Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Book Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Ah, this book was a ride and half!!!  Let start by Thanking NetGalley and for me being able to get an eARC of this amazing book and telling you guys all about it and making sure you guys get your hands on it when it comes out because it is that good.  Okay, let's just get to the review now :)

Publication Date:  September 26th

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

33152795

From GoodReads
Farway Gaius McCarthy was born outside of time. The son of a time-traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD, Far's birth defies the laws of nature. Exploring history himself is all he's ever wanted, and after failing his final time-traveling exam, Far takes a position commanding a ship with a crew of his friends as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past. 

But during a heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with knowledge that will bring Far's very existence into question, she will lead Far and his team on a race through time to discover a frightening truth: History is not as steady as it seems.
In this heart-stopping adventure, Ryan Graudin has created a fast-paced world that defies time and space.


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I really enjoy reading SciFy and Fantasy, especially for the last couple years and I feel like the more I read them the more I enjoy and this book is a great example of how amazing these kinds of books are.  
Farway is the son of a time traveling Recorder from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in Rome in 95 AD and he was born outside of time.  Exploring history is everything he has ever wanted to do his entire life, so when he fails his final test for time traveling, Far is devastated.  But his life change when Far takes a position commanding a ship with his friends as his crew members as part of a black market operation to steal valuables from the past.

Almost a year goes by and during a heist on the sinking Titanic (freaking cool, right? AH...this book is amazing), Far meets a mysterious girl that is there before him with the object that he needs and he jumps to his ship before him too.  She makes Far take her as part of her crew because she has more knowledge than him but Far and the crew find out the truth from her later on.  That History is not as steady as it seems and she needs they help to protect history and their future.  And together they go into one adventure that turns into more adventures that you won't want to miss.

Seriously?  Time traveling, going back to the past to crazy amazing places and stealing objects that is worth so much before tragedies happens?  Yeah...pretty amazing.

The end?  Left me wanting more and I really hope we get more of this world, because one book sure wasn't enough.

5 out of 5 stars and totally recommend.

XOXO,

Nelia

Book Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

First of all, Thank You for NetGalley for this eARC of this book.  Once I saw the cover, I was intrigue and then I read what it was about and the more intrigued I was and I knew that I wanted to read it.  And I am so glad that I got to read this book in July, perfect contemporary.

Let's get to the review...

Publication Date: October 17th

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

33357622

From GoodReads:
It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems. 

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down. 

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

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The Birch family is not your typical family, Andrew, the father is a writer and has a column on a newspaper.  He spends his days going to restaurants and testing their foods and then writing reviews about them.  Emma may be the most normal of them all, she is a stay at home mom, staying home after having the two daughters and dedicating her life to them, and after they were grown?  She just stayed home and dedicated her life to take care of the house and husband.  Olivia is the oldest of their daughters and she is a doctor, she loves to volunteer to third world countries whenever she can.  Phoebe is the youngest and still kind of lives at home, she is spoiled and is currently engaged to a very wealthy guy and family and she cannot wait to plan her wedding.

With all their busy lives, the Birch family don't spend that much time together at all, so when Olivia is coming back from treating an epidemic abroad and tells them that she needs to stay in quarantine for a whole week and that includes her whole family too...well, things get a little interesting.  Emma is all happy about it, because for the first time in years they all going to spend Christmas together even if that means staying in quarantine and keeping a huge secret from her family.  Andrew doesn't know what to think of it, but he goes along, that is until he gets an email that can change their whole entire lives.  Phoebe is so into planning her wedding that she doesn't care where she is for a week.

Things are a little weird and tense for the first few days but things start to get interesting and wild as the days go by because as much as they want to keep things in secret?  Well, the secrets start to come out and Oh My, do things get interesting.

I loved the writing, I love the multiple POVs.  I'm not usually one to read books with so many POVs, and this book had 5 POVs and there wasn't one point in the book where I was confused to who was narrating the book.  I loved how the secrets linked one person to another and another and another, it was so freaking amazing.  I'm not going to give spoilers at all, because it is best going blind into the book and finding out things for yourself and trust me you will appreciate it more.  So much drama and be prepare to laugh and cry and everything else in between.

5 out of 5 stars for sure and totally recommend it.

XOXO,

Nelia

Book Review: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Summer is literally ending people and I am not ready for this...sometimes I wish I could just pack up and go somewhere where Summer is just beginning again.  But, then I may end up getting tired of Summer, right?  So, I will stay where I am an endure the Fall and Winter...well, Fall is actually a really good season, Winter is the killer here lol.  Anyways, let me stop complaining...

And let's get to today's review, shall we?

And I Darken by Keirsten White

27190613

From GoodReads
No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.
But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.


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Princess Lada grew up in a land far from home, not because she wanted too, but because her father gave her and her fragile brother Radu abandoned them in the Ottoman courts and never came back for them.  She still remembers her homeland of Wallachia and since the day of her abandonment she plans her vengeance for the day when she can return and claim her birthright.  

Radu in the order hand only wants a place where he can feel safe and that happens when they meet Mehmed, the lonely son of the sultan.  Radu feels like he finally has a true friend in Mehmed and he will do anything to be with him and to protect him.  Lada isn't so easy to win at first, but with time and as the years go by she finally lets Mehmed in and she starts to think that Mehmed is someone worth of her passion.

In this book we get to see Lada, Radu and Mehmed grow up from little kids all the way to adulthood and see how friendships and relationships change and how ruling an empire can destroy everything.

I was really into this book at the beginning of it and it had lots of promises but the more I read the more I felt like it was dragging and it took longer than I wanted for things to happen.  And I was not a fan of Mehmed.  I loved the ending so maybe I will give the next book a try and see where it goes.

3 out of 5 stars.

XOXO,


Nelia

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

Wow, I can't believe that I still haven't reviewed this book yet, I feel like I read this book months ago...wait, I did lol.  Eheheh, I read this the beginning of summer and look at us, it's almost at the end of it...sad.

But not sad to review this beauty of a book, let's go:

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

25187640

From GoodReads:
On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

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Safi and Iseult are best friends and as best friends are they are inseparable and ready to protect one another.  Safi is a Truthwitch and it's a power that is best to kept secret because if people find out she has it they would kill to have her on their side as a pawn.

Iseult, is Safi's best friend and a Threadwitch, a Threadwich, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her, but she cannot see the ones that touch her own heart.  

Both girls think they have it easy until one day a Bloodwitch finds out that Safi is a Truthwitch and the battle for survival begins.   The Bloodwitch will go to no ends to find Safi for revenge and the girls end up fighting emperors, princes and mercenaries in order to stay alive and especially to keep them from getting their hands on Safi.  

Be prepared for lots of action, some romance, family issues, but lots of friendship scenes.  This book will give all this and more.  I totally enjoyed myself reading this book and cannot wait to read the next one.

4 out of 5 books.

XOXO,


Nelia

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Book Review: Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Catching up on book reviews...do you do a review for every book you read or just for the ones you really love?  I do a review for all the books that I read, I feel like if my GoodReads doesn't have a review it doesn't feel complete, maybe that's just another OCD that I have...lol.  Oh well...at least I hope I help someone out there with one of my reviews :)

Let's get to today's, right?  Let's go...

Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman (Illustrations)

17899354

From GoodReads:
I'm telling you why we broke up, Ed. I'm writing it in this letter, the whole truth of why it happened.

Min Green and Ed Slaterton are breaking up, so Min is writing Ed a letter and giving him a box. Inside the box is why they broke up. Two bottle caps, a movie ticket, a folded note, a box of matches, a protractor, books, a toy truck, a pair of ugly earrings, a comb from a motel room, and every other item collected over the course of a giddy, intimate, heartbreaking relationship. Item after item is illustrated and accounted for, and then the box, like a girlfriend, will be dumped.


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First of all, I'm going to confess that I bought this book because of it's cover first and for most, let's admit, it's a beautiful cover.  And then I read the back and I just had to get it because it sounded interesting too, so there you go.  Back to the review lol.

Min broke up with her boyfriend Ed and she is ready to move on, but before that happens, she needs to give back a box.  Inside the box is all the things that he gave her, but also all the things that reminds her of him.  Together with the box, she is giving him a letter, a letter that will explain what each and every thing is and what they mean to her and why they remind her of him and why they should go back to him.  

Min is still writing the letter while we are reading the book, because she is writing the letter on the way to drop the box and letter to her ex's house.  While her friend is driving her there.   Each chapter is an item and we get to know what that item is and what they represented on their relationship and most importantly, we get to know if that item contributed to their break out or not.

This book was such a quick read, why?  Because every time you finished an time/chapter you wanted to read the next one to find out more about.  But once you started to get towards the end?  You end up realizing that this is not a love story with a happy ending book, but still a story that we all need to read and learn from it.

4 out of 5 stars...great writing and loved the illustrations.  The story?  Everyone will get to learn something from somewhere in the book for sure.


XOXO,

Nelia

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Book Review: Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

Can you believe that we are in the middle of August?  I can't...not only Summer flew by (which makes me wicked sad) but this year is flying by too quickly.  Who's with me?

By anyways, let's get back to today's topic and review another book, because with Summer I get really behind on review books...don't blame me, wait, blame me, I just get really lazy during summer.  I just want to suck up the sun and read. lol

Let's do this:

Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour

18667779


From GoodReads:
A wunderkind young set designer, Emi has already started to find her way in the competitive Hollywood film world.
 Emi is a film buff and a true romantic, but her real-life relationships are a mess. She has desperately gone back to the same girl too many times to mention. But then a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend leads Emi to Ava. Ava is unlike anyone Emi has ever met. She has a tumultuous, not-so-glamorous past, and lives an unconventional life. She’s enigmatic…. She’s beautiful. And she is about to expand Emi’s understanding of family, acceptance, and true romance.

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This book, first of all it was like nothing I had read before but at the same time just like another contemporary, you know what I mean?  

Emi, she is out going, friendly, works in the film industry designing movie sets and she has an ex-girlfriend that plays with her heart too many times and she is just done with her.  She is ready to move on from her and find her way to better things.

One day, Emi finds a mysterious letter from a silver screen legend that leads her to Ava.  Ava is a mystery that Emi wants to uncover and she just head over heels to find out everything about her.  She wants to find her and once she finds her, she decides that she wants to help Ava find out about her past.  While she sets her mind to find help Ava find out about her past, the two find themselves growing closer and closer.  

Emi also finds herself in charge by herself, for the first time, of a movie set.  It's her dream and she is ready to prove herself to everyone, including herself that she can do this one project before she goes off to college.  

Ah, I don't want to give out any more, but read so you will know if Emi proved herself on the set of this new movie.  And of course, find out what happens between Emi and Ava, because quite a few things happen between those two.

I loved reading this book, it was surprisingly, a light read but with quite a few twists and that was the kind of book I really enjoy. 

Do I recommend it, of course and I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars so I really recommend it, right?

XOXO,


Nelia

Book Review: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Why did it take me so long to read this book?  Can someone explain it to me?  I have no freaking clue.  And the best part?  This book has been on my bookshelf for years...just there looking at me and saying: Read Me!!!  Read ME, PLEASE!  And I would take it down and put it back up after a few days.  But, I finally read it, mostly because I knew there was a movie coming out this year (don't blame me lol) but I read it, right?  Right...let's get to it:


Wonder by R. J. Palacio

11387515

From GoodReads:
August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He's about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you've ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie's just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.



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So, Auggie is ready to start 5th grade, it's the first time is going to be around kids, because he has been homeschooled his whole life, but he is ready...or so he thinks.  His has a facial deformity and he has have multiple surgeries his entire life, but he really wants to just be a regular kid who is in school studying like everyone else, but can he be?

Of course not, not only is Auggie the new kid, he is also the new kid with a face that is deformed, which causes most of the kids to make fun of him or to not even acknowledge him at all.  Life has never been easier for Auggie and he has made himself a hard shell for these types of things but been a big school with dozens and dozens of kids looking at you the way they do and talking about him?  It is hard.

Luckily for Auggie he ends up make just a couple friends and from there things get a tiny bit easier but something else happens and then something else happens...Auggie's year at Beecher Prep is nothing like he planned it to be but he also teached Auggie and all its students there a few life lessons.

I really recommend reading this book, yourself, your kids and everyone in between.  Why? Because it will make you laugh, it will make you cry but I really think the main thing that will teach you, is to be kind to one another.

5 out 5 stars and I cannot wait to watch the movie too!

XOXO,


Nelia