Review: War Storm (Red Queen #4)

Title: War Storm (Red Queen #4)
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: May 15, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Victory comes at a price.

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Review:

It has taken me a while to read this highly anticipated finale to the Red Queen series. I was glad to finally finish it!

It’s been a few years since I started reading this series. I had forgotten a lot that happened, so I had to read some summaries before reading this book. Even though it has only been four books, there were a lot of subplots and characters to follow. I was surprised at how easy it was to get back into the story once I started reading it. Victoria Aveyard’s writing gives a complete picture of what is happening, so it was easy to read.

The one criticism I have about this book is that it drifted from the original plot of the story. The story mostly followed Mare, Evangeline, and Iris. There was a lot of focus on the different houses and kingdoms in the world. I think it would have been much shorter if it just focused on the battle between Mare, Cal and Maven. The stories of the other families could have been explored in its own series.

I’m glad that I finished this series. I’m curious to see what happens in the collection of stories, Broken Throne.

What to read next:

Broken Throne (Red Queen #4.5) by Victoria Aveyard

Have you read Red Queen? What did you think of it?

Review: Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5)

Title: Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Fan favorite character Kenji Kishimoto narrates this gripping companion novella to Tahereh Mafi’s New York Times bestselling Shatter Me series, set during the explosive events in Restore Me!

Juliette is still reeling from Warner’s betrayal, and Kenji is trying to balance his friendship with her with his responsibilities as a leader of the resistance against the Reestablishment. Things get even more interesting when an unexpected person from Omega Point’s past surfaces.

The ending of Restore Me left readers gasping, and this novella full of Kenji’s signature sass and big heart is the perfect story to tide fans over until Defy Me, the shocking fifth book in the Shatter Me series, hits shelves in April 2019.

Review:

This novella was different from the other two in the Shatter Me series because it is told from Kenji’s perspective. The other two were narrated by Warner and Adam. Kenji is one of my favourite characters, so I was so excited to read some of his story.

Kenji is a fun character. He usually brings some comic relief to the serious story. He’s Juliette’s best friend, so he is in a very different position from Warner and Adam, who have both been her love interests. However, this story shows a different side to Kenji. He has had a tough life, being orphaned and living on the streets before being taken in by Castle. Though he has been through a lot, he is still there for Juliette when she needs him.

These novellas are a great addition to the series. They usually show the same scenes that were in the main novel, but from a different point of view. This gives us a full image of what is happening in the story.

The next novella is also from Kenji’s perspective, so I can’t wait to read it!

What to read next:

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Have you read Shadow Me? What did you think of it?

Review: The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali

Title: The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali
Author: Sabina Khan
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 29, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective. 

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

Review:

I loved this book! It had some of the biggest highs and lows of any book I’ve read, but it had a powerful message.

Rukhsana was a very strong character. She went through so much in this story, but it ended on a hopeful note. The story was emotionally draining at times, because there were so many difficult topics, such as abuse. There was physical and emotional abuse, including violent beatings and imprisonment. Though it was hard to read about, these are real things that happen in the world, so it’s important to recognize the dangers that some people face.

It was shocking at times to see how Rukhsana’s family reacted to her coming out as a lesbian. I didn’t take it as an insult to the whole Bangladeshi community, because there are some families that are accepting to their queen children. It was just the way that her parents handled it that was so extreme. I can’t imagine going through something like that, so it really broke my heart to see everything she had to go through once her parents found out. I was glad this story ended with hope, because many other people’s stories don’t have such happy endings.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s an important LGBT story.

What to read next:

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Have you read The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali? What did you think of it?

Review: Nancy Drew and the Palace of Wisdom

Title: Nancy Drew and the Palace of Wisdom
Author: Kelly Thompson, Jenn St-Onge
Genre: Graphic Novel, Young Adult
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Nancy Drew is seventeen and good at everything…ESPECIALLY solving crimes. But her totally-in-control-and-obviously-running-perfectly-smooth-(but-not-really) life hits a snag when a mysterious message drags her back to the hometown she left behind. There she’ll have to find out which of her friends are still her friends, which are enemies, and who exactly is trying to kill her…and (hopefully) stop them before they succeed. 
KELLY THOMPSON (Hawkeye, Star Wars, Rogue & Gambit) and JENN ST-ONGE (Giant Days, The Misfits) team up to present an all-new modern spin on a classic mystery icon!

Review:

I’ve loved Nancy Drew since I was a kid. I’m always looking for new adaptations, including graphic novels. This was a fun new story.

The setting of the story was a little difficult to get used to at first. Nancy grew up in Bayport, and she moved to River Heights with her father when she was a teen. In this story, she is called back to Bayport when she receives a threatening letter referring to her mother’s death. Her old friends Bess and George, as well as Frank and Joe Hardy, are in Bayport, and they join her on her new mystery.

There was some diversity added to the original Nancy Drew cast. Nancy meets Pete, a black boy, who joins her and her friends on their mystery. George is gay, and is dating Danica, who is also black.

Bess has always been one of my favourite characters and she was hilarious in this story. She finally started a romance with Joe, which I’ve been waiting to see for a long time. Bess also knew some surprising information which helped them solve the mystery!

I hope this series continues. There was a huge cliffhanger at the end, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Thank you Dynamite Entertainment for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: The Big Lie by Anthony Del Col

Have you read Nancy Drew and the Palace of Wisdom? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: The Hummingbird Dagger

Title: The Hummingbird Dagger
Author: Cindy Anstey
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Historical
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

1833. After young Lord James Ellerby witnesses a near-fatal carriage accident on the outskirts of his estate, he doesn’t think twice about bringing the young woman injured in the wreck to his family’s manor to recuperate. But then she finally regains consciousness only to find that she has no memory of who she is or where she belongs.

Beth, as she takes to calling herself, is an enigma even to herself. She has the rough hands of a servant, but the bearing and apparent education of a lady. Her only clue to her identity is a gruesome recurring nightmare about a hummingbird dripping blood from its steel beak.

With the help of James and his sister, Caroline, Beth slowly begins to unravel the mystery behind her identity and the sinister circumstances that brought her to their door. But the dangerous secrets they discover in doing so could have deadly ramifications reaching the highest tiers of London society.

Review:

I love Cindy Anstey’s books! They are set in the 19th century, which is my favourite time period to read about. However, the subject matter is something that couldn’t have been written about during that time. In this story, there is a kidnapping and murder.

The cast of older teenagers have to search out the answers as to who the young lady is that was involved in an accident. She lost her memory, so they have the difficult task of finding her identity. I loved the characters. They reminded me of Jane Austen characters. Their family friend, Mrs. Thompson, especially reminded me of Mrs. Bennet in the way that she was really clueless to the things that were going on around her.

The mystery of the story kept me guessing until the end. I loved the ending. This is a great historical, YA mystery!

What to read next:

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey

About the Author:

Whenever she is not sitting at the computer, throwing a ball in the backyard, gardening or reading, Cindy can be found–actually, not found–adventuring around the world with her hubby.

She has lived on three continents, had a monkey in her yard and a scorpion under her sink, dwelt among castles and canals, enjoyed the jazz of Beale St and attempted to speak French.

Cindy loves history, mystery and… a chocolate Labrador called Chester.

Author Links:

https://twitter.com/CindyAnstey
https://www.cindyanstey.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13795420.Cindy_Anstey
https://www.facebook.com/Cindy-Anstey-1495828024028504/

Buy the book:

Amazon: https://books2read.com/u/b5xWN6?store=amazon
B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-hummingbird-dagger-cindy-anstey/1128119401?ean=9781250174895#/
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/the-hummingbird-dagger/id1394085034?mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-hummingbird-dagger

Thank you to Expresso Book Tours for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Have you read The Hummingbird Dagger? What did you think of it?

Review: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)

Title: Restore Me (Shatter Me #4)
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Juliette Ferrars thought she’d won. She took over Sector 45, was named the new Supreme Commander, and now has Warner by her side. But she’s still the girl with the ability to kill with a single touch—and now she’s got the whole world in the palm of her hand. When tragedy hits, who will she become? Will she be able to control the power she wields and use it for good?

Review:

This was an amazing story in the Shatter Me series! The first three books can be read as a trilogy. This continuation of the series is even better than the first three books.

Even though so much happens in the first three books, there is still an entire world to discover in this one. The first trilogy was centred around Juliette in Sector 45. This story explores the leaders of the other continents. There was so much information that Juliette didn’t know, and that we learn along with her.

This story was different from the other ones because the chapters alternate between Juliette’s and Warner’s points of view. There are betrayals and lots of new discoveries to be made, so it was important that the two different perspectives be shown in this story. It’s also great to see Warner’s narrative again. He was the narrator in the novella Destroy Me. He’s a complicated character and I love reading his scenes.

I loved this book! I’m so glad I’m almost caught up! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

What to read next:


Shadow Me (Shatter Me #4.5) by Tahereh Mafi

Defy Me (Shatter Me #5) by Tahereh Mafi

Have you read Restore Me? What did you think of it?

Review: The Agony of Bun O’Keefe

Title: The Agony of Bun O’Keefe
Author: Heather Smith
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Razorbill Canada
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898

Goodreads Synopsis:

Set in 1980s Newfoundland, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe is the story of a 14-year-old girl who runs away to the city and is taken in by a street musician who lives with an eclectic cast of characters: a pot smoking dishwasher with culinary dreams; a drag queen with a tragic past; a Catholic school girl desperately trying to reinvent herself; and a man who Bun is told to avoid at all cost.

Review:

After reading Chicken Girl, I wanted to check out Heather Smith’s other books. I loved this one!

This story had a diverse cast of characters, who lived in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Bun runs away from home and ends up moving in with a busker she meets on the street. He lives with a variety of people, including a guy who dresses up in drag as Cher and a chef. The Busker boy is Native Canadian. Bun comes from a mother who was a hoarder. There were many tough issues discussed in this story, including suicide.

I loved Bun! She had a childlike innocence, even though she was fourteen. She didn’t have experience in schools, because she was only sent to kindergarten. She was educated by movies that she memorized. She took everything literally, which created some funny misunderstandings. She read and memorized the dictionary for fun. I loved her innocence. She had to grow up physically and emotionally in this story.

I loved this book! I highly recommend it!

What to read next:

Chicken Girl by Heather Smith

Baygirl by Heather Smith

Have you read The Agony of Bun O’Keefe? What did you think of it?