Showing posts with label 4.5 stars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 4.5 stars. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

YA Wednesday - Royal Airs


15808431Royal Airs

By: Sharon Shinn
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary:
Josetta is a princess of one of the Five Families. But she is far from the throne, so she is free to spend her days working in the poorest sections of the city. 

Rafe Adova, an outcast since he was born, lives the life of a career gambler in those slums. He has no ambition other than cheating at the card tables—until the night he decides to help a girl named Corene, who looks like she's stumbled into the wrong bar. She, too, is a princess—sister to Josetta, who finds her with Rafe. He fascinates her. 

Josetta has never encountered anyone like him—someone seemingly devoid of elemental blessings. He is drawn to her, though he thinks they are unlikely to ever meet again—but their connection grows strong when she nurses him back to health after he is assaulted by foreign mercenaries.

And when they learn the reason he's being hunted, they know that the truth about his history could endanger not only their love but also their very lives...

My Thoughts:
I love Shinn, she is one of my favorite authors, so when I saw the second book of a series that I absolutely love I was so happy! This world is one of the favorites that I have read. (see Troubled Waters the first in the series) Along with wonderful world building, there are great characters. Josetta is the kind of woman who I would want to go to lunch with, and to see a young woman just trying her best to make the world better was a breath of fresh air.

And Rafe is a great male lead. It is great to see how the two of them help each other in thier whole comming-of-age journey. Rafe is resourceful, honorable, intelligent, but oh so directionless. I feel very much the same right now (directionless...I'm not sure how I measure on all of the other traits) and to see him fighting to find his own way felt real.

One of my favorite lines was about - when seeing something good and normal come into Josetta's life - her body guard tells her "You have led such an extraordinary life until now, it is nice to see something ordinary happening to you." The idea that love and family are the ordinary things in our lives was so sweet. 


The whole story was well woven, well written and I read it in one night. I can't wait for the next in the series to come out and I hope that she continues through all of the elements of her world.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

YA Wednesday - Waistcoats and Weaponry


Waistcoats & Weaponry (Finishing School, #3)Waistcoats & Weaponry

by: Gail Carriger
Genre: Steampunk
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Summary: 
Sophronia continues her second year at finishing school in style--with a steel-bladed fan secreted in the folds of her ball gown, of course. Such a fashionable choice of weapon comes in handy when Sophronia, her best friend Dimity, sweet sootie Soap, and the charming Lord Felix Mersey stowaway on a train to return their classmate Sidheag to her werewolf pack in Scotland. No one suspected what--or who--they would find aboard that suspiciously empty train. Sophronia uncovers a plot that threatens to throw all of London into chaos and she must decide where her loyalties lie, once and for all.  

My thoughts: This is a wonderful coming of age work of Steampunk. I absolutely have fallen in love with these characters. During a time when I really have no business to be doing free reading I have devoted several evenings just to see what was going to happen next. And now I am quite distraught that I have to wait for the next one to come out. 

This isn't your typical girl coming of age novel with a love triangle and you will they, won't they - though the elements are all there, so don't go in thinking that this one is romance free. But they are set against a backdrop of this young girl - being trained in the art of spying and death - and how she feels about all this. Can she stomach killing people? Where on earth do her loyalties lie? Which group truly has the best interests and the balance of the nation at heart. That is her main struggle and it all comes to a head in this book. 

I love Carriger and her voice as an author, and as soon as life settles down (as if that ever is going to happen so lets just say in December) I am going to be finding her other books and reading to my hearts content. 

Just for Fun - Corsets and Conspiracies



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Curtsies & Conspiracies

By: Gail Carriger
Genre: Steampunk
Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary:
Sophronia, second year at Miss Geraldine's Finishing Academy, and it appears that this one won't be any easier than the last. After receiving incredible marks at her exams, Sophronia finds herself excluded and having to figure out the world on her own. While in such straits, she manages to save Dimity from kidnappers, discover a suspicious plot and let us not forget that now the Lord Fe!!lix Mercy is about. This year will prove to be one vital to her training, and to her friendships - which is stronger your ties to your work? or to the ones you love?

My Thoughts:
Ok, well I started with the 2nd book...I really wish I hadn't because this is an amazing book and I want to know how on earth the world was created. I love this version of London, Mechanicals everywhere, Vampires and Warewolves in parliament and general fun on all sides.
This series reminded me of my long lost love of steampunk, and especially why I love books set with a British tone. The wit, the class and the constant need for tea really make me fall in love with the genre. And the world which Carriger built left me wishing to grab my mechanical puppy, catch the next dirigible and make my way to London as quickly as I could.

It was well written, witty and left me giggling the whole entire time. It's one of the few books that I passed onto a housemate saying - hey you should read this! And that's how I feel about it in general. Hey you people who like steampunk, boarding schools or espionage...READ IT! and be happy!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Misc. Monday - The Stolen Girl

The Stolen GirlThe Stolen Girl

By: Renita D'Silva
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating 4.5



Summary:
‘Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. 

Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.
Aarti had everything she could possibly want and lost it in the blink of an eye. She has spent these last 13 years hunting for the daughter she refused was lost.

My Thoughts:
Well after having been out of the book reading world for so long I was so glad that this was my first read. I loved it. It kind of took over my Saturday, work? homework? grad school prep...who cares! I need to figure out what on earth is going to happen here.

Right off the bat I had fallen in love with Diya for her down to earth personality and Vani for the immense love which she wasn't afraid to show her daughter. 

The story really reminded me of the work of Kate Morton. If you haven't read any of her works yet I would highly recommend The Distant Hours. Both authors have a way to make the world come alive and add a true texture not only to the characters, but I have never wanted to eat Indian food as much as I did while I was reading The Stolen Girl.

I love how the story of the past and present are woven together to help shed light on the truth. D'Silva manages to develop this empathy not only for the heroines of the novel, but also includes for the 'villain.' I was worried how she would wrap everything up - I had fallen in love with two of these women and wanted the 3rd to come out all right yet I couldn't figure out how she was going to do it. But do it D'Silva did and it was wonderfully done.

Overall I am so glad that I have found this new author, I will be running to check out her others books The Forgotten Dauther and Monsoon Memories...After I catch up on everything that was put on hold this weekend.

**I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

YA Wednesday - When the Bough Breaks


When the Bough BreaksWhen the Bough Breaks

By: Kay Lynn Mangum
Genre: LDS fiction
Rating 4.5 stars

Summary:
Rachel Fletcher thought that her biggest secret in high school would be her crush on Jason West, but after her father dies in a car wreck, one she thinks is her fault, all of that changes. She has to deal with the problems of a mother who is almost catatonic with depression and worse a brother who is turning into an alcoholic. As time passes and her mother remarries she has to add a new step-father and step-brother into the mix. Rachel's brother's addiction just gets worse. She wonders why God isn't helping out more, but God doesn't always help the way we think He should.


My Thoughts:
I love this book, and have read it several times. It's one that can be hard to read (especially the first time) but almost impossible to put down. Rachel is a quiet girl who prefers to spend her time writing poetry and working on her creative writing skills, she never asked for the problems of a lost father and an alcoholic brother. She has the typical questions of "why me?" I love how real Mangum can make her characters.

A criticism of LDS fiction is that it generally can't deal with the problems which face the world of today -drug and alcohol addictions and what not, this book proves that incorrect.  It illustrates beautifully what it's like to have a family member who is an addict and how people react to it. The whole plot of healing both for Rachel and her brother Ryan left me almost crying a time or two (I have only cried twice while reading) but not wanting to stop at all.


I would recommend this book to both YA and adults, and all religions, it is beautifully done.