Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Well's End by Seth Fishman

The Well's End by Seth Fishman
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Expected Publication: February 25th, 2014
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Page Count: 352

A deadly virus and an impossible discovery unite in one enthralling can’t-miss read...

Sixteen-year-old Mia Kish has always been afraid of the dark. After all, she’s baby Mia, the one who fell down a well. That was years ago, though the darkness still haunts her. But when her classmates and teachers at ritzy Westbrook Academy start dying of old age from a bizarre and frightening virus that ages its victims years in a matter of hours, Mia becomes haunted by a lot more than the dark. Their deaths are gruesome and Mia worries she and her friends may be next. In order to survive, Mia and her small crew must break quarantine and outrun armed soldiers in hazmat suits who shoot first and ask questions later.

And there’s only one place to go—the Cave, aka Fenton Electronics. Mia knows it’s somehow connected and hopes her dad, Director of Fenton Electronics, who has always been strangely secretive about his work, has the answers she needs, and more importantly a cure to save everyone before the whole town succumbs to the mysterious virus. Unfortunately, it’s not answers Mia discovers, but something far more treacherous and impossible than even the virus itself.

A high-stakes, fast-paced adventure with imagination and heart.

*An advanced copy was provided for this review*

I think I had somehow caught wind of this novel months ago--August, maybe--and then I had this urge to just want to read it. It is only after I felt the feeling of desire did I discover that this baby wouldn't be coming out onto shelves for another seven months or so. Can you imagine my disappointment? I believe you can. So, it was quite the coincidence when I looked at my holy New York Comic Con schedule and saw that Seth Fishman, author of said coveted book, would be signing advanced copies while I was free on time. I can assure you I made sure I was there at that signing.

Starting off the review, I will say that I thought Mia was pretty cool. Her single relationship status didn't come across as pathetic (which is good because it should not ever be conveyed as something pathetic) and she was a true leader. Mind you, she wasn't always confident, and who would be considering that her entire school is on this militant quarantine and people around her are being infected left and right with this unknown and deadly virus. But I loved that she always followed her gut instinct, no matter what others thought of her. I really loved how she kicked all female teenage archetypes in the ass, because--shocker--she does have fears, she can't solve everything, and she is actually a teenager and not a mutant warrior. She also has fantastic character growth, so yay her.

Ooooh, boy, does this plot just suck you in. I don't think I've read much of this kind of stuff, neither does it usually hold my attention because sometimes they all sound the same, but this one knocked me for a doozy. Call me stupid, but for the most part, I am terrible at predicting accurately future events or outcomes of a story. So, no matter how hard I reflected and tried to figure out the mystery of this beauty, I couldn't. And I needed to keep reading. Because I needed to know. Now. I tried to hold in my surprise and play it off as 'Nah, I had a slight inkling that this would happen.' But I couldn't really convince myself this time. And the novel itself is at such a quick and action-packed pace that you can just fly through the pages.

Also, what really made me enjoy this novel was the fact that anyone can be a hero. That's fact, right? But when do you ever see that really happen equally in a story? All praise and attention is usually on the one hero/ine and that's it, maybe with a few great sidekick moments. But in The Well's End, every one of Mia's friends and peers showed both great strengths and weaknesses. Everyone had some type of attribute that would help them throughout their mystery solving and due praise and attention was given to them; not all of it was put on Mia. And this is just great because it creates dynamic characters, besides the main ones!

Alright, so positive ranty rant time is over. Would I suggest you to read this novel? Yes. It's fresh and unpredictable. I felt like I was in the Antarctic, snow-covered, mystery-riddled town along with Mia and Gang. Fishman is great at creating dynamics and symbology, so kudos to him. Also, with an ending like that, I'll be making sure I keep an eye out on this new author.

4.5 Splashes

Monday, January 20, 2014

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Genre: YA Fairytale Spinoff
Expected Publication: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Page Count: 352

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

I've been wondering when someone would come out with a Beauty and the Beast spinoff!And then this beauty shows its cover (which is gorgeous)! I think I will automatically put any book that is a fairytale spinoff as a must read. It's just a must. And Cruel Beauty was a must.

Automatically, I liked Nyx. She was tough, but all she wanted was to be loved by her father. By anyone, actually. She was bitter and sad, somehow a very real and relatable character. And she had determination and a burning hatred for the demon lord in the castle. She's been destined since childhood to be the savior of their kingdom and kill Ignifex, so it's kind of understandable why she's so bitter and angry.

The main reason why I loved this book so much was the writing. Such beautiful sentences were crafted and I loved every bit of the writing. It was descriptive and unique, not a generic style of writing. The world that Hodge created was magical and dark, like, really dark. And I loved being able to read through her explorations of the house because it was so fascinating to read about.

So, I can already see where people will find the romance to be a little too insta for their taste. Don't worry, I felt that way too. But then, things get explained and lets just say that I ended up very much enjoying the romance. Ir was HOT! And confusing . . . and complicated. Well, it's not something that you'll expect. For me, the struggle was real, and I'm pretty sure Nyx felt the same way, so we were in this together.

I seriously can't get this book out of my mind. The novel, woven in with it's writing, was so unique and made for an unforgettable spinoff. Cruel Beauty was magical and dark, unpredictable and sexy, and I can only hope that others will enjoy this novel as much as I did. This novel was not all about the romance, but more about Nyx's character growth that made her such an interesting character to read about.

5 Splashes

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (28)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where bloggers like me get to gush about what makes their hands all grabby.

Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead
Genre: YA Paranormal
Expected Publication: July 19th, 2014
Publisher: Razorbill
Page Count:416

 Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.

In The Fiery Heart, Sydney risked everything to follow her gut, walking a dangerous line to keep her feelings hidden from the Alchemists.

Now in the aftermath of an event that ripped their world apart, Sydney and Adrian struggle to pick up the pieces and find their way back to each other. But first, they have to survive.

For Sydney, trapped and surrounded by adversaries, life becomes a daily struggle to hold on to her identity and the memories of those she loves. Meanwhile, Adrian clings to hope in the face of those who tell him Sydney is a lost cause, but the battle proves daunting as old demons and new temptations begin to seize hold of him. . . .

Their worst fears now a chilling reality, Sydney and Adrian face their darkest hour in this heart-pounding fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where all bets are off.

 Let's just say I recently finished reading The Fiery Heart and all I can think about it this book. I absolutely love this series! And even more so, I love Syndrian! Well, goodbye world, I will return once this book is devoured by me on July 19th.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi
Genre: YA Dystopia
Expected Publication: January 28th, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins
Page Count: 400

The earth-shattering conclusion to Veronica Rossi's "masterpiece" Under the Never Sky trilogy and sequel to the New York Times bestselling Through the Ever Night (

Their love and their leadership have been tested. Now it's time for Perry and Aria to unite the Dwellers and the Outsiders in one last desperate attempt to bring balance to their world.

The race to the Still Blue has reached a stalemate. Aria and Perry are determined to find this last safe-haven from the Aether storms before Sable and Hess do-and they are just as determined to stay together.

Meanwhile, time is running out to rescue Cinder, who was abducted by Hess and Sable for his unique abilities. And when Roar returns to camp, he is so furious with Perry that he won't even look at him, and Perry begins to feel like they have already lost.

Out of options, Perry and Aria assemble a team to mount an impossible rescue mission-because Cinder isn't just the key to unlocking the Still Blue and their only hope for survival, he's also their friend. And in a dying world, the bonds between people are what matter most.

In this final book in her stunning Under the Never Sky trilogy, Veronica Rossi raises the stakes to their absolute limit and brings her epic love story to an unforgettable close.

*A review copy was provided from the publisher for me to review*

In 2012, Under the Never Sky became one of my favorites of the year. I've said before and I'll say again that I am not the biggest fan of dystopia, but this series piqued my interested in all things dystopia. Since picking up the first book in this series, I have been a loyal fan of the series. So, obviously, with the last novel approaching publication, I am sad to see this fantastic series come to an end.

I've always loved Aria. She's a character that's experienced a lot of character growth throughout the books and her persisting strength and love is something so admirable to read about. And it's always great to see her make mistakes and have weak moments! She's real! Yay! Dimensional characters! And the same applies for all the other characters in this book.

So finally we get some answers about various mysteries that have been sneaking around throughout the series. It was nice to see them answered! Like all the other books in the series, I had a hard time getting away from it to do other things. I just wanted to sit and read it all in one sitting. While I didn't accomplish that, I certainly made sure I finished it pretty quickly. And I've never been so angry over a villain in my life. This guy was complete evil and it was crazy to read about.

I certainly have to slow clap it out for Rossi because I've been so invested in this story, its romance, every element about it since the beginning. This novel definitely didn't turn into a Mockingjay, but it didn't leave me completely happy about its outcome, either, because, let's face it; no dystopia novel is complete without its proportional amounts of heartbreak and death.

Okay, another thing I want to point out is that the romance between Perry and Aria was passionate enough for the setting. I don't think I ever understood why characters are getting it on and I'm left thinking to myself "HOW COULD THIS POSSIBLY HAPPEN WITH ALL THE CRAP THAT'S GOING ON AROUND YOU??" Their relationship was real and there were plenty of ups and downs that made their relationship authentic. I LOVE YOU, PERRY AND ARIA.

If you were wondering (which you probably weren't), yes, I did get a little misty-eyed at the ending. Not that it's boo-hoo sad, but I was just upset to see it end. The Under the Never Sky trilogy will always be a favorite of mine. With epic adventure, a palpable romance, alive characters, and an awesome story, it's bound to suck readers in. I can only hope that if you haven't started this series yet, I hope you do soon.

5 Splashes

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know this post is four days late, but my holiday was busy! I truly hope that everyone has come into the new year with plenty of happiness and plenty of books.

With lots of love,
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