Category Archives: advanced reader copy

REVIEW: The Dollhouse

cover47401-mediumStars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 15, 2014

I was looking forward to reading the Dollhouse, though it seemed out of my normal young adult genre and more of a suspense crime/thriller. I was wrong, in a sense. This book is more paranormal than crime/thriller, though there are definitely overtones of the thriller bit.

I was sucked into the world of Cassie and Ethan as they search desperately for Aisha. The strange alliances that Cassie must make to ensure the rest of their captors don’t starve or get hurt are poignant and dynamic and the dollhouse carnival theme only makes everything more eerie as the story progresses.

Very few books I finish in one sitting, but I just couldn’t tear myself away from THE DOLLHOUSE. I was so invested in the book that when I reached the end, I hadn’t even braced myself for a cliffhanger and was floored and left craving more.

It’s difficult to review too extensively and not spoil anything, but I will say that as someone who gets creeped out fairly easily, I was able to read THE DOLLHOUSE during the evening hours without my fear interfering with the nail biting storyline. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a crime/thriller without the gore that comes with it!

I received an advanced reader copy of this book from NetGalley and have in no other way received compensation.

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Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: The Fever

cover41424-mediumStars: 3/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 14, 2014

The Fever centers around what happens when mass hysteria breaks out as girls at a small town high school start dropping like flies with a mysterious illness that seems to manifest with just slight differences in each new girl.

I have to start out by stating that a major detraction of this story was the amount of sex. Not the act itself, necessarily, but flashbacks and talking about it and ruminating about it and how awkward it feels afterwards. Even during the mass hysteria, sex plays a major role in this narrative. The frustrating part was, sex had literally nothing to do with the illness or discussed out loud with anyone. It was a bit strange that this entire town, one way or the other, had sex on their minds. Maybe I grew up differently, but I never thought so much about sex in so much detail.

Now that I’ve gotten the major issue I had with this book out of the way, the rest of the book was fascinating. The reader gets to follow right along with Deenie, her brother, and her father as they begin to see that how people portray themselves doesn’t necessarily mean there’s not something festering- literally and figuratively- inside them.

This tale is full of suspense and leaves you hanging and partially blind to what is happening until the last page. Narratives like this can be a whole lot of fun, but I think the author had a little too much suspense, because I found myself growing just bored enough to talk myself out of reading and going back to studying for the MCAT.

Overall, the star rating dropped down to a three because there was just SO.MUCH.RUMINATING on sex. The narrative was drenched in it. I wanted to beat my head against the wall during some parts. But if you can get past that, there is a very good story that twists you uncomfortably to read in all the right ways.

I received a free advanced reader copy from NetGalley and in no other way was compensated for this review.

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Filed under 3 stars, advanced reader copy

REVIEW: Paradigm

ImageStars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: May 29, 2014

This book was interesting in that every other chapter switched the main character narrative. It starts with Alice and the Day the World Ended and then moves on to Carter and the Day His World Began. In this fashion, the book unfolds, each chapter feeding into the next and bridging the 87-year gap. I found myself yearning to continue the story of Alice after her chapter concluded, only to yearn for Carter’s story to return when Alice took over the next chapter.

The story was a bit weak on the world building, Alice’s world being a bit more fleshed out than Carter’s. This was not a major detraction, however, because just as Carter is trying to navigate a world that is not the same one he left, I empathized because I was yo-yoing back and forth between Alice’s world, Carter’s remembered world, and Carter’s actual world.

I really wish that Carter’s story hadn’t dragged the entire time. I suspect it was so close to being outstanding, that I wished for more character building than was probably strictly necessary. However, that just gives more credence to the author and what an outstanding job she did.

I would recommend this book to those who want more of an adventurous and darker dystopian that is not reliant on romance to push the plot forward; especially Alice’s story, which left me wanting to read for hours more.

This ebook was received from NetGalley in exchange for a review. I have only received a free advanced reader copy of the book and have not been otherwise compensated for this review.

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Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy

Review: THE DREAM THIEVES

ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 18, 2013

I have been in love with Maggie Stiefvater’s work for a long, long time. Not since the beginning, mind you, but since she published SHIVER. I’m lucky enough to have a casual acquaintance with her, I have a picture of her and my rabbit, and I have some doodles in my signed books from her especially to me.

Although this is true, I am not biased. To date, I have not met a book she has written that I haven’t liked. A lot. Her writing style is just so dry-humored and smooth like dark chocolate.

Okay. So back to the review at hand. THE DREAM THIEVES is a wonderful sequel to THE RAVEN BOYS. This book mostly focuses on Ronan with a good dose of Blue and little Adam, and Gansey. There’s an assassin in town that’s looking for a valuable thing that Gansey may or may not possess and will stop at nothing to get it. Plus, Cabeswater has disappeared into thin air and with it, any chance Gansey has to find the king he’s been looking his entire life for.

Maggie’s prose is lyrical, witty, sad, and rings with the truth of consciousness for every one of her characters. She breathes life into the pages seamlessly and grabs you along for the ride until the words run out. I was so, so pleased to get to read this second installment in The Raven Cycle a month early and I will definitely be buying the hardcover when it comes out!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley and did not receive any other recompense for this review.

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Filed under 4.5 Stars, advanced reader copy, Review

Review: THAT TIME I JOINED THE CIRCUS

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Stars: 4/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: August 24, 2013

This was a very light and fun read. I requested it simply because it mentioned the circus and I’m a bit of a shy carnie fan. The beginning was a bit weird, with chapters alternating “present” time and what happened in the past to get to where Lexi is currently.

So Lexi is a typical, quiet girl who likes her books as much as she likes her close-knit friends Eli and a girl she refers to as “Adventure Barbie”; one of those born perfectly and can do anything a man would like from rock-climbing to stunning a night club silent.

So one bad decision and a freak accident (not at the same time, of course), Lexi is homeless and cannot go back to her prepaid prep school without an adult legal guardian. So Lexi is swept to Florida on a Greyhound bus on a wild goose chase to try and find her mother who, when Lexi was eight, left her and her father to run off to the circus. Alright, I could live with that, cool. But when Lexi gets there, her mother isn’t even remembered by the ring master. However, he does give Lexi a job and a home and thus starts her adventure of living with a traveling circus.

I actually devoured this book in a day and a half. The half is because I fell asleep reading it. I think I was really drawn to the light heartedness of the book. Lexi was fairly independent and enjoyable to read, with enough depth to make her interesting. I loved her family dynamics with Lina and Lishka, the daughters of the ring master. It was the tiniest bit disjointed and I wished it flowed better with the change of chapters, but I really had a good time reading it!

I received a free ebook copy of this book from NetGalley and have received no other recompense other than the free text for my kindle.

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Filed under 4 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: The Enchanter Heir

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Stars: 5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 25, 2013

I was super excited when I was given an advanced copy of this book for review. I am a huge fan of Cinda Williams Chima and have read the entirety of the Heir series as well as the Grey Wolf Queen series. I have always been enthralled by her character and world building and I was not disappointed in this next installment.

Since I have always been partial to the brooding-yet-layered characters, it was no surprise to me that I liked Jonah immediately. Emma, however, I was skeptical of. The book’s description paints her as a “wild child” who runs the streets of Memphis like some modern day “Beasts of the Southern Wild” character. Unfortunately, I instantly dismissed her as unimportant when she’s introduced solely based on that description. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the book description was way off the mark when it came to Emma. Chima writes her as a free spirit, but never conforming to any stereotypes. It was almost as if I was meeting a real person who was not just created as is but has evolved through a lifetime of pain and happiness. In my opinion, she is probably one of the most real characters Chima has ever written.

I did like Jonah, but felt the book, with what it was, didn’t give a whole lot of answers. All of the other Heir books can be read as standalone installments, so I was mildly surprised that this book ended in a cliffhanger. This is probably where my slight frustration of reading the entirety of the book and then being given, essentially, the “TO BE CONTINUED…” screen came from. However, although major answers weren’t given, enough character back-stories unfolded peripherally that I was drawn along just as quickly and my interest never waned. But since most all of the secrets revolved around Jonah, I was a bit more conflicted with him than I was with Emma, who was just who she seemed to be.

Overall, I will be buying this book when it comes out. I just wished I had known beforehand that it would require a sequel and when the sequel will be coming out, because I don’t do well when you drop me into a high paced story and then abruptly cutting me off.

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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Filed under 5 stars, advanced reader copy, Review

REVIEW: Never Fade

ImageStars: 4.5/5

Format: Kindle ebook via NetGalley

Read: June 17, 2013

So I was super surprised at how much I loved this book. I was also mildly surprised that this was the second in a series, mostly because I never felt lost with the character’s back stories I should have known before reading this. Which really goes to show how amazingly Bracken seamlessly wove her first and second installments together.

Ruby’s transformation from fearing her ability to being forced to use it to survive was a very palpable struggle. This book really sucked me in, but didn’t have such a hold on me that I couldn’t relax and enjoy it. Ruby’s new responsibilities and coming to love those under her in the League against her will was poignant and just so real.

There was so much action and so many twists, most of which I never saw coming. The book never lulled and never lost its constant momentum which I was only too happy to be swept away by. I loved it so much I’m going to be reading the first book of the series and buying this book when it comes out!

The only real problem I had with it is that one of the new character curses like a sailor literally every bit of dialogue. It was good character building, until it was just too much and I got tired of the f bomb being dropped like it was a space filler. I think I would have liked this book better had there been a bit more discretion with that character. However, overall I really did enjoy myself and devoured this book!

I received a free ebook copy from NetGalley. I am not receiving any recompense besides the free text.

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June 18, 2013 · 9:09 PM