Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review: Asylum










Title: Asylum
Author: Madeleine Roux
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 20, 2013
Rating: 3 Cows








Goodreads Description:

Asylum is a thrilling and creepy photo-novel perfect for fans of the New York Times bestseller Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program—it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum—a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.



A few months back I won an arc of “Sanctum,” from Team Epic Reads.  Unfortunately, it was the sequel to “Asylum by Madeleine Roux which I hadn’t read yet, so I bought that on Amazon and gave it a go.

“Asylum” is about Dan Crawford who goes to a college prep program for the summer, before his senior year of high school begins.  When he gets there though, he finds out he won’t be staying in the dorms after all because construction work is being done on them.  Instead, all the students coming to the college prep program will be staying in an old building on campus, that used to be an asylum.  As if being away from home for the whole summer and getting ready for college wasn’t scary enough, lets add sleeping in a place where they used to house the crazies! No thanks, I’ll pass!

It did make for a pretty interesting story though! I like a good scary story now and then, and this one was pretty good.  Unfortunately the plot was a little confusing at times, and some of the events felt like fillers. Dan and his two friends Abby and Jordan, had a knack for running into trouble.  I was a little annoyed that they acted so surprised when bad things happened to them though.  After all, they were snooping around an old asylum!  Then again, you all know how reading can be sometimes.   You know the characters are going to do something they shouldn’t and you know something bad is going to happen, but they do it regardless!  If you’re like me, you want to yell at them through the books: STOP MAKING BAD DECISIONS!

These bad decisions lead Dan and his friends to finding out secrets about the building they’re staying in though, and they find out there’s more to the old asylum than just some gruesome history.  Along the way, they uncover secrets about themselves they never knew existed.  That was one part of the book I really enjoyed.  Their being at the college prep program is not a coincidence, and fate plays a big part in them solving the mysteries of this building.

​       After finishing “Asylum” I was a little disappointed.  Typically I can’t wait to start reading the next book in a series, but with this one I wasn’t too excited.  I will say though, the series does pick up in the next book, and if you’ve already read “Asylum,” it’s worth getting “Sanctum.”  All the loose ends are tied up in the second book, and it made me appreciate this one a little more than I did originally!





Emily


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goodreads Choice Awards 2014



For someone who spends a couple hours each week browsing Goodreadsupdating my TBR and other reading lists, I somehow managed to miss the first round of voting for this year’s ‘Choice Awards.’  Imagine my surprise when I saw everyone talking about it on twitter a day later! Not to be thwarted twice though, I set myself a reminder so I could give my say in the next round’s voting, and see which books made it through in each category.  This year there were 20 categories with 10 books for each category in this round of voting.  The categories are as follows: fantasy, mystery & thriller, historical fiction, fantasy, romance, science fiction, horror, humor, nonfiction, memoir & autobiography, history & biography, business books, food & cookbooks, graphic novels & comics, poetry, debutgoodreads author, young adult fiction, young adult fantasy & science fiction, middle grade & children’s, and picture books.  Despite reading more than just YA, I didn’t recognize many of the books in a majority of the categories, so I only cast my vote for young adult fiction, and young adult fantasy & science fiction.  Here are the nominees for each category and which book I voted for!

Young Adult Fiction
-The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie HalseAnderson
-We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
-Take Me On (Pushing the Limits, #4) by Katie McGarry
-To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
-Panic by Lauren Oliver
-Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
-I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
-Isla and the Happily Ever After  (Anna and the French Kiss, #3) by Stephanie Perkins
-Since You’ve Been Gone by Moran Matson
-Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

*I voted for “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han for this category!

Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction
-Four: A Divergent Story Collection (Divergent, #01.-0.4) by Veronic Roth
-Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #3) by Laini Taylor
-Red Rising (Red Rising Trilogy, #1) by Pierce Brown
-Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3) by Sarah J. Maas
-City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6) by Cassandra Clare
-Silver Shadows (Bloodlines, #5) by Richelle Mead
-The One (The Selection, #3) by Kiera Cass
-Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3) by Marissa Meyer
-Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2) by Ransom Riggs
-Ignite Me (Shatter Me, #3) by Tahereh Mafi

*This one was really hard for me to choose because there were so many greats one, but I had to go with “City of Heavenly Fire” for this category!


Emily 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (68)




Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!


My list this week is a little short!  Typically I have A LOT of ongoing series/trilogies that I can’t wait to get my hands on the next book for, but lately I’ve made it a mission of mine to finish them up!  In the past month alone I finished the last book in at least 5 different series.  Here’s the ones I have left though!  Fingers crossed some of them show up under the Christmas tree!:)

Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait to Get

1. Winter by Marissa Meyer- The 4
th book in the Lunar Chronicles, which I just finished reading the first 3 of this past month!  I know I’m not the only one anticipating this book! The series itself was even nominated for a goodreads award for 2014!

2. The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare- ok ok, I know this is technically not a sequel, BUT it is a companion series to The Mortal Instruments, and I honestly do not know how anyone could finish the last book of Mortal Instruments and NOT need to read the Dark Artifices right away! The anticipation is overwhelming.  I have a countdown on my phone! Joking! (not reallyJ )


3. Black Heart by Holly Black- I recently did reviews on the first two in this series.
  Originally, I didn’t know there was a third book in the series, and I was SUPER upset! Now that I know there is though, I can’t wait to read this one!

4. Cold Light by Traci L. Slatton – I still have a book hangover from the first book, Fallen by Traci L. Slatton.  I just finished reading it last week and I couldn’t pick up another book for days.  It was really bad how REALLY attached I got to the first book.  Maybe something to do with the romance in it?  I’m done rambling now. That’s what the first book did to me though, left me mumbling incoherent phrases, because I can’t put into words my thoughts about it. Moving on..

5. The Kill Order by James Dashner-I KNOW I KNOW breaking the rules of this post again! Technically The Kill Order is a prequel to the Mazerunner series, but it came out AFTER the series, so I consider that a sequel! Am I the only one?  I did this with Four by Veronica Roth as well.  

6. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han-sequel to To All the Boys I’ved Loved Before. Really good! Highly recommend it!


Emily
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Audio Review: Under the Never Sky








Title: Under the Never Sky
Author: Veronica Rossi
Pages: 347
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: January 3, 2012
Format: Audio
Rating: 4 Cows







Goodreads Description:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers.



Under the Never Sky was a book that I didn't know what to expect going in. I'm not sure I even read the description. It was one of the books I got at RT and had been wanting to read but never gotten to. I had several Audible credits I needed to spend so I decided to get Under the Never Sky.  Despite a somewhat slow start, it turned out to be a good choice.

As stated Under the Never Sky got off to a slow start for me. Books with a futuristic, sci-fi feel are hit and miss for me. I'm not fan of books that throw a lot of information to you but I also like to have enough information to know what's what. Under the Never Sky definitely was leaning toward the not enough side. Veronica Rossi simply lets Aria tell us the story and we just have to figure out what a pod is and why they are in them. Some details we don't find out until way later, such as, who was chosen to be in the pods and who wasn't. Once I figured out what everything was,  I found myself enjoying the book much more.

I liked both Aria and Perry. I liked their gradual relationship. I loved that they both had their prejudices against one another but that slowly that began to get past that and see the other for who they really were. With that being said, Roar stole the show for me. I loved him! He has this larger than life personality. He is this funny, laid back guy that is so passionate about life. His mood was infectious! 

There was a lot of action in Under the Never Sky. Between the croven (maybe that spelled right, I have no idea since I listened to the audio) and the Aether storms there was pretty much something always going on. 

I have been getting away from dystopian books lately and been instead leaning toward contemporary books. Still, Under the Never Sky caught my attention and kept me entertained. As soon as I finished book one, I started book two (which I have also finished now and I just began book three). I am super excited to see how this story ends!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: Keeper of Lost Souls






Title: Keeper of the Lost Souls
Author: Kristy Centeno
Pages: 380
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 7, 2013
Rating: 5 Cows








Goodreads Description:
 
Bryn McCaskey is young, naïve, and can talk to ghosts...

Like her mother and grandmother, Bryn comes from a breed of witches called The Keepers of the Lost Souls. Their main purpose is to guard those spirits who are permanently or temporarily grounded in the world of the living. Handling supernatural creatures is something which comes naturally to Bryn, however, dealing with people is a whole different story.

As her 18th birthday approaches it's time for her to take on her first assignment. Bryn is forced to confront her inability to communicate with others in an effort to save the one soul that can mean the difference between life and death for mankind.

Johnny Shaw is a lost soul with a personal vendetta against witches...

A vendetta he has carried on even after death. As much as he hate's them he must join forces with a keeper witch, in order to stop a century old threat. When fate brings them together, not only will they be forced to learn how to work as a team, but they will have to depend on each other to stop an evil witch carrying a six hundred year grudge!
 
 
 
 
“Keeper of the Lost Souls” is one of those books I can’t stop recommending to people and talking about! I already convinced numerous friends to start reading it or add it to their TBR pile. I’ve read my fair share of books about witches, and they can go either way. The author either really makes it work and draws you in, or you feel like you’re reading some cheesy magic story. Kristy Centeno knew exactly what she was doing though! “Keeper of the Lost Souls” is the first book in The Keeper Witches Series, and is about Bryn McCaskey, a witch who comes from a long history of witches that look over lost souls that are stuck in the world of the living. She lives with her mom and grandma who are also keeper witches. It makes for an interesting family dynamic, when at any given time they have a lost soul staying with them or lingering at the dinner table.
One of these souls is Marianne, a character I couldn’t help but hate at first, and then fall in love with. Although she played a small part in the book, I really liked that Kristy included this character, because I think readers (teenagers especially) can learn quite a lot from her. While she was still alive, she was a bully and picked on Bryn at school. She also took advantage of her parents, and treated them poorly. I liked the growth of her character, and how she realized her mistakes over the course of the book. You don’t have to have been a bully as a teenager in order to relate to her though. I think Marianne, like many people, realize there’s more to life than what you believed there was as a teenager. She valued her friendships and boyfriend more than anything, and spent very little time with her younger sister and parents as a result. Her death and new friendship with Bryn give Marianne a new perspective on life, and I loved that about the
Another popular theme in “Keeper of the Lost Souls” was prejudice. One of Bryn’s charges (lost soul she is assigned to watch over) is Johnny Shaw, a boy who hates her immediately, simply because she is a witch. Johnny has been predisposed to hate witches after a few bad run-ins he’s had with them. In order to work with Bryn though, he has to learn to get past this prejudice and accept her for who she is. Overcoming this hatred isn’t easy for him though, and it’s nice to finally see a male character with some faults! Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED Johnny Shaw (add him to the list of book boyfriends I currently have) but it was nice to know he isn’t perfect. I feel like sometimes the boys get off easy in YA and come off as being perfect. Unrealistic standards, and yet as readers, we fall in love with them anyways. But with Johnny his character was realistic and I really enjoyed the role he played in the story.
Another aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the fact that Bryn represented such a strong female character. Got to hand it to the ladies, they don’t always need a man to swoop in and save them! I especially loved one of the scenes when Bryn uses her powers for the first time in front of Johnny, and he is totally blown away by how powerful and tough she is.
All in all, “Keeper of the Lost Souls” was seriously great. I can’t stop saying enough good things about it, and I can’t wait to start reading “Keeper of the Innocents,” the second book in The Keeper Witches Series. EXCITING NEWS EVERYONE: “Keeper of the Lost Souls” is currently free on amazon right now for kindles! If you have one, I highly suggest you go download it now for free while you still can! And let me know what you think of it!
 
 
 

Emily


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday (56)



Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.



















Title: The Heir
Author: Kiera Cass
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: May 5, 2015











Goodreads Description:

Twenty years ago, America Singer entered the Selection and won Prince Maxon’s heart. Now the time has come for Princess Eadlyn to hold a Selection of her own. Eadlyn doesn’t expect her Selection to be anything like her parents’ fairy-tale love story. But as the competition begins, she may discover that finding her own happily ever after isn’t as impossible as she always thought.

Why I'm Waiting: Well, that's a silly question! I loved the Selection series so I can't wait to read this next chapter in the series!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (67)

 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!
 

 

 

Whether it’s a prequel, spinoff, or just a stand alone, there are numerous characters in books and series I’ve read, that I wish would get their own book!  Here are my top ten!

Top Ten Characters You Wish Would Get Their Own Book


1. Arya Drottningu (Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini): She played a crucial role in guarding the last dragon egg until Eragon found it, and I would love to see a spinoff book of her journey before meeting Eragon.  


2. Chuck (The Mazerunner by James Dashner): Since I can’t talk about why I want to see a book with Chuck starring in it without giving away spoilers, I will simply say, I loved Chuck like my own sibling.  


3. Sirius Black (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling): Besides Harry Potter, Sirius Black was my FAVORITE character in the series, and I would love to see a book about his time in the Order of Phoenix, and even his school days at Hogwarts.  Plus, I feel like if J.K. Rowling wrote a spinoff book with Sirius as the main character, we would get to learn more about the wizarding world at a time when the Dark Lord was just starting to rise and gain followers.  Like a Harry Potter prequel!


4. Augustus Waters (The Fault in our Stars by John Green): He was just such a unique character, that I would love to see him star as the main character in a spinoff or even his own story.  I wouldn’t even mind reading a version of The Fault in Our Stars from Gus’sPOV.  


5. Mason (Black Ice by Becca Fitzpatrick): Same story, but from Mason’s POV would be awesome.  


6. Beck (The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater): Like a prequel to Shiver, and we could see Beck set up the house and the pack.  Also, we would get to see Sam as the young boy who struggled to get through his wolf transformation, after Beck let him join the pack.


7. Hanna (Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver)


8. Chiron (Percy Jackson & The Olympians): How cool would a book about Chiron be?! He helped TONS of heroes in the past, and he’s hundreds of years old!  Think of all the stories he probably has to tell!


9. Alba (The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger): Daughter of main character Henry, she shares the same time travelling abilities as her father.  It would be fun to read a book focused on her experiences as a time traveller.  


10. Peta (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins): Need I say more?



Emily

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