Category: books

review: crown of midnight

crown-of-midnight-by-sarah-j.-maas-e1375233987357I really enjoyed Throne of Glass and heard really good things about the sequel. Crown of Midnight did not disappoint. I feel like the author did a fantastic job of continuing the story she set up and expanding the world. The characters continue to grow and change as they face various obstacles. I love the relationships she develops between the characters. They are complex and moving and even though there is much love in the story not everything is perfect.

Caelana makes a lot of mistakes. She trusts the wrong people and it gets her into trouble. She does learn from her mistakes, but she’s different after the fact. She can’t go back and undo them and I really love that. Picking up the pieces isn’t easy and even once Caelana has grieved she has shifted. The author surprised me once all was revealed–it was something that had been building since book one and the author did a fantastic job leaving bread crumbs but it still surprised me.

I usually hate love triangles in stories because I want one boy and one girl–but this one was handled elegantly. It wasn’t drama for the sake of drama. Dorian and Chaol had been friends for years and wanted to protect each other–I love that Caelana didn’t really come between them and that they were both willing to give her up for the other. There was still tension, but when it mattered they fought together. I loved watching Caelana and Chaol’s relationship grow out of mutual respect. He empowers her and doesn’t hold her back, even as he works to protect her. I really hope there’s a happy ending for them…

There’s still a lot of questions that remain and I can’t wait to see how Sarah Maas weaves everything together in the next book.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The One

Heather is one of my people and I am so excited to be a part of her cover reveal. If you love YA fiction, I hope you’ll check it out.

the one

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Eveline Fallon has lived her entire life on the move—and she hates it. Believing her to be the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, her parents have done whatever it takes to stay one step ahead of those who wish to see her dead in order to keep the prophecy unfulfilled and the doorway between the worlds closed. But Eveline isn’t fully convinced that her parents’ beliefs match her own. What she does believe is that Leadville, Colorado, and the sanctuary offered may be the chance she’s been waiting for. The chance to be somewhere safe. The chance for her to make friends and have fun. The chance to finally date a guy. The chance to be a normal girl, at least as normal as possible for someone not human.

heatherAbout the author:

Heather Self abides in Texas with her four loves—three human, and one furry—and tries to Keep Austin Weird. Survives writing, and editing by consuming copious amounts of Godiva and coffee, and using Spotify playlists. Self-confessed nerd and lover of BBC programs, particularly Doctor Who and Sherlock. Twitter connoisseur, Facebook avoider, and blogger un-extraordinaire.

To learn more about Heather’s upcoming plans you can follow her on twitter, find her on facebook or visit her website.

Where to buy her books:  AmazonBarnes&Noble, or Kobo

And here’s how to enter to win a signed poster of the cover: a Rafflecopter giveaway

The link if you need it:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/MzNjYzRmODY4NDNiNzcwZDdhYTBmYjk3NjMyZjEzOjEx/

THE ONE is Heather’s debut Young Adult fantasy novel and is being re-released with an updated edition on April 29th! Cover & Book Design by Brad Self; Cover & Author photographs (c) 2014 Self Image Photography.

Review: Every Shattered Thing

18158307This story has wrecked me time and time again. If you read my last post, you know I don’t lollygag when it comes to stories. But there is something about Stephanie that messes me up and it took me over three months to finish this book. Not because it’s not engaging but because it’s heart-breaking. This story brings you into the very real world of sex-trafficking from the perspective of someone caught in it’s tangled web. I found myself holding my breath at different points because I know there are real faces and real women and children who face this daily. Stephanie is fictional–but her story is not. And I love how Elora uses her gift of story-telling and her passion to bring awareness to this evil.

It may seem crazy at times that something like this could really happen, but Elora has done her research and she weaves it effortlessly into the story. I never felt disconnected from what was happening. And even though she is dealing with such an intense subject matter, Elora still weaves light and hope through the story. I love how Elora brings us into this world and how she keeps us there.

Stephanie is a heroine I admire. Despite everything that she faces she continues to dream and hope. Yes, she has support but she is the one at the beginning of each day who has to choose to breathe. And while I LOVE Kevin, I appreciate how this is Stephanie’s story and their relationship doesn’t overshadow the rest of the plot. And while I can appreciate a man who walks in guns blazing to save his woman, I never felt like we entered fantasy land. The men in this story are as real as the men I see on the street. There is some real depth of characters here, well-developed and intriguing. Ones who frustrate me because of their indifference and some who I downright despise because of their callousness; and then of course the ones you love because they are fighting the evil they see.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series and the next phase of Stephanie’s journey.

Synopsis:

Stephanie fights reality every day. The voices inside, the ones declaring her worth, deem her broken, used and dirty. She is an object. A toy. Something to be tossed aside when bored. Who will believe her if she whispers the truth about her wrecking ball of a family? Eventually, her secret explodes and the person who means the most to her knows just how shattered she is and why she’s so afraid. But rescue is closer than she realizes. Hidden in plain sight, her horror hasn’t been ignored by everyone. Racing against the truth of what she faces, forces are joining together and developing a plan to free her from the hell in her own backyard. And while she’s at her lowest point, she’s hit with the beauty of love at any cost – redemption in the face of ruin. Will it be enough? 

*Warning: Contains mature content that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Here’s the amazon link. Once you’ve read it, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

half the sky

51nP6EDfu0LI started reading Half the Sky by Nicholas Krsitoff and Sheryl WuDunn end of  2011. (Thanks Goodreads for keeping track.) This was one book I knew I needed to read, but I kept getting distracted. I am glad I stuck with it. This book addresses the oppression of women worldwide and offers an introductory overview of the scope of the problems. It tackles the matter head-on, beginning with human trafficking–the modern day slave trade. From there it jumps into rape, honor killings, maternal mortality, death in childbirth, family planning, female genital cutting, education, microloans, and equality. In each chapter it takes a different piece of the puzzle and holds it up to the light so we can examine it alongside them as the authors discuss the obstacles and what people are doing to overcome them.

But more than just a global look at all the problems, the authors share stories of women who have faced the atrocities they are detailing. They highlight how even in the midst of the oppression and hopelessness, women are thriving and fighting–sometimes just because someone gave them a goat. In the midst of this fight normal people are doing small things that have a more widespread impact than you might think.

One thing I loved about this book is that the writers are realistic about some of these problems and how there aren’t easy solutions. And what works in one spot, won’t necessarily translate. But they encourage people to get involved, to share their ideas and to do what they can.

The name of the book came from a quote by Mao Zedong, “Women hold up half the sky.” This book tries to encourage us to take that seriously, and to really think how the world would be a much richer place if women were freed to engage. I highly recommend this book for pretty much anyone. And if you’re not a big reader, there is also a documentary that encompasses the same material as the book. Here’s the link for that: http://www.halftheskymovement.org/

 

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