Top Ten Tuesday: 2016 Debuts

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.   Because there are so many 2016 books I’m interested in, I’m extending this to include YA 2016 debuts as well.


Look at this cover, that’s enough for anyone to want to read it.  Especially an anglophile like yours truly.


Another epic fantasy, yay!?  I actually am very particular about my high fantasies but this one looks interesting.


This premises seems epic.  From GoodReads, it appears the author published something in an anthology, but this (at least per the GoodReads catalogue is her first full novel).


This seems to have a little bit of everything in it and I’m really looking excited to reading it.


Outlander is mentioned in the blurb.  This makes me very interested.  Oh, wait, and there’s a quote by Outlander’s author that makes me even more interested.



Another Western, I think.  And yes, I’m game.


Okay, I have a feeling that this could be epic or maybe not.  I’m hoping for the former though.


I am really excited about this book it features a transgender protagonist who has already gone through transition.  In YA while there are some stories featuring transgender characters, most of them hadn’t gone through the transitioning process yet, so it will be nice to see a character who is more adapt to their identity.


Okay, it’s sort of a cheat.  I know all of these authors already have books published, but it’s the first time they did a collaboration.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Families I’d Like to Spend Thanksgiving With

For this Top Ten Tuesday-which is a Thanksgiving freebie.  I decided to pick books whose families or friends  I’d like to spend Thanksgiving  dinner with (for various reasons) .


Because the Garrett family is just adorable.


Because Mr. Nolan makes awesome pies (and I’m sure he probably knows how to make a pretty decent gluten free one too).


I might not even have to go to the Baker house.  Maybe, if I’m lucky, a Very Special Thanksgiving episode for their show will be airing.


Okay, I know Audrey’s family in British and they probably won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving BUT can I do Christmas dinner with this family?  They are totally adorbs.


Because a superhero and villain Thanksgiving would be one I’d definitely want to spy on.


I featured this one because of the food.  Oh, the food.


Because that would be a rather entertaining dinner.  British royalty with regular American Joes.  Can you imagine how the queen would get when someone passed her the sweet potatoes with the marshmallows?


Okay, if I ate dinner with faes I might be the prey.  But it would be exciting at the very least.  And Rhys would be there causing trouble.


I’d like to eat dinner with the Rampion crew.  Not so much the Lunar royal family.  Now that would be a very weird dinner full of murder, mind control, and all that warm and fuzziness that happen when you’re Lunar royalty.


Obviously, I’d like to spend time with the Ackerman-Simon crew because I miss them.  I’m looking forward to catching up with them in February. Paul Slater could drop by too while I’m visiting, though I doubt Suze would be happy with that.

Do Judge a Book by Its Cover: Turkey Covers

Thanksgiving in the US-at least-is rapidly approaching.  So I thought for this month of Do Judge a Book by Its Cover, I’d look at book covers that are outright turkeys-meaning, they don’t work for one way or another.  Note, I’m doing newly released covers for this particular feature so maybe they actually work once one reads the book?

Or maybe not.

As usual, anyone is more than welcome to join this feature-but at this point I really don’t expect anyone too.



What the Book Looks Like It’s About:

The E! Retelling of Romeo and Juliet starring the Khardashians and the Jenners.  You can throw up now, I know you want too.

What the Book is About:


For fans of The Princess Bride comes the comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey.

Lady Jane Grey, sixteen, is about to be married to a total stranger—and caught up in an insidious plot to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But that’s the least of Jane’s problems. She’s about to become Queen of England. Like that could go wrong.

Source: GoodReads

Why This Cover is a Turkey:

Because it mixes the Tudor family with Mean Girls.  I’m sorry, the description of this book looks awesome but the cover is sort of silly.  I think it would’ve been okay if there wasn’t the cutsey little inserts above the title.

What the Book Looks Like:

Okay, first thing that came into my mind are the credits of Spy.  Don’t believe me watch them and then still argue with me (couldn’t find a clip or I would’ve linked it).  And the comparison sorts of makes sense I guess, since Spy is about a BAMF and it’s a well known fact that Suze Simon is a BAMF.

What the Book is Really About:

In REMEMBRANCE, the seventh installment of the Mediator series, all Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva).

But when she stumbles across an ancient murder, old ghosts—and ex-boyfriends—aren’t all that come back to haunt her.

REMEMBRANCE will be the first ever adult installment of the Mediator, published by William Morrow, the adult division of HarperCollins, the company that brought you the YA books in the series.

Source: GoodReads

Why This Cover is a Turkey:

I’m not a fan of cartoon covers, but I can tolerate them.  But this cover looks just a little random.  I’m assuming that Jesse at the bottom, and it’s been confirmed that’s Suze on top.  I don’t know what I was really expecting with this cover but not THAT.

What the Cover Says:

In a world where people where flowers like they’re powdered wigs, Daisy Wiggs (Blogger Note: I wasn’t really original on names here) must fight against destiny to become the ultimate flower and not a withering wall flower.

What the Book is Really About:

A dazzling new fantasy series set in a mix of Elizabethan and frontier worlds that’s dripping with romance from Richelle Mead, #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy.

Big and sweeping, spanning the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies capable of arranging powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together, they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first, as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and later, when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands. . . .

Source: GoodReads

Why is this Book a Turkey:

Oh, Richelle Mead, you always have the worst cover luck.  To be fair, it’s better than the Bloodlines Covers and Vampire Academy covers.  Though that chick has a constipated look on her face and is wearing some major photo shopped jewels and what’s with the flowers. I think your best cover to date has been Soundless and it’s fairly generic.

What the Cover Says:

All her life Georgia Fisher has been living the life of a dead girl.  And she didn’t even know it today.  How can Georgia or Marie as she’s really known-make sense of a life that wasn’t even hers.

What the Book is Really About:

Sixteen-year-old Elli was a small child when the Elders of Kupari chose her to succeed the Valtia, the queen who wields infinitely powerful ice and fire magic. Since then, Elli has lived in the temple, surrounded by luxury and tutored by magical priests, as she prepares for the day when the Valtia perishes and the magic finds a new home in her. Elli is destined to be the most powerful Valtia to ever rule.

But when the queen dies defending the kingdom from invading warriors, the magic doesn’t enter Elli. It’s nowhere to be found.

Disgraced, Elli flees to the outlands, the home of banished criminals—some who would love to see the temple burn with all its priests inside. As she finds her footing in this new world, Elli uncovers devastating new information about the Kupari magic, those who wield it, and the prophecy that foretold her destiny. Torn between the love she has for her people and her growing loyalty to the banished, Elli struggles to understand the true role she was meant to play. But as war looms, she must align with the right side—before the kingdom and its magic are completely destroyed.

Source: GoodReads

Why is This Cover a Turkey:

Big face syndrome.  The cracked face at the bottom is vaguely intriguing though.

What the Cover Says:

Winnie will do anything to hold onto the crown, even though it’s destined to go to whoever her father choses her to marry.  However, Winnie has a plan.  A deceptive plan that involves being her own suitor.  Yes, her own suitor.  However, being a suitor to herself doesn’t involve herself buying chocolates or singing love ballads to herself-thankfully, that would be just awkward.  Rather, it involves a life and death competition.  Because, hey, it’s a high fantasy novel and there has to be some competition.   With gender bending galore with a bonus hot stable boy who may not be just a sable boy.  You’ll be anxious who wins “The Crown”.

What the Book is Really About:

Kiera Cass’s #1 New York Times bestselling Selection series has captured the hearts of readers from its very first page. Now the end of the journey is here. Prepare to be swept off your feet by The Crown—the eagerly awaited, wonderfully romantic fifth and final book in the Selection series.

In The Heir, a new era dawned in the world of The Selection. Twenty years have passed since America Singer and Prince Maxon fell in love, and their daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own.

Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you…and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected

Source: GoodReads

Why is this Cover a Turkey:

The cover is not.  This series is a turkey though.  This series-or two series since I really look as the fourth and fifth books as separate installments.


A Solid Finale But Not Epic: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Source: GoodReads

Winter was a good book, but it was no means epic like I thought it was going to be.

Then again, when you wait almost eighteen months (from Cress) for the next installment what do you expect?

 Well, there was Fairest and I think having read Fairest helped AND hindered my reading experience of Winter.  

Fairest helped feel in a couple of the blanks that I otherwise wouldn’t have gotten had I just read the series without an extras.  It also fleshed out Levana who otherwise would be very one dimensional evil.

I didn’t even feel like Levana should be locked in the funny farm at the end of this installment, she was that bad.

One of the things, that I will give Winter is that although there is a happy-ish outcome the characters really had to work for their ending and not everything was perfect.  Each character is affected by the revolution in different ways.  It really did give you the feels, in all the various sorts of ways.

Like the tile suggests, this book is primarily about Winter.  To be honest, I wasn’t a huge Winter fan.  I think in part because it was so hard to know her.  This might’ve been in part because she was insane, but in a lot of ways I think the various view points were starting to get to the story.  While the well established characters really weren’t effected-much by the switch in point of views-new characters like Winter weren’t as fully formed as I would’ve liked.

Same goes with Jacin, he’s still a little blah.  But you need someone a little blah to be with Winter’s….well, Winter-ness.

As for the other characters, I thought some of the characters might’ve seemed a bit marginalized  and their stories weren’t as well formed in past books.  But I still was emotionally connected for the most part.

Levana is an excellent example of this.  As fully formed as she was in Fairest, she really is reduced to a one note vain villain here (see mentioned comment about no longer wanting her just to be locked up in the funny farm).  As for other characters I didn’t feel like I fully felt their angst with what occurred.  I mean some of the things that happened to the crew were pretty alarming, and you’d would’ve thought…

Going to stop because of spoilers.

I’ll say there was enough, just enough, to make me feel for them, but there could’ve been more.

I know I’m complaining about a lot of things, but really Winter did work.  It tied up all the loose ends in this series nicely and it was overall a pretty amazing series.

If you haven’t picked up the Lunar Chronicles you should.  It’s a fast paced series with a lot of great characters, and it hard to say goodbye.  Though I really do look forward to what Marissa Meyer has planned for the future.

Overall Rating: An A- I liked this book but there were some obvious faults.

Middle Book Awesome Syndrome: Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

The second book in the Firebird trilogy, Ten Thousand Skies Above Youfeatures Claudia Gray’s lush, romantic language and smart, exciting action, and will have readers clamoring for the next book.

Source: GoodReads

A Thousand Pieces of You was one of my favorite guilty pleasure reads of 2014.  It’s sequel is just as good if not better.  While there are still visible faults, there was definite improvements in the second installment of this series.  Which actually sort of surprised me because usually in series-especially trilogies-the middle book is usually the weakest of the bunch.

Here though, great development is made with the characters and the plot.  I’m still not 100% sold with Paul and Marguerite, but I have a better understanding for the couple and can appreciate them.  And I have to praise and get annoyed at Gray for giving an awesome tease of what a relationship with Theo and Marguerite could’ve been-note to blog reader, I get bored with straight men (which is what Paul is) Theo is more my style.

The alternate dimensions for the most part weren’t as interesting as the previous installment, but there were some interesting aspects about some of them.  I also liked the fact that we did get to revisit one particular dimension (for spoiler purposes I won’t go into particulars here).

Like with the previous installment, there is a clear plot, but like with the previous installment not everything is what it seems.  There are so many ways that this book could’ve gone, and certain twists and turns surprised me.  At the same time though, there were a lot of suprises.

While there was a lot of development with the main cast, and some development on the motives behind the Triad.  I did think, for the most part, the villains in this book were still relatively flat.  Which is sad.  They really just make an appearance whenever it’s to escalate the plot.  Not so much with the main characters who are well formed .  I get that it’s in Marguerite’s point of view and of course it’s going to be limited to her thoughts, but I wish there would’ve been a little bit more interaction with the villains.  I am hopeful that that will be happening in the next book, but I really think there should’ve been more before the third book.

I know it sounds like I’m nitpicking a lot about this book, but truth was I really enjoyed it. It was fast paced, fun, and different.

Yes, I know, there are a lot of YA AU dimension books out there, but I really like the spin that Gray takes on it.  There’s always something so romantic about her books.  Yes, the romance can borderline on cheese and doesn’t always work-I was never a huge fan of her vampire series and I sort of gave up on her witch series as well-but when it does it’s really wow inducing.  And I think the Firebird series is where this quality shines.  You have two people who find each other in all these different worlds and it’s really interesting seeing how they interact with each other if circumstances were different.

Romance in a Claudia Gray book. Over the top, a little bit cheesy, but oh so good.

I am eagerly awaiting the next installment to this series.  It’s not perfect, but it is a fun read and has a lot to offer.

Overall Rating: I’m feeling generous so A- (it really should be a B+).  The villains are a little weak, but I think that’s going to be resolved in the next one.  But overall what a fun read.


If America was Still Part of the Kingdom Whose Sun Never Sets: Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson


A sixteen-year-old governess becomes a spy in this alternative U.S. history where the British control with magic and the colonists rebel by inventing.

It’s 1888, and sixteen-year-old Verity Newton lands a job in New York as a governess to a wealthy leading family—but she quickly learns that the family has big secrets. Magisters have always ruled the colonies, but now an underground society of mechanics and engineers are developing non-magical sources of power via steam engines that they hope will help them gain freedom from British rule. The family Verity works for is magister—but it seems like the children’s young guardian uncle is sympathetic to the rebel cause. As Verity falls for a charming rebel inventor and agrees to become a spy, she also becomes more and more enmeshed in the magister family’s life. She soon realizes she’s uniquely positioned to advance the cause—but to do so, she’ll have to reveal her own dangerous secret. 

Source: GoodReads

My biggest concern with this book is that I missed something.  I feel like I got the general gist of it, but often the character would say something and I would be like:

Huh?  When did that happen.

And I’d reread it and not really pick up on it.

I went to law school and passed the Texas state bar, so I’m not blaming that on me.  I could, since I do have a tendency to speed read, BUT if I can handle reading about personal jurisdiction, I should be able to pick up on a 300 page YA book without wondering how the Main Character gets to point A to B.

The thing is, despite this, I really did enjoy Rebel Mechanics, it had a lot going for it.  Save for the ship it pushed this book.

I really, really, hope that the ship I’m rooting for sails.  Because that ship would be hot.  The ship they have going right now is ack!  Seriously, Verity, girl, get some common sense.  You have something great right under your nose and you’re not even noticing it.

I really like governess stories in Historical Romances, and I think that’s why this one partially worked for me.  That and despite Verity’s naivety, I did enjoy her and her charges especially as the book progressed.  I just wish some aspects of the world would’ve been expanded on more.

I really did enjoy the set up-AU America where America is still part  of the British empire and there’s magic and lords and ladies and all that good stuff.  BUT like I said, I think Swendson only touched the surface of this premises.

That’s probably what bothered me the most, besides Verity’s extreme stupidity when it comes to relationships.

Yet, I don’t feel like reading this book was a waste of time.  And I probably will continue reading on with the series, the thing about Rebel Mechanics is that it holds a lot of promise.

Particularly, with the character Lord Henry.  There was enough mystery and intrigue about the lord of the manor with three wards, that made me intrigued even if Verity was a little bit of a bore.    Well, not so much of a bore but a little TSTL.

Anyway, I don’t regret reading Rebel Mechanics the book picks up nicely about halfway through it and there are some intriguing ideas and plot-lines that I look forward to seeing expanded on in future installments.

Overall Rating: A solid B.

Lunar Chronicles Reread: Quick and Dirty Guide

Winter is coming.  The book that is.  I don’t know if it’s ever going to get cold outside-well, not for awhile.  I thought rather than doing a review of each of the books (again).  During my reread, I’d just make some general notes about what I thought about this series.  Consider this an abbreviate guide should you not want to sit down and reread all of the previously titles.  Also, I’m making some Winter predictions at the end-I’m probably mostly wrong, but hey it was fun guessing what is going to happen next.

In this stunning bridge book between Cress and Winter in the bestselling Lunar Chronicles, Queen Levana’s story is finally told.

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from Winter, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.

Source: GoodReads

So, I did a full review of Fairest when it came out earlier this year.  Upon reread, I was surprised at how compact and put together it was.  The thing is barely two hundred pages long, but nothing was really scrimped when it came to this short of novel.

I decided to read this one first, rather than last in my reread, because I wanted to have the series in chronological order.  Not sure if that was exactly wise since it alludes to a lot of things in future installments.  But we’ll see how it goes.

This book is really character driven.  That became even more apparent to me on reread.  I can basically sum up the book in a couple of sentences: Watch how Levana becomes a complete sociopath and basically mind rapes a guy.  That in the gist is what the book is about.  And normally I would hate reading this sort of thing becuase…well, do I really need to go into because the whole premises just seems gross.

But what works about it is Meyer never tries to justify Levana’s actions. If she tried to justify them I would’v e hated it.  As it stands, I loved the book.

If You Don’t Want to Re-Read the Book What You Need to Know:

  • Cinder’s mother is partially responsible for Levana being crazy and it’s probably good she’s dead.
  • Levana is really truly hideous her greatest weakness is her reflection (i.e. all Cinder would need to defeat her is one really big mirror).
  • Baby Winter, Cinder, and Jacin are too cute.  And I’m already shipping Winter and Jacin.
  • Levana is a nasty piece of work, who you can’t help but feel slightly sorry for.  But not in the I want you to find a happily ever, more like I want you to be locked up in the pysch ward type of way.

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Source: GoodReads

When I read Cinder for the first time I was an incomprehensible fan girl.  Reading it again, I could see faults that weren’t so noticeable for the read around.  I still enjoyed the heck out of it though.  But Cinder and Kai, by OTP of this series felt a little forced for me the second time around.  Sure, they just fit, later in the series, but their introduction to each other reeked  insta love and appeared very forced.

It doesn’t mean I don’t like Cinder and Kai, far from it.  They are still my favorite pairing in the series, it’s just that they didn’t start out magical.  Then again, if you think about it NONE of the couples in this series really have great starts.

There was also some change in the backstory from the one that we were given in Fairest.  I’m thinking this was probably POV oriented, but reading Fairest before this it seemed a little disjointed to me.

Anyway, here’s the down and dirty about Cinder should you be on a reread crunch:

  • Cinder and Kai do suffer from insta love.
  • Kai needs to reform Cyborg laws.
  • Levana is bat shit insane from the start.
  • Peony is very forgettable, I almost forgot about her existence.
  • Iko is still the best.

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison–even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.

Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Source: GoodReads

To be honest I was never a huge fan of Scarlet because I always thought it was a bridge book.  It’s true you could argue that Cress is a bridge book too, but I feel like in Cress stuff that I want to happen starts to happen.  Scarlet is really building things in the novel.

However, upon reread I actually like it a lot better.  It’s not like there’s nothing happening in Scarlet.  Lots of stuff happens.  And after seeing how some of the pieces fit together in Fairest and Cress the book works a lot better.

Plus, I was a lot more interested in Wolf and Scarlet this time around.  I think the first time I read it I was more interested in reading about Kai and Cinder, but now that I knew these characters better I wanted to spend more time in their world.

I am still not a huge fan of that ship though.  Mainly because there are traces of what one might consider to be an abusive relationship in it.

Though, that could easily be argued that there were complications and that Wolf eventually decided to do the right thing.


It always kind of rubbed me a little the wrong way, even though I get it.


Once again, here’s the quick and dirty guide:

  • Wolf and Scarlet not so much at first, but I totally get their relationship even though it’s not my favorite.
  • Kai tries to immolate Kevin Spacey from House of Cards but just can’t pull it off since Levana embodies Claire Underwood and Regina from Once Upon a Time.
  • Cinder and Kai have lots of angst and not so much fluff.
  • Thorne is awesome but slightly slimy.
  • Again, Iko is awesome.

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.

Source: GoodReads

Cress is probably my favorite book out of the series so far.  I think it’s because a lot of things happen in this book.  And I’m a little partial to Thorne even though he has jerk tendencies.

Surprisingly, I liked Cress too even though she has a huge naive streak and that’s usually something I’m not usually a fan of.  She has this weird inner strength and spunk that makes me like her.  Plus, I see a lot of my younger self in her.

The other characters are great too.  There is far less Wolf and Scarlet in this one which is sort of a disappointment, because on reread I’ve grown to love them a lot more than the original read threw.

I really love how this series is told in multiple point of views.  I think it makes it stronger.

My favorite scenes in this one is still the whole kidnap Kai scenes.  I love that part of the book.  How everything comes together.  I feel like there is some resolution-even though it’s anything but.

I also like how this book goes deeper into Lunar history/politics/power.  The next book is actually set there, so that’s going to be fun.

Also, the fairytale allusions get smarter as the series progresses.  There were several allusions to different versions of Rapunzel.

Finally, here’s the quick and dirty guide for Cress:

  • While Cinder might have Iron Man’s equipment, Thorne acts like Tony Stark.
  •  And speaking of The Avengers, Wolf kind of reminds me of the Hulk and Scarlet sort of has a Black Widow thing going.
  • Oh, and Iko could be Jarvis and…I’ll shut up on The Avengers allusions. Though, I sort of imagine Jacin looking like Thor.  And Levana sort of has a Loki complex.
  • Obviously, Cress never played Oregon Trail 2 when in captivity, otherwise she would’ve known how to survive the desert.
  • Thorne might be more like Dare Devil though since he can fight blind….hm, that sort of ruins my Avengers thing, but still fits in with the Marvel thing.
  • I want to read Winter’s POV.  She seems crazy in the best way possible.

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Source: GoodReads

Random Predictions That Probably Aren’t Remotely Likely:

  • Levana will be dethroned and be tortured into looking at herself in the mirror for the rest of eternity.  Or watching the sad version of her star on Once Upon a Time-seriously, I hate what   they’ve done to the Evil Queen character on that show.
  • Cinder and Kai will have a happily ever after and unite the two kingdoms and have World and Lunar peace.  Adri and Pearl will desperately try to suck up, but the best they’ll get is some royal wedding napkins.  Probably Cinder will have a near death experience when defeating Levana/or Levana might try to get her to hurt Kai or something but it will all work out-hopefully.
  • Scarlet will escape with a little help from Winter and get a replacement cyborg pinkie which will also work as a gun.  She and Wolf will reunite.  I’m betting that one of them will come in near peril, but I’m hoping that they’ll survive.
  • Jacin will become the new recast of Jason Morgan on General Hospital.  Playing a mob hit man won’t be that huge of a stretch for him.  With his earnings, he’ll pay for Earthen med school and take up Cinder’s stepfather’s work on those Lunar power control chips.
  • Cress will become the head of Cinder’s cyber security team.  Thorne will actually become a captain-albeit an honorary one- and do a series of info commercials for hair gel.
  • As for Winter, I’m hoping she’ll survive.  But poison apples, you know.  I actually think that it’s likely that the chip thingimabob is going to play a role in “saving” her.  But I really don’t know how that’s going to happen.  In my fantasy world, she does survive and becomes Cinder’s right hand woman.

Another One Bites the Dust: Red Girl, Blue Boy by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Enjoy Red Girl, Blue Boy and the other standalone titles in Bloomsbury’s contemporary If Only romance line centered around an impossible problem: you always want what you can’t have!

Sixteen-year-old Katie and Drew really shouldn’t get along. After all, her father is the Republican nominee for President of the United States while his mother is at the top of the Democratic ticket. But when Katie and Drew are thrown together in a joint interview on a morning talk show, they can’t ignore the chemistry between them. With an entire nation tuned into and taking sides in your parents’ fight, and the knowledge that—ultimately—someone has to lose, how can you fall in love with the one person you’re supposed to hate?

This title in the If Only line is a frank and funny romance that shows how sparks fly when opposites attract.

Source: GoodReads

This book makes me want to drink.

I am really starting to think there is something wrong with me.  The last three reads have been DNF’s.  And I HATE DNFing, especially where the premises of the book seems to indicate that I should really like this book.

I didn’t though.

The main female character was just hideous.

Remember Rachel Berry in the first season of Glee and Tracey Flick in Election, this MC is even more EXTREME than they were.

Yeah, I couldn’t stomach her point of view that was probably the biggest reason I DNF’d it.

Technically speaking, the book was readable enough if you could get past how unrealistic Katie and to a lesser extent Drew were.

I guess I should talk about the elephant (ha, ha, political pun) in the room: Katie.

As I said before, completely ridiculous from her copy-cat Jackie O infamous pink suits, to claiming she looks like Christmas with her green eyes and red suits.  I wanted to roll my eyes.  Does that mean I look like Christmas too anytime I wear red since I have green eyes too?


Half of the shit she gets herself into wouldn’t happen in real life because the campaign would have a PR person on staff to tell her it’s not a good idea to wear an imitation of the outfit that Jacqueline Kennedy wore when her husband was killed-especially when you’re a Republican.  Or for that matter, a replica of the suit that Nancy Reagan wore.  Then again, look at some of the stupid things that have been going on this election cycle-see Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

So maybe Katie is a realistic spawn of a GOP candidate.

Okay, probably not.

I couldn’t handle it.  Maybe her behavior would be explained by the end, but I really doubt it.

Drew on the other hand is the stereotypical My-Parents-Are-Ruining-My-Life teen.  He’s not that bad, but I rolled my eyes when he started ranting about being rich.  BUT at the same time, I could see a kid whose parents are involved in politics acting like him instead of Katie.

God, Katie.


The plot itself didn’t seem bad.  The If Only series has simple little rom com plots, and this book falls into the series premises perfectly.  The problem is that it falls into a lot of pitfalls that a lot of these books do-half baked Disney Chanel like romances.

Unless Drew was the boy at the beginning of the book (which my Book Psychic senses are telling me he was), I didn’t see them interact.  I didn’t want to because I already had an inkling how squirm inducing it was going to be since Katie’s one other interaction with a guy was embarrassing at best.

Socially awkward characters can be good, but squirm inducing socially awkward characters aren’t so good.  If Katie made Katie Couric cry I can only bet it was because Couric felt sad at how hopeless this MC was.

Overall Rating: A DNF a total and complete fail on the part of the leading lady.  Shame.  If you’re interested in a YA book about politics try The Wrong Side of Right by Jen Marie Thorne, The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, or All American Girl by Meg Cabot.  Do not read this one, unless irrational main characters don’t bother you.

In Which Suze Has Me Googling Slip Dresses: Darkest Hour by Meg Cabot

What – or who – is buried in Susannah’s backyard?

When the nineteenth-century ghost of Maria de Silva wakes her up in the middle of the night, Suze knows this is no ordinary visitation – and not just from the knife at her throat, either. In life, Maria was the fiancée of Jesse – the same Jesse who was murdered a hundred and fifty years before. The same Jesse Suze is in love with.

Maria threatens Suze: The backyard construction must cease. Suze has a pretty good idea what – or rather, who – Maria doesn’t want found. But in solving Jesse’s murder, will Suze end up losing him forever?

Source: GoodReads


Can you believe it’s the fourth month of this Mediator reread series?  Neither can I.  In Mediator news, there has been an excerpt and cover leaked, people.  Seems like Paul is up to his old tricks again, not that surprised (and yes, I already preordered this book).

What I Remember:

I remember really being surprised by this one and kind of shocked about how evil Paul was in this one.  Because remember, I read Haunted first.  If you just read Haunted, Paul just seems like a sightly sleazy boy who makes some dubious choices.  But in Darkest Evil you know that he would have no problem fighting Voldemort and probably winning (he’d probably exorcise all seven pieces of Voldy’s soul and laugh about it).


If Suze Simon isn’t a BAMF character before, she is now.

Honestly, in a lot of ways, Darkest Hour is my favorite book in the series.  The last one might hit some emotional strings for me, but this book does too and has Suze fight probably the most scariest baddies in the series.

We also get more backstory on Jesse which is a good thing, because really up until this point the character Jesse needed some (okay, a lot fleshing out).

I think this book is what seals the deal for the Juze ship.  My OTP.  Okay, to be honest I do like Paul/Suze in fanfiction better.  Only because I think in fannon it allows more story, but in cannon I <3 Suze and Jesse forever.  You can really feel how much these two characters have grown to love each other in this book-though Suze is too stupid to realize Jesse has feelings for her.

I also like how the two of them interact around Maria and Diego.  I thought having Suze having to deal with Jesse’s past was a pretty smart idea on Cabot’s part.  The dude has baggage due to the way he died, and I’m glad she didn’t ignore that.

Maria and Diego make more formable foils than Heather or the RLS Angels, that’ s for sure.   It doesn’t take Suze almost 200 pages to be in peril only till like chapter 2 or 3.  And she’s actually scared.  And Jesse doesn’t really come to her rescue in this book.  She does a bit of saving herself.  Really as far as action goes, I’d say this is probably the most action filled Mediator book.

As I said in the first part of this review, this is the first book that Paul comes into play.  After reading the series as a whole, it is the same Paul but you do see a different side of him here.  I think I read somewhere that Meg always was a little shocked with Paul’s popularity because he is a sleaze.  To be honest, he is sleazy in this book but the Paul character evolves as the series comes to play.  I really wonder if I would be so team Cannon Juze had the series been allowed to extend to the seven or eight book she initially wanted to do.

Overall Darkest Hour was probably one of the best if not the best books in the Mediator series.

Rating: A+

And this is Why I Don’t Like Harco: Carry on by Rainbow Rowell

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

Source: GoodReads

When I found out about Carry On, I figured it would be either epic or not so epic.  It fell in the latter category for me.

I’ve never really have been a Rainbow Rowell fan girl.  I’ve only read Fangirl and a short story by her.  And while I liked Fangirl enough, the short story was lacking.

Then there’s also the fact that I sort of skimmed all the Simon Snow fan fiction because Simon and Baz reminded me of Harco (Harry and Draco) and I’m not a fan of Harco.

I was hoping though, that with further development I could love Simon and Baz, that they would not have the same toxicity of Harco….but…I didn’t like the book and it wasn’t because of the relationship.  Though, I didn’t sense any chemistry between either Simon and Baz (and I was about 200 pages in before I gave up).

What really threw me off from this book was how vague it was.

Objectively, the construction isn’t halfway bad.  It’s readable.  And that’s actually a pretty decent accomplishment in YA-read a Colleen Houck book and then tell me that it’s readable and then get back to me.  Although, the multiple POV changes are grating after awhile, especially since they’re so random and some of the chapters are obscenely short.

That vague feeling was what bothered me about the whole experience.  I think the world building was intentionally vague, in part, so that it couldn’t outright rip off Harry Potter-but who are we kidding we know it was basically the substitute of Harry Potter in Fangirl Rowell basically out right says it.  But instead of sort of parodying Potter fics in the best of ways, it’s one of those fics I’d automatically x-nay because it’s just too random.

Like I said, the summary and cover seem to indicate that Baz and Simon are going to be a thing, but Baz doesn’t even make an appearance until a good quarter of the book (150) and Simon seems too focus on his girlfriend to even notice him-save to whine about how he cheated with said girlfriend.

I guess one could make the argument that Rowell is showing the randomness of some fandom ships-because let’s face it in fandom you see it all.  There are Giant Squid fics out there, people.  But I really don’t think that’s what she was intending.  To me, it was almost as if she wanted us to forget that Carry On was a fan fic written by Cath and not the cannon Simon Snow.

I think that might’ve been what killed the story.

If the book would’ve sort of gone all out there in parody mode with it’s tropes it might’ve been more enjoyable to me.  Instead, it read very, very, bland with a plot that seemed to want to hide itself.

Which is fine, perfectly fine if you’re not trying to make a parody of Harry Potter.

The reason Harry Potter works so well is that it’s plots are so absorbing as well as the characters.  I couldn’t get absorbed in either aspect here.  I wanted to love Simon and Baz, and was thinking hey maybe when Baz gets involved into this mess it will work better but….




In fact, the chemistry between the two was so lacking it made me sad. Simon’s relationship with Agatha broke up ridiculously fast.  I didn’t get why they were a couple either, but it really reminded me of a fan fic where the cannon pairing it broken up fast to force another couple together.

And that couple was Simon and Baz.

Honestly, out of the amount of interaction the characters were having if anyone should’ve been a couple it should’ve been Simon and Penny…but….no.

Clearly in the friend zone like Hermione.  ANd of course, that’s not the couple I was rooting for.  I was rooting for Simon and Baz, but more or less because of the blurb and the cover.  When together, they weren’t that magical.  In fact, they were sort of forced together like Harco is often forced together.

And that dear readers, is not a good thing.

Overall Rating: It’s a DNF,  I’m giving it the higher ranking of DNF (two stars on GoodReads) because the structure was fairly decent and for the most part it was readable.  But it really didn’t work for me.