Thursday, July 2, 2015

June Wrap Up

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I know that in my last post I said that I would write a review on Wednesday...well, two things happened. First, I sat down to write and realized it was almost 11 o'clock and not only did I need sleep but a lot of other people probably need sleep and it might not be a good time to update.
The second thing that happened is that I didn't get ready with the two books that I am going to be reviewing next, so, bummer.
The wonderful thing about this is that I have decided write a Wrap Up post for every month! Basically I will include any books I finished in the month, a short blurb, thoughts, and a rating. That being said, I'll stop dilly dallying around and get right down to it.




Rating 7/10
I picked up this book because there was a lot of hype in the bookstagram world about it and the cover is gorgeous. There have been some negative reviews, but I found I really enjoyed it. The story follows Mare. A girl living as a thief in a world where status is defined by your blood: Red or Silver. If you are a red, your pretty much set to work for the Silvers, who have Silver Blood and special powers, for the rest of your life in some kind of serving position. Mare lucks out when she meets a guy and tells him all of troubles. She gets a high paying job in the palace, but her luck runs out almost as soon as she starts because through through sheer accident it comes to light that she has powers that she shouldn't have. The King and Queen cover it up by saying that she is the lost daughter of some great general and then engage her to their youngest son. The story takes some crazy twist and turns and leaves you wondering what will happen next. Release date for Glass Sword, book 2 in the series is due out sometime (February?) in 2016. 




2. Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
7/10
And here is another book that got some mixed reviews. There again, I really enjoyed it. This story follows Kestrel, the daughter of the general of an invading kingdom. Her father and her country have taken over the land and it's people, who they have forced into servitude. Kestrel has a decision to make, join the military as her father wants to or get married, but she wants neither. Through a strange coincidence Kestrel ends up at the slavers market where she buys a slave, Arin. Kestrel and Arin begin to develop a relationship, but Arin is more than he seems. Kestrel soon learns that she may have gotten more than she the price that she paid for Arin may be much higher than she bargained for. 




3. The Winner's Crime 
7/10 

The Winner's Crime is the sequel to The Winner's Curse. I liked this sequel a little more in some parts than in other parts. In The Winner's Crime, Kestrel is living in the palace engaged to the prince who she is becoming friends with, but Arin shows up and starts making everything more difficult for her and for himself. Really the main part of this book that I wasn't thrilled with a part where Arin goes off on a side trip and Kestrel get's herself into all kinds of trouble. I can't say too much without spoilers, but I am interested to see what will happen in the next book. 





4. The Sin Eaters Daughter by Melinda Sailsbury
5/10

This book was ok. I liked the new world that Salisbury created with it's own gods and goddesses. I like The twist on the 'Pied Piper' story that she has incorporated and there were twist that I didn't see coming, but I wasn't that interested in the story. It didn't draw me in the way that Winner's Curse and The Red Queen did. I thought that the character development was somewhat weak. It was a fun read and I think there are some good things in the book, but it didn't really deal with any issues or make me think. The queen was too crazy and too cruel in a way that was unrealistic (and I know this is fiction but you want  to give your readers a sense of reality). I did enjoy Merek, the prince, but I thought Lief was silly and childish and really didn't care for him from the start. I am interested to read the sequel. This book has wonderful potential but the characters are flat. 
 5. Graceling by Kristin Cashore
5/10
This is a book that I enjoyed, but I think that she could have done so much more with a trilogy and not just one book. I know that there are other books in the series, but I have not read them yet and I understand that they aren't really sequels to this story, they are more spinoff's (correct me if I am wrong). I thought that the 'Graces' were not explored enough. The story is that Katsa is 'Graced' with the power to kill people, so her uncle, the King, has made her into a weapon. She does not want to do his bidding so she goes off with her new friend to try and discover the mystery of his grandfathers disappearance.   There is a lot that happens, but I found Katsa to be a petulant child who couldn't do things because she had never thought of the idea. I did like this book, again it was a fun read that had a lot of potential but I think Cashore could have broken the book up into separate stories and spent more time delving into the characters, powers, and the lands that they inhabit. 
  


 6. Divergent by Veronica Roth 
9/10
I won't spent too much time on Divergent because a. it was a reread, b. everyone knows about this book and c. there is a movie. I really enjoy Divergent and it's film. Her timing is good throughout, her characters are realistic, the characters are well developed, the world she has created is interesting, and most importantly she address serious topics.













7. Insurgent 
8/10
Again not going to speak a lot about Insurgent which is the sequel to Divergent. I will be writing a review and discussion of Insurgent and Allegiant soon.
















8. Alienated by Melissa Landers
8/10

I absolutely enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It's set in the United States where Aliens, who are very similar to humans, have made contact with the human race. The governments of Earth are attempting to create an alliance with L'eihr. In order to do this they have agreed to an exchange program to see if the two races can get along. Cara is the top of her class and is selected to participate in the program with Aelyx. There is a lot of prejudice about the L'eihr race on Earth and Cara faces threats, ridicule, and isolation from her friends and her town. When one of the other Exchange students is killed the situation escalates and Aelyx and Cara have to find a way to escape. I liked that the story was not a love at first sight, more of a general attraction. Landers address some important issues about race and prejudice, overall it is a very good read. Writing was good, well developed characters, I can't wait to read the sequel.



9. Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
9/10
I can't even.  This book is amazing. I cannot believe that it took me this long to read it. I loved the characters, and the plat, and the world of the book. I don't want to delve into it too much because I am writing a review soon, but I highly recommend this book to any fantasy lovers out there.














10. InterWorld by Neil Gaiman 
8/10
This is another book that I read in June that I was captivated by. The story begins with Joey, who is a normal teenage boy that can't find his way out of a paper bag. He accidentally stumbles into a parallel universe where he is immediately hunted so that he can basically be condensed into soup to fuel some transdimensional transportation.  Joey finds out that he is a 'Walker' which essentially means he can travel between dimensions with little more than a thought. He get's in to trouble only to be rescued by another walker and eventually he ends up in a sort of military camp with other walkers learning how to protect the universe from two opposing forces that want to rule the all of the dimensions. When Joey finally gets assigned to a 'combat' group they get in to trouble (are you seeing a pattern here) and Joey eventually finds the strength and courage to rescue them. I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy (which you probably know if you have read my blog. The only reason I give this book 8 out of 10 is because it a little bit for a younger audience I guess, it lacks some relationship conflict.

11. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
9/10
For a review of 1000 Pieces of You that I just wrote click here.


















So that is it! That is my 11 books for June. I have a long list for July and have 2 that I am about done with.
I am planning on writing 2 more blog articles this week. Tonight I am going to write an article about my TBR for July and then Friday I will have the second piece about Overdrive Media out, so keep an eye out for that. After that I will be reviewing Scorch Trials and Death Cure by James Dashner and getting up the other reviews that I mentioned above.
If you want more information, or simply want to buy any of these books, click on the titles, I linked all of them to the author's homepage.
If you have ideas/suggestions/questions, feel free to email me @ theopenbooksblog@gmail.com or find me on social media!

May the Force Be with You.