Book Review: The Fever King by Victoria Lee

Hi guys! I hope you’re having a great Monday. I’m here to discuss one of the books I just finished.

I received a copy of this book for an honest review thanks to the publisher. This does not reflect the way I read and review this book.

Title: The Fever King

Author: Victoria Lee

Publisher: Skyscape

Release date: March 1, 2019

Source: Hardcover, US

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

In the former United States, sixteen-year-old Noam Álvaro wakes up in a hospital bed, the sole survivor of the viral magic that killed his family and made him a technopath. His ability to control technology attracts the attention of the minister of defense and thrusts him into the magical elite of the nation of Carolinia.

The son of undocumented immigrants, Noam has spent his life fighting for the rights of refugees fleeing magical outbreaks—refugees Carolinia routinely deports with vicious efficiency. Sensing a way to make change, Noam accepts the minister’s offer to teach him the science behind his magic, secretly planning to use it against the government. But then he meets the minister’s son—cruel, dangerous, and achingly beautiful—and the way forward becomes less clear.

Caught between his purpose and his heart, Noam must decide who he can trust and how far he’s willing to go in pursuit of the greater good.

This book starts right off in the action. I loved how much I was sucked into this world. It takes a lot of the real-world issues we’re dealing with and discussing and offers a perspective we don’t hear often enough. I think this is one of the best things it does. The book discusses serious issues like immigration and offers a complex argument that shows both sides. It addresses how there are multiple sides of the issue that need to be addressed, but also doesn’t say there is a right or wrong way to handle the issue.

I’m not even just talking about the cool magic in this world. As you read on, you uncover more pieces of the world and what you think you know, through Noam, unravels until you’re not sure who to believe anymore.

One of my favorite things about this book was how it complex the characters were. Even now that I’ve finished it, I don’t know how to feel about Lehrer. He was a chaotic something, and I don’t think his full intentions were shared with the reader.

I do wish some of the other people on Level IV were developed more, but I understand in the scope of the book only Dara and Ames were pertinent to the story. I hope to see more of them in the future! I want to know how they deal with the fallout of book 1.

The writing was excellent. It was a debut novel, but you could tell that Lee and her editor(s) spent a lot of time combing through this novel. I also really liked the style of writing. It’s in third person but focuses on Noam’s voice especially. Because he was the main driver of the novel this made perfect sense.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! It was fun, fast-paced, and the magic and world were awesome.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Book Review: A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan

Hi guys! As school draws near, I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing on here regularly. I had blogging regularly as one of my resolutions for the year, and it’s not too late to do it right?

ANYWAY! I’m here today with a review of A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan. Thank you to the publicist for getting in touch with me for a review of this book! I was provided a copy, but that does not influence the way I read and will review the book.

Title: A Touch of Gold

A Touch of Gold
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Annie Sullivan

Publisher: Blink

Release date: August 14, 2018

Source: Hardcover, US

My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars

King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.

Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.

Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?

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This book was a fun retelling. I was looking forward to it when I saw it pop up on my Instagram feed and I was immediately intrigued. Retelling? Check! A story we don’t hear often? Check! Great characters? Check!

Overall there were a lot of great things about this book. I loved the seafaring and courage of Kora. She was a great main character, and while it took me some time for the story to get going, I did enjoy hearing things from her perspective. That being said, I do wish she had had a stronger voice. I felt that it was a bit rough in the beginning, but toward the end she came out clearer. I’m not sure if it was done purposefully or not, but I couldn’t quite vibe with Kora for a good portion of the book.

The characters drive the plot of the story well. When we first meet the Duke, though, I wasn’t too sure of him. Kora trusted him too quickly in my opinion. He was the first man to show her true kindness outside of her family, and while his backstory provided a solid reason why, I couldn’t put my guard down. Kora’s cousin is so much fun. She was by far one of my favorite characters in the story.

The weaving of the story started out a bit strained, but in the end things came together. I think it’s hard especially for debut novels to really nail this on the head the first time. It was still done with considerably good writing! I enjoyed getting to know the setting, and I wish I had a map to see all of the places Kora went!

All in all, this was a good book. I’m curious to see what comes of the sequel! The ending left a lot to be wanted.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

 

 

Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

I can’t believe it took me so long to start this book!! It was so good, and I mainly read it through audiobook. (Thanks to my library for bailing me out all the time!!!)

Title: Flame in the Mist

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist, #1)
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons

Release date: May 16, 2017

Source: Hardcover/Audiobook

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

The only daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has always known she’d been raised for one purpose and one purpose only: to marry. Never mind her cunning, which rivals that of her twin brother, Kenshin, or her skills as an accomplished alchemist. Since Mariko was not born a boy, her fate was sealed the moment she drew her first breath.

So, at just seventeen years old, Mariko is sent to the imperial palace to meet her betrothed, a man she did not choose, for the very first time. But the journey is cut short when Mariko’s convoy is viciously attacked by the Black Clan, a dangerous group of bandits who’ve been hired to kill Mariko before she reaches the palace.

The lone survivor, Mariko narrowly escapes to the woods, where she plots her revenge. Dressed as a peasant boy, she sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and hunt down those responsible for the target on her back. Once she’s within their ranks, though, Mariko finds for the first time she’s appreciated for her intellect and abilities. She even finds herself falling in love—a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known about her family, her purpose, and her deepest desires.

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I really love Ahdieh as a writer. I will always read what she writes. Her first series The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger were riveting, and I loved her storytelling in that series. This book is unrelated to that one and can be read without knowing anything about her first duology.

Something that prevents me from picking up books for such a long time is the amount of books that I want to read coming out at the same time. Literally there are too many that I’m anticipating that are released around the same time, and I can’t get to them all for a very long time. It makes me sad.

ANYWAAYYYYY! I wish I had picked this book up sooner. The world building of feudal Japan, the characters, the plot; everything was heckin awesome. I was immersed into a world of intrigue and different plot lines intersecting.

One thing I had a hard time with was keeping track of all of the different stories going on at the same time. Sometimes I would be reading about Okami, but I wouldn’t realize it until they said his name a few times, and even then I wasn’t 100% sure. I’m sure once we get Smoke in the Sun all of the strings will tie together and make more sense.

This was a bit of a retelling of Mulan. If you didn’t know, Mulan is one of my all time favorite movies. One time I watched it instead of doing homework on a Thursday afternoon. (I got everything done eventually, don’t worry!) Ahdieh takes the basic ideas of the story and builds her own world out of them. I like that it was taken to Japan instead of staying in China. I like how Mariko fought for her freedom and chose to infiltrate the Black Clan to save herself.  I like that the Black Clan was a rogue group instead of an army. There are a lot of recognizable themes with a different twist.

Mariko was pretty awesome. There were times that I couldn’t stand her much, but I knew that she would get there eventually. She really comes to her own toward the end and I’m so excited to see where she goes in the second book!!

The storytelling is rich and interesting. At first it was a little slow, but once I really got into it I finished it quickly. I highly recommend this book to someone looking for a different take on a classic story and a kick ass woman.

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Sneak Peek Sunday: Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy

It’s Sunday again, and you know what that means — ARC review!! I am so grateful to all of the people who share ARCs with me and send them in for review. It’s one of my favorite parts of being a blogger and reader. You know what my most favorite part of this is though? Getting to meet other bloggers, readers, and writers. I have made so many amazing connections because of this wonderful community. One of the people I’ve met is Cori. She is one of my favorite people in the world. She creates such well-crafted stories that I get immersed every time. It’s thanks to her that I’m able to write this review for you today! This was given to me in exchange for an honest review. 

Title: Now a Major Motion Picture

Now a Major Motion Picture
Goodreads | Amazon

Author: Cori McCarthy

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Expected release: April 3, 2018

My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars

Fandom and first love collide for Iris on the film set for her grandmother’s famous high-fantasy triology—perfect for readers of Fangirl!

Unlike the rest of the world, Iris doesn’t care about the famous high-fantasy Elementia books written by M. E. Thorne. So it’s just a little annoying that M. E. Thorne is her grandmother—and that Iris has to deal with the trilogy’s crazy fans.

When Iris gets dropped in Ireland for the movie adaptation, she sees her opportunity: if she can shut down production, the Elementia craze won’t grow any bigger, and she can finally have a normal life. Not even the rascally-cute actor Eamon O’Brien can get in her way.

But the crew’s passion is contagious, and as Iris begins to find herself in the very world she has avoided her whole life, she realizes that this movie might just be amazing…

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I packed this in my spring break bag and didn’t get to it until the last day. I knew it was something I *wanted* to get to so I’m glad I had it with me. This novel jumped in on the action right off the bat. We’re immersed in Iris’s world at the start of her trip to Ireland. I loved the whole scene at the airport! It’s something I would have done myself if I’m completely honest.

There were so many references in this book I felt out-nerded. It was awesome. I feel like if I had a background in the different fandoms, I would have enjoyed the book a little more, however this didn’t hinder my reading altogether. It was more like I was missing out on an inside joke that I had a vague idea of what it was. I got a lot of them because LOTR and a lot of fantasy is immersed in pop culture, so I could make my way through the references easily.

At times I wasn’t sure I liked Iris. Every time I feel this with a character I have to remind myself that they have to be flawed to a) grow and b) be truly human. Too often we expect characters to be perfect and without the flaws that we have, especially women. It’s something that I’m trying to counteract by remembering that people aren’t, in fact, model citizens. And that’s totally okay. Iris grew on me over the course of the entire book. She ends as such a different person, and I loved that. She has problems with self-confidence because she feels that she’s living in two shadows — her dad’s and her grandma’s. Going to Ireland helped Iris discover herself and who she wanted to be.

Iris’s passion for music and desire to work with it is something that a lot of people face. It’s hard to tell others that you want to do something without a direct profession to point to when the obvious ones (i.e. writer, musician) don’t make a lot of money. This is something that a lot of people ask themselves many times and I really like how this is handled in the book. There are so many different answers to one question that people overlook, and I think this is emphasized well.

This book made me want to go to Ireland so bad!! I’m hoping to study abroad there, and I fell in love with it more and more with every turn of the page. The descriptions of the locations were gorgeous and vivid; I could see them clearly. Ireland lent a beautiful atmosphere to the story as a whole.

Overall, I highly recommend this to people who are looking for a different fantasy to fall into. It’s lovely and gorgeous.

Happy reading!

Sophie 🙂

Sneak Peek Sunday: Everless by Sara Holland

Hi guys! I’m here to wrap up the year with one last review. Be sure to check this one out right as the new year begins 🙂

Everless (Untitled #1)
Goodreads | Amazon

Title: Everless

Author: Sara Holland

Publisher: HarperTeen

Expected Release: January 2nd, 2018

My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars

In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.

No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever.

But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.

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I finished this book last Wednesday, and OMG!!! I can’t get this story out of my head. I love it so much. I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL THE SECOND BOOK OMG SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME DETAILS ABOUT IT I’M DYING OVER HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are a few things I had to say on Goodreads in my initial review:

BUCKLE UP KIDS BECAUSE THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE HECK OF A YEAR! I absolutely loved this book; it was unputdownable. I can’t get over the lush world that Holland creates between these covers, and I am DYING to know what happens in book two already!! (Seriously, if you know anything pls send them to me!!!)

There are a lot of characters, but that doesn’t make it confusing. Jules was an awesome character. She was strong, confident, and strong willed sometimes to her disadvantage. However I don’t think this takes away from her, it just adds to it.

I can’t wait to see what becomes of Ina in the second book! We don’t see much development of her character, but toward the end of the book we get to understand more of who she is. I want to know more. I also want to know how Caro develops too. I like the way Holland left them at the end of the book, but I’m excited for the direction she may take them in.

Something that confused me a little bit was the whole concept of blood = time and how it worked within the world. I wasn’t sure how the whole system worked, but I feel that it worked itself out as the book went on. I wish there was a more articulate way to express my exact confusion, but this will have to do.

The fairy tale elements within the book worked well. I like the different fragments that were included and how Holland created it. This isn’t a huge part of the story, but it gives a lot of back story and is one of the key details.

Overall I highly recommend this one. This gave me a lot of Red Queen and Strange the Dreamer vibes so if any of those are what you’re into, you may like this one!

Happy reading and Happy New Year!

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Blog Tours, Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Blog Tour: All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry Review & Giveaway

*****EDIT*****

This tour was conducted with FFBC. Due to the doxxing and threatening/toxic behavior displayed by the tour company toward Black bloggers, I am removing any and all affiliation with them on my platforms. This is unacceptable. However, I am leaving my reviews/posts up for the benefit of the authors I supported. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

Hey guys! I’m here one the second to last day of this awesome tour to help bring you ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD by Samantha Mabry.

All the Wind in the World

Mabry_AlltheWind_jkt_HC_PRINT_REVISED_HR_rgb.jpg

by Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: October 10th 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary
Synopsis:
Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt work in the vast maguey fields that span the bone-dry Southwest, a thirsty, infinite land that is both seductive and fearsome. In this rough, transient landscape, Sarah Jac and James have fallen in love. They’re tough and brave, and they have big dreams. Soon they will save up enough money to go east. But until then, they keep their heads down, their muscles tensed, and above all, their love secret.
When a horrible accident forces Sarah Jac and James to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch called the Real Marvelous, the delicate balance they’ve found begins to give way. And James and Sarah Jac will have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2xbd13g

Book Depository: http://bit.ly/2hI0ZYm

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/all-the-wind-in-the-world-samantha-mabry/1125469914#/

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/all-the-wind-in-the-world/id1203999560?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/all-the-wind-in-the-world

About the Author

Samantha was born four days before the death of john lennon. she grew up in dallas, playing bass guitar along to vinyl records in her bedroom after school, writing fan letters to rock stars, doodling song lyrics into notebooks, and reading big, big books.

she spends as much time as possible in the west texas desert.

A FIERCE AND SUBTLE POISON (Algonquin Young Readers, spring 2016) is her first novel.

Review

This book will hook you from the first page. It’s full of beautiful characters and a gorgeous setting. I think what I loved most about it was the unreliable narrator. This is harder to accomplish because it involves a lot of carefully planted and thoroughly orchestrated planning on the author’s part. The narrator must establish a certain amount of ethos with the reader so when it slowly begins to show cracks you are unsure of your own judgement as a reader. So exciting!

The setting of the book is mostly on the ranch The Real Marvelous. This ranch is mysterious and thought to be of as cursed. The longer Sarah and James stay on the ranch the longer you delve into its secrets. I love the air of mystery and arid feeling you get throughout the entire book. It lends itself to the plot really well.

My favorite character was definitely Sarah. I am becoming more of an advocate for unlikeable female characters. Women are looked at so differently in literature, and I think it’s time to change that. Sarah makes bad decisions. She makes good ones. The consequences of her actions are severe, and she still is able to deal with them (somehow). I admire her strength and unapologetic nature.

I wanted to punch James about half way through the book. You will understand me once you read the book, but since I am a spoil-free reviewer, I must say nothing more on the subject. However, his character as a whole was interesting to see develop. He was portrayed a lot as a goody goody, but his flaws shone in the end.

Overall, this was a book rich in detail, character development, and setting. I was engrossed in it all weekend when I read it, and I can’t wait for you guys to get your hands on a copy!

Tour Schedule

October 2nd

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club & Pink Polka Dot Books– Welcome Post

October 3rd

YA and Wine– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 4th

October 5th

Maddie TV– Review & Playlist

October 6th

Amanda Gernentz Hanson– Review & Favorite Quotes

October 7th

October 8th

October 9th

Giveaway

Win 1 of 2 copies of ALL THE WIND IN THE WORLD by Samantha Mabry

-US ONLY

Here’s the link!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Posted in Bloggers, Reviews, Sophie

Sneak Peek Sunday: Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Hello there! I’m back with another ARC review of a book I couldn’t put down!

Devils & Thieves (Devils & Thieves, #1)

Title: Devils & Thieves 

Author: Jennifer Rush

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Expected Release: October 3, 2017

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

Eighteen-year-old Jemmie Carmichael has grown up surrounded by magic in the quiet town of Hawthorne, New York. In her world, magic users are called “kindled,” and Jemmie would count herself among them if only she could cast a simple spell without completely falling apart. It doesn’t help that she was also recently snubbed by Crowe, the dangerous and enigmatic leader of the Black Devils kindled motorcycle gang and the unofficial head of their turf.

When the entire kindled community rolls into Hawthorne for an annual festival, a rumour begins spreading that someone is practising forbidden magic. Then people start to go missing. With threats closing in from every side, no one can be trusted. Jemmie and Crowe will have to put aside their tumultuous history to find their loved ones, and the only thing that might save them is the very flaw that keeps Jemmie from fully harnessing her magic. For all her years of feeling useless, Jemmie may just be the most powerful kindled of all.

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I think my favorite part of this book was Jemmie. She is a strong young woman, and it’s becoming increasingly important for me (and a lot of others) that we see this kind of representation in books. She is a dimensional character, and I enjoyed seeing her come to grips about her own powers.

One thing I found confusing were all of the different magics. I couldn’t keep them straight, and it was hard to remember which name belonged with which. Some families have certain powers that reign throughout their bloodlines, and some powers come that aren’t within the family. There are under ten different magic powers in the book, but it’s still hard to keep track of all of them.

The romance part of the book was so angsty and a little trite, but it didn’t stop me from cheering when they got together finally. It was an obvious line of who was supposed to love whom, and half of the fun is seeing them struggle to admit their feelings to each other. I like that this isn’t central to the plot though. It is more of a side part and Jemmie remains the key player in the midst of everything.

Okay, but the ending? *mind blown* I need that second book now. I NEED ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Be sure to keep an eye out for this one this coming Tuesday!

Happy reading,

Sophie 🙂

Hi there! I hope you’re doing well! I’m aiming to get a good amount of reviews done before the year is up, but it doesn’t help how fast I’m getting through books at the same time. I’m not reviewing all of the books I’ve read this year, but I’m doing a fair amount, so hopefully this will be all caught up!

Title: The Secret of a Heart Note

The Secret of a Heart Note
Goodreads

Author: Stacy Lee

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Release Date: December 27, 2016

Source: Hardcover, US

Love chose me, and I tried, but I couldn’t stop the arrow in its flight.

As one of only two aromateurs left on the planet, fifteen-year-old Mimosa knows what her future holds: a lifetime of using her extraordinary sense of smell to mix base notes, top notes, and heart notes into elixirs that help others fall in love.

All while remaining incurably alone.

For Mim, the rules are clear—falling in love would render her nose useless, taking away her one great talent. Still, Mimosa doesn’t want to spend her life elbow-deep in soil and begonias. She dreams of a normal high school existence—taking up a sport and limping away flush from victory, joining the debate club and saying things like “That’s a logical fallacy!” Having a boyfriend.

When she accidentally gives an elixir to the wrong woman and has to rely on the school soccer star to help fix the situation, Mim quickly begins to realize that when it comes to falling in love, the choice isn’t always hers to make.

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I remember I bought this one mainly on impulse and the fact that it was super cheap on Amazon. And I’m so glad I did!

Review: The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacy Lee