Water’s Wrath

Water’s Wrath

by Elise Kova

Rating: 4.5/5

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OH MY GOD FOR ALL THAT IS FORSAKEN IN THIS WORLD. WORDS, I JUST…I..BUT..REALLY..WHY?????!?!??

Okay that was a bit extreme but that is how it felt reading this book. Elise Kova seriously decided to throw every single possible emotion into this book. I laughed, I loved, I felt strength and power, and I cried, oh boy did I cry. So take that as a warning, you will need a box of tissues for this book. Actually, just go to Costco and get a case!

Water’s Wrath takes place immediately after Earth’s End. The Solaris Empire has taken victory over the North. Vhalla earned her freedom and left with a secret in tow but that secret makes her return to the kingdom she wanted to be free of and a lover she wishes to never see again.

This is the fourth book in the Air Awakens series and it did not disappoint! I had made quite a few predictions after Earth’s End about what would happen. Aaannnnddd I was completely wrong. Well maybe there was a little truth to my predictions but that would be stretching it. We learn a lot more about Aldrik in this book and about his deep seeded memories he keeps locked inside him. Vhalla also grows even more as a character. She has found herself and taken ownership of her power and her mind. I think what I loved most is the relationship growth between Aldrik and Vhalla. They separated at the end of Water’s Wrath because Aldrik was being forced to marry the princess of the North (who seems kind of stuck up and annoying in this book.) Two people who cannot be together but it is not like a Romeo and Juliet love story. Both of them individually deal with life and mature and bring their relationship into a healthy, powerful love.

I wasn’t sure how the storyline would fall in this book considering the others had to do with war. I guessed crystals were going to play a role and they did but I think this story was really driven by character development and emotions. I told you kleenex was needed and I wasn’t lying. You will need it. There is also a ‘betrayal’ you could say but in my opinion I never trusted that character to begin with. The ending of this book left my mouth open. Like wait what?!??! How is that possible and but how is she supposed to…but I don’t know what is going to happen and then all of a sudden a bad thing happens and I just can’t.

I highly recommend this series to EVERYONE! It is beautifully written and the storytelling is compelling and the world is well-built. I am sad that there is only one book left. But Elise Kova has a new series she is writing that comes out in January 2017! So go pick this book up and the rest of the series and I am sure we will all be awed and shocked and sad and happy and terrified and in love when the final book, Crystal Crowned, comes out July 12th! (And you need to see the glory that is that cover right here.)

 

 

 

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The Promise of Amazing

The Promise of Amazing

by Robin Constantine

Rating: 3/5

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This book did not promise anything amazing. It just gave the promise of following the same formula to lead to the same boring story. Cool, hot popular boy that is totally out of girl’s league + quiet, too nice for her own good girl that is too good for any popular boy = INSTALOVE.

The Promise of Amazing is about a girl, Wren, who is average in just about everything and a boy, Grayson, who just got kicked out of private school for selling term papers. Wren saves his life while he chokes on food at a reception hall she works at. Their lives soon become intertwined and a love blossoms. (Who would have thought?!)

Okay, just by that description I should have known this book would have been a doozy. But I was really in the mood for a contemporary romance and this one just happened to be sitting on my Kindle. This book just fell flat. There was really no character development. The secondary characters were boring. Most of them I kept forgetting their names. I am not saying this book was terrible. It wasn’t, I read it in one sitting, however it just lacked something different. It felt like the same story I have read a hundred times. I mean that because I cannot think of anything to even say about it. Seriously, my mind is blank. (Maybe this could do with the fact that I haven’t written a review in a long time but I have been busy. I am not using that as an excuse. Okay I kind of am. But there was bookcon and I wanted to Cosplay for it and I worked my ass of for two weeks to finish it. So I apologize.)

So read this if you want but if you’ve read any book that follows that formula above then you have already read it.

 

Now this brings up another problem of mine. I feel like I am in a reading slump. I mean I have been reading but I feel like it’s been awhile since I read something truly amazing or original. Everything just seems the same to me and I don’t know if it is just because I keep setting high expectations or if books are truly losing their originality. Now I am not counting books in series in this because obviously I love that series if I still read it. And Lady Midnight doesn’t count either because it is part of the same world as TMI and TID. (Review to come soon.) Does anyone else feel this way? Or do you have a book recommendation for me that you think will blow me away?


These Shallow Graves

These Shallow Graves

by Jennifer Donnelly

Rating: 4.5/5

 

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“If you’re going to bury the past, bury it deep, girl.

Shallow graves always give up their dead.”


This book was downright fun! I had so much fun reading it and I just couldn’t get enough. I fell in love with 1890s New York, the strong characters, and the compelling story that left me wanting more. These Shallow Graves is a brilliant historical fiction novel that is bursting with mystery, suspense, a great love story, and a whole lot of girl power.

Josephine Montfort is a 17 year old girl born into privilege. She is near the end of finishing school, awaiting a marriage proposal, and desperately searching for freedom. She wants to be a writer, like Nellie Bly, but due to her place in society it is looked down upon. While at school she finds out her father has died from an apparent suicide. Jo thinks differently and decides to try and uncover the truth behind her father’s death. She gains help from a young reporter named Eddie and a morgue assistant named Oscar. But as Jo’s investigation continues she realizes some truths are better left buried.

I am not a huge fan of historical fiction. I love books that time travel and go back to certain times but usually I find historical fiction novels to be stuffy, too fixed on factual details and settings and not enough time spent on the actual story. Jennifer Donnelly exceeded my expectations and was able to craft together a fascinating novel that took historical facts, settings, dress, and societal standards and weave them into a story that kept you trying to solve the mystery while rooting for Jo to keep her determination and willpower and overcome the restrictions society has placed on her.  It was so easy to get pulled into this story. I felt like I was actually in New York City in 1890. I was fascinated by a lot of the decisions that Jo had to make based on what was expected of her. Today those things would never happen and I was constantly appalled by some of the things expected of her. One of the biggest was the fact that she needed to be in mourning for six months after her father passed meaning she could only wear demure, black outfits and could not attend any outings or balls unless is was strictly family or approved by her uncle.  I am sorry but to me that is just outright crazy. When someone dies I think you should celebrate their life and then live your life to its fullest. I am not even going to get started on the fact that women of high society are expected to marry around the age of 18 and then start knocking out kids right away. No thank you. Grandmama Aldrich even referred to women in the book like dogs and that they are meant for breeding. WHAT?!??!?!!

Okay I feel like I went off on a tangent there. Anyway, the plot of this novel is fantastic, it draws you in and makes you want to solve the crime as much as Jo. There are so many twists and turns and we meet some great characters along the way. One of those being the young reporter looking for his story that will make him a great reporter, Eddie Gallagher. He represents the working class and provides great balance to Jo. He helps keep her in line of her standards when she starts to get a bit too excited about chasing a lead. At other times, he is right there with her chasing the story. The romance that develops between the two is very organic and real. There is no insta-love and at one point I didn’t even think a romance would develop between the two. But it makes for a great part of the story because Jo is expected to get a proposal from Bram Aldrich, one of the richest men in New York, and the slight but hardly a love triangle if you can even call it a love triangle plays a major role in the development of this story. There is a super cute kissy part between Eddie and Jo so if you have read this book then you know what I am talking about. But seriously guys I think it was one of the best first kisses ever written in a book. (Well, at least that I can remember at this time.)

Some other great characters that I loved because they were well written and surprising and just added an overall sense of perfection to this novel were Uncle Phillip Montfort, Trudy, Oscar, and Fairy Fay. I didn’t find that any characters were just placed in the book to fill a whole, every single one had a purpose.

I know a book is fantastic when I cannot get it out of my head, whether it’s the story, the setting or the time period. And this one was drowning my brain. I kept speaking in terms used from the 1890s and kept imagining what life was like back then. I live on a historic boulevard in Chicago with huge houses and mansions (I wish I lived in one) and the entire time I was reading this book I kept imagining walking down the street in a smart suited dress, sucked into a corset to make my waist 17 inches, my hand resting on the inside of my husband’s elbow as we walk to a friends for afternoon tea or even a dinner party. Although that would be fun for a day I do not think I would survive in times like this, not being able to express my opinion or feel wrong for my thirst for knowledge would drive me insane, literally, I would probably have ended up in a madhouse, like Dunning, Chicago’s historic asylum from the late 1800s or as in this novel the Darkbriar Asylum. (On a side note though I do wish to someday be able to attend a ball. A real one, in large gowns, were we pretend we are proper women from a time when proper was a thing.)

I highly recommend this book. It was absolutely fantastic. The only reason I knocked half a star off was because I did find somethings just a bit predictable. I am definitely going to pick up some more books from Jennifer Donnelly.

And here is my spin on the cover of this book with makeup…

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You can check out my instagram by clicky clicking here for other fun bookish and makeup stuff.

 

Until next time!


Elise Kova just released the cover for Crystal Crowned and it is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen

It’s here! It’s here! The cover for Crystal Crowned and words can’t even…

I mean, I just–nope can’t,

deep breath…

slowly, in then out…

but it’s just oh emm gee..

Oh okay I’ll just show it to you…

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Is this not the most beautiful, powerful, fierce, stunning, glamorous, and tempting cover you have ever seen?! It has to be one of my favorite of all time!

Synopsis: (But you should skip this if you have not read any of the other books including Water’s Wrath which comes out nest week!)

Long live Solaris.

One bloodthirsty ruler has been overthrown by another, casting the shadow of death over the Solaris Empire. Vhalla Yarl stands upon the stage of fate, prepared to do battle one final time. Fragile alliances will be tested and new bonds will be formed as the world is reshaped. She fights as the champion of peace, but when the night is darkest will she be able to pay the price of a new dawn?

I am just so excited. I can’t believe we have to wait three whole months for it though! It is being released on July 12!

These buttons here will let you preorder it!

And you can get all the other books right here!

Air Awakens

Fire Falling

Earth’s End

Water’s Wrath

Here is all the clicky stuff so you can add to Goodreads!

Air Awakens

Fire Falling

Earth’s End

Water’s Wrath

Crystal Crowned

About the Author

elise kovaElise Kova has always had a passion for storytelling. She wrote her first novella, a high-fantasy, in sixth grade. Over the years she’s honed her love of literature with everything from fantasy to romance, science fiction to mystery, and whatever else catches her eye.

Elise lives in Saint Petersburg, Florida, where she’s currently working on the next installment in her debut YA fantasy series: Air Awakens. She enjoys video games, anime, table-top role playing games, and many other forms of “geekdom.” She loves talking with fans on Twitter (@EliseKova) and Facebook.

You can also check out her website @  www.EliseKova.com

 

And there is a raffle too!

Just click on this beautiful picture to win a cover print!

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Or click this one to have a chance to get your name as a character!

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Woohoo! I am so excited! What about everyone else? I guess I’ll just have to reread all of these books over and over again until Crystal Crowned is released!!

 

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Sword and Verse

Sword and Verse

by Kathy MacMillan

Rating: 2/5

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Let’s start off by looking at that gorgeous cover. Isn’t it so pretty? This book must be fantastic because that cover is just so gorgeous. I mean that can’t be the only good thing about this book right? WRONG! The cover is probably the best part. I mean the story wasn’t that horrible. I did finish it. And I did like some of the plot concepts. However, that is about it. This story dragged in certain parts and at others I just wanted to laugh because it was so predictable and dumb. I was very excited for this book and it just left me disappointed.

Raisa is a servant and expects to be her entire life. Then she is chosen to become the newest tutor and learn the secret languages of the gods. Her classmate is the crown prince and a romance soon develops between the two. She is approached by the resistance, a secret group set on liberating the slaves. She must decide if she should join the resistance or follow her heart.

I should have known this book was not going to live up to expectations. First because it got not the best reviews on Goodreads and secondly because my dog knew this book was going to be bad before I even got that far into it. (See Exhibit A.)

Exhibit A

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I think my dog was trying to give me a sign. Anyway, the thing that made this book unbearable was the lack of connection to the characters. I had no feeling whatsoever for them. They just kind of existed on the page. Their passion and pain and fear never made its way off the page and into my heart. It was dull. And not to mention that the majority of the story revolved around a romance, a romance that had kissing scenes but there was no passion in the kissing scenes. I WANT MORE KISSING! Excuse my rant but come on, doesn’t everyone love when there is description to the kissy scenes? The butterfly feelings, the electrifying touching, the undying need to never let go of that person. That is what I love about kissing scenes and there was absolutely none of it. I was left underwhelmed. (And no one should be underwhelmed after a kiss, reading or in real life. well especially real life!)

I don’t have much more to say. I would not recommend this book. It lacks connection and pacing. It might help you fall asleep if you are suffering from a bit of insomnia though, so I guess on that part it is useful but that is not what a book is for.

Until next time…(And oh boy do I have some fun things on the way!)


updates…

Hello, hello, hi, hello. I just wanted to let you all know of a few updates.

  1. I finished Lady Midnight two weeks ago and I have been trying to write the perfect review but book hangovers have been causing a delay.
  2. I am in the middle of posting another review for These Shallow Graves as well. (Actually it is finished but see number 3.)
  3. I am beginning to re-brand my blog/self. It’s going to be called Beauty and the Book. Since my two favorite things are makeup and books. So this means that I am creating makeup looks based off book covers. This causes a delay in posting reviews since I have to create makeup looks and take pictures. But both Lady Midnight and These Shallow Graves makeup looks are in the works. I switched my Instagram name and am working on trying to post once a day. (which is freaking hard when you work full-time and have a puppy but that is my April goal.) Clicky click here for my Instagram.
    1. Subnote: I hope you guys like this idea. I wanted to do something that included a few of my passions and I just thought this would be real fun. But it might be dumb so I am just testing the waters.
  4. Have you seen the movie trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children?? OMG it looks amazing! I feel like I need to go pick up the book off my shelf and actually read it now. You can watch the trailer below if you haven’t seen it.

 

Okay that is all I have for now! Talk to y’all soon!


Passenger

Passenger

by Alexandra Bracken

Rating: 4/5

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Passenger is a time-traveling love story. That is about all I can say to describe it. It follows two points of view, Etta and Nicholas, and develops into a time traveling epic adventure of love, loss, danger, and excitement.

As to be expected with anything written by Alexander Bracken, my mind is a mess of emojis, . She has the power to create a world that makes you feel like you are living in it. And this one is insane! She writes beautiful words and creates atmospheres that are so real you can reach out and touch them. One of the downfalls of this book is the pacing, especially at the beginning. It is hard to get into it, for well over 150 pages. I know that does sound like a lot but don’t get me wrong there is some exciting things that happen in those pages but the connection to the story is a bit lacking. However, once you power through it you will become so deeply involved in the story you will forget you struggled at the beginning.

The great thing about this story is that we get to live through history. The research that Bracken must have completed to create such a rich historical setting must have been insane. This book takes us through 1776 New York to 1940 London to 14th century Damascus. Her attention to detail is impeccable. She relates everything to the time from dress to food to setting to cultural standards. The thing that makes this so much more real and exciting is that Nicholas is from 1776 while Etta is from New York City, present day. By having this story told in two POV we can see just where cultural differences occur and how much etiquette and customs have changed. When you then place these two characters in different time periods than what they grew up in, it is just mind blowing. Again, that attention to detail that Bracken maintains throughout the novel makes everything that much more relatable and realistic.

The two main characters are well written and likable. Etta is introduced to a world she knows nothing about. Her mother kept her from the world of time travel and Etta must learn to adapt quickly in order to survive. She is a strong character who fights for herself and the lives of those she loves. She has a subtle fierceness to her that makes her overcome obstacles and decisions in the most clever ways. Nicholas is a sailor, he loves the water, and he swore off time traveling ever again after losing his half brother. His life becomes intertwined with Etta’s and he breaks his ban on time traveling in order to protect Etta, whom he has developed a connection with. Do not worry, there is no insta-love!! Although it is clear that these two will be love interests from the get-go it is in no way instant. The way there relationship grows is organic and beautiful. They learn to adapt to each other despite the hundreds of years of cultural differences. I should probably mention that Nicholas is African-American, the bastard child of a slave and a rich man. This obviously adds even more depth to the story. And it works. It is still very uncommon to see a main character of a different race in YA novels. I think with this book if Nicholas was white the story would not have worked. It would have taken away so much. That small detail gives so much to this story. It gives this novel so many more beautiful moments. (Like the dancing scene in London and the part on page 427, oh god the feels at that part.)

There are other secondary characters that fuel this story along. Cyrus Ironwood, the villian, is so evil and conniving. He is written so well, that it is easy to hate him but he has enough background to almost understand where is drive for power comes from. Sophia is a character I am excited to see more of. She is a bit conniving like her grandfather Cyrus Ironwood but there is something buried deep inside her waiting to be unleashed and I bet you good money it will flourish in the next book. Hasan is a character we meet in Damascus, an uncle of Etta. He has a minor role but his character is nurturing and well likable. I hope we get to see more of him as well. Etta’s mother Rose is only spoken of and doesn’t have a major physical presence in the novel but is kind of the reason everything in this book is happening. Her story is weaved into backstories and secrets and it is almost like she is present. The other minor character is Alice. The only thing I am going to say about her is just how well Bracken introduces her and connects her to another part in the story. Let’s just say it was a bit emotional.

Now what you have been questioning and wondering…Is there a cliffhanger? OF COURSE THERE IS A CLIFFHANGER! I MEAN THIS IS A BOOK BY ALEXANDRA BRACKEN AND I DON’T THINK SHE KNOWS HOW TO END A BOOK WITHOUT ONE! So ughhhh, yes a rather huge cliffhanger and now all I want is the next book, Wayfarer. (Breathe Vicki, relax, you can survive, there are so many books coming out this year. January 2017 will be here before you know it. <–That’s what I have been telling myself over and over again for the last 17 hours.)

Bracken has written a compelling story that allows you to travel across time and live all the lives you wish you could have experienced without ever leaving your couch and the comfort of living in a time where you are used to your amenities. I cannot wait for the next book to come out and enrich me even further into the depths of history and maybe even possibly the future!


Favorite Quotes

“But right now all Etta wanted was to see the stage lights warm her skin. Free the fire fluttering inside her rib cage. Work her muscles, the bow, the violin, until she played herself to ash and embers and left the rest of the world behind to smolder.”

“The melody of her heart had no name; it was quick, and light. It rolled with the waves, falling as the breath left his chest, rising as he inhaled. It was the rain sliding down the glass; the fog spreading its fingers over the water. The creaking of a ship’s great body. The secrets whispered by the wind, and the unseen life that moved below. It was the flame of one last candle.”

“It’s our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.”

“She’d shown him her mind, and she’d opened up her heart, and now he knew the taste of her tears. And he was wrecked.”

“He would not surrender to the disaster of loving her.”

“But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment.”

“I wish you’d go a a little easier on him,” she said.
“He came in here thrashing a sword around. Was I supposed to stand idly by and do nothing?” he huffed.
“Well, you weren’t supposed to try and rearrange his face with your fist.”
“I wasn’t,” Nicholas protested. “He lunged up into it several times. I was only in the way.”

“She let herself fall into it, dissolving into him. And what she found in that soft, warm darkness had no beginning and no end, for this time was their own, and it created its own eternity.”

“Love was selfish, wasn’t it? It made honest men want things they had no right to. It cocooned one from the rest of the world, erased time itself, knocked away reason. It made you live in defiance of the inevitable. It made you want another’s mind, body; it made you feel as if you deserved to own their heart, and carve out a place in it.”

“You cannot fathom the distance I would travel for you.”