ARC REVIEW: All The Rage by Courtney Summers

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TITLE: All The Rage
AUTHOR: Courtney Summers
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: April 14th 2015 by St. Martin’s Griffin
GENRE: YA > Contemporary | Mystery | Realistic Fiction
PAGES: 336pages (hardcover)
SOURCE: arc via publisher
RATING:

 

4 ★★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

The sheriff’s son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything—friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy’s only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn’t speak up. Nobody believed her the first time—and they certainly won’t now — but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear. 
With a shocking conclusion and writing that will absolutely knock you out, All the Rage examines the shame and silence inflicted upon young women after an act of sexual violence, forcing us to ask ourselves: In a culture that refuses to protect its young girls, how can they survive?

 

REVIEW:

 

“…and how do you get a girl to stop crying?
You cover her mouth.”

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I won’t tell you anything about this story because I want you guys to have the whole experience yourself. BUT. I would tell you how this story made me feel.

I am no wordsmith and this was one of those times that I wished I was so I can tell you guys how fantastic this book was for me. This freaking ripped my heart out in tiny pieces and then it wasn’t still satisfied so it stomped at it so many times after that.

This book made me angry for a lot of reasons. As I’m typing this, I’m shaking because I’m still freaking enraged. The people, God. I can’t believe this thing is happening right now but I sort of do, too, because that’s how messed-up this world is today. People blamed the victim of rape because maybe she liked it, maybe she brought all of this to herself, right?

“It doesn’t go down easy, this proof of being loved.”

Then, the victim started seeing the world in a wrong new light. She can’t even believe she’s worthy of being loved. She even hates that she has a body and a functioning heart because what good did it do to her? She feels she’s better off dead. And this was what hurt me the most.

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“You’re not better off dead.”

The writing was so engaging, so incredible that I feel like I couldn’t go to the next pages fast enough.I wish there was more though. I wish for a lot of things, mainly to know about what happens after everything. But I can’t really complain because this novel as it is was more than enough to gut me.

This book was phenomenal. I know I can’t give it enough praise that it so hugely deserved through my words but I guess making you guys read this wonderful masterpiece is enough. So bye guys, I’m going to gush about this now on Twitter.

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ARC REVIEW + GUESTPOST: The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

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TITLE: The Glass Arrow
AUTHOR: Kristen Simmons
PUBLICATION: Published February 10th 2015 by Tor Teen
GENRE: YA > SciFi | Dystopia
PAGES: 336pages (hardcover)
SOURCE: earc via publisher
RATING:
 
 

4 ★★★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon | BN | TBD
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:  

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder. In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
 
 
Glass_Arrow_Tour_Banner

REVIEW:

 

The world is not ending. Nobody is special. Nobody has a special gift. There’s no insta-love. THERE’S NO LOVE TRIANGLE!!!

Is it possible??!? YES PEOPLE. IT IS. And I have found it. I have found The Book.

The Glass Arrow is utterly captivating. Since Kristen has a very special Guest Post for us, I’m gonna keep this review a short one. So this is what I’ll tell you: Simmons’ writing is strong. She made a very terrifying world and yet, you can’t help but be enthralled.

Every character in here is well developed. The heroine– Aya, is a kickass. She’s sassy and strong willed. And Kiran… how do I express my love for Kiran?? He’s adorable and gorgeous. You will feel the emotions of every character rolls off in every page that’s why you’ll really be invested to this story. The world building is perfection and the plot was well thought and it was executed very well. I love how Aya’s story progresses. Aya had a lot of inner monologue that’s why the reader will thoroughly witnessed how Aya develops into a much stronger character.

The book is more into the action than into romance which isn’t a bad thing in here because first, Aya is young. She’s too young for any sexiness and hotness. Second, Kiran and Aya’s friendship is enough. I’m already swooning as long as they’re both together. Third, its not really the point of the book.

My last good point is that The Glass Arrow will really appeal to any female reader. Don’t get me wrong, its perfect for everybody! But what I’m saying is that this book is soooo into feminism. It showed through Aya’s actions. I had like, a week, to mull over everything that happen in the book and I realized that, in a way, everything in the book acts like a symbol to what’s happening in our world today. Kristen may be planning world domination right now and we don’t know it! WE DON’T KNOW!

I deducted one star because I did think that it was a bit slow at the first part but I think that’s just because I’m not into this genre that much. Its very rare for me to read books that are fantasy or dystopia.

Overall, I think its obvious that the book is amazing. Kristen’s writing is extremely visual and she’s just plain brilliant. Brilliant! This book is action packed and genuinely terrifying, an absolute must read!

 

 

GUEST POST:

 

Character profiles / Getting To Know The Characters

 

Hi Paula! Thanks so much for having me! There are many players in THE GLASS ARROW, but three that stand out for me. These three were the ones who drove the story while I was writing it, and I loved getting to know them. I hope you and your readers do too!

 

Aya is 15 when the book starts, but far from naïve. She’s spent her whole life living in hiding in the mountains with other women and children. Her mother, once a prisoner within the capitol city, has told her stories of what will happen if she gets caught – she’ll be taken to a facility, prepped for the auction stage, and sold to the highest bidder for companionship and breeding purposes. This is unacceptable to Aya. She embraces her freedom, and values it above all else. When she is captured, she does everything she can to escape and reconnect with the people and life that she loves. She’s fierce, determined, and smart, and I loved writing about her.

Kiran is a mystery – one revealed slowly over the course of the story. He’s part of the lowest ranking class – the Drivers, keepers of the horses – and has subjected himself to discrimination all his life for the purpose of getting what he needs from the city. The biggest challenge he faces? (And that I faced while writing him?) He can’t speak. None of the Drivers can. So when he meets Aya, he finds other ways to communicate. Kiran is honorable, kind, and respectful, in a world where men have a power advantage over women. Staying true to his values has to be a challenge, but he never falters.

Finally, Daphne. She may not be everyone’s favorite character at first, but I hope she’ll grow on them. Daphne grew up in the city, and has been indoctrinated since birth to serve the man who buys her. She buys into this seemingly wholeheartedly, until challenged by Aya to take ownership of her own power and recognize her self worth.

Thank you for letting me share my characters with you! I hope you love them as much as I do!

 

You can also check out the Book Trailer here:

 

 

 

 

 

AUTHOR:

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Website | Twitter | Facebook

Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series and THE GLASS ARROW (Tor Teen). She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:  

 

5 Copies of Glass Arrow and Bookmarks by Kristen Simmons.
1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of The Glass Arrow and Bookmark

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HOSTED BY:

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Paula

ARC REVIEW: Positively Beautiful by Wendy Mills a.k.a the one that gutted me more than TFIOS did

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TITLE: Positively Beautiful
AUTHOR: Wendy Mills
PUBLICATION: Expected publication: March 3rd 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
GENRE: YA > Contemporary
PAGES: 368pages 
SOURCE: arc via publisher
RATING:

 

4 ★★★★

 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Jodi Picoult for teens meets Lurlene McDaniel. Beautiful written, beautifully moving, a vivid contemporary story of a girl’s unusual but terrible dilemma – and the love story that springs from it.
16-year-old Erin is a smart if slightly dorky teenager, her life taken up with her best friend Trina, her major crush on smoky-eyed, unattainable Michael, and fending off Faith, the vision of perfection who’s somehow always had the knife in for Erin. Her dad, a pilot, died when she was very young, but Erin and her mom are just fine on their own.
Then everything changes forever one day after school when Erin’s mom announces she has breast cancer. And there’s even worse news to come. Horrified, Erin discovers that her grandmother’s death from cancer is almost certainly linked, the common denominator a rare gene mutation that makes cancer almost inevitable. And if two generations of women in the family had this mutation, what does that mean for Erin? The chances she’s inherited it are frighteningly high. Would it be better to know now and have major preemptive surgery or spend as much life as she has left in blissful ignorance?
As Erin grapples with her terrible dilemma, her life starts to spiral downwards, alleviated only by the flying lessons she starts taking with grumpy Stew and his little yellow plane, Tweetie Bird. Up in the sky, following in her dad’s footsteps, Erin finds freedom chasing the horizon. Down on the ground it’s a different story, and facing betrayal from Trina, humiliation from Faith, and a world of disappointment with Michael, Erin knows she must discover the truth about herself. Sure enough, she’s positive for the gene that’s slowly killing her mom.
Suddenly, Erin’s life has turned into a nightmare, and the only person she can truly talk to is a girl called Ashley who she meets online. But when, in a moment of madness, Erin flies away with Tweetie Pie to find her new friend, she finds herself on a journey that will take her through not only shock and despair – but ultimately to a new understanding of the true meaning of beauty, meaning, and love.

 

REVIEW:

 

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This gutted me more than TFIOS did. If you think this will be another cancer story, stop right there. This book truly mirrors its title because Beautiful is the one word I thought when I finished the book. This is Wendy Mills’ debut novel and I just want to hug and thank her for writing this incredible novel.

“Courage is not always big and bright and loud; sometimes it’s as silent and small as true words, a smile when you’d rather weep, or getting up every day and living with quiet dignity while all around you life rages.”

Erin’s mother have cancer and not only that, Erin might have one too in the future. This is where I first heard about the BRCA mutation and I instantly researched it. Luckily, I don’t have a relative that suffered with this but I still felt like I should know about it.

Positively Beautiful is just stunning. Wendy Mills’ really does her job into making her readers be invested to the story. Her writing is lyrical and emotional and it really pulls you in. Half of the book is highlighted because of all the beautiful lines and all the wisdom this book contains. And it’s not just all about love or boys… as a female reader, it inspired me to love my body even more and made me realize that our body is not the only thing that is love worthy. I already know that, of course, but this book just stresses it out and it’s just wonderful.

It’s also incredible that the story isn’t centered on a boy-girl relationship. Sure, this book contains a lovely romantic aspect but it’s more focused on the relationship of Erin and her mother. Which is truly the real brilliance of this book. Oh goodness, every time they talk I just cannot stop balling. The emotions in Positively Beautiful is so real and genuine. Even Erin’s best friend has her own story that make me sad but it was dealt with magnificently and I think a lot of teenage girls could relate with her.

This book contains so much and instead of being messy it was all woven in a very astounding way. The pacing is just perfect with all the stuff that is going on in Erin’s life and every issue is just dealt with accordingly.

There’s a slight twist that concerns the love interest and boy was I shocked. I honestly did not see it coming. I won’t be mentioning anything anymore but I will say this. I have mixed feeling about the guy. I love him. And I love them both them together. But the guy frustrated me and he has this belief or philosophy about love that I don’t like. But then again, there are people like that in real life. By the end, I was just plain happy for both of them. I liked how things ended and again, it was nothing but amazing.

Erin made some pretty stupid decisions. But who said Erin was perfect? She’s flawed but still strong and that’s why I adore her. She’s very matured and smart and I love being in her mind.

I know I didn’t made a rehash or a summary because I honestly on’t know how. I’m also afraid that I do the book justice so JUST READ IT. Because I really really recommend it. Positively Beautiful will break your heart… and mend it right back. You will laugh and cry and swoon and it will make you think. This book is just remarkable. It will totally speak to your heart and will stay in your mind for a very long time. What a marvelous debut!

“Which would you rather, to have a long miserable life, or a short, beautiful one?”
 

Paula

Happy Hearts Day from HBT

Whether you have a date or you’re staying at home and will spend your day with your book boyfriends, we here at Her Book Thoughts want to greet you all a HAPPY HEARTS DAY! Everyday is full of love when you spend it with a book but today’s pretty special because as we share our favorite swoony titles AND authors with you guys, we’ll also give them away. (Obviously the authors aren’t part of the prizes. I know, makes me sad too)

Choosing our top 5 is so HARD. It’s impossible, honestly. But if we list all our favorite swoony titles, this post will be very… very long. So as hard as it is, we finally decided our TOP 5. Let me go first.

 

Paula’s TOP 5…

 

  1. Eleanor and Park – Though this two leaves a bittersweet feeling inside of me, Eleanor and Park will always be one of my favorite YA couple. The feels.. the songs.. the tears

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  1. Meg and Simon – LET THIS BE TWO TOGETHER AND I’LL BE IN PEACE. JUST LET THEM HAVE BABIES!
  2. Penryn and Raffe – This pair killed me and.. yeah I’m still dead. SUSAN EE, hear my tears. Whatever happens in the end though. Penryn and Raffe will always be loved by me OTP FOREVER!
  3. Anna and Bennett – Adorableness. Anna and Bennett challenged time to be together.. and they survived. They SURVIVED! *their love is legendary*
  4. Gus and Hazel Grace – I cannot even imagine my list without them. I CANNOT.

 

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You have no idea how hard that is. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. Next on making the hard decisions is Marga. Here’s her top 5.

 

Marga’s TOP 4…

 

  1. Jem and Tessa – “I like Will but Jem is life, OKAY? That’s why I really love the epilogue of of Clockwork Princess. And actually the whole series.”
  2. Dimitri and Rose – “I like Dimitri and Rose’s relationship so much. They make each other stronger and they’re both dedicated to each other.”
  3. Raffe and Penryn – “Raffe and Penryn are just adorable.. There’s nothing going on with them yet in the books and I badly need that ship to sail.”
  4. Adrian and Sydney – “As for SYDRIAN.. Who doesn’t love them? Only those who haven’t read the Bloodlines series, of course”

 

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Next up is Frances, let’s see who her OTP’S are..

 

France’s TOP 4…

 

  1. Magnus and Alec – “..because Malec is the best and cutest gay couple I know <3”
  2. Will and Tessa – “Wessa’s story is one of the love stories that made me cry so much.”
  3. Jem and Tessa – “Jem and Tessa’s story is that other story that is equally heart wrenching.”
  4. James and Lily – “James and Lily’s love story never got any canon details much.. but I still love them”

 

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And last but definitely not the least is Rhea who I’m sure had a hard time on choosing her top 5. Let’s see her choices:

 

 Rhea’s TOP 5…

 

  1. Katy and Daemon – “I always liked you. From the moment you first flipped me off.”
  2. Brandon and Natalia – “If you burn away my bones, my love for him would remain, tattooed in the air.”
  3. Ansel and Mia  – “I think I need a cast for my penis.”
  4. Miles and Tate – “I didn’t fall in love with you… I flew.”
  5. Levi and Cath – “You know that I’m falling in love with you, right?”

 

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Now that we shared ours, we would like to her yours? Who is your TOP 5? And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!!

 

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HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!

ARC REVIEW: Seeker (Seeker #1) by Arwen Elys Dayton a.k.a what just happened here?

TITLE: Seeker (Seeker #1)
AUTHOR: Arwen Elys Dayton
PUBLICATION: Published February 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
GENRE: YA > Fantasy |  Romance
PAGES: 448pages (Paperback)
SOURCE: arc via  Netgalley
RATING:
 

2★★

 
 
Purchase links:
Amazon (print) | iBooks | Kobo | Nook
 
 

BLURB FROM GOODREADS:

 

Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.
Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin’s new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

 

REVIEW:

Okay. So. Where do I even begin?

I think the biggest mistake I made with Seeker is that I waited for about 3 days before I actually sat down to gather my thoughts about it and then wrote them down. And because there is just so much that happens in this book, most of which I feel like I’ve forgotten, lost track of or not understood in the first place. Oops?

Anyhow, bear with me this one time as I try to make sense of this book.

No matter what I do or do not remember, I know exactly what my favorite part of the book was—and that was the concept of the book. Quin Kincaid—our female MC—comes from a line of Seekers, and all 16 years of her life have been spent in training and anticipation of the day that she would take the Oath that would make her a Seeker. She’s training under her father Briac Kincaid and her uncle Alistair MacBain, both of whom are Seekers themselves. Also training with Quin are two other apprentices—Shinobu MacBain, her distant cousin and John Hart, her boyfriend.

Now, throughout the book, Seekers are specially trained people who are training to do “good for the world,” but what the real job description is is never really revealed. When the qualified of the three finally do take their Oath, and are tested for certain Seeker standards to be met, they discover that their fathers hadn’t told them the complete truth about what they would be doing. The sacred weapon of the Seekers, their knowledge and training is all for naught because they’re using it for all the wrong purposes. Again, I didn’t really follow because I didn’t know what the right purpose was.

Still with me?

The next part I’d like to talk about is the trio of these young people. John, Shinobu and Quin are close. They’re actually really close and they’ve been training together since childhood. And so comes the issue of the love triangle. I hate those. I really, really do. But in Seeker, it was more about unrequited love and there wasn’t any real ‘choosing’ to do, until about 30% into the book, which wasn’t too bad.

Yeah. Look at me, going all tolerant and shit with love triangles.

An important part of the book is an Athame. Now, an Athame is a dagger-like device made of stone, which has dials at its base. And when struck against a Lighting Rod, it allows the Seeker that uses it to enter the coordinates of a specific place on the planet and go there, defying all laws of space and time. Of course this was supposed to be used for the “good of the people,” but it’s really not.

Seeker is told in multiple POVs (four, if I’m not mistaken) and in third person. Usually, it’s not a major issue with me, but with the huge confusion that already was this book, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, pissed me off. I couldn’t get one continuous story line, I couldn’t understand one character entirely and since everyone was in a different mindset every five odd minutes I COULDN’T CONNECT WITH ANYONE.

Not that there was any major connecting to do anyway.

The entire book just kept running around in circles to me. It started in remote Scotland and then went to Hong Kong and then to London and then back to Scotland and then to Hong Kong. In these adventures, Quin, Shinobu and John came in contact with (and became) healers and drug addicts and amnesia patients and crazy grandparents.

Weirder and weirder.

This book seemed like it was never going to end…ever! And 448 pages is not a small commitment. It’s not, okay!

Now, the next book (as per the last page of the ARC) comes out Spring 2016. I have a few issues with that, too. Firstly, I barely kept up with the events that happened in this book while I was reading it, let alone waiting for almost a year for the next book to come out. And I pride myself on details, you guys. This shit’s embarrassing!

Secondly, I’m going to have to read the entire thing again—the thought of which is less pleasant than watching my toenails grow, trust you me on that.

I’ve been seeing a hot and cold reaction to Seeker on Goodreads. And most of the notes that reviewers have made, especially about not understanding the book, I completely agree with. Some have already given up on the series. I haven’t made a call on that. Honestly, I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping the next book will give me a better insight into, you know, everything.

All in all, I expected so much more. The concept, like I said, was very promising. I enjoyed the struggles that the characters went through and the way they got over it. I was shipping the ship that stuck at the end. The execution seemed to be my only problem. If you like being kept in the dark, like, a lot, then maybe this book is for you. Me? Not so much.

 

 

Rhea[1]