Title: Slumber (#1)
Author: Christy Sloat
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Publication Date: March 16th 2015
Genre: Retelling, Fantasy, YA, Fairy Tales
My Rating: 3/5 stars
Links: GoodReads . Amazon
Not all princesses get their happily ever after...
They tell me I killed my boyfriend Phillip in cold blood. I stabbed him twenty one times. I’m only seventeen years old, and I am serving life in Spindle Ridge Asylum for the Criminally Insane.
I don’t remember killing him, so it’s really hard to believe I’m capable of murder. In fact I don’t remember anything before I came to Spindle Ridge, not even my boyfriend.
I can only grasp onto my realistic dreams while the madness of the asylum threatens to pull me under. I dream I’m a beautiful princess and there is an evil faerie named Maleficent who is bent on my destruction. The dreams are the closest thing I have to memories of my life, except they aren’t real.
I’m crazy. I’m not a princess.
They’re the mad illusions of an irrational teenage girl, right?
They’ve assigned me a new doctor, and she says I can trust her, and that she’ll help me see the truth of who I really am.
When she arrived she brought a new patient, Sawyer, who is everything Spindle Ridge isn’t: exciting, mysterious and beautiful. He promises he’s here to rescue me. Trusting either of them frightens me.
Could it be possible that my dreams are more than just the imaginings of a delusional girl? Could they be truth?
I received a review copy of Slumber from the author in exchange with an honest review.
Slumber is a retelling of The Sleeping Beauty, and to be honest, this is one of the most creative Sleeping Beauty retellings that I have ever read.
The way the author took the fairy tale's unseen basics, tore it apart, and built something that is brand new is amazing.
I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style, and the thing that kept me reading was the plot . Since the writing style is very important to me, I felt like the book lacked such an important component.
I think that Christy Sloat has great stories to tell; not great, but epic . However, I probably won't finish this duolgy.
I really enjoyed the concept of this book, and I give it 3/5 stars.
About the Author:
Christy Sloat is a SoCal born girl who resides in New Jersey currently with her husband, two daughters and Sophie her Chihuahua. Christy has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother's loving support. Christy passes that love of reading, writing, and creativity to her daughters, family, and friends. When you do not find Christy within the pages of a book you can find her being mommy, wife, crafter, and dear friend. She loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. Be sure to venture into her Past Lives Series, The Visitor's Series, and watch for many more exciting things to come.
Check out her website www.christysloat.com
Title: Imaginary Boy
Author: Mark Eldrich
Publication Date: October 4th, 2015
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Links: GoodReads Amazon
Eleven-year-old Benji Saintaubin dreams of becoming a hero like the ones in the books he reads while banished in the dark attic of his family home. But those heroes are all strong and handsome, not like Benji who uses a crutch and hides his disfigured face. When his father dies, leaving behind an unfinished story about an imaginary boy who must defeat a cruel and mighty dragon, Benji’s safe and secluded world is turned upside down. After venturing out of the attic and onto the perilous streets of 19th century London, Benji finds himself separated from his mother in a frightening and unfamiliar world. Nearly trampled to death and sold into slavery, Benji comes to believe his father’s story may be more fact than fiction after his captor reveals a dragon-tail tattoo around his arm and plans that could destroy Benji. If he ever hopes to escape, be reunited with his mother and finish his father’s cryptic story, Benji must trust that a crippled boy can discover the unseen power needed to defeat a brutal and powerful dragon. Join Benji on his treacherous journey in this compelling, edgy and inspiring middle-grade novel by debut author Mark Eldrich.
About the Author:
Mark Eldrich is a midwest children's book author who's debut middle grade novel, Imaginary Boy, was named winner of the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Award for Juvenile Fiction and the 2015 Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award for outstanding contribution to children's literature in a debut novel. His second middle grade book The Shaming Tree will be released in 2018.
Links: Twitter Website
Title: SIGNS OF LIFE (Rough Romance #2)
Author: Selene Castrovilla
Publisher: Last Syllable Books
Publication Date: June 21, 2016
Genre: YA, Contemporary , Romance
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
The tables are turned with a vengeance in this tour de force love story. Nearly a year has gone by and now it’s Dorothy who is fragmented and lost, while Joey keeps the promise he had made her to better himself—even though she’s gone. Joey talks about what is happening in the present while Dorothy describes what happened before— in the moments and hours after the Glock dropped. This time the stakes are even higher, as Joey forces himself to move forward while Dorothy is frozen in place. But when he learns of a devastating decision, Joey races to find her before it is too late. Truth, consequence, repercussion and modern medicine collide as pieces converge in this psychological, thrilling story, which begs the question: Can love really conquer all?
I received an eARC of Signs of Life from Jen Halligan PR in exchange with my honest review.
I was highly anticipating the Rough Romance's sequel because I really fell in love with the 1st book, Melt. I loved it so much , that I wrote a poem that was inspired my the story. You can read it here .
I loved how Selene wrote this story. We get to slowly see the past, which is a continuation of Melt's ending, and its effect on the present. Not only that, but also we get to see how many characters viewed these events. At first, it was mostly Joey and Dorothy , but then we get to see how other characters think. I won't say which characters because flipping the page , and discovering that one of these characters get to share his/her POV of the story ,is an experience in it self !
Once you reach 20% of the book, you keep on flipping the pages because you will be so anticipated to know the continuation of what a specific character, in a specific tense, has to share.
I can't even say how many quotes I had to copy from this novel; was it way too much,or not even enough ?
For the first time, this book opened my eyes to something I have never realized while reading a book. It all started when Joey was thinking in a certain way, and I started yelling No ! No! No ! I kept on saying how it is wrong to think like that; I was so disappointed. Then, I realized something that I have already believe in, but never had to consider in a book. As humans, we all see things differently and have different opinions. My opinions build up and create facts, but these facts are only my facts. To others, it is just another opinion. So why was I so pissed when one of my favorite characters thoughts and believes opposed mine.
Because for the 1st time, a character I liked had thoughts that I absolutely disagree with. Because this is what books should do, represent other thoughts and believes than yours. I have no idea why this only became clear tome now, but I would like to thank Selene for that; for making me see that flawed characters are the best type of characters. Because we are all flawed, but we don't always see some of our flaws.
The only thing that I didn't like in this book was how long Joey's self-punishment routine was expressed. I wished that it wasn't that expressed at the beginning because it made wonder if I was going to enjoy this book. Nevertheless, I ended up loving the sequel.
Just like Melt, Signs of Life left me screaming because the ending is simply the perfect, most tortoures way to keep me anticipated for the 3rd and final book.
I give it 4.5 / 5 stars
Checkout My Review For Melt!
Based on true events, MELT is both a chilling tale of abuse, and a timeless romance. MELT will hit you like a punch in the face, and also seep through the cracks in your soul.
MELT is a brutal love story set against the metaphorical backdrop of The Wizard of Oz (not a retelling). When sixteen year old Dorothy moves to the small town of Highland Park, she meets, and falls for Joey – a “bad boy” who tells no one about the catastrophic domestic violence he witnesses at home. Can these two lovers survive peer pressure, Joey’s reputation, and his alcoholism?
Told in dual first person, Joey’s words are scattered on the page – reflecting his broken state. Dorothy is the voice of reason – until something so shattering happens that she, too, may lose her grip. Can their love endure, or will it melt away?
MELT: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Clickhere to read my review
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About Selene Castrovilla
Selene Castrovilla is the award-winning author of multiple narrative nonfiction picture books and young adult novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School and a BA in English from New York University. She lives on Long Island with her two sons and too many cats. Visit her website: www.SeleneCastrovilla.com.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest
Title: Torn Sky
Author: Tracy Banghart
Publisher : Alloy Entertainment
Publication Date: August 4th 2015
Genre: Dystopia, Retelling, YA, Romance
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Links: GoodReads Amazon
The end is near . . .
When Aris Haan brought down Safara’s biggest war criminal, she’d thought it was a turning point in the war. Victory was on the horizon, as was a peaceful future with her Promised, Milek.
But a deadly new threat has emerged: a Safaran bomb that could wipe out all of Atalanta in one catastrophic blast. Aris is tasked with finding the weapon before it is completed, a mission made more difficult when she starts to suspect that there is a Safaran spy in her unit. Friendships are tested, loyalties are strained, and suddenly Aris no longer knows whom she can trust.
In the epic conclusion to the Rebel Wing series, Atalanta’s fate rests on Aris’s shoulders. Can she find the bomb before it destroys everything—and everyone—she loves?
I was so happy when Alloy Entertainment sent me an ebook copy via NetGalley,in exchange with an honest review.
Before starting the book, I saw how many people were disappointed with this novel, and started doubting if I was really going to enjoy it. Guess what, I LOVED IT !
The first book (Rebel Wing) , and the sequel (Storm Fall) , were beyond amazing! It was no surprise for me to discover how amazing is this series finale !
Did it have a slow beginning, yes! But after 9%, I couldn't stop reading from all of the events and sub plots that just kept on coming back to back.
Torn Sky is the perfect mix of Romance and Action. I got to see Aris's and Milek's relationship develop, and we finally get to see Dysis happy ! ;)
The last 20% of the book left me with lots of emotions rushing through my mind.
One thing that really caught my attention is how this book focuses on Women Strength ; how they can accomplish anything they want, even if the law is against it.
I love how Tracy ended the series, and resolved every single thread of a plot. This Mulan retelling dystopian series is just so amazing. I can't believe that this series is over ! I enjoyed reading this final installment
I will be keeping an eye for what Tracy releases next;I am waiting to be hooked by her next novel.
I give it 4.5/5 stars
Haven't heard about the series ?????
Check out my reviews on Rebel Wing and Storm Fall
About the Author:
Award-winning author, Army wife, and mom Tracy Banghart has an MA in Publishing and an unhealthy affection for cupcakes. Her quiet childhood led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends.
Title: Everything, Everything
Author: Nicola Yoon
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 1st, 2015
Genre: Contemporary , YA, Fiction, Romance
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Links: GoodReads Amazon
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
I received an ecopy of Everything,Everything from Random House via NetGalley.
Everything, Everything is everything you need in a YA diverse book ! As if this wasn't enough, the author was able to catch my attention from the first few pages.
I was going to start by saying "If you enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, then you will love Everything, Everything; HOWEVER, I did not really like TFIOS, but enjoyed reading Everything, Everything !
I felt like I am experiencing something epic ,especially with all of the images, doodles,and 1 sentence book reviews. Observing these images made the book very unique; Nope, it is not a Graphic novel, or a picture book.
Something that always crossed my mind is how Nicola would feel if people reviewed Everything,Everything, the way Maddie did ,in one sentence .Honestly the way she did it was impressive. Short, but very expressive!
I kind of saw the plot twist coming , but I still enjoyed the story anyway because the events that lead to the plot twist,and followed it were very captivating .
One of my favorite quotes:
"For the first time in a long time, I want more than I have"- Madeline
While reading this book, my grandma passed away. I stopped reading for a while, but found my way back to favorite thing to do because of Nicola's story,Maddie, and Olly.
The ending was simply.......PERFECT !
I really enjoyed reading this book,and I can't wait to read Nicola's upcoming novel, The Sun Is Also A Star. I am so happy that this book is going to be turned into a movie;I even cried upon reading her tweet !
I give this book 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
Nicola Yoon grew up in Jamaica (the island) and Brooklyn (part of Long Island). She currently resides in Los Angeles, CA with her husband and daughter, both of whom she loves beyond all reason. Everything, Everything is her first novel.
Author: Esther Dalseno
Publisher: 3 Little Birds
Publication Date: October 31st , 2015
Genre: Retelling, YA, Mermaids, Fantasy
My Rating: 4.25 /5 stars
Links: GoodReads Amazon
Seven emotionless princesses.
Three ghostly sirens.
A beautiful, malicious witch haunted by memories.
A handsome, self-mutilating prince.
Belonging to a race that is mostly animal with little humanity, a world obsessed with beauty where morality holds no sway, a little mermaid escapes to the ocean’s surface. Discovering music, a magnificent palace of glass and limestone, and a troubled human prince, she is driven by love to consult the elusive sea-witch who secretly dominates the entire species of merfolk. Upon paying an enormous price for her humanity, the little mermaid begins a new life, uncovering secrets of sexuality and the Immortal Soul. As a deadly virus threatens to contaminate the bloodstreams of the whole merfolk race, the little mermaid must choose between the lives of her people, the man she loves, or herself.
A complete reinvention of Hans Christian Andersen's classic fairy tale, this is a magical-realist fable that captures the essence of sacrifice and the price of humanity.
I received a copy of Drown from the author, in exchange with an honest review .
Drown isn't a retelling of Disney's version of The Little Mermaid; it is a retelling of the original tale which made me personally ,more happy. It being based on the original tale, the story had what looked like the perfect darkness overlay.
Esther's writing style is very unique ! I fell in love with it right away, and she is currently on my ( Writers with amazing writing style like) list , which includes Lauren Oliver, A.G Howard, Erica Crouch, and Edgar Allan Poe !!
Not only was the writing style beautiful and dark, but also the events of the story were amazing. I kept on flipping the pages so fast to see how the story ends. While reading, I kept on guessing how the events will turn out to be, and Esther almost always found a more creative approach to do that.
I felt like some backstories weren't given much details, and I wish that these parts were fleshed out more in the story. I wish I saw understood more about the Sea Witch and the King .
Something that really captured attention is how no character was entitled with a specific name. All characters were named after who they are ! EXTRA POINTS for creativity !!
Over all, I really enjoyed reading Drown and I look forward to read more of Esther's novels !
P.S: I have started her latest novel, GATS.
I give this book 4.25 stars/5 .
About the Author:
Esther Dalseno was born to a Malaysian mother and an Italian father in Australia. After living in both Portland, Oregon and Sydney, New South Wales, she headed off to see the world.
Writing and teaching, she has lived in Laos, Vietnam and South Korea and has traveled the world extensively, from Johannesburg to Bangkok to Barcelona.
She now lives in Berlin with her husband, daughter, and Pekingese dog, all acquired in different countries. She has no plans yet to return to Australia.
Esther loves museums, festivals, live music and can often be seen ambling about the graffiti-strewn streets of Berlin’s inner city.
She began her publishing career with the short Totoro’s Garden in the acclaimed short story collection, We All Need a Witness, published by Macmillan.
Her debut novel Drown was published in 2015. Her second novel, Gabriel and the Swallows will be released in March 2016.