Review: “Pawn,” Aimée Carter

Review: “Pawn,” Aimée CarterPawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion #1)
Written by Aimee Carter
Published November, 2013 by Harlequin Teen
346 pages
Genres: Dystopian
Add to Goodreads

You can be a VII. If you give up everything.

For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.

If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.

There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.

Though it took a little time to really pick up, Pawn was a surprisingly easy and enjoyable read. More simplistic than it’s fellow dystopian shelf-sitters, the plot and world of Aimee Carter’s new series is quite straightforward and the characters are easy keep track of. I liked this one more than I thought I would! (more…)

Review: “Never Fade,” Alexandra Bracken

Review: “Never Fade,” Alexandra BrackenNever Fade (The Darkest Minds #2)
Written by Alexandra Bracken
Published October, 2013 by Disney Hyperion
507 pages
Genres: Dystopian, Psychics, Survival
Add to Goodreads

Ruby never asked for the abilities that almost cost her her life. Now she must call upon them on a daily basis, leading dangerous missions to bring down a corrupt government and breaking into the minds of her enemies. Other kids in the Children’s League call Ruby “Leader”, but she knows what she really is: a monster.

When Ruby is entrusted with an explosive secret, she must embark on her most dangerous mission yet: leaving the Children’s League behind. Crucial information about the disease that killed most of America’s children—and turned Ruby and the others who lived into feared and hated outcasts—has survived every attempt to destroy it. But the truth is only saved in one place: a flashdrive in the hands of Liam Stewart, the boy Ruby once believed was her future—and who now wouldn’t recognize her.

As Ruby sets out across a desperate, lawless country to find Liam—and answers about the catastrophe that has ripped both her life and America apart—she is torn between old friends and the promise she made to serve the League. Ruby will do anything to protect the people she loves. But what if winning the war means losing herself?

Though I devoured The Darkest Minds pretty much instantly, I had trouble enjoying Never Fade as much. It had a lot to do with my high expectations, the pacing and the ‘all over the place’ plot. While assorted pit-stops and road blocks were charming in The Darkest Minds, I felt that the second book in the series overdid it. (more…)

Review: “The Morning Star,” Robin Bridges

Review: “The Morning Star,” Robin BridgesThe Morning Star (The Katerina Trilogy #3)
Written by Robin Bridges
Published August, 2013 by Delacorte
288 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Supernatural, Vampires, Werewolves / Shifters, Witches, Zombies
Add to Goodreads

St. Petersburg, Russia, 1890

Katerina Alexandrovna, Duchess of Oldenburg, wants to be known as a doctor, not a necromancer. But Tsar Alexander III forbids women to attend medical school; his interest in Katerina extends only to her ability to raise the dead. Twice now, Katerina has helped him by using her power to thwart the forces of darkness—vampires bent on resurrecting the lich tsar Konstantin Pavlovich so that he can take what he sees as his rightful place on the throne. Katerina thought she had bound Konstantin to the Greylands, the realm of the dead, but he has found a way out. Now he is searching for the Morning Star, a sword that will allow him to command a legion of supernatural warriors.

Katerina must find the sword before Konstantin does—and she must travel to Egypt to do so. Along the way, she puts up with unwanted attention from her former fiancé, the nefarious Prince Danilo, and struggles with her feelings for her true love, George Alexandrovich. But with the looming threat from Konstantin, Katerina's focus remains on the sword. Russia's fate will be determined by whoever wields the Morning Star—and delivers the final blow.

This one was so hard to review. I do love this series, but I had so many high expectations for The Morning Star and they just weren’t met. I had hoped that Robin Bridges would only expand upon the lavish world she had created in both The Gathering Storm and The Unfailing Light, but instead I felt that we were backpedalling in some way all throughout this one. (more…)

Review: “Just One Day,” Gayle Forman

Review: “Just One Day,” Gayle FormanJust One Day (Just One Day #1)
Written by Gayle Forman
Published January, 2013 by Dutton
368 pages
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Romance, Travel
Add to Goodreads

When sheltered American good girl Allyson "LuLu" Healey first meets laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter at an underground performance of Twelfth Night in England, there’s an undeniable spark. After just one day together, that spark bursts into a flame, or so it seems to Allyson, until the following morning, when she wakes up after a whirlwind day in Paris to discover that Willem has left.

Over the next year, Allyson embarks on a journey to come to terms with the narrow confines of her life, and through Shakespeare, travel, and a quest for her almost-true-love, to break free of those confines.

Just One Day was a spur of the minute choice of reading material – one that I was able to quickly finish and enjoy in ‘just one day’. It’s no surprise that Gayle Forman once again delivers another charming contemporary, read. While it is not my favourite of her books, Just One Day makes you think about the impact ‘accidents’ and chance meetings can have on us. (more…)

Review: “Touch of Frost,” Jennifer Estep

Review: “Touch of Frost,” Jennifer EstepTouch of Frost (Mythos Academy #1)
Written by Jennifer Estep
Published August, 2011 by Kensington Teen
350 pages
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology
Add to Goodreads

My name is Gwen Frost, and I go to Mythos Academy; a school of myths, magic and warrior whiz kids, where even the lowliest geek knows how to chop off somebody's head with a sword and Logan Quinn, the hottest Spartan guy in school, also happens to be the deadliest. But lately, things have been weird, even for Mythos.

First, mean girl Jasmine Ashton was murdered in the Library of Antiquities. Then, someone stole the Bowl of Tears, a magical artifact that can be used to bring about the second Chaos War. You know, death, destruction and lots of other bad, bad things.

Freaky stuff like this goes on all the time at Mythos, but I'm determined to find out who killed Jasmine and why; especially since I should have been the one who died...

The first book in the ‘Mythos Academy’ series for the most part was a fast-paced and fun read. I did, however, have a few problems with it that I hope will be rectified in the second book.