“The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutoski- Book Review

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About The Book:

“They were never meant to be together. As a general’s daughter, seventeen-year-old Kestrel enjoys an extravagant and privileged life. Arin has nothing but the clothes on his back. Then Kestrel makes an impulsive decision that binds Arin to her. Though they try to fight it, they can’t help but fall in love. In order to be together, they must betray their people . . . but to be loyal to their country, they must betray each other.Set in a new world, The Winner’s Curse is a story of rebellion, duels, ballroom dances, wicked rumors, dirty secrets, and games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.”

My Review:

I’ve seen some praise for this book, and I’ve seen some disappointment for it, too. But I’ve see more “YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK” than anything else, and the cover was just so pretty… So yeah, I caved in, bought this book, and proceeded to think that I’d read it one day. Well, over a year later, the day came, and I finally got to see just what the fuss was about this book. How did it measure up for me?

I think it measured pretty well. I mean, I finished it. Goodness, I’ll just go and ahead and say that I overall liked it. I found it awesome how the heroine was different from so many of the popular female leads in YA fiction. She wasn’t some naturally gifted warrior queen. At least, not in the way that seems to be more often portrayed in YA. She’s good with battle technique, and is resilient enough to get through some fairly difficult situations. But she’s just not one of  those girls who picks up a sword and excels in battle. In fact, she’s trained for some time with weaponry, and still isn’t great with them. I think I majorly liked this because it gave us a heroine who didn’t need to be a skilled, combat fighter to be strong, which resounds with the type of heroines we see/read about in real life.

Other things I liked were, one, the setting. I feel like the author did just enough world building to make me feeling I visited some fantasy world without throwing a bunch of unfamiliar things at me that could cause confusion from trying to keep everything straight. Secondly, the romance was also interesting to read. It was full of drama, and I like drama, so… There were also some pretty interesting plot twists that made this book unique from many other fantasies I’ve read.

As much as I liked some parts of this book, I did have some issues with the book. The world of this book is not a pretty place, plus there was some use of foul language. I’m also not one of the readers who were blown away by the book’s ending. Maybe I was expecting a more exciting plot twist than what this book ended with…? Whatever the case, I wasn’t flailing with wonder. Yes, I admit the ending was not something I saw coming, but it just did leave me feeling AMAZED. This isn’t really a problem, but it just makes me wonder why others were so excited by the end?

However, despite its lack of having a heart-pounding finale for me, it did leave me curious to find what happens next. And again, I over all did like this book. So I think I’m going to give “The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutkoski a rating of four– I’m taking off a star for the negative stuff.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

“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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“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.

Drama Wednesday (5): April 2017 Overview

I know, you might have been anticipating part two of my favorite dramas. (At least, I hope someone was.) However, this week happens to be the first week of the month, so this week’s post is to show what I watched in April. (Hopefully, next week will be part two of my favorite dramas.)

Dramas I Finished

Korean:

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While I came close to finishing another one, this little drama was the only one I finished. You can check out some of my thoughts for it here.

Dramas First Time Made Way Through (But Have Yet To Finish)

Chinese Dramas:

While I did not finish either of these, I did make progress in them. (Chinese Dramas are so long, you guys.) I really like the fantasy elements of “Ten Miles of Peach Blossoms,” and I like the wit battled between the hero and heroine of “General and I.”

Korean Dramas:

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“Love Rain”

This is a drama I have seen over the years, but never got past the first few minutes the first time I tried it. But, when I saw it available for download, I decided to give it another chance. I’m glad I did, because I’m loving it. It’s emotionally lovely, and one of the best K-Dramas I’ve first-time watched in awhile. Hope to finish it soon.

Japanese Dramas:

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“Mischievous Kiss: Love in Tokyo”

This is the first time I’ve watched a Japanese drama and made it past the second episode. So far, it is a cute school drama that is fun to watch when I want to see something light hearted and sweet.

Dramas I Rewatched

Korean:

Sometimes, I just want to re-watch some of my favorites. That was the case in April when I decided to watch some episodes of “The Master’s Sun,” “Flower Boys Next Door,” “Boys Over Flowers,” and “The Miracle.”

That concludes my over all drama progress for the month of April. I did a lot of going back and forth, which meant I did not finish much of anything. Maybe in May I can put some of these on my “watched” list, instead of the ever growing “to-watch” list. How was your drama time in April? Any recommendations?

“Diving Under” by Ginna Moran- Book Cover Reveal

Today I’m participating in a cover reveal for a mermaid book. I have had a love for mermaid things probably since I first watched “The Little Mermaid,” (The Disney version, not the sad original that broke my heart the first time I read it.) Because of this—and the amazing sounding synopsis— I decided to take part in today’s reveal.
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Diving Under
by Ginna Moran
(Spark of Life, #1)
Publication date: June 27th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Eight years after her older sister was swept out to sea, eighteen-year-old Ava Adair still swears off the ocean. It takes a promise of the best vacation of her life aboard the Ocean Jewel with her friends to get her even within reach of the waves. When she steps aboard the luxury yacht to sail the California coastline, the last thing she expects is to gain the attention of gorgeous Carter Stevens, the yacht’s deckhand, who becomes the perfect distraction against her fear of the open water.

On the yacht, a freak accident involving Carter reveals a secret he’s been hiding from Ava. She discovers that he’s a merman and by saving her, he changed her life. One misstep could reveal the new secret they share and ruin the life on land she’s desperate to maintain. Torn between a future on land with her family and a new life at sea, Ava must decide—is her former life worth fighting for, or can she accept that she belongs to the ocean?

Pre-order:
Ginna Moran Author PhotoAUTHOR BIO:

Ginna Moran is the author of the Falling into Fame, Demon Within, Destined for Dreams, and Finding Nate series. She lives in Austin, Texas but is originally from Southern California.

She started writing poetry as a teenager in a spiral notebook that she still has tucked away on her desk today. Her love of writing grew after she graduated high school, and she completed her first unpublished manuscript at age eighteen.

When she realized her love of writing was her life’s passion, she studied literature at Mira Costa College in Northern San Diego. Besides writing young adult novels, she was senior editor, content manager, and image coordinator for Crescent House Publishing Inc. for four years.

Aside from Ginna’s professional life, she enjoys binge watching TV shows, playing pretend with her daughter, and cuddling with her dogs. Some of her favorite things include chocolate, anything that glitters, cheesy jokes, and organizing her bookshelf.

Visit Ginna Online on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, Goodreads, Snapchat(@GinnaMoran), and subscribe to her newsletter on her website to find out more about her books, participate in subscriber-only giveaways, and hear special news first.

Author links:Instagram Pic
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