Thursday, September 22, 2016

UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Unscripted Joss Byrd

Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is "fiercely emotional," a young actress with "complete conviction," and a "powerhouse."
OMG I love Joss Byrd and I don't want this story to be over. I need a million more pages. 

The perfection of this novel is all in the details. The characters and their relationships are complex and nuanced, and every page is peppered with careful insights that paint the scene and make the words come alive on the page. The author is at home in this world and it shows. 

This book gave me all the feels! I want everyone to read it. 

My Rating:  * * * * * 

Find it on Goodreads 

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RATING SCALE: 
 5* = OMFG loved it. Will read it again. Touch my book and I will cut you. 
 4* = Really good. Highly recommend. Miiiight reread. Maybe. Don't touch my book. 
 3* = Good. I liked it. Go ahead and touch it. 
 2* = Not for me, finished but struggled. Didn't connect. 
 1* = DNF. Couldn't do it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

My September Reviews:

Into the Dim (Into The Dim #1)


Into the Dim (Into the Dim, #1)

From Goodreads: 
When fragile, sixteen-year-old Hope Walton loses her mom to an earthquake overseas, her secluded world crumbles. Agreeing to spend the summer in Scotland, Hope discovers that her mother was more than a brilliant academic, but also a member of a secret society of time travelers. Trapped in the twelfth century in the age of Eleanor of Aquitaine, Hope has seventy-two hours to rescue her mother and get back to their own time. Along the way, her path collides with that of a mysterious boy who could be vital to her mission . . . or the key to Hope’s undoing. 

What I Thought:   
I was hooked from the first sentence. The set-up here is great. Burying an empty coffin. Brilliant. Hope is a unique character. Her photographic memory makes her crazy-smart but also has a down side. I liked that she wasn't perfect. It made it so much easier to relate to her, but I found some of her phobias too easily overcome. First it was impossible to get on a plane, and then she flies to Scotland...on a plane. As for Scotland, there wasn't much Scotland in the book, and the mysterious boy...wasn't so mysterious. That part seemed a bit too obvious, and Hope a little too trusting, but that could be my overly distrusting nature rearing its ugly head. Anyway, these things are all nitpicks. I couldn't help but root for Hope, because she's such a nice person. She's a loyal friend and she goes out of her way to help other people.

I loved the time travel aspect and think it was handled very well. The historical depictions here were fun to read. Now I want to learn more about the period. Yes, I had a few hiccups, but, overall, I really enjoyed this one. It was a great start to a new series and I'll definitely pick up the next one to see where it goes.  
My Rating: * * * *
Find it on Goodreads.

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The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold #1)


The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1)

From Goodreads:
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible. 
What I Thought:
The writing is gorgeous. The story is so imaginative and I'm in love with Traci Chee's words. There was a lot going on here, but the story lines were woven together brilliantly. It seemed effortless. I would've liked a bit less narrative distance. I think it would've made the characters more accessible, but Sefia is amazing. She's strong and capable and refuses to back down. And Archer... OMG I love him. 

I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say I'm dying for book II. Definitely hooked. 

My Rating: * * * * *

Find it on Goodreads.
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Girl in the Shadows (Cirque Americain #2)

Girl in the Shadows

From Goodreads:
Eighteen-year-old Moira Mitchell grew up in the shadows of Vegas’s stage lights while her father’s career as a magician soared. More than anything, Moira wants to be a magician too, but her father is dead set against her pursuing magic.

When an invitation to join the Cirque American mistakenly falls into Moira’s possession, she takes action. Instead of giving the highly coveted invitation to its intended recipient, Raleigh, her father’s handsome and worldly former apprentice, Moira takes off to join the Cirque. If she can perform alongside its world-famous acts, she knows she’ll be able to convince her dad that magic is her future.

But when Moira arrives, things take on an intensity she can’t control as her stage magic suddenly feels like…real magic. To further distract her, Raleigh shows up none too pleased at Moira’s presence, all while the Cirque’s cocky and intriguing knife thrower, Dez, seems to have it out for her. As tensions mount and Moira’s abilities come into question, she must decide what’s real and what’s an illusion. If she doesn’t sort it out in time, she may forever remain a girl in the shadows. 
What I Thought: 
I loved the MC, but I only liked the story. Moira had so much spirit and such a passion for her magic that it was impossible not to be drawn in to her world. And I was, but there was a bit of insta-love going on here, which I'm not crazy about. I liked how she was cautious at first.  I wanted her to be cautious a lot longer, like, maybe, the whole book. The romance seemed secondary to the story--even though it was so much a part of it--and I think that made a difference in their relationship feeling too fast to be believable. 
As for the rest, I can't really get into that aspect without giving too much away. Overall, my love of Moira carried a lot of weight here and kept me reading when I lost interest in the plot. If there's another book in this series, I'd pick it up to see where the story goes.
My Rating: * * *
Find it on Goodreads.

Happy Reading,

Chelly