freaking princess. Honestly, she was kind of a brat for most of this book. Some instances I could understand, like with Josie, another girl living in the palace. Josie is like the little sister Eadlyn never wanted, always taking her things and retuning them ruined. I personally know what that is like, so I totally understand the bratty behavior when it comes to Josie. But her complete refusal of the Selection when Maxon suggests it really annoyed me. The Selection was suggested as a way to distract the public from the unrest and the drama going on among them. As the future Queen she should have agreed right away that it was a good way to stall for time while they tried to figure out a better solution to solving the issues the public were having. Instead the Selection made it worse because most of the population didn’t particularly like Eadlyn. She comes across as a cold and impersonal character. While we, the readers, get to see that she is emotional, she’s just very good at hiding it and putting on a brave face, some of the ways she reacted to the peoples dislike of her really irked me. She used the boys in the Selection to try to boost her popularity. By the end of The Crown I definitely grew to like her more, but it was hard to get over that initial irritation with her. She’s a complex character and we get to see her grow in so many ways. It was just frustrating watching her deny herself so much happiness because of how she thinks she’s supposed to act and portray herself.

The other thing I wasn’t a huge fan of in these two books was that it had a few repetitious ideas from the first three books. Yes, they were slightly different, sometimes I felt like I was reading the same book over again.

There were many good things about The Heir and The Crown. I absolutely adored Eadlyn’s three brothers. It made me very happy to learn that Maxon and America had four children. I also really enjoyed getting to see more of Maxon and America twenty years in the future. Maxon was the king he always wanted to be. And America’s fears about becoming royalty were totally unfounded. She was loved by her people probably even more than they loved Maxon’s mother, Amberly, before her. I was very happy knowing that their love story turned out exactly how it should. I also enjoyed watching them be parents. Giving Eadlyn advice about theSeletion and dropping hints about their own Selection.

I wouldn’t say I didn’t like these two books, but I’ll probably wait a while before I reread them. I won’t try to shove them down your throat either like I tend to do with books I really loved. But I will say, that if you liked the first three books in The Selection Series, then you should give The Heir and The Crown a chance. Maybe you will like them more than I did.

Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


The Selection, The Elite, The One by Kiera Cass

Hello readers!
I read the first three books in The Selection Series so quickly that I decided to review them all together. I couldn’t seem to make time to review each book before I started reading the next one.

the selection
The Selection Summary:
For thirty five girls, the Selection is the chance of a life time. The opportunity to be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her, and leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she begins to realize that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
The Elite Summary:
The Selection began with thirty five girls. Now with the group narrowed down to the six Elite, the competition to win Prince Maxon’s heart is fiercer than ever-and America is still struggling to decide where her heart truly lies. Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
America is desperate for more time. But the rest of the Elite know exactly what they want- and America’s chance to choose is about to slip away.
The One Summary:
The time has come for one winner to be crowned. When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere near close to the crown-or to Prince Maxon’s heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose- and how hard she’ll have to fight for the future she wants.
Review:
I loved this series. I am actually a little surprised I could control myself enough to write this review before I start the next book, The Heir. When I realized that the next book is about the next generation of Prince Maxon’s family I had to stop myself and write this review, or I wouldn’t ever end up writing it.
I love Kiera Cass for this series. I’m very excited to read her other book The Siren. I haven’t heard anything about it, but from her writing in these three books I’m sure it’s wonderful. Each page was filled with amazing details and descriptions. The settings were easily pictured, between the palace and the many other places this story took us to. But my favorite was the details of what the girls wore. Thirty five girls were competing to become the next princess and of course had to dress accordingly. I loved all the beautiful dresses they got to wear; they were explained so clearly at times I felt like I was the one wearing them. This is something that’s important to me with the books I’m reading. When I read I like to be taken away into the story. I have to know every detail, in as much detail as possible. Cass definitely gave that to me in these three books.
So this dystopian themed series had an interesting history as to how their current situation came around. It gave an almost realistic history with not one, but two World Wars. This was interesting to me, because I totally see it as something that could happen to America.
Now, my favorite part, the characters; America Singer is the main character who enters into the Selection because of pressure from her mother and from her secret boyfriend. She’s shocked when she’s picked to move to the palace and participate in the Selection. Before she leaves she has a huge blowout with her secret boyfriend. Which left me very hopeful for no love triangles, but man was I wrong. I liked America very much because she never stops being exactly the person that she is. Even when she tries to follow through with something she doesn’t believe in, she just can’t seem to quite do it. Even though she’s making certain members of Maxon’s family very angry, she can’t help but to stick to her morals and to what she knows to be the right thing. That’s something I really admired about her. The only thing I didn’t like about America was that she waited way too long to be straight up with Aspen, her secret boyfriend from before she was a part of the Selection. She gets so many chances to tell him that she’s not in love with him anymore and just doesn’t and it really irritates me because she only just makes things more complicated for herself.
Aspen was very sweet at first. With his and America’s secret treehouse meetings, they were adorable. But then they broke up and that should have been the end of it. I like Aspen at the beginning of The Selection and towards the end of The One, but in the middle he really just annoyed me. He was always there, making things more complicated when they really didn’t need to be. I don’t know who told these authors that we readers like love triangles, but I can’t stand most love triangles.
I loved Maxon pretty much as soon as we met him. His relationship with America is something I really liked. They started out as friends because she wasn’t over her feelings for Aspen yet. That’s how all relationships should start. As friends. The more these two hung out, the closer they got and the more both of their feelings grew for one another. Maxon was usually very clear with America about his feelings towards her, but at the same time giving her the space she needed to figure out what was going on in her head too. He was ever hopeful that she would return his feelings so they could be together. I think what I liked most about their relationship is that neither one was really ever afraid to speak their mind to the other. Because they started as friends, they had an openness to talk to one another as equals and I think that was really important for these two characters. Maxon is someone I would have liked more detail on, I would have enjoyed seeing thing from his perspective sometimes. I feel like we only got to know him along with America, but much of that they were arguing about silly things and while she has forever to get to know him, we didn’t.
The rest of the girls from the Selection were all good additions to this story. While a few of them were the stereotypes you can expect when you get a large group of girl, it seemed to work. The more girls that got eliminated the closer the remaining girls became. I really enjoyed seeing the last four girls become very close. We got to read about new sides of some girls that weren’t terribly pleasant for the first part of this story. Of course I also have to mention how much I adored Queen Amberly. She was probably my favorite, after America. She was the winner of the last Selection and played a big part in these books, from advising the girls in the beginning to obviously starting to care for them towards the end. She was a great balance to her not to enjoyable husband, the King.
Overall I really enjoyed these three books, The Selection, The Elite and The One. I would suggest them to anyone who like princesses, or anyone who watches the Bachelor, or anyone who loves a good love triangle.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.


WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, answer the following three questions and share a link to your post in the comments on her page. Enjoy!

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What are you currently reading? 

Amanda- I’m currently reading The Selection by Kiera Cass. I read the first three book in this series a  few years ago, and recently a few more have come out. So I’m trying to collect and reread the whole series.

Antonia- I’m currently reading (about to start technically) Soldier by Julia Kagawa. Amanda and I both blew through the first two books in this series when we discovered them and I absolutely had to go get this one once it came out. I can’t wait to see where these amazing characters go next.

What did you recently finish reading?

Amanda- I recently finished reading The Belgariad and The Malloreon by David Eddings. These were given to me by my roommate to read and I’m so glad he suggested them. They took a while to read because there’s ten books combined into four large books and there’s so much detail and adventure in each book. If you’re a fantasy lover this is definitely a series you need to read.

Antonia- I just finished The Witness by Nora Roberts. This is my favorite of all her books and I read it about once a year.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Amanda- The next book on my list is The Elite by Kiera Cass. Like I said I’m trying to reread The Selection Series because I enjoyed the first few books that Ive already read.

Antonia- Next I plan to read The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine. I recently discovered this from a Top Ten Tuesday (Thank you, Caitlin!) and when I was at the bookstore the other day I couldn’t resist getting it.

What are your answers to these three questions?

Happy Wednesday readers!