Friday, 31 October 2014

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Book: The Sky is Everywhere

Author: Jandy Nelson

Publisher: Speak

Pages: 277 Pages

Format: Paperback

Source: Purchased at Chapters Indigo

Where to Buy: Chapters Indigo, Amazon CA, The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

Adrift after her sister Bailey's sudden death, Lennie finds herself torn between quiet, seductive Toby—Bailey's boyfriend who shares her grief—and Joe, the new boy in town who bursts with life and musical genius. Each offers Lennie something she desperately needs... though she knows if the two of them collide her whole world will explode.

Join Lennie on this heartbreaking and hilarious journey of profound sorrow and mad love, as she makes colossal mistakes and colossal discoveries, as she traipses through band rooms and forest bedrooms and ultimately right into your heart.

As much a celebration of love as a poignant portrait of loss, Lennie's struggle to sort her own melody out of the noise around her is always honest, often uproarious, and absolutely unforgettable.

My Review

I was excited to jump into Jandy Nelson's writing, after hearing so many great things about her books from Twitter and from all around the blogs. I had heard that her writing and her characters stood out against a lot of other YA books, but I'd only half agree with that.

The first thing I noticed was that her writing was beautiful. It was effortlessly poetic, and simply flowed. It was such a quick read because of this. The way that she crafted sentences, and the way that she explained emotions really got to me and stuck. Jandy Nelson's writing was definitely the highlight of this book.

But i'd have to disagree that her characters stood out. It might just have been me, or the time that I read it, but I felt very disconnected to all of the characters. When such heavy topics of loss, love, and abandonment are discussed in the book, I want to be connected with the characters, because I care about what happens to them and I care about how they feel and how they cope. Because of my disconnect, I really didn't care what happened to the character, or what happened at all.

My main problem with the book was Lennie. She really irked me. She knew what was right and what was wrong, and she did nothing to try and do right, or to make things right. She only really thought of herself, and while that's okay when you're grieving, you have to be wary of the people around you and not drag them into it. Her reasoning and her thought process drove me up the wall.

I gave this book 2.5 stars; half and half. I really enjoyed the storytelling, but not the story. The format was great, with the lost bits of poetry, and I look forward to reading more of Jandy Nelson in the future :) Have you guys read The Sky is Everywhere? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments! 

I'll talk to you all later, and happy reading!

- Indigo

Monday, 20 October 2014

ARC Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Book: Snow Like Ashes

Series: Snow Like Ashes #1

Author: Sara Raasch

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Release Date: October 14th, 2014

Pages: 432 Pages

Format: ARC

Where to Buy: Chapters Indigo, Amazon CA, Book Depository

Thanks to the ladies at HCC Frenzy for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review! Thanks!!

Goodreads Summary

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

My Review

Snow Like Ashes was pitched to me as a 'fantasy for those who aren't that into fantasy'. Now, I wouldn't say i'm not into fantasy, because I love me a good one, but I find myself really inexperienced about fantasy in general. That's why it takes a good one to really grab on and hold me tight. That's exactly what Snow Like Ashes did.

Snow Like Ashes is the perfect mix between mysterious and suspenseful plotlines, with complex and interesting characters. The plot moved super quickly, but I never felt as though I was being rushed through. I think that was due to Meira. We learn in one of the first pages how quickly her mind works, and how quickly her mind has to work in order to live, so I got used to it really quickly, which was amazing. Any book that can grab my attention right off the bat is a good one.

And can we just talk about Meira for a moment? Or, a lot of moments? Because I want to be her best friend. She's seriously kickass and hardcore, but she still finds a way to keep her humanity throughout all the events that have happened in her life. I loved how, throught the book, she fought to be who she was, because it brought about such amazing character development. Looking back at the book, the Meira at the beginning, and the Meira at the end, were two completely different people, and her transition was so gradual, I can't pinpoint a moment when she changed.

The world of Snow Like Ashes contains 8 kingdoms; 4 Rhythm, and 4 Seasons. Meira and her clan are from Winter, where 16 years ago, was torn apart by Spring, and their evil leader Angora. These kingdoms were so well flushed out that I can't even begin to describe how well they were put together, and how well they meshed. The magic element was super fascinating, and I can see that there is still more to learn in the next books.

This was one of my favourite books of the year. The incredible plot, the realistic and lovely characters, and the fantastic world. Snow Like Ashes surpassed even my highest expectations, and I am so glad I got the chance to pick this up. 

5/5 stars! This is out now, so go pick it up! You will not regret it!!


Friday, 3 October 2014

ARC Review: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

Book: The Dolls

Author: Kiki Sullivan

Release Date: September 2nd, 2014 - Out Now!

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Pages: 384 Pages

Format: ARC

Source: An advanced copy was provided from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thanks HCC Frenzy!

Where to Buy: Chapters Indigo, Amazon CA, The Book Depository

Goodreads Summary

Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn’t seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn’t have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.

Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn’t trust them one bit.

But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.

My Review

One of my favourite settings for books is the deep south. I've always found something so magical and haunting about the south, especially the Carolinas, Georgia, and Louisiana. Thats why when I found out that The Dolls is witchcraft and voodoo in the deep south, I fell in love with the concept, and knew I had to request this one.

This book was so much fun. From the great characters, to the well sculpted magic, to the AMAZING setting, this book was a win. It seems like everything just clicked together so nicely that while reading it, I was just kind of swept away. I was totally engrossed in this book, and just wanted it to keep going. I saw it play out in my head as a movie and I was super excited about that.

Eveny, the main character, is a smart, sassy, and strong willed southern sweetheart. She has an amazing moral compass and I really related to her. With her being raised outside of Carrefour, she has this understanding of the outside world that no one else seems to have. This allows her to see the wrongdoings in Carrefour, and she feels an obligation to the city, and to herself, to make it right.

I was reading The Dolls at probably the most inopportune time, because I was moving into my dorm, and going through Orientation Week and my first week of classes, so I didn't have much time to really read. But whenever I found time to pick this book up, I was totally sucked in again. The pacing is so quick, but I never felt lost at any moment. I really loved it for that.

The ending wasn't great though. I feel as though it was forced, setting it up for a possible sequel, which kind of rattled me. I wanted a really good, gothic and witchy stand alone. And I hope it stays that way.

4.5/5 stars.

Have you guys read The Dolls yet? If you have, what did you think? If not, why not?! It's out now, so you should all pick it up! Also, its a paperback original, so it's nice to your wallet ;). Alright guys, see you need time!

Happy reading!