“Cinder” by Marissa Meyer—Book Review

Cinder

About The Book:

A retelling of the fairy tale, “Cinderella,” set in a futuristic world in the new East Asian city, New Beijing, and starring a cyborg Cinderella. It. is. so. awesome. 😀

My Review:


There are reasons this book has been gotten such praise. Not only is it a unique take on a classic fairy tale,  it’s also an interesting retelling with a Cinderella that won’t be easy to forget. She’s not the typical “perfect” girl waiting for prince charming. She’s a girl whose plight made me cheer for her— I wanted her to overcome her obstacles (Go Cinder. FIGHTING!). Sometimes her attitude was a bit much, but, over all, I found with her sense of humor, as well as her not- easily- seen- heart, that she is a heroine I liked reading about.  As for the prince, Kai? Yay for a prince who was a character who had more depth than the original Disney prince charming. I love his sarcastic wit, which definitely added some awesomeness to his interactions with Cinder. (He has ended up as being one of my favorite princes in books.)

I also liked most of the different “twists” this book took with the Cinderella fairy tale. I can tell that either one, Marissa Meyer put quite a bit of thought into giving an engaging read with unexpected turns, or, two, she’s a master at taking a story where the reader did not know it would go when they first started reading it.

I quite enjoyed the first book in the Lunar Chronicles. It has likable characters, as well as a setting (slightly reminiscent to Star Wars and even Wall-E) that gives the old fairy tale a fascinating perspective. The major things I wasn’t partial to in this story was that there was use of some bad words, and some of the story was sad, but I liked it over all liked it so much that I have read its novel sequels, re-read it TWICE, and, almost two tears ago, went on a few hours long trip to meet Marissa Meyer (one of the BEST DAYS EVER! Picture with her at bottom of this post.).

I give “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer a rating of five.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

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Fun fact: My hair is naturally brown. 🙂
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“Shattered Worlds” Blog Tour— Author Julie Hall Spotlight + A Giveaway

Today is special for two reasons. One, it’s my birthday, and we are planning on having my favorite cake this evening. Yum. 😀

Two, I’m joining in on the tour for the cool looking, upcoming  YA/NA e-book collection, “Shattered Worlds” by spotlighting author Julie Hall, and sharing some about this compilation of e-books. A compilation that I want on my Kindle N-O-W, but must wait for its August 8 release. 😭

 

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Author Spotlight: Julie Hall

Julie Hall

Before writing her first novel Julie worked as a film publicist and rubbed elbows with the rich and famous . . . as in she would gently nudge them to let them know their meal had arrived during press interviews.

She now spends most of her “office hours” with her two furry writing buddies, Bear and Coco. Her daughter thinks that mommy’s superpower is “sleeping all day,” but that’s because she’s often awake until the wee hours of the morning weaving tales of adventure in worlds of her own creation. When asked in an interview what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’s quoted to have answered, “to never have to grow up.”

She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her four favorite people–her husband, daughter, and two fur babies (because dogs are people too).

Social Media Links:

Website // Amazon Author Page // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Goodreads

 

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About Shattered Worlds:

Escape into twenty-three epic worlds that will leave you breathless.

From dystopian nightmares to gorgeous steampunk and fantasy settings to fairy-tale retellings and beyond, SHATTERED WORLDS has every story you’ve been dying to get your hands on!

This unique Young Adult/New Adult collection, inspired by the creative minds of today’s New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors, promises to satisfy your cravings for action and adventure as you experience rune magic and time-travel, overthrow corrupt governments, meet reapers and aliens, battle dragons, fall hopelessly in love, and break ancient curses, right alongside some of the bravest characters in fantasy fiction!

Each book within this collection is exclusive to the set and can’t be found anywhere else.

Preorder now for your passport to SHATTERED WORLDS!

Purchase Links:

Amazon // iBooks // Nook // Kobo // Google Play

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35122753-shattered-worlds

 

Shattered Worlds Authors

J.L. Weil, USA Today Bestselling Author

J.A. Culican, USA Today Bestselling Author

J.A. Armitage, USA Today Bestselling Author

N.R. Larry, NYT and USA Today Bestselling Author

Jane Redd, USA Today Bestselling Author

Miranda Hardy, USA Today Bestselling Author

Julie Hall, International Bestselling Author

Cameo Renae, International Bestselling Author

Jen Minkman, International Bestselling Author

Cindy M. Hogan, Bestselling Author

Elana Johnson, Bestselling Author

Rebecca Rode, International Bestselling Author

Audrey Grey

Nichole Giles

Katy Haye

Cortney Pearson

Elizabetta Holcomb

Ali Winters

Kristy Tate

Liz Long

AG Henley

Ainsley Shay

Jay Noel

Emily Martha Sorensen

 

(Click the author’s name to visit their site!)

 

Giveaway:

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The Shattered Worlds authors have generously offered to give away 17 e-books to one winner. Fill out the form to enter! Open INT.

Entry Form Link: Giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, July 24th

Tuesday, July 25th

Wednesday, July 26th

Thursday, July 27th

Friday, July 28th

Saturday, July 29th

Monday, July 31st  

Tuesday, August 1st  

Wednesday, August 2nd

Thursday, August 3rd

Friday, August 4th

 

“My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Aston, and Jodi Meadows — Book Review

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About:

A re-imagining of the story of Lady Jane Grey, the girl who, once upon a time, was queen of England for nine days…

My Review:

Before I read this book, I’d seen it around. However, for some reason it did not particularly pique my interest. Which, as I think about it, is somewhat odd as I was fond of the story of Lady Jane Grey when I was younger… Anywho, I one day decided to give it a try. Why this happened, I’m not 100% sure. It was a spur of the moment decision, but I’m glad I made said decision because I enjoyed this book.

The original story of Jane Grey is a sad one, but this story, while it does have some sad moments, was overall far from having a full-blown depressing tone one might expect from a retelling of Lady Jane Grey. In fact, this book really is not a retelling of the story, but more of a re-imagining of history. This book was one historical re-imagining that I wish was the true story.

So what did I like? It is one of the funniest books I’ve ever read. Who knew one could recreate a sad event from the past and turn it into a tale full of smile inducing comedy? That’s exactly what this book was for me. The story is told from three perspectives—Lady Jane, Lord Gifford (known as “G”), and Kind Edward the VI. I’m telling you this because I just have to say that I think King Edward’s POV was my favorite, and probably had the most amusing voice to me.

Another thing I enjoyed about this book is that the historical England in the story is not the historical England we usually learn about today today. In history, there are just people who are, well, people. However, in this book there are people who can transform into animals. I ❤ this.

Also, Jane is a historical bookworm. Yesssss. 😀

There was not a whole lot about this book that I did not enjoy. There were a few curse words (bleh), and some parts were slow. Not much else to mention when it comes to negativity.

All of the above (positive) things mixed into an overall lovable story that has me eager for the next book in this series. I think it’s supposed to be a Charlotte Bronte/Jane Eyre mashup, and I’m thoroughly awaiting its 2018 release.

If you’re looking for a book that will make you a smile, you might want to give this a try. (However, if you are a die-hard history purist, this book might make you faint.) I give “My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows 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.

“Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco — Book Review

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About The Book:

  Audrey Rose Wadsworth is a young lady who has a different sort of hobby than most ladies in nineteenth century England have. The hobby? Well, she likes to assist her uncle in performing autopsies. It is because of this unique past time that she gets involved with the victims of Jack the Ripper, and therefore decides that she wants to find him. Only, doing so will test her heart in ways she may never have imagined…

My Review:

  The cover of this book is gorgeous (Doesn’t it just call out for those who pass by it to pick it up?). I myself have seen this book, but ignored it for some time despite the lovely cover. Then I listened to a sample of the audio book version, and, my interest piqued even more, I decided to give the full thing a listen.

The story is dark. There are a lot of sad happenstances, and gory details add to the grayish mood. Nonetheless, it was fascinating. It is one of the few stories I have recently read where I really was not sure what was going to happen. When I thought the story was having a lagging moment, something would happen to keep my interest. I love it when a story can keep me guessing for fair amounts of time. Otherwise, I can grow a little bored.

Another thing I like is that the author really painted her story world well without overwhelming me with too long descriptions. It’s almost as if I truly visited White Chapel, The Wadsworths’ Residence, laboratories, and even a mental asylum. 😛

As for characters, I liked the heroine, and found  some of her sense of humor entertaining. Some of the other characters were interesting, like Thomas and Audrey’s uncle. I liked her relationship with her brother, and I found the fact that her father was an extreme germ-a-phobe amusing (Probably should not have…). As for Jack the Ripper— well, I won’t tell you who he was in the story, but…just, why? WHY?

Since I listened to this book instead of reading it, I thought I would mention that I found the narrator’s voice to be perfectly chilly. She does a pleasant job of bringing the characters to life, and her tone really sets a mysterious atmosphere.

Negatives…. Hm, there were some curse words, and there were some negative references to God that I found off-putting.

Except for the negative stuff, I did really like this book, and am looking forward to its sequel’s release. I give “Stalking Jack The Ripper” by Kerri Maniscalco a rating of four.

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

 

“Immortal Fire” by Annette Marie— Book Review

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About:

Emi and the gang are on the final parts of their journey to save the world from the earth Kami. Time is running out, and for them to succeed, a too-soon-death is a possibility for one of them.

This is the third and final book in Annette Marie’s Japanese Urban Fantasy, “The Red Winter Trilogy.”

My Review:

I loved the first two books in this series. They were different than my usual reads, and I appreciated the unique quality they had for me. The characters were also awesome, and the endings each contained a cliff-hanger (*sings* Hanging from a cliff…. and that’s while he’s called CLIFF HANGERRR! *stops singing* *hopes someone understands this* ).

How did book number three compare? Well, there is not a whole lot I can say without spoiling the book/series, so I will simply say that…

A lot of it was still pretty. darn. cool. Just about all of the things that happened were a perfect blend for a series’ finale. All the questions I wanted answered were answered. There was action, sweet romantic moments, heart tearing tragedy… (What? I like a bit of drama, all right? All right.) Oh, and unexpectedness. When I read a book and things happen that I do not see coming, it always makes the book a hundred times better. (Yes, sometimes even if it is sad.)

Yet there was a big downer in this book for me. *sniffles*

I won’t  go into vivid detail, but there was a long, intimate romantic scene between two characters. I liked that the previous two books were cleaner in the romance department, yet this book crossed my border of comfort-ability with the scene. So yeah, I did a bit of skim reading and skipping over this part. 😛

Aside from that one scene though, I really did enjoy reading this final book in the series, and am a touch sad that it is over. It was a lovely time, and I terribly wish there would be future books with these characters in the works for the future. Alas, I know of no such thing.

I give “Immortal Fire” by Annette Marie a rating of four. If you plan to read this book, I recommend you read the previous two because you would seriously be missing a lot of important stuff.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

 

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

“The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” by Stephanie Morrill— Book Review

Fun fact that I have not discussed much on this blog: I’m a writer, and today I have a review for a book that I think other writers might enjoy (or even non-writer bookworms that like contemporary set books). It kind of reminded me of that old Disney Channel movie, “Read it and Weep,” yet was still its own story.

 

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About (From Publisher’s Website):

“When ousted by her lifelong friends, teen writer Ellie Sweet takes to story writing as self-therapy. She casts herself as Lady Gabrielle, a favorite in the medieval Italian court, her ex-friends as her catty rivals, and makes a pesky rake of the boy who thinks he’s too good for her in real life. But when Ellie achieves the impossible and her “coping mechanism” becomes a published novel, she faces the consequences of using her pen as her sword.”


My Review:

I like how this book shows the ordinary aspects of a writer’s life. We writers can make some interesting worlds, but I can guess that most of our lives contain the ordinary circumstances of normal, everyday living. I’ve not read many books where the heroine is a writer, and with the first-person point of view giving me an in-depth look into her thoughts and feelings, I couldn’t help but end up liking her story. Though Ellie’s life does have some aspects that do seem less likely to often happen in the real world (sixteen year old gets published = wow), it was still realistic enough where it could have happened. Add in that Ellie has hard things to deal with in her life that remind me of circumstances I’ve been through, and she became someone easy for me to cheer on.

I also like the diverse characterization in the supporting characters. When I read a story that has characters that are so different than the usual, it makes a good impression on me. From the boy on the other side of the tracks, to the grandmother who isn’t exactly the “cookie-baking, hugging” type, I commend the author for giving an interesting cast to be a part of Ellie’s tale.

Now, though I over all liked this book, I do have a few negative thoughts. For one, I would have liked it if I could have gotten more glimpses into Ellie’s story world (just something I was curious about). And even though Ellie is someone I can relate to and whose wit and sass I found amusing, I probably would have liked her story a lot more if I had read it when I was younger. Don’t get me wrong— I still like the book— but I found that Ellie’s immature decisions in her teenage drama, especially when it came to romance, were somewhat more irritating for me than they may have once been. (That’s probably part of me getting older…)

But to summarize, I think that this is a fun, thought-provoking story. Entertaining, but certainly containing some depth, “The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” is a winner in the contemporary YA. For sure, Ellie Sweet is one of the few contemporary fiction heroines who I’ve been able to relate to more than just a little.
I give “The Revised Life of Ellie Sweet” by Stephanie Morrill a rating of four.

 

Book Review Ratings:

5. Great Book!

4. I  liked it!

3. Okay.

2. Did not like it.

1. Did not finish.

Drama Wednesday (10)— Korean…Books

I love books. I love Korean things. (Dramas. Music. ETC.) No big shock that I get rather excited when I find them combined. It’s like when you mix all of your favorite ice creams together and come up with a wondrous creation that exceeds the individual flavors. (Okay, so this is a rare thing, but imagine if it did work out?)

Today I thought I would share some  books that are either K-Drama/K-Pop themed, or  have Korean elements, that I hope to read soon. These books are ones I have found while wasting time browsing the internet. (No, I’ve not read/finished reading any of them, so I cannot recommend them. They just look like stuff I’d read and like.):

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“K-Love” by Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall— K-Love is one of my favorite radio stations, but this book is a YA about love that starts with a mother’s love of Korean Dramas. How? The mother sets her daughter up on a blind date with a Korean guy all because of her love for Korean dramas. *plans to buy soon*

 

“Kidnapped Idol,” “Undercover Fan,” and “Snowflake Kisses” by Jennie Bennet— This series of novellas looks so cute. They follow K-Pop stars, and I need them on my shelf right now.

 

“Eun and the Phantom,” “Foxtails,” and “Evangeline” by Erica Laurie— “Eun and the Phantom” is about a woodcutter’s daughter who falls in love with a man cursed to be a phantom. “Foxtails” takes place in regency England, but has Gumihos, which are Korean mythical creatures also known as nine-tailed-foxes. “Evangeline” is about a modern day American girl who is transported to a fantasy world that resembles a historical Korea.

 

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“Hello, I Love You” by Katie M. Stout—Another K-Pop book, this is about a girl who falls in love with a K-Pop star. I’m sure there’s more to it, but that’s all I feel like sharing.

 

“To All The Boys I Loved Before,” “P.S. I Still Love You,” and “Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han— This series just looks like a fun contemporary. It’s about a half-Korean girl who writes letters to boys she has crushes on. These letters are not meant to be seen by the crushes, but someone sends them out. Not. good.

 

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“Lady of Dreams” by W.R. Gingell— This book is another that takes place in a fantasy land that resembles Korea. The heroine is “Half Korean” and can spy on people through dreaming.

 

Do you have any suggestions for books that include Korean elements? Please share. 😀