Thursday, November 14, 2013

Defy by Sara B. Larson

Release Date: January 7, 2014
A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and a thrilling love triangle.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?
First I want to say I'm sorry that I have been MIA. Again. I was out of state last week and then my 3 year old had surgery on Monday so I've had my hands full and my mind on other things. Anyway...
I've never done an ARC tour before. To be honest, I'm always nervous about getting the book, finishing the book, liking the book, reviewing the book, and getting the book to where it needs to be after me. It just seemed like more than I wanted to commit myself to. But when my friend Katie told me about a "locals only" book tour, I decided that I wanted to give it a try. 
Then.... after I signed up for the tour, I read the book synopsis. It sounded a lot like another book I read last year (and loved). I wasn't sure if I would connect to a story that I felt had already been told. Of course at this point I had loads of anxiety and was thinking, This is exactly why I don't do book tours! And now I'm friends with the author on Facebook and if I hate her book and have to review it there is absolutely NO WAY she won't see it (and, c'mon, we all know I'm not shy about giving a bad review if I hate a book). What did I get myself into?!?!?
One day, Defy showed up in my mailbox. I opened it with dread in the pit of my stomach and began reading. And kept reading. And as I read, the dread dissolved. I found myself completely drawn into a story that consumed my thoughts. The horrors Alexa ("Alex") saw. The arrogant and aloof prince. And Rylan. Sweet, best friend Rylan.
The dangerous secrets. The intriguing and fast paced plot. The different degrees of love mixed with the abundant hatred of war. Once I started, I literally could not stop. And not only was it not anything like that other story as I feared, it blew not only that book, but most others with similar settings, OUT OF THE WATER. I am so excited that I was able to experience this book early. I am even more enthused to share my thoughts and recommend it to you all. 
This is not a "check out from the library" or "borrow from a friend" book. This is the book that you get off your behind for, put some jeans and makeup on for, go out to your local bookstore (or front porch if you order it on Amazon) for, and BUY. I know I've already read it, but I am still counting down the days until it comes out so I can purchase a copy and re-read it immediately. This is not one to pass up. Seriously add it to your "To Buy" list or mark January 7th on your calendars. You will be so glad you did!
Happy Reading! 

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Prodigy by Marie Lu

This is the SECOND book in a trilogy.
Read Legend by Marie Lu before reading this review!

  Release Date: January 29, 2013
 Injured and on the run, it has been seven days since June and Day barely escaped Los Angeles and the Republic with their lives. Day is believed dead having lost his own brother to an execution squad who thought they were assassinating him. June is now the Republic's most wanted traitor. Desperate for help, they turn to the Patriots - a vigilante rebel group sworn to bring down the Republic. But can they trust them or have they unwittingly become pawns in the most terrifying of political games?

Amazingly, I think I'm finally done throwing my temper tantrum and am ready to review another trilogy. Especially since the final book in this particular trilogy just came out TODAY. So now I feel a burning desire to get you all hooked on Marie Lu, too.
This may have been the best *second book* I've ever read.


And you all know I have serious problems when it comes THOSE.

I'm not sure what it is about June and Day, but I just can't get enough of them. They are not only awesome characters alone, but they are even better together. When I finished the first book in the series, Legend (review HERE), I felt much the same thing I always do when I finish a really awesome book that I know is going to be a series.....DREAD. It's sounds silly but I always cringe when I think about a continuation of a really great story. I have been let down so many times. And if it's not the second book that bombs, it's the final book (which I promise you is much more catastrophic. But we won't get started on that...again.) I have to tell you that Marie Lu absolutely knows what she's doing when it comes to a series. Instead of June and Day severely disappointing me with general stupidity and drama like other *cough* unnamed couples do in the "means to an end" (second) book--wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles!--there was none of that to be found! They were just as crazy and adventurous and easy to love as they were when I first met them. Hallelujah.

I love when I find a story that I never want to end. One that still surprises me with twists and turns that I never saw coming. One where the characters are real and I root for them and hurt for them--sometimes at the same time. This is that book. This is THAT series. If you read on, even when I told you not to, I hope you are glad you did. I hope you want to read these books. Because they WANT to be read, they NEED to be read. And yes, I did cave and buy them because THEY ARE WORTH EVERY PENNY. Now if I can practice self control and save Champion (the final book) for my trip this weekend... Will power! I can do this!

 ... Oh, pray for me. LOL

 Happy Reading!