Search this blog

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey

The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey
Series: The Girl at Midnight #1
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Press
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 368
Genre: Fantasy

    buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
For readers of Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone, The Girl at Midnight is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.

      Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.

      Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.

      Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, but if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.

      But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.

*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Echo lives by two rules: 1. Don't get caught, and 2. If you get caught, run.

A runaway and a thief, Echo is crafty and fast. And when Echo meets the mysterious Ala, an ancient birdlike woman, she becomes adopted to a world of magic, in-betweens, and the true meaning of home. She blends in well despite her physical differences to the Avicen people. But war is brewing, and one of the trinkets Echo swipes from a warlock's shop holds a map with a riddle. A riddle leading to the Firebird. Now Echo is in pursuit of the mythical creature that could be the only hope of stopping an all out war, but she's not the only one.

The Girl at Midnight is a good story. The prose is flowery and enchanting, and most definitely fun. Echo has enough snark and sensibility to hold me over for days. But the treasure hunt for the Firebird . . . it was rather hard to enjoy the mystery of it when I'd already pieced everything together from square one. And that made the book hard to get through. Why read it when I already knew the ending? For the middle, the romance, the suave dialogue, of course, Courtney! And that would be a good enough reason to keep me engaged! But the anticipation was gone, and so was my undivided attention. I read The Girl at Midnight for the sake of reading, and to see if my hunch was correct, and it was. 

Fantastically speaking, the two species centered in this never-ending war were described beautifully that I wish I had plumage or dragon scales around my cheekbones. But the reason why the Avicen and the Drakhain are at each others throats is because . . . well, that's a good question! And, dear reader, it is never answered! It is there for the sake of being there. Plot hole alert! Someone needs to go back and pave over that one because it's a doozy.

Another thing that came out bland was the mystery, it was very cut and dry. Echo is scouring the world for these mysterious objects that hold riddles pertaining to finding the Firebird, the mythical creature that can stop the unexplained feud between the Avicen and the Drakhain. But where was the fun in figuring out the riddles when the characters knew too much for their own good? Echo and Ciaus only needed to breathe and they figured out the riddles. Rather than worrying about OTPs, and there is a whole gaggle of them in this book, perhaps the author should've put more thought into carefully crafting the plot devices.

Final Summation: The Girl at Midnight is tailored to fans of The Mortal Instruments and Shadow and Bone. A spunky heroine, a chipper and diverse cast of characters, and magic, there is much to enjoy from this book. Alas, I am too good at predictions that I spoiled the read for myself. That, and there were some plot holes that need addressing. While The Girl at Midnight is elegant in writing and packs a punch with characters, I wavered throughout the story waiting to see if my foresight was correct. Predictability is a downfall for a novel, and I literally read this like a open book (really bad pun, but it's true). Hopefully book two can pull the wool over my eyes.

 Three targets slayed for Echo's bacon waffles & dragon scales

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Waiting for Wednesday (77): Daughter of Deep Silence


Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan
Release Date: June 2, 2015https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23281652-daughter-of-deep-silence
A delicious tale of revenge and identity from Carrie Ryan, the bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. 
         In the wake of the deadly devastation of luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace, rescued from the ocean after torturous days adrift with her dying friend Libby, knows that the Persephone wasn’t sunk by a rogue wave as survivors Senator Wells and his son are claiming—it was attacked.
        To ensure her safety from the obviously dangerous and very powerful Wells family, Libby’s father helps newly orphaned Frances assume Libby’s identity. Frances has spent years in hiding, transforming herself into Libby, and she can no longer allow the people who murdered her entire family and Libby to get away with it. After years of careful plotting, she’s ready to set her revenge plans into motion—even if it means taking down the boy she’d once been in love with: the senator’s son.
        The game has just begun, and Frances is not only playing dirty, she's playing to win.

I'm excited for a revenge book.

Something nice and dark that I can be read out on the beach or in my house when it's snowing outside. Dark books about rich people are the books that can be read anywhere because the atmosphere of the story is usually incredibly intoxicating and powerful the reader forgets were they are. This book will also be a great palate cleanser after all the fantasy worlds that have been pouring out of publishing houses lately. Ryan is a very talent reader and I'm sure she can make Daughter of Deep Silence something unforgettable.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: Finding Paris by Joy Preble

Finding Paris by Joy Preble
Publication Date: April 21st 2015
Publisher: Balzer and Bray
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 272
Genre: Romance • Mystery
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18530518-finding-paris
   buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
A page-turning, evocative novel for fans of THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and SPEAK, about a girl who must follow a trail of mysterious clues to discover what happened to her sister.

        Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can’t trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who’s moved them all to Las Vegas. It’s just the two of them: Paris, who’s always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love.

        But Leo isn’t going anywhere yet… until Paris ditches her at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared?

        When Leo reluctantly accepts Max’s offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is a not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold tightly.
*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*


How far would you go for your sister?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (76): Made You Up


Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Release Date: May 19, 2015https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17661416-made-you-up
eality, it turns out, is often not what you perceive it to be—sometimes, there really is someone out to get you. Made You Up tells the story of Alex, a high school senior unable to tell the difference between real life and delusion. This is a compelling and provoking literary debut that will appeal to fans of Wes Anderson, Silver Linings Playbook, and Liar.
        Alex fights a daily battle to figure out the difference between reality and delusion. Armed with a take-no-prisoners attitude, her camera, a Magic 8-Ball, and her only ally (her little sister), Alex wages a war against her schizophrenia, determined to stay sane long enough to get into college. She’s pretty optimistic about her chances until classes begin, and she runs into Miles. Didn't she imagine him? Before she knows it, Alex is making friends, going to parties, falling in love, and experiencing all the usual rites of passage for teenagers. But Alex is used to being crazy. She’s not prepared for normal. 
      Funny, provoking, and ultimately moving, this debut novel featuring the quintessential unreliable narrator will have readers turning the pages and trying to figure out what is real and what is made up.


Usually, I'm pretty wary of books involving a character with a mental illness, because usually it's either
a) offensive,
b) alientating or impossible to understand,
c) all of the above
However, this book sounds fairly promising and hopeful.  It doesn't look like Alex's illness is going some weird point in the book that the writer and narrator treat as a dark mark, making the entire book doom and gloom, nor does it sound like it's not going to taken seriously at points.  I'm very hopeful this book will be as funny and real as the summary make it sound, and I'm pretty excited about it coming out in May.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Review: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Cress by Marissa Meyer
Series: The Lunar Chronicles #3
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 550
Genre: Science Fiction • Romance

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
In this third book in the Lunar Chronicles, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and her army. 
        Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl imprisoned on a satellite since childhood who's only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s just received orders from Levana to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice. 

        When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is separated. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a high price. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

*This review might contain spoilers to anyone who has not read the previous two books*

Marissa Meyer made me fall in love all over again with her Lunar Chronicles. And Cress tangled my heart. Cinder's crew, after finally coming together at the end of Scarlet, is scattered all over again, and if things weren't already hot and heavy, Queen Levana is about to marry Emperor Kai. And nothing will stop Levana from getting her hands on Earth. All except our daring heroines. The long lost Princess Selene is alive, and she is willing to go to any lengths in order to take back not only her crown, but her people from Levana's cruel rule. The space race is on in Cress.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Follow Friday #51

*Leave a comment below with you're post. Follow and I'll follow back*
Don't forget to follow up with Bloglovin', GFC, or Twitter and stay connected with Storybook Slayers!

Click to follow
Follow on Bloglovin

Have you come up with any special memes or features on your blog that you'd like people to visit more? - Suggested by Take Me Away



Personally, I have not come up with any on my own as of yet. I have some in mind, but I haven't implemented them. I do participate in this fabulous feature, as well as, Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday, and Stacking the Shelves! How about your fancy selves?

Review: The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

The Sin Eater's Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
Series: The Sin Eater's Daughter #1
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Scholastic Press
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy • Romance

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.
        She’s the executioner.
        As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.
        But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.
        However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?

 *An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

That ending? I couldn't be more confused or am I disappointed? I don't even know.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (75): An Ember in the Ashes


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
Release Date: April 28, 2015https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17661416-made-you-up
Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.

LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.

ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.

When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
 
A Quarter Quell pick! This has to be my most anticipated read for the year as of yet. And that cover, I am falling over myself. I just wanna touch it. I want it to be a physical manifestation right in front of me. Please, oh publisher gods, let me have this cover. Let me own this book now!!!!!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
An Adult novel
Pages: 400
Genre: Fantasy

       buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

        Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

        Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.
        But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

*An advanced reader's copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

I haven't been that entranced or full on in love with a novel in quite a while. And it being my first V.E. Schwab novel, I am hungry for more. Magic, sadistic kings/queens, multiple Londons (I was already sold at that point), handsomely quirky prince, travelers, aspiring pirates, and not one drop of romance but all the shipping my heart desires. I tripped face first into this book and kissed the pages.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Liars, INC. by Paula Stokes



Liars, INC. by Paula Stokes
Publication Date: March 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 368
Genre: Contemporary • Mystery

   buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
Amazon • Barnes & Noble
For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.
     Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

        When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.
        Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
For more information, check out THE OFFICIAL LIARS, INC. WEBSITE.


About the Author

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc. and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Follow Friday #50

*Leave a comment below with you're post. Follow and I'll follow back*
Don't forget to follow up with Bloglovin', GFC, or Twitter and stay connected with Storybook Slayers!

Click to follow
Follow on Bloglovin

Do you have any furry friends? Share a picture! - Suggested by

Cornerfolds


My poopies TJ & Shiloh. Shiloh is the one with his head on the staircase. TJ is giving me the "What the hell do you want?" look. Love these nuts.