“Beyond the Rising Tide” by Sarah Beard- Book Review

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About:

Kai met Avery only once–in the moment he died saving her life. Now when he’s not using his new healing powers to help people, he watches helplessly as Avery’s life is unraveled by his death. To help her, he risks everything by breaking the rules, dangerously blurring the barriers between life and death.

My Review:

Ghost stories aren’t ones I’ve often read. In fact, until I read “Beyond the Rising Tide,” it had been years since I’d read a ghostly story. But when I saw this book available for review, there was something it that appealed to me. Yes, it has a lovely cover, and that may have helped in my decision to read it. But the synopsis also fascinated me, and I decided to give this book a try.

I think I’ll start with the lovely aspects of this tale, such as what beautiful writing this author has. Seriously, it has some– if not THE– prettiest writing I’ve seen in a YA with a contemporary setting. It made me want to read more of this author’s works, for sure.

Secondly, the romance. Oh man, did I get the feels! As one of the characters was a ghost, there was some tension that made me unsure of just how everything would turn out in the end, and it had me turning pages at a quicker-than-usual pace to see what would happen. Seriously, it still makes my heart pound when I think on it. Now, I won’t say how I feel about the end, because I’m afraid that would cause some spoilers, and I do not wish to ruin the end for anyone. So I will just say that I did at least feel some satisfaction, but I won’t tell you anything more. 😉

My third (and final like I’ll ramble on about) is that I enjoyed how  this book was pretty clean for not being a Christian book (what usually passes the clean test for me). It’s not very easy to find a YA contemporary romance that doesn’t have extreme foul language, and questionable romance scenes. However, the romance was clean (and sigh-worthy) in this book, and there wasn’t extreme foul language. I really appreciated this.

In the end, I think the only thing I did not care for in this book was the “afterlife” picture. As a Christian, I believe in getting to heaven only through having Jesus as your Savior. But I already knew this wasn’t a Christian book when I requested it, and had just chosen to look at the story as a contemporary fantasy. So while I did not agree with some of this story because of personal convictions, I was still able to overall enjoy the book.

So yes, I did like this tale, which means I’m going to give “Beyond the Rising Tide” by Sarah Beard a rating of four. Age recommendation is for mature teens and adults.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to the publisher through SLB Blog Tours for a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review, I was not required to write a positive review.

*Originally posted on my old blog. Hoping to transfer more of my reviews in the coming weeks.

“Storm Siren” by Mary Weber: Giveaway Winner(s)!

So, only four of you asked for the book. Not as many as there could have been, but it is okay. Why is it okay? Because it means I can do something special.

Special?

Yes, special.

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I have decided to send a copy to all four of the participants. So, Olivia, Kelly, Rachel, and Jill, congrats on winning a copy of this book. Please leave me your email below, or send me a message through Goodreads so I can see about getting you the book.

 

“Ever After” by Aya Ling— Book Cover Reveal!

Oh dear, I almost forgot to post this. (I may have been distracted by other things…) However, I’m here now, and I’m pleased to be a part of the cover reveal for this book. This is a series I want to read, and the covers are all lovely.
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Ever After
by Aya Ling
(Unfinished Fairy Tale Series, #3)
Publication date: May 20th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Kat has survived. She returns to Athelia as herself, Katherine Wilson. Edward, elated at learning she is alive, vows to bring her back to the palace. The obstacles, however, seem impossible to overcome. Marriage between a royal and a commoner is not recognized, not to mention that he is already legally bound to Katriona Bradshaw, who will do anything to keep her position as princess.

And there’s even more to worry about. Due to an uncommonly harsh winter, the people of Athelia have been suffering from inflated food prices, and are getting irritated at supporting the small, elite group of aristocrats. An uprising in a neighboring country only adds fuel to the fire.

Can Kat and Edward finally get a happily-ever-after?

 
Purchase:
AUTHOR BIO:
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Aya is from Taiwan, where she struggles daily to contain her obsession with mouthwatering and unhealthy foods. Often she will devour a good book instead. Her favorite books include martial arts romances, fairy tale retellings, high fantasy, cozy mysteries, and manga.

She is currently working on Ever After, Book 3 in the Unfinished Fairy Tales series, to be released in 2017. For exclusive bonus scenes, giveaways, and new release info, visit ayaling.com

Author links:
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“Red Winter” by Annette Marie- Book Review

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About:

“Emi is the kamigakari. In a few short months, her life as a mortal will end and her new existence as the human host of a goddess will begin. Carefully hidden from those who would destroy her, she has prepared her mind, body, and soul to unite with the goddess—and not once has she doubted her chosen fate.

Shiro is a yokai, a spirit of the earth, an enemy of the goddess Emi will soon host. Mystery shrouds his every move and his ruby eyes shine with cunning she can’t match and dares not trust. But she saved his life, and until his debt is paid, he is hers to command—whether she wants him or not.

On the day they meet, everything Emi believes comes undone, swept away like snow upon the winter wind. For the first time, she wants to change her fate—but how can she erase a destiny already wrought in stone? Against the power of the gods, Shiro is her only hope … and hope is all she has left.

Red Winter includes ten beautiful full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Brittany Jackson.”

My Review:

I love the cover of this book. Sorry, but not sorry. I had to say that.

Moving on, beyond the cover is the story that I’m reviewing today. I saw this book on Amazon one day and wanted to read it. It was fantasy, Asian, and the cover…yes, I added it to my Kindle Possibilities list. Then I saw that I had a chance to review it and both of its sequels, and now I can say that I read them.

While I am fascinated by Asian culture, I had not delved much into Japanese culture. I enjoyed getting a peak into a country I do not know much about. This book takes place in modern day Japan, yet it still had a fantastical and historical feel. The story was steadily paced at the beginning, so not too fast or slow. It was hard not to  sympathize with the heroine when she found the bad news that she might be going to die soon, and her ensuing rebellion is where the story really began to pick up for me. The fantasy elements gripped my attention, intriguing characters were introduced, and it was interesting to watch Emi try and figure out the truth about her death, and the events that follow once she learned the truth.

The heroine was also likable. As I mentioned, I felt bad for her. Can you imagine finding out by accident that some of those around you might know you are going to die soon, but have not told you? Harsh, but that is what she had to deal with, along with still feeling to blame for the death of someone she loved. I think she was the perfect mix of serious temple girl and teenage girl, and I enjoyed getting to know her.

Emi, however, is not my favorite. Ya’ll, this story has a Kitsune, the Japanese equivalent to one of my favorite mythical creatures, a Gumiho. (These creatures are basically foxes with nine tales, and they can transform into humans.) Anywho, I loved him. Shiro, the Kitsune, is adorable, funny, and probably now one of my favorite heroes ever. He just- Gah! I loved his relationship with Emi. Also, he was especially adorable when he rode the bus with Emi and people thought he was her dog.

Yumei, the crow dude was also pretty cool. Yes, kind of cranky, but I still found him a lovable addition to the crew.

Negatives were that there were some curse words. Other than that, I do not have much of a complaint.

All in all, this was a nice read. I really enjoyed it. I’ve been kind of tired of reading some of the same old medieval fantasies, and this one was a nice change in scenery. It was not my favorite of the series, but a fair introduction to it. Plus, it has some lovely art every now and then, so that added to the story. I give it a rating of four and a half.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Storm Siren” by Mary Weber—Book Giveaway!

One thing I have not done since I started this blog is a giveaway, so I thought it would be fun to start doing one now and then on here. 😀

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Today through midnight on the 15th, you have the chance to win a copy of Mary Weber’s fantastic book, “Storm Siren.” All you have to do it 1. follow this blog, and 2. leave a comment below telling me you want to win this book. Winner will be chosen and announced on the 15th.

“Ocean of Secrets” by Sophie-Chan— Manga Review

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About:

Lia was adopted by a family to replace their deceased daughter. One day she finds herself in need of rescue, and finds herself on a ship…floating in the sky!

Thoughts on the Artwork:

Soooo pretty, guys. (Especially the cover!) The artist of this book was self taught, and I can see her hard work has paid off, because her drawings are gorgeous.

Thoughts on the story line:

This was a pretty interesting manga. It had some surprising twists and turns, and some sweet relationships that gave it some cuteness. It did seem to be a bit too fast at some points, and I felt a bit overwhelmed by all of the information that was thrust at me. However, this did not ruin my overall enjoyment of this manga. The world was fascinating, taking place in a realm in the sky that humans are not aware of. There’s flying ships, pirates, kingdoms that wield different elemental powers… I can tell that there was a lot put into thought for the plot and world of this story, and I want to know what happens next.

Rating: Four. Not quite the most amazing thing I have read, but still an enjoyable tale.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

*Thanks to Netgalley for a free e-copy of this manga in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review.

“Lizzie and Jane” by Katherine Reay- Book Review

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About:

  This story follows the journey of Elizabeth, a New York chef. She’s lost her touch in the kitchen of her restaurant, and ends up taking a break when her boss brings in another chef to take over her kitchen help her out (so thoughtful… <—Sarcasm). Heading home, she ends up staying with her sister, Jane, who has been diagnosed with the same cancer that took their mom’s life. While there, Elizabeth is confronted by emotional family problems, romance, and a choice about what path to take for her future.

My Review:

  When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was not very interested. Stories that involve Cancer were sad to me, and I did not care to read something that had a character going through it. BUT, then my own sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and I was thrust into my own real-life role of having to see my own sibling go through having this terrible disease. When I looked at the synopsis of “Lizzie and Jane” after this, the book had become something I wanted to read. Amazing how life can change our perspective on things.

I really liked this book. Not because it was full of amazing plot twists or beautifully written passages. No, I think it was because it was so relate-able, and the parts that were not something I could relate to were just so heart touching. Reay’s characters feel real. They’re… I don’t know. Maybe the phrase I’m looking forward is not fluffy? I’m a sucker for romantic comedy, so the contemporaries I go for are usually full of some pretty far fetched situations. Which is fun, but it was nice to read something that felt like every day life, but in a way that was interesting enough to keep my attention. It was an enjoyable thing to watch one woman’s journey of finding herself, confronting long held pain, and learning that dreams can change. The romance was also sweet, and I liked how it wasn’t the main focal point of the story. It was nice being able to read a book where the best thing wasn’t that the girl found a guy, but that she became a better person.

Also, this book has plenty of references to food and Jane Austen. I appreciated this because yes, I like food (who doesn’t?), and Jane Austen is awesome, so it was nice seeing her stories taking small parts in this tale. So if you’re into either of those, then this might be a read for you. 🙂

I’m glad that I decided to give this book a try. I actually liked it better than “Dear Mr. Knightley,” her debut. I give ‘Lizzie and Jane” a rating of four and a half.

P.S. My sister is currently cancer free. 😀

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.