Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Apollyon, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Apollyon (Covenant, #4)

Title: Apollyon (Covenant, #4)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Genre: YA Paranormal/ Mythology
Pub. Date: April 4, 2013

Fate isn’t something to mess with… and now, neither is Alex.

Alex has always feared two things: losing herself in the Awakening and being placed on the Elixir. But love has always been stronger than Fate, and Aiden St. Delphi is willing to make war on the gods—and Alex herself—to bring her back.

The gods have killed thousands and could destroy entire cities in their quest to stop Seth from taking Alex’s power and becoming the all-powerful God Killer. But breaking Alex’s connection to Seth isn’t the only problem. There are a few pesky little loopholes in the whole “an Apollyon can’t be killed” theory, and the only person who might know how to stop the destruction has been dead for centuries.

Finding their way past the barriers that guard the Underworld, searching for one soul among countless millions, and then somehow returning will be hard enough. Alex might be able to keep Seth from becoming the God Killer… or she might become the God Killer herself. -Goodreads

Whaat!? I'm rating a book written by JLA 2 stars?! I know, I can't believe it either, but this book somehow fell short compared to the other books. It didn't pull at or challenge my emotions much, and I felt a bit disconnected from the story.

I have been a huge fan of the Covenant series for a while. Particularly Deity and Pure, I always felt engaged in the story and could never put the book down. Apollyon was a struggle to finish, and I must say there were not any notable moments that had me gripping the book out of complete interest. Sad thing is, nothing kept my interest for long, except maybe a few select scenes that still did not satisfy me compared to the other books in the series.

Simply put, there was too much sitting, not enough doing. It seemed like the action scenes were few and far between and a lot of the time was spent sitting around giving pep talks or whatever.

It was brought up plenty of times that Alex is "maturing". But I beg to differ. If she was "maturing", why was she so selfish, more so than the other books? She even admitted that she was selfish, but her friends kept assuring her that she is "much more mature than she used to be". That is not the case, for sure.

The antagonist was very obvious. Anyone with some knowledge of Greek mythology would be able to figure it out fairly easily.

The absence of Seth for a large portion of the book was disappointing. I didn't acknowledge that until reading Apollyon, but I noticed that without his constant jokes and sarcasm, the book became kind of dry without it.

I'm used to my emotions raging wild from reading the books in this series. In fact, that's what I expected from Apollyon the most. Unfortunately, that was not the case. I will admit, there were some okay-ish scenes, but not enough to blow my socks off like the other books did.

2/5 stars

Monday, May 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #8: Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Incarnate (Newsoul, #1)Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #2)Entwined

1. Incarnate, by Jodi Meadows
2. Days of Blood & Starlight, by Laini Taylor
3. Entwined, by Heather Dixon

Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1)Torment (Fallen, #2)City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3)The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus, #2)

4. Tiger's Curse, by Colleen Houck
5. Torment, by Lauren Kate
6. City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare
7. Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan (Helloooo! Percy's on the cover!)

Ink (Paper Gods, #1)The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)Splintered (Splintered, #1)

8. Ink, by Amanda Sun
9. The Deepest Night, by Shana Abe
10. Splintered, by A.G. Howard

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Review: Etiquette & Espionage, by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1)

Title: Etiquette & Espionage
Author: Gail Carriger
Genre: YA Steampunk
Pub. Date: February 5, 2013

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners—and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage—in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.

Set in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate, this YA series debut is filled with all the saucy adventure and droll humor Gail Carriger's legions of fans have come to adore.


Being a huge fan of Ally Carter, this book seemed the perfect one for me. Instead, it was probably one of the most snore-worthy books I've read thus far in the year 2013.

One quality I wish I had was the ability to continue a book, even if it seems impossible to do so. No, I don't have enough commitment or patience to do that. If the book doesn't catch my attention within 100 pages, I will give it up. Which is exactly what happened with this book; I lost my patience, and began another book that had a higher priority on my TBR shelf.

It is shameful that I couldn't finish this book; it had some potential to be a great book. The main character, Sophronia, was what stood out. She was a tomboy of sorts, and a bit rebellious. She was nothing like the other girls in typical YA and had a charming quality to her that instantly made me like her.

But, one of the major downfalls of Etiquette & Espionage is that it felt sort of immature, like it was mistakenly categorized as Young Adult when it should have been in the Children's Fiction genre.

I don't know; maybe I couldn't finish this book because I wasn't in the mood (since I have been feeling a bit down lately), or just overall laziness. There is a chance that it was either of those reasons, so I will probably give this book another chance once I feel like it.

2/5 stars

Monday, May 13, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday #7: Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's topic is pretty serious. Not all of the listed affected me on an extremely personal level, but they all evoked some feeling out of me, such as depression, sadness, grief, and the like.

StolenWintergirlsMornings in JeninSpeak

1. Stolen, by Lucy Christopher: Personally, I haven't read this yet, but I have read enough reviews to know that it is about a girl who was kidnapped. Pretty depressing subject.

2. Wintergirls, by Laurie Halse Anderson: This book effectively portrays anorexia and not only the physical effects, but the psychological effects.

3. Mornings in Jenin, by Susan Abulhawa: Out of all of the books, Mornings in Jenin probably affected me the most. It is a story on the Israel- Palestine conflict (a very complex and tough subject), and really touched me on an emotional level. The horrors this book described were unimaginable and brutal.

4. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson: Evidently, LHA handles tough topics very well; she managed to tackle the topic of rape and how drastic the effects are on the victim.

Before I FallThe Fault in Our StarsA Child Called "It"

5. Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver: The subject of death is a tough one in and of itself, and Lauren Oliver did an outstanding job in her novel. Honestly, I think this should be required reading in high school, to teach the students a life lesson. I know it affected me and my outlook on life tremendously.

6. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green: Few authors can manage to pull off a book on cancer while at the same time enjoyable to read (except the ending). But c'mon, we're talking about John Green here.

7. A Child Called "It", by Dave Pelzer: Back in elementary school, my friend persuaded me to read this. You can imagine the effects it had on 10-year-old me.

What are your top 10 picks? Comment and link below!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Teen Bloggers group on GR!

Terribly sorry for the silent treatment the past week or two. I haven’t been able to devote much time to my blog, due to school. Who knew 2 letters, A and P, can manage to take over my life. (For those of you who have never heard of the AP exam, it is this test high schoolers take so they don’t have to take that particular class in college. You can also call it “ruiner of lives”, the “only-people-who-have-no-life-can-get-a-5”, or simply “Pressure”.)

Anyhow, I have some great news. A couple other teen bloggers and I collaborated and created a group on Goodreads named Teen Bloggers. Because the amount of teen bloggers is lacking, we decided to make a group in which teen bloggers could meet other teen bloggers and interact with them.

So far, the group is doing spectacular. I have met so many friendly teen bloggers who share the same passion as I. It’s a brilliant way to publicize your blog, and get to discover other wonderful blogs.

Made by the awesome Ruby over at Feed Me Books Now!!! 

Seriously, this group is by far one of the best groups on GR. And I’m not just sayin’ that because I’m one of the moderators. If you are a teen, and a blogger, then you should most certainly join us!

To join the Teen Bloggers group, click HERE

Friday, May 10, 2013

Blog Tour, Giveaway, & Review: Of Silver and Beasts, by Trisha Wolfe

Of Silver and Beasts

Title: Of Silver and Beasts
Author: Trisha Wolfe
Genre: YA/NA fantasy
Pub. Date: April 19,2013

In the sand-covered queendom of Cavan, the goddess once saved a young Kaliope’s life, preventing the mercury her father attempted to hide in her blood from reaching her heart. Now, a cybernetic clamp filters it, but the silver streaks swirling faintly beneath her skin are a constant reminder that she’s different.

When nineteen-year-old Kaliope is chosen as head of the Nactue Guard, she becomes the sworn protector to her empress. In the midst of an invasion on a neighboring land, Kaliope is placed in charge of guarding Prince Caben, the last heir to his kingdom. But when they’re attacked by the feared Otherworlders, Caben and Kaliope are abducted and taken below to a realm where they must fight for their life in a caged arena.

Kaliope struggles to protect her princely charge, keeping him and herself alive while battling inhumanly opponents, and trying to save the stolen, sacred relic that will restore her empress’s life force and all of Cavan. And if she can somehow awaken the goddess within her, she may save what’s most important.

Of Silver and Beasts is a story of loyalty, love, and faith. A story that was perfectly executed, complete with a complex plotline and excellent world building. The mythology aspect was the best component of OSAB, and is for sure one of the best mythology books I have read thus far.

The story follows a protector named Kaliope, whose unwavering loyalty gives her the job of protecting her empress. She is a total badass, while at the same time relatable due to her human tendencies. She did not make stupid or naïve decisions. She was actually a very smart girl, something not so common in YA/NA protagonists. *fist bumps*

And don’t even get me started on Caben. *giggles*

OSAB has many different aspects to the plot. Sometimes, books attempt to make their storylines seem complex and intricate, but they sadly fail. All the book succeeds in doing is in giving me a headache from the lack of explanations and overall sloppiness of how the plot was handled. What really made this book stand out was that not once was I confused about the plot. It was explained perfectly, and I personally believe that Trisha Wolfe did an outstanding job at the beginning of the novel in setting up the story and basic framework for the rest of the series.

At times I feel like I have no right to critique authors for their writing skills, as mine aren’t that great, but this is a problem I noticed from the reader’s standpoint. I am in no way implying that I can write better than the author; but, I felt compelled to point this out as it was noticeable. What I am referring to was that sometimes, the writing felt kind of choppy, although most of the time it was pretty good. This did not happen very often, but it occurred enough for me to take notice.

I became somewhat worried that based on how the book started out, that I would be bombarded with feminist ideals. Not that I don’t believe in gender equality, (am a strong supporter of it, actually) but I predicted that the author would weave not-so-subtle hints of feminism in this book, trying to force the reader to believe that men are stupid, selfish cowards who are much weaker than women. However, the author did NOT do this, thankfully. Instead of trying to prove that women are better than men the whole time and trying to shove this belief into our minds –which I would have thought she would have done, from how the story began- she used this belief to demonstrate Kaliope’s growth and change of beliefs throughout the story. Over time, Kaliope began to realize that it’s not women against men competing for the “better gender”, it’s actually that both genders are equal. (LOL, that’s a big ‘ol paragraph…)

I have come to the conclusion that anyone who is awesome enjoys mythology, so if you are awesome, read this book. Don’t expect a light read; OSAB is a book that has different elements to the plot that make the overall novel intriguing and captivating. The action scenes are intense and gripping. Frankly, I wonder if Trisha Wolfe holds some kind of magical abilities, her story is just that great, it is hard to comprehend the amount of effort she put into this beautifully-woven book.

4 stars!

TrishWolfePic.jpgTrisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing), the NA Historical/Supernatural ASTARTE'S WRATH, and the upcoming YA Utopian FIREBLOOD fromSpencer Hill Press, October 2013. Her NA Dark Fantasy OF SILVER AND BEASTS available May 2013.

She's the creator of YA Bound, a promotional site for the Young Adult genre. Also a member of SCWW and The Apocalypsies. Check out for more on her books and bonus material. Follow Trisha on Twitter @TrishWolfe and like her Facebook page for updates.