Tag Archive | recommend

News: Truthwitch FREE for limited time

Hey you Witchlanders! This is for you. For a limited time only, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is for FREE as an ebook.

No, this isn’t a joke.

You can become the proud owner of an ebook version TODAY by following these simple rules.

Go to http://ebookclub.torteen.comtoday only, December 13 from 12AM to 11:59PM EST and sign up for the Tor Teen newsletter.It’s as simple as that!

Don’t miss out on this absolute steal! And if you’re hesitant about getting a book that you haven’t read (even though it’s completely free and what’s the harm really), you can check out my review on the book here.

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Review: Fireblood by Elly Blake

Series: Frostblood Saga #2

fireblood -elly blakeAll hail the Fire Queen.

Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby’s powers and past…

Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fire Queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax—which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, Ruby no longer knows whom to trust.

The fates of two kingdoms are now in her hands.


4 Drink Me Potions


Let me just say that hands down, this novel restores my faith in authors who can make amazing sequels that may even surpass the original novel, especially one where I could see its potential for greatness. Fireblood was both exhilarating and fast-paced while building more on top of this world’s history and ideologies. I would say that is a huge feat.

This story focuses on Ruby’s journey and mission in her home country of Sudesia. I loved learning more about this place and the Fireblood masters’ abilities. There were so many more facets of Ruby’s powers and background that just became more clear in this book as she never really related to the Frostbloods.

Never fear, Frostblood lovers. There were snippets still in Tempesia, though this was mostly restricted to the beginning. I enjoyed seeing the aftermath of book 1 and how things weren’t as rosy as our protagonists had hoped. Frostbloods are still racist and probably secretly hoping for Ruby’s head on a stick!

What came with this was seeing Ruby’s relationship with Arcus now that his mission to take the throne was accomplished. The one thing that made this less than a perfect rating is the somewhat limited amount of interaction with him in this book. Clearly he’s not headed to Sudesia with her unless he has a secret death wish. That’d be irresponsible of him. While Arcus isn’t featured as heavily as book 1, for all you Arcus lovers out there, he’s still relevant as I’ll explain in a moment.

Another main thing that occurs in this book is the introduction of Kai, a charming Fireblood who I can’t decide whether I love him or not. There’s definitely an attraction of sorts between him and Ruby, but honestly, it doesn’t bloom into a hard choice for her to pick between the two suitors. So I wouldn’t necessarily classify him as a love triangle but that brings me to question why any of this was even introduced in the first place. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kai as a fun and easygoing friend in this book, but I’m not sure I see the relevance of being potential competition for Arcus when Ruby spent a lot of time pining away for him.

This is where Arcus is still relevant. He makes his appearances in the book beyond just the very beginning (don’t you worry, I’m Team Arcus all the way) although a huge part of me yearned for more interactions between him and Ruby like in book 1. There were romantic tensions that occurred near the beginning when they separated that had my heartstrings crying out for closure and it definitely hastened my page-flipping to see how it all tied up at the end. Without ruining much, I believe Elly handled it amazingly – even with the “love triangle” present for which I’m never a huge fan of in any book – and that’s not usually the case for me and love triangles. Honestly, we just don’t mix very well. So that says something.

Aside from romantic entanglements and such, the last 100 pages had me gripped in a breathless frenzy. Everything’s setting the stage for the big conclusion, and while some things weren’t necessarily unpredictable, I still really enjoyed how it got there and the revelations about Ruby that unfolded slowly. Little tidbits really are starting to fall into place and I’m so looking forward to what the last book brings! Can next year come a little closer? Please?

Overall Recommendation:

Fireblood is the rarity that excels beyond its predecessor, a marvellous feat that has shown us that Elly Blake can really craft a wonderful story that ties so well together beyond a single book. With more world building and character development in Ruby, the pages really go by fast as new revelations are made and relationships are tested. While not truly a love triangle themed story in my opinion, the additional characters introduced in this sequel gave the overall cast more diversity and molded different sides to our favourite protagonists. Honestly? I just cannot wait to get my hands on book 3, Nightblood. And you should too.

Note: meeting the author had in no way biased or affected my review on this novel as I look at a book for what it is regardless of my (positive or negative) feelings about the author.

Review: All Things New by Lauren Miller

all things new -lauren millerJessa has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn’t help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and visible scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels.

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, where she meets Marshall, a boy whose kindness and generous heart slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

ALL THINGS NEW is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world, perfect for fans of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS.


4 Drink Me Potions


**All Things New comes out August 1, 2017**

Thank you NetGalley and Three Saints Press for this copy in exchange for an honest review

 

What if we could see how people are on the inside, the real, invisible truth, literally painted on their faces? Some people would look hideous, like Dorian (Gray). Awfulness telegraphed as ugliness in paint. But most of us would probably just look damaged. Broken in places. Bruised and cut and scarred.


Lauren Miller is a master of crafting ideas into stories that portray truths that we can all relate to. I’ve been a fan of both of her previous works, Parallel and Free to Fall. So with fairly high expectations, her latest work All Things New managed to still surprise me (in a delightful way) with the depth of the newest truth displayed in a beautiful YA story.

Jessa (what a beautiful name!) has anxiety. Not your run-of-the-mill stress. But a true anxiety disorder that affects daily living. I loved having her as the main character. I myself know what it feels like to have panic attacks, but the absolute emotion evoked in Jessa’s feelings when she was stressed gave me a glimpse of what it would be like when this kinda anxiety lived under the surface all the time. Her anxiety and fear defined her. She could try to hide all this mess inside of her as best as she could, but anything hidden deep down is going to be disastrous when they explode out into the visible light. And with her accident, now there were more problems added to her plate: hallucinating bruises and scars on other people’s faces.

The one thing that made me drop my rating a little was the little bit of slowness in the beginning. From the synopsis, we all know that the bruises and scars she sees on other people may be a representation of bruises to their inner self, to their soul. However, Jessa doesn’t get to that conclusion for a long time. It’s just another thing she’s deeply ashamed about herself, adding to the fear and another thing she has to hide from those who care about her.

But beyond this little thing, all else was AMAZING. Period.

There weren’t many secondary characters that really mattered in this story. The two people we get to know are twins, Marshall and Hannah.

Hannah wasn’t simply just Jessa’s “new friend”. She can’t be so simply defined. She wasn’t so two-dimensional. Hannah was broken inside herself. It may not have been so easily seen, as we all go through life trying to hide what we suffer on the inside, but going through this story, it wasn’t just a story of Jessa learning to deal with her mess, but the same went for Hannah. I loved that there was more focus on Hannah than other novels would put the effort into “the friend” character. Even if we didn’t relate to Jessa, maybe we could relate to Hannah’s type of problems. I know I could. Academic stress and being the twin less focused on by the parents. Different things stress different individuals, but this novel showcases the unity in learning to deal with our individual problems.

As for Marshall, he’s not just “the boyfriend”. He’s not just the twin with a physical hole in his heart. He’s good-natured and always looked at the bright side. He was one factor in pushing Jessa to deal with her problems instead of avoiding them. He’s not the only one, as life doesn’t always necessarily revolve around a magical solution in our significant others. But they can be at least one powerful motivator.

At the end of the day, All Things New demonstrated poignant ideas such as soul and mind, seeing the visible and the invisible in others’ lives, and the bruises we carry inside. Lauren Miller has done it again, and if you like stories that make you think with hints of hope and love weaved throughout, her stories are something you need to read.

Overall Recommendation:
All Things New tackles a difficult idea of symbolic bruises on our souls from the various stresses in our lives, becoming visible to our protagonist Jessa who herself has a lot of issues to deal with inside. While this story centres on this young woman’s journey in facing the scars she has – both physical and emotional – it also deals with influences of family, love and support groups for those with mental health illnesses. In the YA genre, all works of Lauren Miller’s is outstanding but All Things New is definitely recommended.


Have you read any other good books that deal with mental health in a similar way?