Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

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Published Date: April 28, 2015
Publisher: HarperCollins
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Pages: 320
Genres: Fantasy, YA, Romance

You can read the summary of Magonia here. here

*siiiiiigh* I don’t really know where to start with this review so I’m going to start here: I liked the beginning and I liked the very end. Magonia started off contemporary, super witty, and gripping. I choked up at one point, so I can’t say that I didn’t feel some connection to the characters. What kept me from giving this book 5 stars (which I ended up giving 3 on Goodreads) was the middle portion.

The contemporary feel to this novel blends into fantasy during the meat and potatoes of this novel. Much like the main character, we are thrust into the world of Magonia. It was so sudden that my pea brain had zero time to adjust and that turned me off big time. I felt a total disconnect to this new world and the new people. The bird-people, singing elements into being, and the whole bird in a cage that’s in your chest…I didn’t feel it like A TON of people did. I loved Headley’s description of Magonia and said bird-people. It was like Cirque du Soliel meets the ending of Rio. I also kept getting visions of Robert De Niro in Stardust, maneuvering his skyship. Headley’s imagination is GORGEOUS.

Anyway, I finished this book a week or so ago and I STILL don’t know where I stand with it. I wanted to love it. I wanted to be swept away and awed…but I wasn’t. I know a lot of people loved this so PLEASE read it for yourself. I believe this is a series and I do want to see what happens. So I’m not abandoning ship. Yeah…Magonia…read it and we shall chit chat about it.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

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Published Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Touchstone
Author: Felicia Day
Pages: 261
Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

You can read the summary of You’re Never Weird on the Internet here.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! Whether you know Day from her days as Vi the slayer on Buffy (my highschool go to show), Charlie Bradbury on Supernatural (our adulthood go to show) or The Guild (which I only just discovered via this book), you can’t help but love her. She’s quirky, cute AF, and hilarious.

Never Weird allows us a behind-the-scenes view of what she went through growing up, from being homeschooled to creating an internet show when the internet was still in its infant stage. You gain so much respect for this actress/smarty pants/gamer/Geek Queen. She struggled…a lot. She busted her ass for something she believed in and I love her more for it.

All my nerds/geeks/dorks need to read this book. It’s fantastic! It’s hilarious! It’s real! It hits home! You won’t regret spending some time Felicia. Trust me.

Ps. you don’t have to be a gamer to read this book. I wasn’t a gamer outside of Xcitebike and Street Fighter, but I’m glad to have gained some perspective into the world of online gaming.

ARC REVIEW: A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

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Expected Publication: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Author: E. K. Johnston
Pages: 336
Genres: Retelling, YA, Fantasy

You can read the summary of A Thousand Nights here.

Thank you NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

I requested this novel based solely on the cover art, because obvious. I was pretty excited when I was approved for this one, even though I had no idea what it was about. Once I got started, I found myself completely enthralled by the setting, the main character, her courage, and the promise of a happy ending. Most of these things did not disappoint.

I think Johnston’s prose was simple yet beautiful. The amount of research the author put into learning this culture and its tradition was extensive and it paid off. At no point did I feel like it was contrived. I really liked the story, the characters, the struggle and the sacrifice. The meat of this story did not leave me hungry. I will admit that I’ve never read A Thousand and One Nights so I have no story in which to compare. Given that this is a retelling, though, I’m certain I can figure out the premise of the original. Still, I feel the need to read it. Consider it added to the endless TBR list.

The only negative-ish thing worth mentioning is the ending. Not the end of the character’s story, that was perfect. Much was left up to the imagination and I liked that. What I didn’t like was the epilogue from the POV of a storyteller, wrapping up the legend of A Thousand Nights up in a philosophical bow. If the story had started out that way, then ending it on the same note would have made more sense. I honestly feel like the last part could be left off and no one would miss it. But whatevs, it’s not make or break…just opinion.

So, there’s my review of A Thousand Nights. Make of it what you will, but my final thought is this: Read it. Then we can compare notes.

The Novice {Summoner #1} by Taran Matharu

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Published Date: May 5, 2015
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Author: Taran Matharu
Pages: 398
Genres: Fantasy, YA

You can read the summary for The Novice here.

This was a complete “cover buy” that was picked out by my husband. It promised of magical creatures, summoning, and wicked looking knives. And guess what? It delivered. There was something for everyone in the book. You had your orcs, elves, mages, douche-y noblemen, and valiant professors.

The story itself was pretty exciting, with its demons and battlemage school and magic. But it also offered something more, something deeper. Matharu weaved an allegory of political and racial tension. There’s so much more going on beneath the surface of this magical adventure. And I loved it. I never expected to find this kind of meaning in a story about summoners and such. #pleasantlysurprised

Moving on… I loved the ending! And I am not looking forward to the wait for Summoner #2. Fletcher {the mc} and his buddies are totally likeable, and the evil, douche canoe nobles are totally hateable. You boo and hiss and cheer and YAY when you’re supposed to. And you totally find yourself wishing you could summon a demon. I call dibs on the Salamander, though.

Bottom line: If you like LOTR and all things magic, then you’re going to enjoy this one.

Another Day {Every Day #2} by David Levithan

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Expected Publication: August 25, 2015
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Author: David Levithan
Pages: 300
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

You can read the summary of Another Day here.

Thank you to Netgalley and Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review

I read Every Day a while back and thought, “Holy crap! This concept is INSANE.” I’ve linked Goodreads so you can read the summary but here’s the gist: Imagine waking up in a different body every day. Unable to form relationships, this soul -who is called A- moves from body to body trying to leave as little changed as possible. Until the day A meets Rhiannon… The rest is up to you to find out.

Another Day is Rhiannon’s side of the story. And folks, it’s a sad one. She’s stuck in the horribly toxic relationship and the whole time you are thinking things like “just leave the jerk!” and “UGHHH nooo don’t go back…ugh, just…LEAVE!!!” and “YOU CAN DO IT. WALK AWAY!” The normal things you say to yourself…in your head…to a fictitious character. You’re totally rooting for Rhiannon and wanting her to find a love that will build her up. What A does for her is cheer worthy.

David Levithan is brilliant in his ability to make you feel things. I know how lame that must sound. But truly, it’s not easy to move a reader. This guy knows what he’s doing. There were some things, editing wise, that drove me batty. However, if you’re willing to overlook this, then you’ll enjoy this book.

If you liked Every Day then you will most definitely want to see how things were going for Rhiannon on the other side of this mess. And if you haven’t read either book, then I suggest you get busy! NOW! Just kidding.

The Song of Achilles

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Published Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Ecco
Author: Madeline Miller
Pages: 378
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mythology

You can read the summary of The Song of Achilles here. here.

I was first made aware of this book by following Victoria Schwab {author of The Archived and Vicious} on Twitter. As she tweeted her emotions, I got more and more interested. I finally caved and looked up this novel. Between the amazing ratings {I don’t read reviews, believe it or not. They tend to give too much away. The same goes with book blurbs} and the cover art, I was sold. I ordered it that day and two days later I started in on this tome.

BEST. DECISION. EVER. This was a STUNNING story of love and friendship and devotion. Every page brought you closer to the inevitable. You KNOW how this story ends, guys. We’ve all seen Troy. What Miller presents to you, though, is how the story begins. There’s a side of Achilles, this kid…this son of a goddess…this future hero, that makes him more human than myth. The story of Achilles and Patroclus {both separately and together} was one I’d never heard of but won’t soon forget.

The Song of Achilles will do a number on your heart. It will speed it up, melt it, fill it with the feels, and then break it into a zillion pieces. This novel will stay with me forever. Miller’s debut novel is authentic and passionate and beautiful. If you do anything this year, please make it reading this novel. Consider this review your warning: you’re going to be left reeling, hugging yourself while you rock back and forth as the tears flow down your cheeks. It’s worth it.

Trust me.

Vicious

  
Published Date: September 24, 2013

Publisher: Tor Books

Author: V. E. Schwab 

Pages: 384

Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Paranormal

You can read the summary of Vicious here

I love Victoria Schwab. She’s smart, accessible, friendly, funny. All the things you’d want in a bee eff eff. She also has a dark side. A really, really, scary as f*ck dark side. And guess what? I FREAKING LOVE IT. 

Vicious was just that. Vicious. Mean. Vindictive. Brilliant. It’s the first time in my entire book career where I hated* both main characters and adored the secondary characters. Schwab weaves the believable with the unbelievable and makes you ask, “Could that really happen?” Incredulous tone optional.

*I hated them but I also loved them. I loved to hate them. 

Schwab’s character development is stunning and her writing impeccable. She leaves you bated until the very last word, smiling because you know. Is Vicious worth the read? You bet your sweet ass it is. This dark, twisted, thrilling tale of two psychos, who think the other is the most evil person in the world, will make you glad this shit is fiction. 

Buy this {or borrow from the library}.Read this. Spread the word. 

You’re welcome. 

Everything, Everything

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Expected Publication: September 1, 2015
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Author: Nicola Yoon
Pages: 320
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary

Thank you Netgalley and Delacorte Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

You can read the summary of Everything, Everything here.

First thing’s first: THIS COVER ART!!!! *swoons*

Second thing’s…second? I don’t think that’s how the saying goes but whatever. I LOVED/DEVOURED this novel. Nicola Yoon killed it with this debut novel. Not only was the writing style fun, but the story was everything you’d want in a book. You’re faced with a tragically sick girl, a tragically cute neighbor, and a tragically strict mother. The combination is spectacular. I experienced ALL THE FEELS. And you will too when you pick up this tome.

This book is set to be released September 1st so be sure to check it out when it hits shelves. You will not regret it. Nicola, thank you for Mads and Olly and everything, everything.

The Artisans 

  
Published date: May 12, 2015

Publisher: Month9Books

Author: Julie Reece

Pages: 344

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Retelling

So, I “met” Julie Reece on Instagram. I had NO idea she was an author until she regramed a photo of her book. I was all “dude, you wrote a book???” Naturally I ordered said book and read said book and now I’m about to review the shit out of said book. 

Guys, it took me a full day and some hours driving to finish this novel. I won’t give anything away, but feel free to read the summary here. I experienced all the feels whilst reading, people: I got goosebumps, I looked over my shoulder {because I’m the worlds biggest scaredy cat}, I got the butterflies, I may or may not have teared up.  

This Beauty and the Beast Retelling was on point. Do me a favor? Read this. Suspend disbelief. Allow yourself to be sucked into the creepiness that is The Artisans. It’s pretty damn cool. Julie Reece throws a one-two punch towards the end that makes you say, “what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks just happened?!” 

Seriously, I loved this book. Thank you, Julie!! Now write another book so I can read it and love it. Kthanksbye 

Alliance {The Paladin Prophecy #2}

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Published Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Author: Mark Frost
Pages: 352
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA

You can view the summary for Alliance here.

*I’m certain no one will read this but on the off chance that you do, I apologize for the lack of reviews. My grandfather passed a couple weeks ago, so I’ve been traveling like a crazy person. Also, I have been binge reading the Kate Daniels series and have 2 more books to complete before I do a group review. Just wanted to ‘splain myself.*

So, I could have sworn that I reviewed The Paladin Prophecy, but upon further investigations it seems that I did not. The long and short of it: The Paladin Prophecy was a really fun novel focusing a group of kids who find themselves knee deep in some crazy shit. They have these powers and they have NO idea who they can trust and it’s just so much fun! I mean, Mark Frost co-produced Twin Peaks for crying out loud. This guy knows a thing or two about crazy story telling.

The follow up novel, Alliance, did a fantastic job of carrying you from the unknown into the light. The truth starts to come out little by little and it is CAH.RAY.ZEE. I love when authors tie in historical figures to these science fiction story lines. Makes you think, “I wonder if stuff like this really happened.” Maybe not extreme genetic mutations, but secret societies who dabbled in science fiction like stuffs.

Anyway, I devoured this novel and have preordered the third installment. The Paladin Prophecy series has proved to be really exciting, twisty and turny, and -at times- downright funny. Read it! You’ll love it!

Happy reading, friends!!