Friday, April 11, 2014

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

4 stars

Such a fun and adorable book!

I was nervous for this one for several reasons, one being that our main character was a Southern belle, and I was waiting to see if Harper Price would be anything like Sophie Mercer from Rachel Hawkin's previous series, Hex Hall. To my delight, our heroine was one of a kind.

Harper Price is the definition of perfection down to her petite and bright sounding name. She is the kind of girl that most girls either admired, hated, or both as she is highly successful, a perfectionist, and has a hand in every club, event, and is without a doubt Homecoming Queen. 

Harper's almost perfect world is turned upside down when she ends up at the wrong place at the wrong time, and inherits Paladin guardian/warrior powers. She also finds out that as her job as Paladin, she is forced to protect the one person she despises most; David Stark.

It seems David is more involved than even he knows, and the action and mystery get intense, let me tell you! It took me a bit to adjust to Harper's do good attitude, but I found myself growing fond of her fierce spirit, and occasional sarcasm in her attitude. David is especially lovable with his wit and eccentric dressing style! The two together make for several laughs, and heartwarming moments. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

4.5 stars

I was a serious sucker for this cover. Dramatic wings? Yes, please!

A book that actually surprised me!
As mentioned on the cover, This book is a nearly perfect mix between Hunger Games and Ender's Game. Except people are classified as colors. 

Be warned, it takes a little bit for the story to pick up, so hang in there, because you won't regret it!

Darrow is a hero that you can't help but admire as he climbs the ranks in this tragic tale. His back story is one of hardship right from the beginning as he is a poor, hungry miner among his fellow people who are also suffering from the short end of the stick. Believing that some day their sacrifice will help make Mars habitable for future colonies you can imagine his anger when he discovers it is all for naught as they are considered merely slaves for the "upper classes," and that Mars has been lived on for quite a long time.

Darrow seeks revenge with the help of a rebel group, by taking on the disguise of a Gold, the highest rank of color in society, in order to earn the power he needs to complete his goals. 

I honestly expected something boring when I learned that Darrow was to enter a Gold's school. Classrooms, government, history, all that boring political stuff, right?  Imagine my surprise when he is forced to kill a fellow student with his bare hands in order to move on into a bloodier arena; a battlefield of strategic warfare.

The story itself was constantly exciting and yet horrifying, as we uncover secrets, experimentation, and how far humanity will go before they're simply monsters instead of men. There is an element of rape in here, so be warned. Nothing to horribly graphic, but it's there. 
I'm dying for next step of Darrow's story, because I'm honestly not sure what will happen next! 
Tune in, readers!

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

5 stars
Love the matching theme cover, I must say!
(sequel to The Archived)

No sequel trauma here! What a knockout!!

Back with our independent heroine Mac, we start off with a new beginning, a new territory: school. Mackenzie is trying to cope with the trauma she experienced in the previous book with Owen, while attempting to take control of her life. Easier said than done in her case.

She finds it of course difficult since she suffers from morbid night terrors involving Owen that start to bleed into her waking life making her wonder if she's slowly going insane. What's especially difficult is that she can't show weaknesses right now since her job as a Keeper has been put on the line. 

To add to the mystery and chaos of it all people are disappearing and their only connection is to Mackenzie. 
Dun, dun, dunnn!

The Unbound round house kicked me in the face with awesomeness. We get more character development, more action, more mystery, and more layers of the "Archive" onion peeled away to reveal that there is more to this library of the dead than we could have ever hoped for...

For fellow Mac and Wes fans, I'm pleased to announce that they grow much closer in this book! (Finally!) 
Once again, I'm left dying for the next in the series, because everything was raw and intense. You feel Mac's pain, anxiety, and terror throughout the book and the ending leaves such promise for the third.

The Archived by Victoria Schwab

5 stars

Look at that cover!! It's freakin' fantastic!

AHmazing!! I am so happy this book 
lived up to my expectations!

If you don't read this book you will be missing out. In my perspective, this book was a whole new view on the dead. This isn't about ghosts, and it isn't about a troubled teenager. It's about life, death, and something more. 

That's right, there's more!

So you have the three main "worlds" in this book. 
You have the Outers, everyday life for us normal beings. 
The Narrows, in my head I pictured a sort of go between for these different worlds for it has many doors and one narrow hallway like description with fog and darkness. 
Then you have the Archived, a library of dead people called Histories. 
Histories can awaken and they slip, where they start to lose themselves and their eyes become all black, it sounds pretty creepy. Mac's job is to find these histories and return them to the Archives. Sounds mundane, except that when they slip they can become violent and Histories don't bleed and are strong which ups the danger and excitement of this story!

What makes this book such a winner is the fact that its creatively imagined, the story is kept interesting because the apartment that Mac lives in has a dark back story of it's own which keeps the background intriguin. You also have a mysterious conflict and I loved the characters, and just when you think you know everything, there is much more to it than you thought you knew!

Just blew your mind there.
 All the excitement, mystery and action is why I can't wait for the second book, plus I want Wesley and Mac together. No lie.
The only complaint I have are that I pretty much figured out the villain right away. <spoiler>It had to be who I had priginally suspected, because the character was too...vague. We only knew that he/she was a sad character who had a somewhat mysterious past. 
I found Mac to be a strong heroine, defiant, and funny. I also thought the grief in this story was appropriate, not too whiny or clingy, but a family trying to recover from a harsh loss. The climax was awesome and blew my mind, especially when some of the clues were pieces together to reveal the "final form," as I'd like to put it.

The characters are wonderful and well developed as well. I simply adored Roland. Wes is pretty funny but I love Roland hands down. Just had to put that in there, that this book earns its fifth possibly secret sixth star for Roland. He is such an awesome character, I mean any character who wears Red Converse is just amazing automatically! I'm happy to find that Victoria Schwab has made another winner.

My review to the sequel, The Unbound.