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Sunday, May 31, 2015

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Movie Review: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (Branching From the Book-Bases)


The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina
Release Date: July 14, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG
Balthazar Blake is a modern-day sorcerer with his hands full defending Manhattan against dark forces. When a seemingly average kid shows hidden potential, Balthazar takes his reluctant recruit on a crash course in the art and science of magic to become the ultimate sorcerer's apprentice.

I really only watched The Sorcerer's Apprentice for the purpose of a chemistry project (settled for Divergent in the end though).

The first fifteen minutes of the movie consists of the past with Merlin and whatnot (I didn't pay too much attention). Centuries later, a young David comes across Balthazar (one of Merlin's apprentices) in an antique shop and witnesses something absolutely unbelievable. Then, ten years later, David is a college student studying physics.

I didn't really like David. It seems as though he's being portrayed as a really shy person, but David is so shy, it's awkward. It's extremely awkward, and David sticks out like a sore thumb from very early on in the movie. Even the little random things that could have been funny ends up sounding awkward as well.

David also seems to be some sort of "damsel in distress" of sorts. Really, I'm not even sure what you call a male version of a damsel in distress. I swear every time David gets attacked, Balthazar swoops in and saves the day – I started to wonder when the roles would be switched and David would be saving Balthazar instead. In the not-existing sequel?

Balthazar, on the other hand, seemed pretty emotionless. He's obviously serious and doesn't beat around the bush, but other than that, he's all, "Let's go full on training so we can take out the bad guys! Oh, and by the way, the world's going to end if you don't do that, so this is your numero uno priority."

The Sorcerer's Apprentice really just felt like something I would give to a younger audience to watch – definitely not a teenager who decided to watch a movie for fun (and probably wanted something like The Avengers). It has everything you would find in a typical Disney movie – chasing cars, really cute romance, dancing mops. It's just not animated.

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Saturday, May 30, 2015

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Review: The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston

The Rules for Disappearing #1
Author:
Ashley Elston
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Reviewer: Sophia

She’s been six different people in six different places: Madeline in Ohio, Isabelle in Missouri, Olivia in Kentucky . . . But now that she’s been transplanted to rural Louisiana, she has decided that this fake identity will be her last.

Witness Protection has taken nearly everything from her. But for now, they’ve given her a new name, Megan Rose Jones, and a horrible hair color. For the past eight months, Meg has begged her father to answer one question: What on earth did he do – or see – that landed them in this god-awful mess? Meg has just about had it with all the Suits’ rules — and her dad’s silence. If he won’t help, it’s time she got some answers for herself.

But Meg isn’t counting on Ethan Landry, an adorable Louisiana farm boy who’s too smart for his own good. He knows Meg is hiding something big. And it just might get both of them killed. As they embark on a perilous journey to free her family once and for all, Meg discovers that there’s only one rule that really matters — survival.

Considering the fact all of the nominees for the 2015-2016 Gateway Award aren't exactly very appealing and I've had quite the bad luck with them... I pretty much decided to take a stab with Ashley Elston's The Rules for Disappearing as my next victim.

In elaboration of that bad luck, my first one was insanity. I'm scared of reading another book by Cat Winters. My second one had a highly annoying character named after a constellation.
And now, my third book has a very materialistic character (completely opposite spectrum from me) whose family is in Witness Protection for the last year and has quite literally changed their names far more times than Zach/Jack in Zach's Lie and Jack's Run. With their eighth move, "Meg," is extremely tired of constantly having to move places, leaving her life behind, and changing her identities – the moves were beginning to tear apart their family. Meg vows to find what landed her and her family in Witness Protection in the first place throughout the book.

I personally liked how the book was formatted. The beginning of each chapter has a "rule for disappearing," possibly concocted by Meg over the year her family has been in Witness Protection, and what happens in the chapter is sort of a reason "why" Meg established the rule in the first place.

For almost half the book there isn't really too much that happens – Meg makes a plan to not settle down with her new life like she did in her past placements, her "diary" gets stolen, and she tries to avoid a boy named Ethan Landry who's a lot smarter than he seems. After accidentally hearing a few conversations her dad has over the phone in the middle of the night, things start to pick up – Meg starts to remember more of what happened in her original life and becomes more determined to get her family out of Witness protection.

Meg is like a clamshell at the very beginning – she's very closed off and she wants to isolate herself from her peers because who cares about making friends when you might be plucked from your current life any moment? It's not until she meets Ethan that she "gives up" on trying to isolate herself and becomes more open with other people. In all honesty, if Ethan didn't make a constant attempt to open up her shell, Meg probably wouldn't have told her story – how her old life was like, why she's really in Witness Protection, and what each of her moves were like compared to her original life.

Elston does drop a hint or two of a sequel near the end of the book, which I'm not exactly too excited for. The Rules for Disappearing felt like a stand-alone rather than a duology, but maybe the sequel will be equally or more interesting.
We force you to sit through the chick flicks so maybe you'll get some idea of how you're supposed to act.
4 Owls


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Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Blog Tour: Prodigal & Riven - Guest Post + Giveaway

Tour Schedule
Title: Prodigal and Riven (The Lost Imperials #2-3)
Authors: Tyler H. Jolley, Sherry D. Ficklin
Links: Prodigal | Riven | Amazon | Goodreads
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Welcome to the TIME WAR

STEIN has been with the Hollows for as long as she can remember. Taken as a child, she has no memories of her past—and that’s always been fine by her. Until the day she stumbles across a hidden journal containing the devastating truth about her paternity. Now everything she thought she knew—and everyone she thought she could trust—has changed. The truth about who she is and where she came from is a secret so deep, it will rock the Hollows and the Tesla Institute alike.

ETHAN is left with a serious problem after what should have been a routine mission. He’s fractured—a break between mind and body that leaves him at the mercy of his Rifter abilities, which are quickly tearing him apart. He will have to trust the only person who might know how to fix him, a mysterious Rifter named Stewart Stills, who seems to have a special connection with the time stream.

Top Ten Favorite Steampunk Novels
by Tyler H. Jolley and Sherry D. Ficklin
  • Anything by Gail Carringer (my favorite is probably Soulless)
  • Infernal Devices by K. W. Jester
  • The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  • Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
  • Mortal Engines by Philip Reev
  • Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
  • Retribution Falls by Chris Wooding
  • The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
  • The Difference Engine by Bruce Sterling and William Gibson

Author Bios

Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs. She is the author of several YA novels ranging from contemporary romance to science fiction. In her spare time she co-hosts the Pop Lit Divas radio show and is constantly trying to take over the world.
Author Links:
Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Tyler Jolley was born in the era of the Star Wars and the Indiana Jones sagas. He has been enamored with science fiction and adventure stories ever since. In order to support his hobby of writing he decided to pursue dentistry. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University School of Dental Medicine in 2002. He then completed a four year orthodontic and periodontic residency at the University of Pennsylvania. In June 2006, he opened a private practice, Jolley Smiles, in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Snowboarding, mountain biking, road biking, fly fishing, bird hunting, camping, hiking, and backpacking are the things he enjoys doing with his family. He also enjoys lecturing internationally on temporary orthodontic implants. Some of his journal articles have also been published in the Journal of Clinical Orthodontics. However, his true passion has always been fiction writing.When life gets stressful he escapes to unseen worlds to find relaxation. His career has been the vehicle to let him write without worry. He finds inspiration from most of his adolescent patients. He continues to dream up fun and thrilling books to this day.
Author Links:
Twitter | Goodreads | Blog

Giveaway

  • International
  • Bookmark swag pack, choice of any Clean Teen Publishing eBook, $15 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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ARC Review: The Eternity Key by Bree Despain

The Eternity Key by Bree Despain

Into the Dark #2
Author:
Bree Despain
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Reviewer: Sophia

Fan-favorite author Bree Despain continues her modern-day romance trilogy inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades with this second book in her Into the Dark series.

Haden Lord, the disgraced Prince of the Underrealm, has chosen love over honor and will do everything in his power to protect Daphne Raines, the human girl he was supposed to bring to the Underrealm. Haden’s choice is put to the test as the Skylords and a figure from his past arrive in Olympus Hills with a plan that could destroy all of the realms.

Embracing her destiny as the Cypher, Daphne begins to understand the immense power of her musical ability to control the elements, but she must come to terms with her feelings for Haden and what she must sacrifice in order to protect him and her friends.

Believing the Key of Hades is the only thing that can stop the Underrealm Court from releasing the monstrous Keres on the mortal world, Haden, Daphne, and their friends set out to find the Key before Persephone’s Gate opens again on the spring equinox.
Advanced copy provided by EgmontUSA via Netgalley for review – thanks!

Well, if I didn't like The Shadow Prince very much back when I read it, I definitely like The Eternity Key much better than the first book.

The second book in the Into the Dark series is one of those books that feel as though you're watching the next episode of most TV shows, where the narrator pretty much says, "Previously on..."

In The Eternity Key's case, though, there isn't actually one narrator. Much like the first one, this sequel to The Shadow Prince has three narrators: Tobin, Haden, and Daphne, with the latter two being the primary narrators (I get confused sometimes with those three, especially when it's Tobin). I definitely liked how the author introduced the second book by using the first couple of pages as a refresher of what happened in the first book (using Haden, of course) – the author is definitely prepared for some memory lapses that could possibly occur (I definitely forgot a few minorly important details).

The Eternity Key is one of those books that starts out slow. Daphne, Haden, and their small group spend the majority of the book watching their backs for Skylords (and anyone else looking for the Cypher and the Key of Hades) and the Compass. Considering the fact the book is actually titled "The Eternity Key" (another name for the Key of Hades), I expected the book to be slower than the books I'm typically drawn to.

Plus, I'm in some sort of slow-moving book phase by accident right now, so I pretty much have the patience (I suppose I'll thank Leigh Bardugo for starting this phase).

The characters did make a contribution in making my read of the book more enjoyable though. Haden is less naïve of the human world than before – there's more common sense put into his actions this time around, and sometimes his questions are stupid enough that it's downright hilarious. How does one milk an almond? Why, you grind it, of course. Into teeny little pieces.

(I'm not sure if that's how you milk an almond. I'm sure Google would tell me if I ask. I'm just too lazy to ask.)

Daphne has grown more mature, and she's more forgiving of her father – there's something about her that I like this time around that I didn't really like in the first book. Lexie might be my favorite character (though not of all time) with her way of irritating Tobin, and it's been a joy seeing her become a major character in the series.

Garrick, though, let's just put at this: I loved how Despain uses him and drops some bombs in the end. It is MAGNIFICANT.

It's a rarity for me to be surprised by the ending, and I loved how The Eternity Key is played out. It isn't extremely surprising when I think about it, but it was fantastic. Simply put, I'm probably going to have lots of fun when I get my hands on the third book. And I do mean LOTS of fun.

I'm starting to wonder what is with all these second books this year wrapping me in when the first book didn't.

4.5 Owls


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Monday, May 25, 2015

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New Adult: Two Reviews + Guest Post

Hello! My name is Haley! Some of you may know me from My Addiction: Books. Sophia has graciously allowed me to guest post at Bookwyrming Thoughts today (thanks, Sophia! :)). I decided I wanted to talk about New Adult (NA) fiction. Recently, I discovered this genre and read two books from it. This post will include my reviews of both books, and my overall first impression of NA fiction. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)
Author: Tammara Webber
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night - but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Easy was a very problematic read for me. The main things I took issue with were the romance and how sexual assault is portrayed.

The romance: Where do I even start? Firstly, Lucas is your typical bad boy love interest. He's not unlikable, but he doesn't stand out in any way. And then there's this whole drama View Spoiler » and I just felt it was really unnecessary. Also, Jacqueline and Lucas meet when he rescues her from a would-be rapist, and that did not sit well with me. Their whole relationship was based on that, and it felt insta-lovey.

How rape is portrayed: I have never been in Jacqueline's situation, so forgive me if I sound judgmental. But I find it hard to believe that the attack would have no effect on her relationship with Lucas. She has no problem kissing Lucas and having sex with him even after she was almost raped. And also, I strongly believe that rape/attempted rape should not be used as a way for the heroine to be saved by the hero. 

I had some big problems with Easy, but it wasn't unenjoyable. I liked Jacqueline enough, and I am so pleased that there was no slut shaming.

Overall I'm not impressed but I didn't completely dislike Easy. So two stars.

Unravel
Author: Calia Read
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine.

One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward.

Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind.

Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help.

A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past.

And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me.

Do you believe me?

I think Unravel was a great novel.

Unravel is fascinating, because we have a mentally unstable narrator. Naomi is in the psychiatric ward. She is in love with a man named Max, but her doctors believe he doesn't exist outside of Naomi's mind. The story alternates between Naomi's life before entering Fairfax Mental Institution and her life during her stay there. Throughout the whole story, you never know whether Naomi's story is real or all in her head. That really interested me.

Also, I really liked Naomi. Her voice is so raw and honest, and I really felt bad for the situation she was in. And I like both Max and Lachlan (the love interests). It is rare when I don't mind a love triangle, but this one was done well. Both love interests were sweet and sexy.

The ending was really surprising. I had a theory about what would happen, but I was shocked to find out that I was right! It was a real surprise and I thought it was a good ending.

Overall, I thought this was a great novel. It had romance, mystery and great characters. I totally recommend it.

Overall Impression of New Adult Fiction

I read two very different novels. One was a contemporary romance. The other a mystery/suspense novel with some romance mixed in. One was, while not completely terrible, unimpressive, and the other was simply amazing. Overall I would say that New Adult a genre worth trying, but in my short experience, I have found that the books in this genre are either hit or miss. You will either like the book or you won’t. But I think there definitely are good books in this genre. I already checked out two more NA novels from the library (Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover and The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay). Let’s hope these are some of the good ones.

And that’s my first impression of the NA genre! What do you think of the genre? What are some of your favorite NA novels? Be sure to comment! And if you like my reviews, please check out my blog My Addiction: Books (www.myaddictionbooks.blogspot.com) where I blog with the awesome Carina for reviews, book-related memes, tags, discussions and more!

Thanks for reading!

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

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Book Blast + Giveaway: From Gods by Mary Ting

Title: From Gods (Descendant Prophecies #1)
Author: Mary Ting
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don't blame Mother Nature.

Skylar Rome should have been having the best summer ever, before heading off to college. Suddenly her whole life changes while visiting her cousin, and meeting the Grand brothers; Mason, in particular. Though she's sure he is someone she should stay away from, the attraction was undeniable.

Strange things begin to happen, throwing Skylar's life into turmoil. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world where the descendants of ancient gods have super powers, and evil beings are after her. Not only are her discoveries difficult to accept, but now she is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?

Trailer

Praise

“A fast paced adventure full of mystery, action, magic and romance! Readers won’t be able to put this book down!” ~InD’tale Magazine

“From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It’s full of hotness that you never want to end!” ~Michele, Insane About Books

“From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!” ~Mindy, Books Complete Me

“This book is “electric” as it blends paranormal romance, mythology (which I love), action and suspense together for an amazing read. Mary Ting, you’ve done it again! This book exceeded my expectations and I was literally blown away as if I were struck by lightning!” ~Vanessa, Fairiechick’s Fantasy Book Reader

Author Bio


Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Blog

Giveaway

  • $50 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash
  • Ends June 15, 2015
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

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Movie Review: Divergent


Divergent
Based on the novel by Veronica Roth
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Release Date: March 21, 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13

In a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues, Tris Prior is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late.



I have no clue what it is, but Lionsgate does a fantastic job when it comes to book based movies.

Divergent was great – the effects were amazing, especially in the serum scenes. The music has fantastic timing. The movie kept really close to the book and didn't leave out any pertinent scenes that are just vital to the plot itself.

The actors casted didn't do a bad job either – in fact, they were actually pretty good. There's something about Theo James that I like as Four – he's not exactly as cold in the movie as he is in the book. In fact, he's actually hilarious at some points in the book, especially when Tris (Shailene Woodley) figures out that he's afraid of heights while they're getting a good vantage on the ferris wheel during capture the flag.

Tris is a little... meh. I'm not exactly complaining about her, but she just seems a little... emotionless sometimes. Either that, or she's just really serious unless something bad happens (like someone dying). Plus, every time she realizes a simulation isn't real, a reflection seems to be involved – I have no clue if that was in the book though.

I would, however, have loved to see Uriah, Marlene, Lynn in the movie. I'm not exactly too annoyed they weren't a part of the movie version of Divergent since they don't play a major role until Insurgent. Despite the fact they play a really small role, I feel like that small role is important in its own way that isn't entirely tied to the overall plot yet. Casting just one of them may have done more damage than not casting any of them at all – Uriah, Marlene, and Lynn just seem to be like three peas in a pod and not one can exist without the other two.

Divergent was nicely done compared to some book-based movies, despite the fact some things in the book were removed in the movie version. I'm looking forward to watching its sequel when the DVD comes out and the hold line dies down (read: I'm not sure I want to watch the sequel, but maybe I'll watch it for kicks).

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Friday, May 22, 2015

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Cover Reveal: Decree of Hope by Beth Fred

Cover Reveal
Title: Decree of Hope
Author: Beth Fred
Goodreads
Publication Date: September 1, 2014

When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna's garage, she's not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she's failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.

The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a "sand nigger" and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn't told his family about her, she's heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they've worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee's previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection. And to do that he’ll have to catch a crook…

Author Bio

I'm a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. I'm represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs(at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things. Bet you can't guess where I'm from ;)

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Thursday, May 21, 2015

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DNF Audiobook Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Sophia Is Having Audibly Bad Luck)

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Waterfire Saga #1
Author:
Jennifer Donnelly
Narrator: Bea Miller
Length: 7 hours, 23 minutes
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Listening Library
Reviewer: Sophia

Serefina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation - and burden - that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother's hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin's arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina's darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Deep Blue could have been amazing. Donnelly had a pretty good concept going: the world was unique, completely different, and it's obvious lots of planning went into the building – there's a lot of imagery to clearly depict the underwater of the merpeople, the merpeople had their own distinct languages and cultures. The writing, especially the chant during the waterfire and throughout the book by the witches, was poetic and rhythmic.

The execution, however, was poor.

Serafina and her friend, Neela, were faced against formidable odds after Miromara is attacked that could have been really interesting to see them play out. Instead, the two of them run. Throughout the book, they're chased by a person named Traho, who apparently wants them alive for some unknown reason (currently unknown, that is). The two are rescued by the Praedatori, who are apparently a band of protectors who protect the sea from "terragoggs."

Yet, they are attacked. Again. So they run, and get intercepted by Rorrim Drol, the lord of the mirror realm who feeds on fears. And...

Wait for it....

They run again.
I had to use this.
Obviously by that point (when it's almost sixty percent of the book), when they've been attacked and they run or something of the similar sort, and the cycle is repeated quite a few times...
Typical day for Rundus and Sophia
Even the most patient readers become impatient by that point. Either that, or I'm not exactly as patient as some people have said about me (you lovelies are sorrily wrong). Where are the other five? Why have we only found three (okay, one, because two are "found" at the very beginning anyways) by this point? Are we still looking for the mermaids involved by the next book as well? If that's the case, I'm not interested. If it's an entirely different case, then what's the probability that the other mermaids are found quickly and swiftly in the midst of attacking and running? There's really only 40% of the book left to do all of that.

The world, no matter how unique or different it is, or how there's a variety of imagery, won't account with how there's a bunch of made-up language that would have been extremely hard for me to figure out without the audiobook to help me (no thanks to the accent – accents are NOT fun when the bus is chugging down roads and highways). I did, however, love the songspell (Open Your Eyes by Bea Miller) that accompanies the book.

Deep Blue is definitely different from Donnelly's other books, but with all the running from the attacks and rarely anything being accomplished by the majority of the book, I simply didn't have the patience. If anything, I probably shouldn't have lasted as long as I did.

2.5 Owls

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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Cover Reveal: Name of Ra by Kelsey Ketch

Cover Reveal
Title: Name of Ra (Descendants of Isis #3)
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Publication Date: November 2, 2015

“Set has risen.”

After being on the run from a psychotic cult for a week, Natara “Natti” Stone has finally come to realize she and Seth are the only two people standing between the Sons of Set and the secret name of Ra. Holding a part of the key that unlocks Ra’s power, they relocate to a more isolated location in the California mountains. While laying low, Natti becomes even more determined to understand her mother’s bloodline and her blessing from the goddess, Isis. But when she starts seeing the truth behind her destiny, she begins to doubt her role in the events that are about to unfold.

Then the unthinkable happens . . .

All Seth O’Keefe wanted was to get Natti as far away from his father and the Sons of Set as possible. Unfortunately, after hearing of Natti’s destiny from Isis’s own lips, he realizes they have bigger issues to worry about. Especially when one stupid slip up leads the god of chaos himself straight to their doorstep. Now Natti is the god’s prisoner, and Set holds the key to unlocking the location of the secret name of Ra. Can Seth save Natti from her own destiny and thwart the demented god’s rise to power?

Author Bio

During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate. Daughter of Isis is her debut novel.

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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DNF Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (So Much For Being Excited)

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The Fifth Wave #1
Author:
Rick Yancey
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: G.P. Putman's Sons for Young Readers
Reviewer: Sophia

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

I really wanted to like The 5th Wave. The synopsis sounded fantastic, it's becoming a movie – the book just sounded like one of those that I would probably read quickly, enjoy it, demand the second book (in other words, snag it straight off Lupe's shelf), read through that quickly, and pretty much have another favorite book this year (there's really only two so far that are special).

I didn't even last thirty pages. Thirty pages, which says a a lot, because while I may give up on books more often now, I don't usually give up THAT early.

The premise wasn't what made me give up reading The 5th Wave – characters trying to fight for survival? Sounds like Hatchet, only with the "aliens" attacking with "waves."

I only stopped because of Cassie. Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, the main character of the book. I couldn't stand her for the life of me.

She's materialistic – in a world when the world is literally falling apart around you, who cares about hygiene being top priority? It's great she cares (because you can't just walk to a job interview smelling like horse poop), but by the whatever wave that's past the first, I'm pretty sure you're too busy making surviving the day your priority.

She's rude – if there's one thing I don't like, it's texting while in a conversation simply because you're bored. Then, she says, "Oh, and in case you're an alien reading this? BITE ME."

Totally. I'm totally willing to bite Cassie... in a review, that is.

Basically, there was a vibe about her I didn't like early on. But with all of the flashbacks at literally every chapter, I not only got to know the world before the 1st Wave, I got to know Cassie as a person. And Cassie probably tops the list of the most annoying characters I've ever come across in a book.

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who couldn't stand Cassie. If I am, I'm willing to cry in a little corner alone with my lonesome self...

1.5 Owls

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

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Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing #1
Author:
Joelle Charbonneau
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Reviewer: Sophia

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Isn’t that what they say? But how close is too close when they may be one in the same?

The Seven Stages War left much of the planet a charred wasteland. The future belongs to the next generation’s chosen few who must rebuild it. But to enter this elite group, candidates must first pass The Testing—their one chance at a college education and a rewarding career.

Cia Vale is honored to be chosen as a Testing candidate; eager to prove her worthiness as a University student and future leader of the United Commonwealth. But on the eve of her departure, her father’s advice hints at a darker side to her upcoming studies--trust no one.

But surely she can trust Tomas, her handsome childhood friend who offers an alliance? Tomas, who seems to care more about her with the passing of every grueling (and deadly) day of the Testing. To survive, Cia must choose: love without truth or life without trust.

The Testing was an interesting read, or should I say... reread?

The first time I read this (I was bored at the mall. I beelined to Barnes & Noble, plucked up a book, hid in a corner, and skimmed), I skimmed it, but I had a general idea of what was going on, what was happening – nothing very detailed. My second read though, was much more thorough and detailed – it was also a refresher of sorts.

The Testing is the first in a trilogy set in a futuristic United States called the United Commonwealth. Every year, the best and brightest of each graduating class in each colony are sent to The Testing, a program designed to pick out potential leaders of the future. When Cia Vale, along with four others from her colony, is chosen to participate in The Testing, her father tells her about his own experience – an experience filled with potential horrors that Cia may come across herself in her Testing.

I love Cia as a character: she's brave, she's intelligent – and oh, do I love the way she handles Will and Tomas when the tension is high between the two later on in the book. If there's ever a potential love triangle in the future, I might not be annoyed if Cia continues to handle them in the next two books the way she handled them in this book (read: I like Cia. I never said I liked Will or Tomas).

That, however, depends. Perhaps my brain will start crying in protest instead.

There doesn't, however, seem to be a major plot or storyline that appear until around the end: The Testing seems to be focused more on how The Testing operates from an inside look and setting up for the second book. Basically, for literally 90% of the book or more, Cia and the other testers are focused on surviving The Testing and making it to the new class of University students.

From early on in the book, similarities to The Hunger Games could be spotted easily: the colonies, the penalty of death, Michal, Cia's relationship with Tomas and Will, etc. Despite all of that though, I highly enjoyed reading through The Testing. The sequel is something that I'll probably enjoy reading (or listening) to as well.

4.5 Owls

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Friday, May 15, 2015

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Cover Reveal: Home No More by Leddy Harper

Cover Reveal
Title: Home No More
Author: Leddy Harper
Publication Date: June 12, 2015
Publisher: Booktrope

My name is Kendall Carrington—or so I thought…

When 17-year-old Kendall gets pulled over during an impromptu joy ride, she not only discovers she is not the girl she thought she was, but neither is anyone else. Kidnapped when she was young, she is thrust back into a life she doesn’t remember. One where her name is Danielle Tucker and betrayal seems to be lurking around every corner. No longer able to decipher the truth from the lies, she enlists the help of blue-eyed hottie Lincoln Hunt on her quest for truth.

Will she come to terms with her new life? Or will she go running back to the only home she’s ever known?

**Recommended read for 18+ due to sexual content**
*Contains adult language.

Author Bio

Leddy Harper had to use her imagination often as a child. She grew up the only girl in a house full of boys. At the age of fourteen, she decided to use that imagination and wrote her first book, and never stopped.

She often calls writing her therapy, using it as a way to deal with issues through the eyes of her characters.

She is now a mother of three girls, leaving her husband as the only man in a house full of females.

The decision to publish her first book was made as a way of showing her children to go after whatever it is they want to. Love what you do and do it well. Most importantly Leddy wanted to teach them what it means to overcome their fears.
Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Google+ | Goodreads

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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Blog Tour: Gambit - Guest Post + Giveaway


Title: Gambit (Prodigy Chronicles #1)
Author: C.L. Denault
Link: Amazon
Publication Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: REUTS Publications

In Earth’s battle-ridden future, humans have evolved. Those with extraordinary skills rise to power and fame. Those without live in poverty.

Sixteen-year-old Willow Kent believed she was normal. But when a genetically-advanced military officer shows up in her village and questions her identity, long-buried secrets begin to emerge. With remarkable skills and a shocking genetic code the Core and its enemies will do anything to obtain, Willow suddenly finds the freedom she craves slipping through her fingers. Greed, corruption, and genetic tampering threaten every aspect of her existence as she’s thrust, unwilling, into the sophisticated culture of the elite Core city. To ensure peace, she must leave the past behind, marry a man she’s never met, and submit to the authority of a relentless officer with a hidden agenda of his own.

Her life has become a dangerous game. How much will she sacrifice in order to win?

Being Adopted, Being Different
by C.L. Denault

No one can really tell you what it’s like to be adopted. They might be able to sympathize, or even comfort you, but it’s impossible for them to realize the underlying issues that come with being raised by a family that doesn’t share your DNA.

I was adopted a week after I was born, and my parents made sure that I knew about it as soon as I was capable of understanding. Looking back, I’m grateful they decided to tell me. But I’d have guessed it anyway. There were too many things about me that stood out. My relatives were tall and big-boned; I was short and skinny. They tanned easily; I was very pale. They liked sports and being active and social; I preferred books and alone time.

I’m not sure at what point I decided to put the adopted situation into Gambit, but it turned out to be a pretty good idea. It gave the book some added tension, and it also gave me a chance to express the doubts and fears that clung to me during childhood. Those things were difficult for the people around me to understand. After all, I had a family that loved me unconditionally and treated me as one of their own. What could I possibly be concerned about?

Well, at lot, actually. I felt very left out when family members talked about traits or characteristics that had been passed down. I didn’t have “my father’s forehead” or “my mother’s nose” or “grandpa’s sense of humor.” It hurt that I didn’t possess these things, and it hurt even more that I wouldn’t be able to pass them on to my own children. I looked different and had different mannerisms, and it wasn’t until I met my birth parents that I realized just how desperately I needed to know where I came from.

In my book, Willow experiences the same situation. Her family loves her dearly, and she loves them as well. But there’s a bit of sore spot in her heart, and it has nothing to do with how much she’s loved. It’s a matter of destiny, and of abandonment. It’s the underlying fear that she wasn’t good enough, or something might be wrong with her. It’s the reason she attaches so hard to the people she loves, and her fear of those people leaving her.

It’s an issue she has to deal with head-on, in her own way. And it’s been a beautiful method of therapy for me. I think every adopted person has wondered where they came from, why they do the things they do, and if they will ever get over that fear of being left behind again.

Heritage is important. Mine means a great deal to me, just as Willow is discovering that hers is vital as well. I have no regrets about putting this scenario into the novel. If it helps even one adopted person come to terms with their situation, it will totally be worth it.

Author Bio

C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs), and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.

Writing stories and posting on The INFJ Café are her biggest passions, along with drinking coffee and watching sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.

Her debut novel, Gambit, is the first in a Young Adult dystopian series.

Author Links:
Website | Twitter | Facebook
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All reviewed books posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts are purchased/gifted, loaned or provided by the author/publisher for free in exchange for a honest review. There is no compensation in any way or form aside from a complimentary copy of the book, and it does not influence the review.