☄ Monday, May 25, 2015

New Adult: Two Reviews + Guest Post

Hello! My name is Haley! Some of you may know me from My Addiction: Books. Sophia has graciously allowed me to guest post at Bookwyrming Thoughts today (thanks, Sophia! :)). I decided I wanted to talk about New Adult (NA) fiction. Recently, I discovered this genre and read two books from it. This post will include my reviews of both books, and my overall first impression of NA fiction. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)
Author: Tammara Webber
Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality: she's single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory, ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time in her life.

Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by her ex's frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that night - but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.

When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but he's hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

Easy was a very problematic read for me. The main things I took issue with were the romance and how sexual assault is portrayed.

The romance: Where do I even start? Firstly, Lucas is your typical bad boy love interest. He's not unlikable, but he doesn't stand out in any way. And then there's this whole drama View Spoiler » and I just felt it was really unnecessary. Also, Jacqueline and Lucas meet when he rescues her from a would-be rapist, and that did not sit well with me. Their whole relationship was based on that, and it felt insta-lovey.

How rape is portrayed: I have never been in Jacqueline's situation, so forgive me if I sound judgmental. But I find it hard to believe that the attack would have no effect on her relationship with Lucas. She has no problem kissing Lucas and having sex with him even after she was almost raped. And also, I strongly believe that rape/attempted rape should not be used as a way for the heroine to be saved by the hero. 

I had some big problems with Easy, but it wasn't unenjoyable. I liked Jacqueline enough, and I am so pleased that there was no slut shaming.

Overall I'm not impressed but I didn't completely dislike Easy. So two stars.

Unravel
Author: Calia Read
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Six months ago, I was happy. I was simply Naomi Carradine.

One month ago, I was admitted into a psych ward.

Yesterday, Lachlan visited me. Kissed me. And told me that I’m starting to lose my mind.

Hours later, Max haunted my thoughts, reminding me I’m not crazy and that he needs my help.

A few minutes ago, I drifted further from reality, trying to unravel the past.

And now...everyone thinks I’m insane. But, I know he's real, and I know he needs me.

Do you believe me?

I think Unravel was a great novel.

Unravel is fascinating, because we have a mentally unstable narrator. Naomi is in the psychiatric ward. She is in love with a man named Max, but her doctors believe he doesn't exist outside of Naomi's mind. The story alternates between Naomi's life before entering Fairfax Mental Institution and her life during her stay there. Throughout the whole story, you never know whether Naomi's story is real or all in her head. That really interested me.

Also, I really liked Naomi. Her voice is so raw and honest, and I really felt bad for the situation she was in. And I like both Max and Lachlan (the love interests). It is rare when I don't mind a love triangle, but this one was done well. Both love interests were sweet and sexy.

The ending was really surprising. I had a theory about what would happen, but I was shocked to find out that I was right! It was a real surprise and I thought it was a good ending.

Overall, I thought this was a great novel. It had romance, mystery and great characters. I totally recommend it.

Overall Impression of New Adult Fiction

I read two very different novels. One was a contemporary romance. The other a mystery/suspense novel with some romance mixed in. One was, while not completely terrible, unimpressive, and the other was simply amazing. Overall I would say that New Adult a genre worth trying, but in my short experience, I have found that the books in this genre are either hit or miss. You will either like the book or you won’t. But I think there definitely are good books in this genre. I already checked out two more NA novels from the library (Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover and The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay). Let’s hope these are some of the good ones.

And that’s my first impression of the NA genre! What do you think of the genre? What are some of your favorite NA novels? Be sure to comment! And if you like my reviews, please check out my blog My Addiction: Books (www.myaddictionbooks.blogspot.com) where I blog with the awesome Carina for reviews, book-related memes, tags, discussions and more!

Thanks for reading!

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☄ Sunday, May 24, 2015

Book Blast + Giveaway: From Gods by Mary Ting

Title: From Gods (Descendant Prophecies #1)
Author: Mary Ting
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day? Don't blame Mother Nature.

Skylar Rome should have been having the best summer ever, before heading off to college. Suddenly her whole life changes while visiting her cousin, and meeting the Grand brothers; Mason, in particular. Though she's sure he is someone she should stay away from, the attraction was undeniable.

Strange things begin to happen, throwing Skylar's life into turmoil. Implausibly, she gets caught up in a world where the descendants of ancient gods have super powers, and evil beings are after her. Not only are her discoveries difficult to accept, but now she is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her. Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?

Trailer

Praise

“A fast paced adventure full of mystery, action, magic and romance! Readers won’t be able to put this book down!” ~InD’tale Magazine

“From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It’s full of hotness that you never want to end!” ~Michele, Insane About Books

“From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting's Demi Gods and Vultures!!!” ~Mindy, Books Complete Me

“This book is “electric” as it blends paranormal romance, mythology (which I love), action and suspense together for an amazing read. Mary Ting, you’ve done it again! This book exceeded my expectations and I was literally blown away as if I were struck by lightning!” ~Vanessa, Fairiechick’s Fantasy Book Reader

Author Bio


Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.
Author Links:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Blog

Giveaway

  • $50 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash
  • Ends June 15, 2015
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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☄ Saturday, May 23, 2015

Movie Review: Divergent


Divergent
Based on the novel by Veronica Roth
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet
Release Date: March 21, 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13

In a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues, Tris Prior is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it's too late.



I have no clue what it is, but Lionsgate does a fantastic job when it comes to book based movies.

Divergent was great – the effects were amazing, especially in the serum scenes. The music has fantastic timing. The movie kept really close to the book and didn't leave out any pertinent scenes that are just vital to the plot itself.

The actors casted didn't do a bad job either – in fact, they were actually pretty good. There's something about Theo James that I like as Four – he's not exactly as cold in the movie as he is in the book. In fact, he's actually hilarious at some points in the book, especially when Tris (Shailene Woodley) figures out that he's afraid of heights while they're getting a good vantage on the ferris wheel during capture the flag.

Tris is a little... meh. I'm not exactly complaining about her, but she just seems a little... emotionless sometimes. Either that, or she's just really serious unless something bad happens (like someone dying). Plus, every time she realizes a simulation isn't real, a reflection seems to be involved – I have no clue if that was in the book though.

I would, however, have loved to see Uriah, Marlene, Lynn in the movie. I'm not exactly too annoyed they weren't a part of the movie version of Divergent since they don't play a major role until Insurgent. Despite the fact they play a really small role, I feel like that small role is important in its own way that isn't entirely tied to the overall plot yet. Casting just one of them may have done more damage than not casting any of them at all – Uriah, Marlene, and Lynn just seem to be like three peas in a pod and not one can exist without the other two.

Divergent was nicely done compared to some book-based movies, despite the fact some things in the book were removed in the movie version. I'm looking forward to watching its sequel when the DVD comes out and the hold line dies down (read: I'm not sure I want to watch the sequel, but maybe I'll watch it for kicks).

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☄ Friday, May 22, 2015

Cover Reveal: Decree of Hope by Beth Fred

Cover Reveal
Title: Decree of Hope
Author: Beth Fred
Goodreads
Publication Date: September 1, 2014

When insecure eighteen-year-old Kailee Hill gets caught tagging Iraq war refugee, Abrahem Yohanna's garage, she's not expecting him to act as her designated driver, hold her hair back when she pukes, or offer to be a shoulder to cry on. But she's failing chemistry and her life is falling apart, so she uses the number Abe leaves her and finds herself with a new tutor.

The two quickly find themselves falling hard for each other. Kailee attacks a local grunt when he calls Abe a "sand nigger" and fights with her veteran brother to be with him. When she learns Abe hasn't told his family about her, she's heartbroken and the couple risks losing everything they've worked to build. To make matters worse, Kailee's previous acts make her the prime suspect in a serious crime. With Kailee behind bars and doubting his feelings for her, Abe must find a way to rescue the girl he loves and win back her affection. And to do that he’ll have to catch a crook…

Author Bio

I'm a full time ELF keeper and part time writer/blogger/writing instructor. I'm represented by Kathleen Rushall of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. I like my tea hot, my romance sweet, and my guys chivalrous. Real men hold open doors, refer to you as ma'am, make promises they keep, and aren't afraid to profess their undying love. It's not breakfast if there aren't carbs(at least, not in the South). Fajitas, carnitas, and churros are just few of my favorite things. Bet you can't guess where I'm from ;)

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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☄ Thursday, May 21, 2015

DNF Audiobook Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Sophia Is Having Audibly Bad Luck)

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Waterfire Saga #1
Author:
Jennifer Donnelly
Narrator: Bea Miller
Length: 7 hours, 23 minutes
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Listening Library
Reviewer: Sophia

Serefina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation - and burden - that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother's hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin's arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina's darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Deep Blue could have been amazing. Donnelly had a pretty good concept going: the world was unique, completely different, and it's obvious lots of planning went into the building – there's a lot of imagery to clearly depict the underwater of the merpeople, the merpeople had their own distinct languages and cultures. The writing, especially the chant during the waterfire and throughout the book by the witches, was poetic and rhythmic.

The execution, however, was poor.

Serafina and her friend, Neela, were faced against formidable odds after Miromara is attacked that could have been really interesting to see them play out. Instead, the two of them run. Throughout the book, they're chased by a person named Traho, who apparently wants them alive for some unknown reason (currently unknown, that is). The two are rescued by the Praedatori, who are apparently a band of protectors who protect the sea from "terragoggs."

Yet, they are attacked. Again. So they run, and get intercepted by Rorrim Drol, the lord of the mirror realm who feeds on fears. And...

Wait for it....

They run again.
I had to use this.
Obviously by that point (when it's almost sixty percent of the book), when they've been attacked and they run or something of the similar sort, and the cycle is repeated quite a few times...
Typical day for Rundus and Sophia
Even the most patient readers become impatient by that point. Either that, or I'm not exactly as patient as some people have said about me (you lovelies are sorrily wrong). Where are the other five? Why have we only found three (okay, one, because two are "found" at the very beginning anyways) by this point? Are we still looking for the mermaids involved by the next book as well? If that's the case, I'm not interested. If it's an entirely different case, then what's the probability that the other mermaids are found quickly and swiftly in the midst of attacking and running? There's really only 40% of the book left to do all of that.

The world, no matter how unique or different it is, or how there's a variety of imagery, won't account with how there's a bunch of made-up language that would have been extremely hard for me to figure out without the audiobook to help me (no thanks to the accent – accents are NOT fun when the bus is chugging down roads and highways). I did, however, love the songspell (Open Your Eyes by Bea Miller) that accompanies the book.

Deep Blue is definitely different from Donnelly's other books, but with all the running from the attacks and rarely anything being accomplished by the majority of the book, I simply didn't have the patience. If anything, I probably shouldn't have lasted as long as I did.

2.5 Owls
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☄ Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Cover Reveal: Name of Ra by Kelsey Ketch

Cover Reveal
Title: Name of Ra (Descendants of Isis #3)
Author: Kelsey Ketch
Publication Date: November 2, 2015

“Set has risen.”

After being on the run from a psychotic cult for a week, Natara “Natti” Stone has finally come to realize she and Seth are the only two people standing between the Sons of Set and the secret name of Ra. Holding a part of the key that unlocks Ra’s power, they relocate to a more isolated location in the California mountains. While laying low, Natti becomes even more determined to understand her mother’s bloodline and her blessing from the goddess, Isis. But when she starts seeing the truth behind her destiny, she begins to doubt her role in the events that are about to unfold.

Then the unthinkable happens . . .

All Seth O’Keefe wanted was to get Natti as far away from his father and the Sons of Set as possible. Unfortunately, after hearing of Natti’s destiny from Isis’s own lips, he realizes they have bigger issues to worry about. Especially when one stupid slip up leads the god of chaos himself straight to their doorstep. Now Natti is the god’s prisoner, and Set holds the key to unlocking the location of the secret name of Ra. Can Seth save Natti from her own destiny and thwart the demented god’s rise to power?

Author Bio

During her high school years, Kelsey Ketch could always be found tucked away in a little corner of the hall or classroom, writing her fantasy worlds and creating illustrations and maps. Today is no different, except now she’s writing in the break room at her office building or at the tables of the Barnes and Noble Café in Cary, North Carolina. She is also an avid reader, a part-time book blogger at Ketch’s Book Nook, and lives with her two orange tabbies and awesome and humorous flat-mate. Daughter of Isis is her debut novel.

Author Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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☄ Tuesday, May 19, 2015

DNF Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (So Much For Being Excited)

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

The Fifth Wave #1
Author:
Rick Yancey
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: G.P. Putman's Sons for Young Readers
Reviewer: Sophia

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

I really wanted to like The 5th Wave. The synopsis sounded fantastic, it's becoming a movie – the book just sounded like one of those that I would probably read quickly, enjoy it, demand the second book (in other words, snag it straight off Lupe's shelf), read through that quickly, and pretty much have another favorite book this year (there's really only two so far that are special).

I didn't even last thirty pages. Thirty pages, which says a a lot, because while I may give up on books more often now, I don't usually give up THAT early.

The premise wasn't what made me give up reading The 5th Wave – characters trying to fight for survival? Sounds like Hatchet, only with the "aliens" attacking with "waves."

I only stopped because of Cassie. Cassie, short for Cassiopeia, the main character of the book. I couldn't stand her for the life of me.

She's materialistic – in a world when the world is literally falling apart around you, who cares about hygiene being top priority? It's great she cares (because you can't just walk to a job interview smelling like horse poop), but by the whatever wave that's past the first, I'm pretty sure you're too busy making surviving the day your priority.

She's rude – if there's one thing I don't like, it's texting while in a conversation simply because you're bored. Then, she says, "Oh, and in case you're an alien reading this? BITE ME."

Totally. I'm totally willing to bite Cassie... in a review, that is.

Basically, there was a vibe about her I didn't like early on. But with all of the flashbacks at literally every chapter, I not only got to know the world before the 1st Wave, I got to know Cassie as a person. And Cassie probably tops the list of the most annoying characters I've ever come across in a book.

Someone please tell me I'm not the only one who couldn't stand Cassie. If I am, I'm willing to cry in a little corner alone with my lonesome self...

1.5 Owls
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