Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: The Iron Bells

title: the iron bells
author: jeanette battista
book birthday: june 10, 2013
rating: 3.5 stars

synopsis from goodreads:
 The year is 64 A.D. -- though now A.D. stands for Anno Daemonii.
Demons have crossed a gate into our world, taking the reins of power from humanity. A new Inquisition has begun, determined to root out any who stand against the new world order. The holy sites on earth have been destroyed -- Jerasulem first, then the Vatican, then Mecca -- and what resistance remains is ruthlessly crushed. Amaranth is a fighter in the resistance cell based in London. Dham is a Ringer, one of the few people left able to ring the remaining sets of blessed hand bells that have power over demons. When Amaranth discovers that her best friend has been possessed by a demon and is going to be used in the Resistance's final, desperate mission, she asks Dham for his help in saving her friend. With the Inquisition closing in and betrayal
threatening from inside the Resistance itself, Amaranth, Dham, and the demon -- along with Catriona, a new, highly-skilled, highly-blonde bell-ringer -- decide to head to Rome and the ruins of Vatican City, hoping to find a way to stem the tide of demonic possessions and close the gate.


Ok, first I would like to say that the book wasn't that bad. Yes, it did annoy me that the Americans were acting all British but that is a minor detail. I received this book from Netgalley for review. The downfall is that the book is e-reader only for kindle. (WHY MUST YOU DO THIS TO US?!?! WHY?!)

This is the first new adult paranormal novel I have read and it good. I would love to read the others. The writing is done well and the characters are interesting. Amaranth was awesome! I like that she has no magic, just two giant swords to kick butt. She's strong and doesn't let so much affect her, kind of like Graceling's Katsa. Random thought... Amaranth's name reminded me of teen titans' Raven (Azarath metrion zinthos) so despite Amaranth's character description, I was thinking of Raven the whole time >_<

The love triangle was not obnoxious, even though Cat and Dham's relationship made me want to hurl. Patrick reminded me of Simon from the Mortal Instruments series. Ryland's story is interesting, I hope there is more of his back story in the next book cuz something's not right. He has to be up to something...

All in all, this one was a fast read and I would recommend this to anyone who loves series like the Mortal Instruments or those who like end-of-the-world-books with a bit of magic.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Hidden Girl: the true story of a modern-day child slave


title: hidden girl: the true story of a modern-day child slave 
author: shyima hall
book birthday: january 21, 2014
rating: 4 stars

 Ok, so this one was a tough one to swallow content wise. At first when I got the ARC, I didn't realize it was nonfiction (silly me, I know). I just needed something to read so I put it on my nook and read it on the train, during breaks at work and basically every spare moment I had. Shyima's story is so intriguing. I had to know what was going to happen next. It's so sad to know that Shyima is around my age and that she went through child slavery.

Sorry, I'm getting ahead of myself. For those who don't know, here's the synopsis from goodreads:

Shyima Hall was born in Egypt on September 29, 1989, the seventh child of desperately poor parents. When she was eight, her parents sold her into slavery. Shyima then moved two hours away to Egypt’s capitol city of Cairo to live with a wealthy family and serve them eighteen hours a day, seven days a week. When she was ten, her captors moved to Orange County, California, and smuggled Shyima with them. Two years later, an anonymous call from a neighbor brought about the end of Shyima’s servitude—but her journey to true freedom was far from over.

A volunteer at her local police department since she was a teenager, Shyima is passionate about helping to rescue others who are in bondage. Now a US citizen, she regularly speaks out about human trafficking and intends to one day become an immigration officer. In Hidden Girl, Shyima candidly reveals how she overcame her harrowing circumstances and brings vital awareness to a timely and relevant topic.


Kudos to her for bringing awareness to the topic of child slavery. I do think that it's cool her story is still ongoing. I also LOVE that Shyima's story doesn't stop with her getting rescued, it keeps going far into how her captors were prosecuted and her journey into adulthood while she coped with the emotional scars. 

In short, I loved the book. Yes, I have issues with the writing style and some of the repetition got annoying which is why I gave the book a 4 stars instead of 5. But the story is one I will never forget.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Review: Cruel Beauty

title: cruel beauty
author: rosamund hodge
book birthday: january 28, 2014
rating: 4.5 stars

Ok, so this is a book that people will either obsessively love or flat out find it boring. May I start off by saying how clever and stunning the cover is?! I know you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but the cover on this one definitely made me download the ARC.

Cruel Beauty is a mix of Beauty and the Beast and Cupid and Psyche. The book blurbs I have seen say that it is Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast. I guess that's true because Nyx is not your typical heroine just like Katsa. I say it's like Cupid and Psyche because it does have a lot of mythology in it which took me a while to get used to because at first I was thinking of British royalty but then there was a mythology twist and I had to extremely adjust the movie that was playing in my head. It was hard to get used to the Ancient Greek setting. A lot of the info about the gods and goddesses and how they related to the overall story kind of got muddy in some parts because some of the descriptions sounded Victorian. Then again, the setting is a world under a literal thin paper sky, where the sun looks like it was drawn with a crayon, whose residents have been separated from the outside world for many centuries, so things are going to be weird.

The plot is basically this: Nyx has been betrothed to the evil Gentle Lord, ruler of demons, since birth because of a deal her father agreed to. Nyx lives the life of the perfect daughter and sister while the whole time she is overtaken by hate and despises them all for not trying to save her from her fate. On her 17th birthday, Nyx marries the Gentle Lord (Ignifex) and goes to live in his castle with a mission- to seduce the Ingifex, kill him and end the curse on her people. But stuff happens and Ingifex is not what he seems. The more secrets Nyx uncovers, the more she falls in love with Ingifex and wants to save him. But how could she save him if she was sent to destroy him? So she is forced to choose: save her people or save the demon she loves.

Overall, Cruel Beauty was an intense read. It had a lot of OMGSH! moments. I think my heart is still recovering from the shock. Think of it like after the point where Nyx went home to visit her family, and her sister gets inside her head and she goes back to the castle and dunnn dunn dunnn secrets are revealed and stuff happens. I got so scared because it was close to the end of the book and if the book ended that way I would have hated it forever, but it didn't so all is well ^_^. The ending is one that you will either love or hate.

Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders


 Today is  Top Ten Best/Worst Series Enders. This one is hard because I don't like to read book series too much.


Worst:



Mixed Feelings: 




Best:







Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Top Ten Book Turn Offs



Sorry this is late :/ Top Ten Book Turn-Offs. A similar topic was done on July 23rd. My list for that is here: http://archiejr.blogspot.com/2013/07/top-ten-wordstopics-that-make-me-not.html

1. "new adult fiction"- all the stories seem the same to me :/

2. political mumbo jumbo- i dont care much for politics. i never have and i dont think i ever will.

3. suspense- idk what it is about that word but i dont like to read mysteries or "suspense" novels.

4. "for fans of twilight"- 'nuff said.

5. e-book only- seriously people? why would you do that to yourselves? if we love your book enough we'll get the ebook AND the hard copy because we are book fiends and we must must must have it on our shelves but you deprive us of that privilege. 

6. erotica- yup. pass.

7. high school drama- maybe i'm just growing up, but books with cliques, jocks, cheerleaders, pranks, coming of age in high school i just can't deal with anymore. i'm getting really picky with contemporary fiction :/

8. aliens- if a book ends up having aliens, i end up losing interest. the ONE exception is Of Beast and Beauty by Stacy Jay.

9. any book that mentions modern technology by name such as ipods, twitter, facebook etc.

10. novels in verse- the only book i have read that had parts in verse was East by Edith Pattou and there was a logical explanation for those parts but prose outweighed the poetry. i cannot read a novel written entirely in verse. i have tried many times and failed.