Monday, February 5, 2018

Tower of Dawn - Review

Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass #6)

By: Sarah J. Maas

Published: September 5, 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Children's

668 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy,

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica-the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both-and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.
MY REVIEW:
After a dud of an end of 2017 year reading wise, I decided to start out 2018 with two of my favorite authors, the second of which was Maas. This was the longest book I've picked up in a long while. Any book over 400 pages can seem like a big task for me these days, but Maas has never disappointed me by her stories.

I have continued to be blown away by the complexity of the Throne of Glass series. There are always twists and turns, new characters, new love stories woven into the character's lives. One thing stays the same, the evil they face and are journeying to learn how to destroy.

In this installment of the series, the book follows Chaol, who was Captain of the Gaurd of Adarlan, and then became Hand of the King. He has been left wounded beyond what the healers he knows can do and as such has been sent to the land of Antica to where the great healers live that have been known to heal injuries such as his. While there, he and Nesryn, the new Captain of the Gaurd, have been given another task. To try to gain the trust of the King and gain a new ally in the war and to bring back aid in the fight.

This book didn't quite hit all my emotional feels that the other books in the series have touched, but it was so, so very good! This 600+ page book flew by as I was engrossed in the story and what lay ahead for Chaol, Nesryn and the new people they meet along the way, of which I'm a huge fan of two in particular but will leave their names out for a spoiler free review. Fans of this series that have yet to read book 6, don't be anxious to get in to this one. It gives more to the story that we've all come to love and deepens the connection that we have to these characters.

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
"Love cannot exist without trust."

"Nothing valuable comes without a cost, boy," Houlun countered.

I was like waking up or being born or falling out of the sky. It was an answer and a song, and she could not think or feel fast enough.

"Mountains. And seas," she whispered. "So you never forget that you climbed them and crossed them. That you - only you - got yourself here."

"I loved you before I ever set eyes on you,"

Language: 2 (medim)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Friday, January 26, 2018

2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge: January Wrap Up

Time for our first Monthly Wrap Up for the 2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since starting the 2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

Which series enders did you finish? Link up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the January giveaway runs from January 25th - February 25th. On February 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.



Monday, January 22, 2018

Without Merit - Review

Without Merit

By: Colleen Hoover

Published: October 3, 2017 by Atria Books

384 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.
MY REVIEW:
Knowing this book was going to be somewhat lighter than her usual books, less intense and graphic, and more suitable for young adults, as the genre that it's in, I was prepared for all of that. What I wasn't prepared for was how touching it still would be to me.

Really what this story narrows down to is a family who is at odds with one another because of secrets eating away at their family unit, and very poor communication among all of them. Jealousy eating away, and people not trying to look at situations from other's perspectives. At the center of this story is 17 year old Merit, a senior in high school. She's a twin to sister Honor and they have a brother named Utah who is 18. There's Dad and Mom, though Mom currently lives in their basement and never goes outside, and Dad is remarried to a woman by the same name of his first wife, and they together have a son named Moby. But that's not all, add in the mix a 19 year old step-uncle who shows up out of nowhere and now lives with them and a guy by the name of Sagan. There's a lot of crazy that occurs and most of it is bad. But I FELT for these people and the struggles they each had. Then again, this is CoHo, right? For those of you who are her fans, knows that it doesn't really much matter what she writes about. She has this gift to connect you to her characters.

There is one small frustration I had. I honestly can't remember anything frustrating me terribly with her books and I definitely can't remember ever including said frustration in a review. That's not to say I haven't....just that I can't recall a time. So here goes... One repeating theme I noticed in this story, that I haven't picked up on in any of her other books, is that characters thoughts were often being repeated. Sometimes in the exact same wording and sometimes worded slightly different, but always within a couple pages or less of each other. Each occurence of it had me like "yeah we KNOW that because you've already said/thought it" <insert eye roll>. For the first time I do believe EVER in my reading of CoHo books, it got me a bit irritated. I was left with this weird feeling because it was so out of left field for me!

Overall this book left me with a good feeling. I enjoyed seeing reconcillation take place and wounds begin to heal and light begin to shine where darkness had taken its toll.

The one main thought I had that I took away from this story was this: Hugs can truly change hearts.

Top 5 Favorite Quotes:
"Don't make your presence known. Make your absence felt."

There's something freeing about refusing to stress over stressful situation.

A person can't help their attraction to another person, but a person can help their actions toward another person.

"You don't get to decide what your life means to anyone else."

"We aren't put on this earth to be carbon copies of our parents. Peace doesn't come to everyone in the same form."

Language: 2 (medium)
Mature Content: 2 (medium)
Final Rating: 4 stars

Monday, January 8, 2018

Sweetness - DNF Review

Sweetness (The Sweetest Thing #1)

By: Sierra Hill

Published: July 24, 2016 by Ten28 Publishing

244 pages

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Source: Personal Kindle Library

(Goodreads / Amazon)

Summary:
I’m the girl from the school of hard knocks. 

Nothing has ever come easy for me. So forgive me if I’m a bit reluctant about Kincaid Griffin – born-with-a-silver-spoon in his mouth, conceited college hoops player. A guy who could get any girl he wants, and yet, is suddenly everywhere I am trying to woo me. The more I protest, the more persistent he becomes. 

I’m a lucky guy. 

Let’s face it. As a college athlete, I don’t chase girls – they come to me. I’m as arrogant and cocky as they come, getting nearly everything I want, whenever I want. But there is nothing sweeter than a girl who plays hard to get. And Ainsley Locker is so full of confidence that she knocks me off my feet from the moment I meet her. She’s a challenge. And I like challenges. So I go full-court press to win her over. 

But when a stupid mistake turns viral, slam dunking all over my life in a media frenzy, my spot on the team may be in jeopardy, along with my shot at winning the girl. 
MY REVIEW:
To be fair, I started reading this in August 2017 and due to life circumstances and my going back to work outside the home full time, reading took a serious back seat in my priorities. I would read here and there over the next 4 months but could never get really into the story to want to push faster to finish it. What I did read (80% to be exact) had moments of interest but it was mostly predictable, a tad cheesy, and had quite a few eye rolling moments.

I didn't have the time or energy to read at a faster pace and after 4 months felt it was necessary to "move on" and consider this one a DNF.

Favorite Quote:
Everyone - and everything - in this life is deserving of some form of human kindness.

Language Rating: 2 (medium)
Mature Content Rating: 2 (medium)
Final Rating:  DNF at 80%

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge: My Goals


This challenge is for all of you series readers who are scared to death of that last book in the series. You anxiously await it. You stalk it. You get your hands on it as soon as possible. But then…you put off reading it for fear that it might not be everything you thought it would be. Or, maybe you just have a backlog of series started and you need to finish that last book.

Join us in knocking out those pesky last books in a series. This is your chance. Here’s your motivation. Better than that, we have prizes!

Levels: (how many series enders you are planning to read)
Level 1: 1 – 5
Level 2: 5 – 10
Level 3: 10 – 15
Level 4: 15+

 Check out the sign up post to join!

This challenge is hosted by Somewhere Only We Know and Words Fueled by Love.




Holly's 2018 Reading Goals:
It's fair to say that I BOMBED my reading goals last year. All of them. Due to my going back to work outside the home August 10th, 2017, reading took a major back seat. So I don't have high hopes for this year either unless it's a big break like summer time since I'll be off over the summer. I'm keeping my reading goals fairly light this year but to give you an idea of what they are:

1. Personal Reading Challenge: Read through a chronological order of the Bible using a plan on the You Version Bible app (currently I'm 3 days ahead of my plan but I started late so I feel I'm just doing a little catch up for the days I get behind again)
2. Goodreads Challenge: Read 20 books this year (this is a major decrease from years past, but I'm making adjustments as I go)
3. Series Enders level 1: 1-5
  • Untitled Throne of Glass #7 by Sarah J. Maas 
  • State of Hope (Collapse #10) by Summer Lane
Here's hoping I realize there are more series enders I need to read than I'm currently remembering. And if not...I'm sure I'll find a series I just love this year and binge read it all at once.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge: Sign Up

The 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge was another success, and so Sandy and I decided we're in this for yet another year. Welcome to our 5th Annual Series Enders Reading Challenge. While the rules this year are essentially the same as last year, we did tweak the wording on a few and add some clarification so please be sure to check them out for a refresher.

This challenge is for all of you series readers who are scared to death of that last book in the series. You anxiously await it. You stalk it. You get your hands on it as soon as possible. But then…you put off reading it for fear that it might not be everything you thought it would be. Or, maybe you just have a backlog of series started and you need to finish that last book.

Join us in knocking out those pesky last books in a series. This is your chance. Here’s your motivation. Better than that, we have prizes!

Challenge Guidelines:
  1. This challenge will run from January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2018.
  2. Anyone can enter. You don’t have to have a blog just as long as you review your books somewhere: on your blog if you have one, Amazon, Goodreads, Shelfari, etc.
  3. Any genre, length, or format is acceptable as long as it is the last book in a series where all books in the series have been published and no more books are currently intended to be published in the series. If an author makes a decision somewhere during the year to add on to the series, we will count both the original last book in the series and the “new last” book in the series assuming the author isn’t going to write more than one additional book. Last book published in a series doesn’t count if more books are expected to be published.
  4. You can list your series enders ahead of time or do a singular wrap up post. If you decide to list them up front, feel free to change them throughout the year as necessary.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, please use the direct link to your post about joining the 2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge. If you don’t have a blog, please post about it on Facebook or Twitter and include that direct link as your sign up.
  6. You can sign up until December 15, 2018. This allows you to join the challenge at any time during the year.
  7. On the 25th of every month, we will post a wrap up on both Somewhere Only We Know and Words Fueled by Love with a giveaway and a place for you to link up your reviews for the month. The monthly giveaway will be open until the next wrap up post goes up (ex. From January 25th 2018, to February 25th 2018). For each link to a review, you will get an (1) entry into a drawing for that giveaway. This will be open internationally.
  8. Monthly giveaway prizes will be an e-gift card of your choice up to $5 (USD) from Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. We want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Sandy and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post and giveaway, you can link your review the next month. Please do not try to link to one review twice. We will be verifying these.
  10. December will be the wrap up for the entire year. All reviews linked from January through December will be entered into a Grand Prize giveaway. Also due to Christmas, the December wrap up will post on December 23rd and will be open until January 23rd.
  11. You don’t have to follow Somewhere Only We Know or Words Fueled by Love to participate in the challenge, but you do have to follow both of us in order to be entered in the giveaways.
  12. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
Levels: (how many series enders you are planning to read)
Level 1: 1 – 5
Level 2: 5 – 10
Level 3: 10 – 15
Level 4: 15+

If you have any questions, please contact us at: Sandy's Email or Holly's Email or comment on one of the Series Enders blog posts on either or both of our websites.

To join the challenge:
  1. Write a blog post about joining the 2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge on your blog. For those of you who would like to participate but don’t have a blog, post about it on Facebook or Twitter.
  2. In your post, please include: the button, a link back to the sign up page, a link to both Somewhere Only We Know and Words Fueled by Love, the level you hope to achieve, and (optional) a list of the series you hope to complete.
  3. Place the button for the challenge in your sidebar (use the “grab this code” at the bottom of the post here).
  4. Link up in the linky using the direct link to your post/tweet/etc.
And that’s it! Welcome to the 2018 Series Enders Reading Challenge. Good luck!
This reading challenge is hosted by Somewhere Only We Know & Words Fueled by Love.



Like last year, we had to use Simply-Linked for the yearly sign up linky because InLinkz has made some changes to the basic package. The monthly link ups will be the typical InLinkz linky that we used for the past challenges.

Monday, December 25, 2017

2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge: December Wrap Up

Time for our last Monthly Wrap Up for the 2017 Series Enders Reading Challenge hosted by Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know and Holly @ Words Fueled by Love!

Since the November Wrap Up, neither Holly nor Sandy have finished any series enders.

Announcements/Reminders:
  1. Please make sure we have a valid email address or other means of contacting you if you choose to participate. Linking up to Goodreads is perfectly fine, but we have found that Goodreads is not a reliable source for contacting someone should you be selected as one of the monthly giveaway winners. This could be due to your Goodreads notification settings or Goodreads themselves could be at fault. We're not sure which. And since we want to make sure that everyone who is eligible for one of the giveaways will receive their prize should they win one month or the grand prize at the end of the year, it is up to you to ensure that we can contact you and that you respond within a reasonable amount of time (usually stated in the email notifying you of your winning).
  2. While the challenge and giveaways are open internationally, please make sure that you can receive e-gift cards via Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Again, we want to make sure everyone has an equal opportunity to participate and to receive the prizes. Please remember that Holly and I are funding the giveaways out of our own pockets as something that we want to do, and we would like to continue to do so.
Which series enders did you finish? Link up below. Don't forget to include the title, your name, & your blog name (Ex: Requiem - Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know) Also, the December giveaway runs from December 25th - January 23rd. On January 25th we will use random.org and the linky entries to pull a winner.


FYI, the series enders challenge will be back for 2018. Look for the sgn up post coming soon.




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