Monday, October 3, 2016

The Swan Riders: Book Review & Giveaway

The Swan Riders
by: Erin Bow
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Now available!!!
Source: ARC provided by publisher
The Swan Riders on Goodreads here.
Synopsis (and cover photo) from Goodreads:
Greta Stuart had always known her future: die young. She was her country's crown princess, and also its hostage, destined to be the first casualty in an inevitable war. But when the war came it broke all the rules, and Greta forged a different path.

She is no longer princess. No longer hostage. No longer human. Greta Stuart has become an AI.

If she can survive the transition, Greta will earn a place alongside Talis, the AI who rules the world. Talis is a big believer in peace through superior firepower. But some problems are too personal to obliterate from orbit, and for those there are the Swan Riders: a small band of humans who serve the AIs as part army, part cult.

Now two of the Swan Riders are escorting Talis and Greta across post-apocalyptic Saskatchewan. But Greta’s fate has stirred her nation into open rebellion, and the dry grassland may hide insurgents who want to rescue her – or see her killed. Including Elian, the boy she saved—the boy who wants to change the world, with a knife if necessary. Even the infinitely loyal Swan Riders may not be everything they seem.

Greta’s fate—and the fate of her world—are balanced on the edge of a knife in this smart, sly, electrifying adventure.

My thoughts:

Fantastic sequel to a young adult series that will interest both boys and girls!

Canadian pride - It's refreshing to read a young adult series that centres around Canada and Canadian provinces and I really appreciated the nod to Gordon Lightfoot as well! 

The book is told from Greta's point of view throughout, with the exception of a few intervals where we're given a few pages into Talis' past and and his point of view. Speaking of, I really loved Talis, he was by far my favourite character, even when I was confused about differentiating between him and Rachel and Michael. He made me laugh throughout I really appreciated his wit and sarcasm.

Without being too spoilery, I really enjoyed juxtaposition between Greta and Talis and their struggles, as one struggles with becoming human, while the other struggles with losing their humanity.

The pace of the book is quite quick, I think this is due in large part to Bow's superb writing style. The are moments where I was laughing, surprised and fighting not to cry.

Although there wasn't as much romance as I prefer in my books, there is a continuation of one, however it is very muted as the story building and struggle of the characters surviving in an apocalyptic era was much at the forefront of the book.

I would recommend reading Book 1- the Scorpion Rules, before reading the Swan Riders, as you will have a difficult time keeping up with plot and futuristic terminology and dialogue.

If you enjoy reading about strong heroines and futuristic scifi, then you should definitely give Bow's series a try.

On to the next book!

Before you leave, leave a comment below for a chance at winning an ARC of THE SWAN RIDERS!! CAN/US residents only, I'm sorry international followers!

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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Into the Dim Blog Tour: Review & Q&A

Into the Dim
by: Janet B. Taylor
Release Date: March 1st/16.
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC provided by Raincoast
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing.      Addictive, romantic, and rich with historical detail, Into the Dim is an Outlander for teens. 

My Thoughts:
Outlander for teens? - Yes please!

Into the Dim is told from Hope's first-person-perspective, and she does a great job as a reliable narrator. I thought she was a tougher character than her narration lets on. Readers will find her relatable and will root for her successes.

The romance isn't too heated in this book, but I do believe Taylor has set up a potential love triangle for future books. Hope has two potential suitors: Collum and Bran, and the two could not be anymore different.

Collum is by-the-book kind of guy, reliable- he'll always have your back. Whereas Bran is more dark, and mysterious, there's definite chemistry between him and Hope, but can she trust him? I look forward to where Taylor plans to take these three next.

While I had a bit of a hard time getting into the book at the beginning, 40-50% of the way in the action picks right up, making the reader unable to put down this book. Just like in Outlander, I couldn't guess where Taylor was going to take Hope and the gang next! The plot was amazing, the setting, beautiful (although a bit barbaric). I also loved that the romance really picked up as well.

The ending will leave readers satisfied, but hungry for the next instalment!

I would easily recommend this series to those who love an equal blend of romance, action and adventure in their YA! Please bring on book #2!

Happy Reading!!!

Image courtesy of Goodreads
Q&A Time With Taylor
If you had to describe Into the Dim with three words, what words would you choose? Why?

Family/Friendship—In the novel, everything Hope does, ever obstacle she overcomes is
because of how much she loves her mother, and the new family she joins once she travels
to Scotland.

Sacrifice—Many of the characters in the book—at one time or another—willingly
sacrifice something for those they love. Hope in particular, does this in a very, very
big way in the story. (But I can’t tell you what! You’ll have to read it for

True Love—Hope has been isolated from other kids her entire life. So she’s very
innocent and very new at the whole caring about a boy in ‘that’ way. But as the story
progresses and you learn more about Hope’s history, you learn that cornerstone of the
entire series is a very strong and true love.

Huge thanks to Raincoast for allowing me to participate in this blog tour!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

ARC Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Assassin's Heart
by: Sarah Ahiers
Release Date: Feb. 2/16.
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC received from Publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.

My Thoughts:

Godfather meets Romeo and Juliet indeed! Why aren't more people talking about this book?!

I have to admit that I'm not one for mobster movies but I just loved the setting and plot of Assassin's Heart! Lea is a strong capable heroine and it was pleasure reading from her point of view.

While I'm not one for blood shed,  I found myself rooting for Lea in her plot for vengeance for her family. I even shed a few tears at the very beginning, in mourning for characters I would never get to know.

This book is full of action, fight scenes and ghost chases, the reader will never be bored while reading this book. Of course, this book is also filled with my favourite, ROMANCE! Lea has two potential suitors in this book, but one may have betrayed her in the worst possible way. I'm excited to see where Ahiers will take this not-so-love-triangle in her next instalment.

If you enjoy kick-butt heroines, than you should definitely read Assassin's Heart, I highly recommend it!

Happy Reading!!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

ARC Review: Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick

Dangerous Lies
By: Becca Fizpatrick
Now Available!!!
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: ARC provided by Publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
A teen is forced to make a fresh start after witnessing a violent crime—but love and danger find her anyway in this novel from Becca Fitzpatrick, the New York Times bestselling author of the Hush, Hush saga.

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life.

After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

My Thoughts:
An enjoyable read!

Dangerous Lies is told from the first person point of view of Stella, and Stella does a great job as narrator. I wasn't sure if I would like Stella when I first began reading Dangerous Lies, as she is a bit rough around the edges (which she's more than entitled to given her upbringing), but as I continued to read on I found I quite liked Stella, I admired her ability to start over with no friends or family.

Readers will adore Chet, as he wears his heart on his sleeve where Stella is concerned. I really liked the way the romance grew between these two, it wasn't instant love, but there's a definite spark of attraction. 

I think my favourite part of this book, was the pseudo-mother/daughter relationship that formed between Stella and her guardian- the way Fitzpatrick wrote the verbal jibes between these two was so believable and enjoyable.

I would recommend this read to fans of YA whom enjoy a bit of romance and suspense in their contemporary reads.

Happy Reading!!!

Friday, November 27, 2015

ARC Review: Need by Joelle Charbonneau

by: Joelle Charbonneau
Now Available!!!
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of goodreads:
"No one gets something for nothing. We all should know better."

Teenagers at Wisconsin's Nottawa High School are drawn deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need . . . regardless of the consequences. Soon the site turns sinister, with simple pranks escalating to malicious crimes. The body count rises. In this chilling YA thriller, the author of the best-selling Testing trilogy examines not only the dark side of social media, but the dark side of human nature.

My Thoughts:

Wow, this is a read that really makes you think.

I would label Need as a psychological thriller/mystery, it's narrated from many points of view. However, priority is given to the character Kaylee and her view is told in first person point of view, whereas the rest are given third point of view. 

I really enjoyed the multiple points of view, because it gives the readers a sense of the choices we make based on the opportunity to receive something we want. Some are willing to do just about anything, while others know that nothing is ever free.

The pacing moves quite quickly, so the reader never gets bored. There's action in this read but I think Need is very much a character driven plot.

While I really enjoyed this read, I did find myself wishing there was more resolution in the end. Everything kind of felt left up in the air. Especially with Nate and Kaylee. I would actually love a sequel to Need! Please give us a sequel! 

Happy Reading!!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Until We Meet Again 
By Renee Collins
Release date: November 3, 2015  
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
They exist in two different centuries, but their love defies time
Country clubs and garden parties. The last thing Cassandra wants is to spend the summer before her senior year marooned in a snooty Massachusetts shore town. Cass craves drama and adventure, which is hard when she just feels stuck.

But when a dreamy stranger shows up on her family’s private beach, claiming that it is his property—and that the year is 1925—Cass is swept into a mystery a hundred years in the making. As she searches for answers in the present, Cass discovers a truth that thrusts Lawrence’s life into jeopardy. It won’t matter which century he is from if he won’t live to see tomorrow.

Desperate to save the boy who’s come to mean everything to her, Cassandra must find a way to change history…or risk losing Lawrence forever.

Giveaway  Time!!!
3 copies of Until We Meet Again 
Open 11/3 – 11/24 

Special thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for allowing me to participate in this Blog Tour

Friday, October 30, 2015

Review: The Drafter by Kim Harrison

The Drafter
By: Kim Harrison
Now Available!!!
Publisher: Gallery Books
Source: ARC received from Publisher
Synopsis (and cover image) courtesy of Goodreads:
Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run.

Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote.

When Peri discovers her name on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. She joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her final task, unable to trust even herself.

My Thoughts:
Amazing start to a brand new series!

Even though this book is set only fifteen years in the future, there have been so many advancements and people are able to erase pasts or even go back in time to change an outcome. And it's Peri whom has this gift. 

A majority of the book is narrated from Peri's perspective, but unfortunately Peri's mind has been erased, making her not the most reliable narrator.

I must admit I was a little confused at first because there were so many twists and turns in the plot, but I'm so glad I stuck with it because this book was AMAZING!!! Warning, you cannot just skim through this book, if you miss even one page you could be missing vital information. 

The reader, along with Peri must piece together information in order to figure out whom she can trust. 

A portion of the book is told from Silas' point of view and I enjoyed reading from his point of view because it was refreshing to get some reliable information, but I must admit I'm a Jack fan all the way! 

People may disagree with me on this but I have faith in him and I LOVED the way Harrison ended things, it was perfect and I can't wait to read the next instalment of this series.

I haven't read much by Harrison, but from what I have read, I'd say The Drafter is completely different from any of her other work.

I completely recommend this read but be assured this read will require your full attention, you won't be sorry!