Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Review for Pawn by Aimee Carter

10838787Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
By Aimee Carter
Published November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Received Ebook from NetGalley
346 pages

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.
If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.
There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand." ~

Gripping and original, Pawn can be devoured quicker than you can say, "Kitty Doe strives to stay alive"(corny but true)!

The opening chapters of the book reveal that Pawn is going to be one heck of a read. Kitty Doe is a feisty, sarcastic, but level headed heroine that not only looks out for herself but also others. Her boyfriend Benjy, a sweetheart who thankfully gets to keep his role (yes, no evident love triangle here) is the number one person she looks out for. Hallelujah! A person who cares about how her actions will affect their better half, and does something about it. Kitty's transformation to Lila was interesting - the masking is futuristic but at the same time very believable in an unsettling way. Something that struck me was that each character was given a distinct personality and that made them quite memorable for me. Knox (Lila's fiance), Nina, Greyson (Lila's cousin), Celia (Lila's mother), Daxton (creeper - well, actually Lila's uncle) - even Tabs (Kitty's friend)  filled out the story nicely.

Political intrigue was a major part of the plot: blackmail, murder, conspiracies, secrets, rebellion....  the Hart family has a lot going on. There was never a dull moment and each event was built on. The development of the dystopian society was impressive. I was deeply disturbed - in a good way I guess - by Elsewhere and the harshness of Kitty's futuristic world. I appreciated that Carter did not leave me hanging in the world building area, but instead allowed a broad view of what Kitty was facing. I wasn't left with an overload of questions and that helped me become fully immersed. At the same time, I feel the need to continue reading to find out what is going to happen and learn more about the Blackcoat rebellion.

I would highly recommend Pawn to dystopian, romance, and action lovers. It definitely will leave you wanting to grab the next in the series!


"But when I play, I protect my pawns."
"Why?" I said, not entirely sure where this conversation was going. "If they're weak, then what's the point?"
"They may be weak when the game begins, but their potential is remarkable...if you protect your pawns and they reach the other side of the board, do you know what happens then?"
I shook my head, and she smiled.
"Your pawn becomes a queen." She touched my cheek, her fingers cold as ice. "Because they kept moving forward and triumphed against impossible odds, they become the most powerful piece in the game. Never forget that, all right? Never forget the potential one solitary pawn has to change the entire game."

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Stacking the Shelves (9)

Stacking the Shelves is a meme created/hosted by the lovely Tynga @ Tynga's Reviews! (All credit goes to her for this meme.) If you want to participate click on the link! The more the merrier! It's a chance to showcase titles that arrived in the mail or for review... any book goodies over the past week (or weeks for me)

Offered by Pulse It 

Perfect Ruin

(click on cover to see it's Goodread's synopsis)

I have a really good feeling about this book... It seems to have a unique and interesting premise. The cover and synopsis scream dystopia which excites me to no end - I am desperately looking for a good futuristic world to get lost in. Plus, is there promise of a romance (I'm presuming here)? Yes, please! I hope to get to it soon!! 

'Nuff about me. What did YOU lovelies get? Leave LINKS to your post and I'll visit. Thanks for reading...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review for Just One Day by Gayle Forman

12842115Just One Day (Just One Day #1)
By Gayle Forman
Published January 8th 2013 by Dutton Juvenile
Borrowed from Local Library
368 pages

"When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left. Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines." ~ Goodreads


 Gayle Forman works her magic again in Just One Day creating an unforgettable and inspiring story that will have you grinning, tearing up, and pining for more.

Allyson is very down to earth and easy to identify with. I greatly respected her and her journey of self discovery. I have often wanted to be an alternative version of myself or a different person altogether (her Lulu is quite similar to my Lulu: witty, bold, adventurous...) so I could understand her motivation and desire. However, she irritated me in the latter part of the book because she pushed everyone away. It's not that I don't know why she did it, but it just made me shake my head. Willem was just what Allyson needed to break out of her shell and discover who she truly wanted to be.  Their connection was palpable, but not instant. I wish we could have had more than just one day with the two of them - it was an adventure that I could read about for an eternity!

The writing was beautiful as to be expected from Gayle Forman. It was endearing and thought provoking, but it took a considerable time to wade through it. Some parts were page turners, but for the most part I had to pick at it slowly. The Shakespeare references/theme throughout is brilliant as it adds a dash of sophistication and deeper meaning. I loved that aspect, as well as being in Paris (enter fan girling here)! It truly felt like I had an adventure in a foreign land - it was awesome. The ending leaves room for imagination... and the little girl in me thinks they lived happily ever after.

I would highly recommend Just One Day to lovers of contemporary, Parisian adventure, self discovery, and of course a sweet romance! I will most assuredly be reading the companion novel!


What if Shakespeare had it wrong?
To be, or not to be: that is the question. 
That's from Hamlet's - maybe Shakespeare's - most famous soliloquy. I had to memorize the whole speech for sophomore English, and I can still remember every word. I didn't give it much thought back then. I just wanted to get all the words right and collect my A. But what if Shakespeare - and Hamlet - were asking the wrong question? What if the real question is not whether to be, but how to be?
The thing is, I don't know if I would have asked myself that question - how to be - if it wasn't for Hamlet. Maybe I would have gone along being the Allyson Healey I had been. Doing just what I was supposed to do, which, in this case, was going to see Hamlet.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Review for Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

7059135Inside Out (Insiders #1)
By Maria V. Snyder
Published April 1st 2010 by Harlequin
Borrowed from Library
320 pages

"Keep Your Head Down.
Don't Get Noticed.
Or Else.

I'm Trella. I'm a scrub. A nobody. One of thousands who work the lower levels, keeping Inside clean for the Uppers. I've got one friend, do my job and try to avoid the Pop Cops. So what if I occasionally use the pipes to sneak around the Upper levels? The only neck at risk is my own…until I accidentally start a rebellion and become the go-to girl to lead a revolution." ~ Goodreads

Inside Out is a fast paced, engaging dystopian that is great for a quick read. 

Trella was a character that I could easily get into the head of (as weird as that sounds). I believed in her personality and found her relatible. I respected her decisions and only offered a couple head shakes of disapproval to her (yay). However, the real star of this book, in my opinion, was her best friend Cogon who not only had a cool name, but was brave, supportive, and sweet. I liked the community feeling that developed among the scrubs; how everyone worked together. What I found interesting about Inside Out was how Snyder fleshed out almost all of her characters, giving each of them equal prominence. This backfired a bit because I was hoping for more detail and depth for the main characters (like Riley). 

The plot without a doubt progressed quickly, sending little hooks out to drag us along.  I loved the idea of scrubs and upper levels, but the rest seemed like a mish mash of what has been floating around already. I will point out that the writing was simplistic and easy to become immersed in; plus, the story was well thought out. The twists and turns added suspense to the whole adventure and it was clear how much planning went into the whole process. I appreciated the author's effort to help the reader envision Inside. Personally, the story just didn't seem quite original enough .

I'd suggest Inside Out to lovers of dystopian, science fiction, light romance, and fast paced books. It wasn't what I was expecting, but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

 A vibration rippled through my body. I awoke in semi-darkness, unsure of my location. Reaching with my hands, I felt smooth sides arching up and in. My fingers touched overhead. Pipe. 

A distant roar caused unease, but with sleep fogging my  mind, I couldn't quite grasp its significance. The pipe's vibrations increased as the thunder grew louder. Water. Coming toward me. Fast.