Thursday, January 29, 2015

ARC Review: The Secrets We Keep

There are books out there that seem to hook you from the very first sentence...The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver is exactly that kind of book! Leaver will have you hook, line and sinker before you even realize it. I remember thinking within the first page, "Yup, and I'm hooked!" The Secrets We Keep is a thrilling ride that will have you eager to see what happens next on this spiraling journey about family, love and loss.

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.

When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.

This book first jumped out at me because (1) I love stories about family - this one is about twins and their bond (2) I am intrigued by stories of great struggle/loss/emotion and this one has it all and (3) I have to admit this cover art had me at first glance! It's absolutely breathtaking.

TSWK is a well written story about a teen girl who loses her twin sister in an auto accident and really the two of them could not be different however it didn't always used to be that way. They used to be close and as they hit high school they drifted. This coming of age story really explores the way we see ourselves and the power that emotionally has especially in the teen years. Ella is amazing, and intelligent and has everything going for her only, like so many of us, she doesn't see that until she can see through someone else's eyes.

This is such a powerful story about family, friends and most of all sisters and also touches on the stressors of adolescence and belonging and the lengths that some will go to maintain popularity no matter how fragile a web that is. There were moments in this novel that really left me breathless and as Ella uncovered the world of popularity and family dynamics. Now don't get me wrong, there were many moments when I wanted to shake Ella and ask her what in the world she was doing but really, I think we've all had moments in our lives where someone had wanted to shake some sense in us! That's high school for you.

This is a story about life. About the fact that sometimes the grass is not always greener. This is a story about love. About how a family loves differently but the same. About how friendship is often the greatest form of love we can ever have. This is a story about life and how fantastically complicated it all become and how one lie can spin a web that can seem endless and suffocating. This is a story about finding one's self and where one belongs. This is a story about life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday: A Court of Thorns and Roses

"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

So first off let me say, wow it's been FOREVER since I've posted a WoW post and there are SOOOOO many amazing reads that I am looking forward to for 2015!  I wish I could list them all and eventually I do hope to list them all here but let's start with one at a time!  

Okay, so without further delay, the book that I am seriously crushing/stalking is none other than the much loved Sarah J. Maas' A Court of Thorns and Roses!  OMG!  Seriously take a look at this synopsis (courtesy of Goodreads):
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.
Beyond the synopsis I read a teaser of the first four chapters (that can be found HERE and HERE) and OMG, I desperately need this now! And by now I mean PRONTO! ASAP! Can it please please please be May 5th? What am I to do with myself until then...let the countdown begin because with all of these teasers and talk around this one I seriously am salivating here.  We all know how much I love a re-telling and this has the promise of a loose nod to the adored Beauty and the Beast story.  It really doesn't get better than faeries, amazing world building, hot steamy love interests and a fierce and strong leading lady!

I mean don't just take my word for it, check out some of the reviews on Goodreads and be sure to add this to your TBR pile because this one looks like one to DEFINITELY not miss in 2015!  EEeee let the wait begin...

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)

Wow, I COULD NOT PUT THIS DOWN! Initial overall thoughts: If you loved The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1) then you will LOVE The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)! Drop what you're doing and carve out a day, afternoon or several bus rides to dive into the depths of the world of the Scion and get ready to lose yourself to the world of Samantha Shannon!

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads:

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London...

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

Where do I start? This is a hard review to write only because I want to do TMO justice and I can't really divulge all of the wonderfulness because of spoiler-y-ness. I mean come on, I seriously finished this in about 7 hours and it was a whirlwind of amazingness! I will warn that the first 60-70% felt rather slow for my general taste but because of Shannon's amazing writing/world building/characters I really did not mind it especially when she gifted us readers with the last 30-40%! Hold on to your seat because that part is AH-MAZ-ING!

Let me start by saying that Samantha Shannon is a true master of her craft! She can spin a web so intricate that you feel as if you have actually fallen into a world so real that you can actually touch, hear, feel and smell everything around you! Oh, I could read her words forever. Honestly, because she is such a talented writer that is what helped me through the slow start.

Secondly, the characters just get better! We learn so much more not only about Paige and Jaxon (who I seriously love, but I hate...I love to hate him) but also from our secondary characters who really seem to fill in and wow, I love Shannon for giving them some depth! Warden to me is still mysterious but OMG how much do I LOVE their romance. Again, Warden does not really come back in until the last 30% of the novel but when he does it's SOOOOO worth it! There is one scene...and, well, you will know when it hits you! The romance in TMO is subtle but adds so much to the story without overwhelming it. It's perfection.

Honestly if you're still on the fence about this book, trust me (and many others) when I say, this is worth the read! It's slow to start but it's absolutely stunning and one that I would hate for you all to miss out on! So what are you waiting for?

**Update: If you're on the go, know that there is also a FANTASTIC audio version narrated by Alana Kerr available for purchase HERE!  Check out this sample and enjoy on your commute!**