Book Review – Burning Kingdoms

Burning KingdomsBurning Kingdoms is the second book in the Internment Chronicles by Lauren DeStefano. You can read my review of Perfect Ruin here and find out how awesome this series is! No lies, start it today! But, I will warn you – don’t read on if you don’t want any spoilers!

Morgan and her squad of friends and frenemies are back. They’ve made it out of Internment, the utopic floating island in the sky. But the Earth below isn’t how they thought it would be. In some ways, it’s fascinating. Water called rain falls from the sky, people own homes bigger than office buildings, and people can marry whomever they want.

But there is also war. Terrifying war that threatens the haven they’ve found and demolishes whole cities. Morgan and Pen creep over their new surroundings, learning everything they can about this new place. We see this world, so like our own world, through their new eyes. It’s charming and dangerous and very exciting. Then the bombs hit too close to home, and everything turns more dangerous than they ever imagined.

Throw in a dash of forbidden romance and unexpected attractions, and you’ve got a potent mix of drama from all angles. This is a fascinating, unique low-fantasy that will entrance readers of romance and genre fiction alike.

 

Book Reviews!

Image result for too busy funny meme

Okay, well I’m not actually doing nothing. But! But, but, but.

Now I’ve said that so many times it’s lost all meaning.

Soon I’ll have two new book reviews on the blog. One for THE TESTING (SO GOOD GUYS REALLY) and one for BURNING KINGDOMS (ALSO SO GOOD).

I can’t wait to tell you all about them! Stay tuned! And in the meantime, what are you reading?

Book Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest

The Darkest Part of the Forest (Signed Book)Hazel and her brother, Ben, live in the magical town of Fairfold. In Fairfold, humans and fae share the forest that surrounds their little town. Tourists come from all over to witness fairy magic and tricks, but most of all, tourists come to see the horned boy in the glass  coffin. Nothing has awakened him since anyone can remember. And to the locals, the horned boy is just another strange part of their strange town. Hazel and the other kids have keggers surrounding the glass casket, and dance the night away on the casket itself.

Until one day, the boy wakes up. It turns out that Hazel isn’t an average resident of Fairfold. Ever since she was little, Hazel and her brother were self-styled knights who fought evil in Fairfold forest. After an incident that left Ben unwilling to participate, Hazel finally stopped hunting the evil as a child. But now Hazel finds herself drawn back into the twisted mysteries of the fae, where she must decide who she is, and what she’s willing to fight for. Can she stop the dreaded evil in the forest and save the horned boy, and her town, before it’s too late?

Filled with forbidden love, plot twists and just the right hint of magic, this exciting stand alone novel is a real treat! I absolutely loved reading it while on my last beach vacation. This is such a great mix of fantasy without getting too incredibly dark. I highly recommend it!

 

Book Review- The Family Romanov

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

The Romanovs, Russia’s last imperial family, were beautiful, rich and out of touch. This book follows Tsar Nicholas II’s rise to the throne, his years leading the country during World War I, and their eventual imprisonment and murder. Written almost as a novel, Fleming takes us on a journey into the court of the royal Romanov family. A fascinating look into the lives of infamous Anastasia…

Read more!

Book Review -The Winner’s Curse

The Winner's Curse (Winner's Trilogy Series #1)

 

Kestrel is the General’s daughter. That means that her life is a series of expectations – he would love nothing more than for her to follow him into the Valorian army. Kestrel has a unique talent for strategy that could lead to a successful career. Or, she could marry a fellow Valorian and bear handsome babies.

But Kestrel doesn’t want any of that. Instead, she enjoys nothing more than playing her beloved pinao, a forbidden hobby that makes her odd and eccentric in the eyes of society. And her reputation couldn’t be more strained, until she finds herself at the Herrani slave market. Impulsively she purchases Arin, a handsome slave who can supposedly sing and is a master blacksmith.

So begins the sexually tense, forbidden relationship between Kestrel and Arin. She knows that he has more in his background than he lets on, and isn’t surprised to discover that before the war, Arin was a member of the Herrani aristocracy.

What Kestrel doesn’t know is that Arin is a spy for the Herrani, who are planning on overthrowing the Valorian usurpers. Will she admit her feelings before the inevitable attack? And are Arin’s feelings real, or just a clever trick by a clever spy?

This expertly written, deliciously addictive and suspenseful romance is a must-read! Rutkoski is an extremely talented writer, and readers will love following her into this forbidden world of romantic intrigue. Spys, forbidden love and class strife make for a fantastic book! I can’t wait to read the next one :) I’m already on the waiting list at the library!

Get it today!

 

Book Review – UNDIVIDED

UnDivided (Unwind Dystology Series #4)

Neal Shusterman’s UNWIND Dystology (set of four books) has come to a close. UnDivided is a stirringly poetic end to the supremely screwed up, fascinating and nauseating world of “dividing” teens for body parts.

If you haven’t had the privilege of reading the series, read my review here. This series is not only an exciting thrill-ride, but acts as a thought-provoking social commentary:

In the future a war was fought over the concept of abortion. Essentially there were two sides – Pro Life and Pro Choice. Both sides wouldn’t budge on their views and stirred up a holy war that threatened to tear the country apart. To appease both sides, a deal was reached. Abortions were illegal, but between the ages of 13 and 18, a parent could retroactively “Unwind” a child who wasn’t living up to potential. “Unwinding” is essentially harvesting 100% of the body as donor materials. In this way, children never ‘die,’ but simply live on in a divided state. This is the story of three such children marked for unwinding.

This is an excellent choice for your more serious teen reader and adults. It’s easy to fall in love with charismatic, flawed Conner and his quest for freedom. Will he survive? Will he successfully fight to end unwinding? Will he and Risa end up together?  Shusterman is a master of emotion, drawing you deep within the psyche of the bullies, the heroes and the misunderstood rebels of the unwinding revolution. His unique approach of jumping from main characters to secondary, and in some cases, random characters allows the reader a sneak glimpse into other’s perspective. They’re not always thinking what you might expect them to be. It’s hard not to feel a pang of sympathy for the parent who made a horrible, life-ending decision for their child and now lives to regret it. Or to see the past of a horrific bully, and why he is so tortured and treats the world as he does (see my previous review of UNWIND for that one). I was in tears more than once with this series! However, as dour as the circumstances are, we have a pretty happy ending with the series, making the whole thing worth it. I won’t give it away, but I felt satisfied as the series came to a close. It was the best kind of book – poignant and well-written!

I absolutely love this series! Rush out to your library or book store and get it today!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (Raven Cycle Series #3)This is the third book in the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater. Click on the links to read my reviews on The Raven Boys, book one of the series, or The Dream Thieves, which was book two.

I don’t want to ruin it for you if you haven’t started the series, so there will be no spoilers here :) However, I must vehemently encourage you to run to the nearest book store and buy these books. Or run to the library and get them (where I got this particular book!) for free!

Witty, likable Blue is back, and so are her Raven Boys. They’re getting closer to finding the buried un-dead body of a Welsh King who will grant them any wish. But things are getting more complicated – they’re no longer the only ones looking for him. And add in Ronan’s bewildering skills and those that hunt for him, Adam’s new powers, and a blooming secret romance between Blue and super ridiculously hot Gansey, and you’ve got a potent and twisting narrative that will keep you flipping pages until you’ve finished the whole darn thing. Be warned: You will not want to put this down. Cancel your dinner plans.

And, if you haven’t started the series yet, you have the luck of reading books one through three all at the same time! No waiting for you! That is, until you’ve finished. We’re all waiting breathlessly for book four, which will hopefully come out soon so I can stop obsessing about it.

Stiefvater is easily one of the most talented writers in today’s market. The words are poetic and beautiful, yet the plot is captivating and doesn’t get bogged down. If I could fly to Henrietta and join them on their hunt, I would.

Also, as a side note, Ms. Stiefvater is active on Twitter and can be followed here: @MStiefvater

And as another side note, are you following me? @DCCMealy We can talk about books!

So, to review, this books was awesome. Buy it now. Follow me on Twitter. The end.

 

 

Children’s Book Review: Horton is back!

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories

This exciting release of HORTON AND THE KWUGGERBUG AND MORE LOST STORIES has Dr. Seuss fans, young and old, heading to the bookstore. The characters are familiar: Horton, who’s been known to hatch an egg, meets a Kwuggerbug who offers him a prize that sounds too good to be true. The Grinch is back, selling green string, Marco is telling even more outlandish tales, and poor Officer Pat has to save the whole town. This series of stories has sat, unpublished, for sixty years since their original magazine appearance.

Continue reading…

Holiday Gift List! (Or: Books you should buy people!)

I don’t know about you, but I love to receive books as gifts. Especially if those books are right up my alley, proving that the giver has been listening to me blather all year about what kind of books/authors I like.

Harry Potter, anyone? I could use a third set….

Anywho, if you can’t figure out what to give your niece, nephew, or weird Uncle Al, consider giving a book. Here are some great recommendations, by personality type:

The Fashionista Neice/Cousin/Daughter

Does the young woman in your life resemble any of the above girls in any way? Does she prefer cute heels to Nike’s? Accessorize to the max?  Then The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Sheperd is right up her alley. Full of murder, mystery and top-notch fashion, this series is the perfect gift. Heck, even I love the series, and I’m about as unfashionable as my oversized Harry Potter sweatshirt that I’m wearing right now.

I was super cool in highschool, can you tell? Pick up the series today!

Your boyfriend/Dad/Brother:

The Undying

The Undying by Ethan Reid is a scare-the-crap-out-of-you tale of horror and zombie-like monsters in a post-apocalyptic world. Seriously, read this with the lights on. Any man in your life (or woman who loves thrillers and a bit of horror!) will love this exciting book. Set in Paris on the day the world ended, this book is a gripping tale of survival. Ethan is an excellent writer who really captures the voice of our fearless heroine, Jeanie. Plus, Ethan is super cool and can be found on Twitter. So pick up your digital copy today!

 

The Walking Dead Fan (Adult or Teen):

Does someone in your life wig out every Sunday night because The Walking Dead is on? Are you dead to them until the episode is finished? Then Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave is the perfect gift!

The 5th Wave (Fifth Wave Series #1)

This is one of the best books I’ve EVER READ. For real, peeps, and I read a lot of books. This is being made into a movie, and I’m sure it will blow our collective minds. It’s present day, and the Earth has been invaded by Aliens. These aren’t the spaceship aliens from The X Files, but aliens that hide in human bodies and are systematically wiping out the human population. Cassie is on a mission to find her little brother and survive possible extermination. But when she falls in love with a boy who just might be one of those aliens, she realizes that the enemy might not be exactly who she thought it was. Yancey is a master of voice, and I guarantee the recipient will love this series as much as I do.

The Clever Girl

Do you know a young lady who is too clever for her own good? Is that even a thing? Never!

We Were Liars

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is a fantastic, twisty mystery set in the WASP-y Hamptons. Why can’t Cadence remember what happened last summer? Where are her cousins? What are her racist grandparents hiding? The stunning twit conclusion of this riveting book will have readers talking! Your clever niece/little sister will LOVE it!

The Romantic

You know that girl – dreamy, loves love, and is a sucker for a good romance. There are just so many options in the Contemporary Romance genre right now, so I’ll suggest Ms. Anne Aguirre. Her book, Mortal Danger, is an excellent romance with a scary twist of nightmares and urban legends come to life.

Mortal Danger

I’ve also just read The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things, which can be pre-ordered:

The Queen of Bright and Shiny Things

Your Nephew/Guy who still loves The Matrix

The Eye of Minds (Mortality Doctrine Series #1)

Check out this exciting series by the super talented James Dashner. Set in a virtual world with a cyber terrorist, this exciting and twisty ride is sure to please techies!

Your Aunt/Friend 

I’m going to throw out Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha Trilogy for anyone who just loves plain good writing, a bit of magical fantasy and dark romance.

Shadow and Bone (Grisha Trilogy Series #1)

This series is so beautifully done and so exciting, I recommend it to pretty much anyone. While you pick up a copy for your friend, pick one up for yourself!

The 50 Shades of Grey Enthusiast:

And finally, for your friend who loves 50 Shades of Grey, might I suggest a visit to my friend Audrey Valiant’s short story that is FREE people. Go ahead. Click on it. Download a copy for yourself. I won’t tell…

Beautiful Stranger

 

That’s it for now! And of course, you should check out my gift guide from last year. It’s full of awesome books that your family and friends will love! And just because they came out last year, doesn’t mean people don’t want them this year!

Happy Holidays!