Review: The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

From the Author’s Website:

Seventeen-year-old Twylla lives in the castle. But although she’s engaged to the prince, Twylla isn’t exactly a member of the court.

She’s the executioner.

As the Goddess embodied, Twylla instantly kills anyone she touches. Each month she’s taken to the prison and forced to lay her hands on those accused of treason. No one will ever love a girl with murder in her veins. Even the prince, whose royal blood supposedly makes him immune to Twylla’s fatal touch, avoids her company.

But then a new guard arrives, a boy whose easy smile belies his deadly swordsmanship. And unlike the others, he’s able to look past Twylla’s executioner robes and see the girl, not the Goddess. Yet Twylla’s been promised to the prince, and knows what happens to people who cross the queen.

However, a treasonous secret is the least of Twylla’s problems. The queen has a plan to destroy her enemies, a plan that requires a stomach-churning, unthinkable sacrifice. Will Twylla do what it takes to protect her kingdom? Or will she abandon her duty in favor of a doomed love?


Welcome to tonight’s special 2 hour long episode of The Young and The Poisonous: a dramatic reading.

*Dramatic music*

ANNOUNCEMENT: THIS RADIO SHOW HAS NOW BEEN CANCELED BECAUSE THE PRODUCERS FEEL IT INFLUENCES OTHERS TO BE TSTL DOORMATS. THIS IS COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS. BUT, THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. DEAL WITH IT.

shuffles papers *shuffling noises*

Clears voice. Continues yelling in the way reporters often do:

HERE IS THEIR LIST OF REASONS!!! I WILL BE READING FROM ONE OF THE PRODUCER’S THOUGHTS ON THE MATTER WHICH THEY RANDOMLY THOUGHT YOU GUYS SHOULD KNOW. NOT THAT I CARE, ANYHOW. I HAVE TO READ THIS NO MATTER HOW FUCKING IDIOTIC IT IS:

1. The Theatrics! The fucking Queen, who may as well have a third eye and a mustache, is always jumping out of her chair, waving hands about, pointing fingers, and saying “Lies!”

The heroine also commits to being a theatre major:

“I’ve never had a choice about anything,” I spit at her.

As is one of the love interests, and I say love interest very lightly here:

“No, it’s not true. Twylla, it isn’t true, is it? You wouldn’t do that, not after all we said? All I told you?”

And the other love interest:

“He can’t have you,” he murmurs against my pipes. “You’re mine, my Twylla, my love.”

2. Tywlla (yes that’s really her name) forgives the assface who threatens her, more than once. 

The correct response:

3. MC claims no one ever gave her choice, making her a fucking idiot since all she does is wait for shit to happen to her. It’s the formula for a doormat.

  • Make sure the heroine is forced into a position she doesn’t want to be.
  • Make sure the heroine is the quiet demure type.
  • Don’t have the heroine speak up for herself, that will only curb the process of the doormat.
  • Make sure there are two boy toys she can eye coddle and choose from, so the reader thinks she has choices.
  • Don’t make the heroine try to find a way out. Let that stuff just fall into chaos and then at the last possible opportune moment have her speak for herself. It’ll trick the reader into thinking she stood up for herself.

“All we can do is stay quiet and do our best. We must be ghosts. That’s how you stay alive in this castle. You become a ghost. You keep your head down and you stay out of her way as much as you can.”

Bullcrap. My opinion is that a smart and badass heroine is someone who is able to intelligently get out of a situation she doesn’t want to be in, which does include making risky choices, and still remain with her head intact. Let’s all remember J.K. Rowling’s Harvard speech. You have to make risks. Although, you should still be smart about those risks. This heroine does neither.

4. The heroine guilt trips every fucking person in the novel. We must fear the queen! I’m (and I speak of all of us) all for being smart and making sure you don’t get your cut off, but I would much rather have a heroine who lives than a heroine who just sits there all day doing nothing.

5. The characters are inconsistent:

Merek’s character is the most inconsistent character I’ve come across in quite a long while. At first he’s broody, hikes up his lips in a smirk, and mouths off to people. Then, he tries to get to know Twylla. But, then when a predictable plot twist comes flying in he becomes the dramatic spoiled prince who cares for our poisoned doormat. You would think that a guy that professes to be so intelligent on so many matters would be able to see what’s right in front of him. Then, he’s the betrayed love interest who shoots evil eyes at everybody. Last but not least, he’s the nice guy.

The other love interest, Lief starts out a nice guy. He’s the friend. He’s the helper. He’s a dud. Suffice it to say, his character made no sense especially by the end of the book. By the time he tried to give reasons for his actions, I could care no more.

6. The insta-love that turned out to be just as insta no matter what we find out. That and “strawberry-flavored lust” descriptions.

The insta-love shot out of nowhere. There was no development. They were friends and then fucking kissing each other like dogs in mud to saying the L word. What even.

“But I can still kiss you?” he says. “When we’re alone?”
“Are you so hungry for my kisses?”


I’m not even going to go into the “forbidden lovers who attempt to run away together because no one understands their love” aspect. Please. No. NO.

7. She’s an idiot. She never thinks about what’s in the bottle she’s been taking, not until someone else mentions it to her. Even when they do, they have to hammer it into her until she stops being a cloistered nun about it. But, really that’s insulting to nuns. Have you guys ever met nuns? They are bad ass and a little mean sometimes.

8. She see’s a girl who’s pretty and what does she do?

“She’s very pretty. I don’t like her.

Then, she tries to look all intelligent, powerful, and better than any pretty girl because she’s different. She’s so different you guys. She can kill someone with a touch! Too bad, since that’s the only interesting thing about this book. In reality, she’s a fucking dim witted stuck-up doormat.

9. She’s the sympathetic heroine. I don’t even understand how a heroine who is an executioner can be so much of a pansy. Honestly, if someone can explain this to me I am all ears. Psychologically, a human who kills can suffer from a lot of trauma (the nazis at auschwitz, anyone?).

10. There is little to no plot for 60 percent of the novel. Even when the plot becomes apparent, it’s barely there. It’s chaotic. A little bit here, a little over there, oh and right there too.

11. The writing and characters are completely un-relatable and make you feel no emotion. This is my biggest fucking problem. I hate it when I’m bored. I don’t want the audience to be bored either. The writing is really awkward, forced, and lacks emotion. It doesn’t flow that well at all. By the time I got to sixty percent it was hard even to get one percentage. It’s so difficult to read, when it shouldn’t be.

I AM NOW GOING TO CONTINUE YELLING BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT REPORTERS DO! NOW. I AM FUCKING SURPRISED A PRODUCER HAD THE BALLS TO DO THIS. WHAT THE FUCK. HOW THE FUCK DO I GET THIS VODKA BOTTLE OPEN. IT’S LIKE A FUCKING TIME CAPSULE. FUCKING DAMMIT! AFTER HAVING TO LISTEN TO THAT. DEAR GOD. I FUCKING NEED A DRINK. SOMEONE! GET OVER HERE AND OPEN THIS DAMN BOTTLE.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Scholastic Inc for providing me with an Advanced Reader’s Copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content in my review.

Advertisements

Waiting On Wednesday: Anne & Henry by Dawn Ius

Waiting on Wednesday: hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, this weekly meme highlights upcoming releases we’re looking forward to reading.

From the Author’s Website:

Anne
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

Henry
Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

Apart, they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

Henry Tudor’s life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father’s. But ever since the death of Henry’s brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry’s trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who’s not Tudor approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Anne is wild, brash and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.


AHEM.

                               Source

This is going to be a weird mashup, isn’t it?

I don’t even know why this is so appealing to me. I’m a fan of books that feature Tudor history and anything remotely related to people wearing big dresses, kings chopping their wives heads off, and political intrigues of the past. I didn’t read Young Adult as a teen. I read history and epic fantasy, and most of those history books were nonfiction. So…a contemporary YA featuring one of the most controversial couples in history? It intrigues me. I don’t understand how it’s going to work, but it’s got my attention.

ARC Review: When Joss Met Matt by Ellie Cahill

From the Author’s Website:

What if after every bad breakup, there was someone to turn to who could “cleanse your palate”—someone who wouldn’t judge you, who was great in bed, but you were sure not to fall in love with? “Sorbet sex” could solve everything—as long as it never got too sweet. . . .

Joss and Matt have been friends since freshmen year—meeting one night after Joss is dumped by her high school boyfriend. A few drinks later, Joss nearly gives it up to an even drunker frat boy. Matt humors her with a proposition—that he become her “go-to” guy when she needs to heal a broken heart. In return, she’ll do the same for him. The #1 Rule: Never fall in love with each other. People scoff at the arrangement. But six years later, now out of college, Joss and Matt are still the best of friends . . . with benefits.

Through a string of boyfriends and girlfriends—some almost perfect, some downright wrong—Joss and Matt are always there for one another when the going gets tough. No strings. No attachments. Piece of cake. No problem. After all, since they wrote the rules, surely they can play by them. Or Can they?


This book is most assuredly the cutest and fluffiest thing in the realm of New Adult. It has kittens and puppies coming out of its derrière. The sad thing is that as I read the book, things kept popping up that made me see the flaws and weaknesses in the plot and character progression. While reading it, I had the most fun I’ve had reading a book in a long while. I read it in one sitting, something that happens zero to never times. Towards the end of the book, I was slapped in the face by how angry I was by a certain something the heroine did towards the beginning of the book. As much as I want to write a rage review, I want to be completely fair to this book. Normally I would write a rage review, but I honestly think a fair review would be better for this book. I’m sorry to say this book was like an awkward and uncomfortable first kiss. 

Let’s just listen to the gif, shall we?

Translation: Awkward, cute, bubbly, and kind of a screw up.

Girl Pride:

Joss (full name: Joscelin) has a fear of heights, an adorable relationship with her cat, and a lingerie fetish. The lingerie in the book alone makes me want an inside look of the MC’s drawers. What? I’m a girl. I like girly things. I may swear like a sailor and scream “down with the patriarchy!”, but on my off days I will go paint my nails. I really love when the MC is girly and is proud of it. It makes me feel like the heroine is confident and embraces feminism at its core. The heroine who tries to be the complete opposite of a girl is just a role reversal and subsequently not a real person.

Joss has a language of her own, much like Lorelei Gilmore or Buffy. Don’t be scared, she doesn’t over-do the bubbly dialogue. It’s very agreeable, and doesn’t try to punch you in the face with the wittiness of it. Cahill’s dialogue is pure champagne fluff served with bubbly. It’s a good thing, folks.

It’s even an eyeshadow:

The book transitions between the present and seven years ago when they were freshmen. Joss befriends Matt at a keg party, but they don’t truly become friends until after they decide to be mutual sorbet sex parters. Sorbet Sex translated by yours truly: Sex in between the breakups. It cleanses the palate. The coincidence, girls and gents, doesn’t pass me. The fact that it was Matt’s idea was not in my favor. I would have appreciated it more if it had been her idea, since when it’s the guys proposition it kind of seems like he’s the experienced teacher. She’s no virgin, but I still felt that it effected my appreciation for their relationship progression.

Despite my misgivings about how these two friends started this ‘friends with benefits’ sexual relationship, I felt they were the cutest thing in the genre I had ever seen. I loved how they grew as friends. They became intimately involved in each others personal relationships, as any friend would be. In all honesty, I almost shipped this couple. The unfortunate thing is the book had too many faults for me to claim this without hesitating. I usually ship ‘hate to love’ relationships and ‘friends to lovers’ relationships. I cannot tell you enough how much I love this. This couple is, as Katy Perry would say, the one that got away.

The Frat Boy Scene (aka a feminist rant):

Prepare yourselves. I am about to get all feminist on your asses.

This is my main beef with this book. Sexual Assault, whether the MC goes through with it or not, is not an okay thing. It’s not something the author should take lightly. It’s not something the MC should ever joke about, either. To give you some background, Joss’ boyfriend had just broken up with her and she’s looking for someone to take her mind off him. So she starts fooling around with a frat boy. He’s so drunk that he passes out. But for some insane reason, she contemplates having sex with him even though he’s not able to consent. This goes both ways, guys. Male or female. Equality of the sexes. It applies to both male and female when it comes to consenting.

In my desperation, I actually checked the crotch of his pants. Soft. I dismounted my unconscious frat boy and stood back to survey the situation. To proceed or not to proceed?

Later on in the novel she jokes about it:

“Speaking of Greeks…did I ever tell you about the time I almost sexually assaulted a frat guy?” That got the laugh I was expecting, and I launched into the story of my pathetic attempt to seduce the useless Jeff. 

Now for the sake of experiment, let’s change the quote around by exchanging frat boy with sorority girl:

I dismounted my [sorority girl] and stood back to survey the situation. To proceed or not to proceed?

See the problem? Male or female, it is never okay to consider having sex with someone who is not able to consent. If she had gone through with it, it would have been considered rape. We focus so much on female rape victims all the time, that we forget that men are raped and sexually assaulted as well. I cannot get over this. Joke or not, it’s not something I can brush off.

Friends to lovers….not so much:

I loved Matt and Joss’ relationship as friends, but I couldn’t find a transition between friends and lovers. It just came right smack out of the blue. She suddenly just told the reader she had feelings for him beyond something sexual. They had been friends for a long time and logically it makes sense that they would love each other. But, that’s not what I’m referring to. What I feel was done poorly was the transition from loving each other as friends to slowly letting the reader know when the character fell in love. The author didn’t clue in the reader into the fact that Joss was starting to have more romantic feelings towards Matt. It just shot out of the text without any indication in the previous pages.

Oh Joss, Oh Matt: 

I’ve had my own version of the relationship crazies, but Joss has pulled that to a whole new level. I just can’t believe a smart heroine wouldn’t be more intelligent when it involves dating. I have no problem with one night stands, but at least be safe about who you’re sleeping with. You don’t know if that guy has some fucked up disease, without asking. If you don’t know him, how do you know if he isn’t some sort of fucking serial killer who has a “girls named Joss” fetish? I’m being insane. What else would you expect? But, seriously girls. Please be safe. Think about what kind of relationship you’re getting into before you act. Ask questions. Be logical. Be smart about date rape and nice strangers that hand you drinks.

Plot or Character?

There didn’t seem to be any progression in the plot beyond the sorbet sex. Don’t misinterpret me, this book is not all about the sex. It’s far from that. Once Matt and Joss have defined their sorbet relationship the plot doesn’t seem to have an actual purpose. The sorbet sex happens whenever they break up with their special someone and it starts to become a pattern. Eventually, it’s nothing but predictable. You expect certain things. In fact, you know they will happen. The excitement drops dramatically after fifty percent. That is the point where you, as the reader, understand that this plot is more character than it is plot. It is not balanced between character and plot. Instead, it is mostly one and very little of the other. 

If it hadn’t been for the MC considering sexual assault, this book may have been a three star. I’m still raging about it. It involved a lot of wine and Doritos. Those two things always go together.

All the same, this was one of the fluffiest and cutest New Adult books I’ve ever read. I just wish there weren’t so many problems with this novel.

Thank you to Ballantine and Edelweiss for providing this title in exchange for an honest review. 

Review: The DUFF by Kody Keplinger

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.


One of my greatest pet peeves is when girls hate on each other. I want to talk about this with you guys, for a little bit.

We all like to think we never slut shame or hate on other girls. We like to think that when we were in high school we never did this. But reality is, you are a fucking liar. I’m just going to put it out there, alright. I used to slut shame when I was high school.

Fuck no, I don’t like this. But, let’s be real girls and boys. I fucking did this and I bitch slap myself every time I remember that.

My high school never had cheerleaders, but we had some weird ass dance team. These girls would wear colorful tight shorts with words like Juicy or whatever type of fruity name manufacturers would put on those spandex shorts. They used to buy sparkly bags, sparkly t-shirts, sparkly short skirts, sparkly heels, sparkly eye shadow, sparkly nail polish, sparkly belts, and anything that would blind the person standing on the other side of room. They were popular, beautiful, and had a lot of money to buy their shit. For whatever insane reason, I was mad at them. Even more insane, I would slut shame them and it didn’t occur to me that I did this because I was angry at how “perfect” they were.

This is what is ingrained into us as kids. Boys compare our looks, magazines like Vogue or InStyle compare our looks, award ceremonies debate on which celebrity wore it best and who wore it sluttier, modeling shows compare the right size boobs, and cosmetic surgeons are constantly telling us to change our ass and tits. Competition is every damn where when it comes to us girls.


As a feminist now, I fucking want to tear the old me apart. I want to Hulk-punch the reality of what I was doing. I was slut shaming and I didn’t even realize it. Now as an adult, I have learned that if I want to be considered a decent human being in the world I need to stop judging people for what they wear, how they look, and then stop trying to compete with other girls. Just be you. Don’t tell yourself you know what type of person that girl is by just looking at what she wears and who she sleeps with. You tell yourself, I don’t know that girl and I don’t know her background. That girl with the blonde hair and a short skirt? Stop your thinking machine and quit making the assumptions society has taught you to do. Just stop the shit, guys.

This is what Bianca goes through and that’s why I found her so relatable. This is what is beautiful about her. She changes. She learns. She owns her past. I had a similar experience to her. I learned from my mistakes and I had to own up to the fact that I was idiot.

I shook myself, surprised and a little worried. What was wrong with me? Louisa Farr wasn’t a whore. Sure, she was a preppy cheerleader–cocaptain of the Skinny Squad–but Casey had never had bad things to say about her. The girl was just talking with a cute guy. We’d all done the same. And it wasn’t as if Wesley was taken or anything. It wasn’t like he was committed to anyone.

This girl. She is majestic.

The people who call you names are just trying to make themselves feel better. They’ve fucked up before, too. You’re not the only one. 

Bianca is like a twist between Katarina Stratford and Juno McGuff. Bianca is one of the most realistic and true to life teen characters I’ve read in a long time. She’s selfish, self absorbed, and often prefers to have sex rather than talk about her feelings. She’s overly cynical (Just to be clear. I like this about her) and snarky. She makes it clear that she’s aware she’s way too cynical. She honestly doesn’t know how her friends put up with her constant negativity. This is real. I remember when I was teen and this is realistic. Teens are overly cynical. I remember this vividly. Everything is crap in the eyes of most teens. This is not an insult. This is just what I remember, as someone who used to be a teen herself not that long ago.

She has two best friends who are confident in their girlish behaviors. Let’s be honest. The best friends are the ones who wear pink without a fuck to give. Be proud of your girlisms. You want to be an emo girl. Go ahead. You want to be a cheerleader with sparkly underwear. I will clap my hands as if you are JLAW giving the paparazzi the finger. I love that her friends don’t backstab her, aren’t judgmental, and actually legitimately care for her. They want to hang out and dance at clubs. They want to dress Bianca up for her date, gossip, and watch sappy flicks like Atonement and Becoming Austen. I love these girls.

I loved the relationship between Bianca and Wesley. Bianca hates Wesley. You know how I said she slut shames, well she doesn’t just slut shame girls. Let’s look at this logically. If you have made the mistake of slut shaming, in addition to making sure you know your past stupid mistakes you don’t just slut shame girls. You also call guys man whores if they date those girls. Stupid? Of course. But, that’s how you see things when you’re a bonehead that doesn’t see the truth. But, in addition to slut shaming others she also admits that she’s a hypocrite because of her purely sexual relationship with Wesley. She thinks it makes her a slut.

“Bianca, whore is just a cheap word people use to cut each other down,” he said, his voice softer. “It makes them feel better about their own mistakes. Using words like that is easier than really looking into the situation. I promise you, you’re not a whore.”

I love that instead of addressing her feelings, she just wants escape by having emotionless sex. She initiated it. She’s very proactive this girl. She calls him out on his bullshit. She never lets him walk over her. Most parents and prudish people would be turning their noses up at this type of thing. But, you know what? Boys aren’t the only ones that have sexual desires. There are two people involved when having sex.

On most occasions, I would hate any guy like Wesley. But, he grew on me. While he has a huge ego and is generally a playboy all around, he gives reasons for his actions. You learn why he does what he does. I didn’t completely understand his home life issues, but I could still accept his reasoning. He’s a jerk at first, but he never did enough to get on my bad side to become irredeemable. For me a character has to do so many shitty things and so many redeemable things to match up so that I can forgive them, understand them, and understand their reasoning.

What I didn’t like is how she ignored her friends during these sexual escapades between her and Wesley. I also didn’t like how she handled her father’s drinking problem. You are a kid. This is something you need to let adults handle. You can’t just pretend things will get better. You have to call up your mom and tell her what’s going on.There are some faults in her writing like wrapping up conflicts too quickly (her father’s drinking problem or the way things were resolved between Bianca and Wesley). I didn’t understand how it didn’t occur to Wesley that he was insulting her when he was calling her Duffy all the time. How could you not realize what an insult that is? She’s not going to see it as some cute fluffy nickname you gave her. Why did I feel Wesley remained an okay guy? Because he fucking kissed her ass and truly apologized. There were scenes that felt out of place. The characters development seemed inconsistent at times.

Keplinger’s debut is fast paced, dramatic, and very relatable. She writes teens like they are, not what we would like them to be. She shows the shitty, selfish, and disgusting parts of what teens are really like.  

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves: hosted by Tynga’s Reviews

I have made beautiful and magnificent book decisions this week. Just look at all the great books.

I’m, apparently, much more influenced by book rants on Twitter than I have ever realized. Thank you to Nikki from There Were Books Involved for ranting and raving about books. You have no idea just how weak I am, when it comes to people talking about books on Twitter.

And for something that isn’t book related, but is completely resulted from my love for coffee. I take my coffee addiction very seriously. I am a Gilmore for fucks sake. A big fat sexy bag of coffee beans.

You guys do realize the proportion difference between my very regular sized coffee cup and the coffee bag, right? IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND GLORIOUS.

Waiting On Wednesday: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Waiting on Wednesday: hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

A Court of Thorns and Roses is the start of a sensational romantic fantasy trilogy by the bestselling author of the Throne of Glass series.


I’m really interested in reading this book for several reasons.

1. It has faeries and anyone who knows me knows that I love books with faeries; particularly evil ones. I’m picky.

2. The blurb has that feel to it. You know the one that says “there will be folklore and possible symptoms of exploding heads.”

3. Masks. I am a sucker for masks. All twitter is nowadays is people in masks. This is what the book blogging community has come to and I’m liking it.

4. The blurb reminds me of an old Celtic ballad called Tam Lin.

5. The Main Character is a hunter. Killing of animals is involved.

I’m so much more interested in this novel, than Throne of Glass. Assassins are all good and fine, but it gets old. It’s an old trope in fantasy and doesn’t interest me as much. I’ve been there, done that. I think this series will be different. I believe Maas will show her skills here. I think she’ll prove her worth in this book. She’s grown as an author and I want to see what she can do now.

Top Ten Tuesday: Science Fiction Books I Can’t Believe I haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday: hosted by The Broke and The Bookish:

I don’t have the best track record with science fiction, particularly dystopians. I actually really love the genre. But, I started in the genre in a bad way. I started reading Science Fiction when I was in high school, but I decided I wanted to start out with the really old classics. Never ever do this. It’s a horrible horrible idea. The problem with the really old science fiction novels is that they are really misogynistic, racist, and sexist in addition to being overly descriptive all the time. It was hell for me. I get why they are classics. It’s just that I don’t like them. Despite this terrible experience, I love science fiction. I love Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, and Gattaca.

These are the top ten science fiction/Dystopian novels I can’t believe I haven’t read.

1. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I love the idea of this book. This is a book I’ve been wanting to read for a long time, but for whatever reason I’ve just never gotten around to it. I am ashamed to say that I haven’t read it yet. It’s one of those books that I just know is going to be really good and I’m waiting for just the right time to enjoy it.

2. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff

I HAVE NO REASON. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I have the book and yet it sits there. You ever get freaked out by all the love for a book? Okay, well if you don’t, I do. I get really anxious and then I just forget about the book. But, then I still want to read it. I’m a sick person. This is more of a steampunk dystopian, but technically it’s still science fiction when you think about it. That counts, or at least to me it does. I had so much fun watching people go ballistic on twitter when the ARCs of Endsinger came out. I want to join in that fun. I know this series is painful (according to everyone), but I want to feel that pain ( I am still scared).

3. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund

Persuasion by Jane Austen. Say no more. Choppy world building or not, I am going to read this.


4. Red Rising by Pierce Brown

I am almost the last person on Earth that hasn’t read this. People keep asking me “Why haven’t you read Red Rising?.” It’s gotten increasingly more difficult over the years.  I’ve been frightened of reading Red Rising because it’s dystopian. Then to make things worse, I read some reviews that said the Main Character was a mary sue and that the language was annoying. That scared me. But, you know what? It’s about time I hiked up my pants and just go for it.

5. Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach

Ladies in Space. Space with Ladies. This is one of those books I need to read. No exceptions. Again I really don’t need to explain this do I? I’ve always been waiting for more female science fiction writers (space operas!) to come front in center. They should have a lot of more attention than they do. This author is one that has been raved about in recent years.

6. Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

Ann Leckie is another female science fiction writer that has been getting a lot of attention, as well. She’s won a lot of award’s for this book. The book is supposed to be very female centric. I am game.


 

7. The Mad Scientist’s Daughter by Cassandra Rose Clarke

ROBOTS. This one has a robot created by a scientist. He looks exactly like a human, except he can’t feel like a human (I’ve been told, don’t hold me to this). It looks creepy, eerie, and dark. I love the books that just itch on your skin by how creepy and wonderful they are.

8. Angelfall by Susan Ee

This is a post apocalyptic where angels exist? I don’t really understand this, but I want find out why angels would exist in a dystopian world. Whenever I think of science fiction and angels, I always think it’s paranormal. So many people love this book. I don’t have a real love of dystopian young adult, but I really want to try this one out.

9. Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

The Main Character is the last handicapped left on Earth. I love it when authors think about diversity other than race and sexuality. This is great. I can’t believe I haven’t read this and it’s got so many reviews that bow to its brilliance!

10. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I’ve had this book for years and I’ve never picked it up. WHY HAVEN’T YOU READ IT?Because, well…it’s because I’ve seen some reviews that discussed the flaws in the world. Choppy world building bothers me. I’m not one to easily forgive flaws, so I’m worried all I would do is whine about it. Once in a while, I will love a book despite it’s terrible world building. The premise of this book is so interesting though. It’s one of those books that has been moving up my to-be-read list for a while now. I’m on the verge of reading it.

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
Who is the fairest of them all?

Fans of the Lunar Chronicles know Queen Levana as a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story—a story that has never been told … until now.

Marissa Meyer spins yet another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes full-color art and an excerpt from WINTER, the next book in the Lunar Chronicles series.


This book probably has the most insane villain in young adult.

Or…I think it does…. *pouts and taps her chin with her finger*

*The Courtney Love Stare*

This novella is the story of how Levana became Queen of Luna and slowly spiraled into the deep despair of insanity. There is no possibility that she’s just evil. The way she makes decisions is more than just irrational behavior.

Marissa Meyer writes with beauty and darkness. Her prose makes you want to read more no matter how late into the night. She’s seductively talented at pacing. The authors I love most excel at pacing and writing down genuine emotion: Karen Marie Moning, J.K. Rowling, and Melina Marchetta are among my favorites who master this. Meyer made me pay attention to her writing more than anything. The characters developed in a way that made me feel the drama unfold as if I were watching them through a mirror (Do you get the reference. Tee Hee!). They walked into a scene and they shouted and screamed yelling at me to pay attention. They were bitchy and I listened.

We start with Levana at the age of sixteen. Levana has always been ugly and grotesque beneath her alluring glamour. Her body is ridden with scars.

We see the culture and people of Luna. The castle, the technology, the traditions, the glamours and everything that spells Sexy Space Aliens. Let’s face it, the aliens are sexy. Of course, it’s because of their glamours. It’s like an entire planet of hunky and curvy models. Karl Lagerfield would have a field day.

*Karl wiggles eyebrows “Sexy Aliens, huh?”

Levana is the type of person I would normally hate to read about, if she were the main character of a full length novel. If it were just for her scars, I’d be shipping it faster than UPS. But, her decisions are more than just evil. I love villains. They’re gross. They hate people without reason. They get in your face and stick sharp objects into random strangers. They are so fucking badass. But, Levana is the type of villain that I can’t like. This book did not make me sympathize with her. I am a cold hearted bitch. I do not care about characters unless they give me a valid reason for their actions. Levana never did this. But, I’m not blaming the book for this. This is the point of view of the villain. Therefore, you’re meant to hate her.

Okay, here comes the part where I have to separate myself apart from other reviews as: the reviewer who gave Fairest a bad grade. The pressure to like this book was really stressing me out. I got to a certain point in the book where I came to the conclusion I would have to mention the “bad things Brigid didn’t like”. The more I thought about it, the more it made me hesitant to read more. Once I finished the book, I put it down with a disappointed “crap.”

SURPRISE!!!!!

I felt like this because I keep seeing friends on Goodreads, twitterians (what I call twitter people. Heh), and other bloggers rate this book four or five stars. One after another, those reviews came. I want to follow those reviewers. I want to give this book a good grade, but I’m unable to do so. I have too many problems that I won’t forgive.

I have a list:

1. The slut shaming:

This books intent is to let the reader to understand the villain. Its intent is also to show what makes Levana the bad guy. My personal opinion is that the slut shaming in this book is presented as a way to show how twisted, sadistic, mean, and disillusioned Levana is:

She had once told Levana that she felt queenly having to lift her skirts as she went up and down the stairs. It had taken all of Levana’s efforts not to ask if that was the same reason she lifted her skirts all those other times too.

The problem with this is that slut shaming is used as a device that makes the issue belittled, undermined, and ignored as a critical issue in today’s society. The most small and inconsequential sentences can be attributed to slut shaming, and often they are:

It was easy to tell who would be warming her sister’s bed that night.

Small and insignificant they may seem, but there is a bigger issue that lies behind that sentence. A lot of people write off this issue as joke or a silly female idea. One of my status updates on Goodreads had a comment from a guy asking me if slut shaming was a “pinball machine.” We see it everyday. I see it in real life and online almost every fucking single day. The author pushes aside the reality of this societal problem as a way to use it for her character’s personality. I refuse to justify this just because it’s the villain, whether I like her or not is not the issue.

2. The portrayal of the selfish and beautiful bitch sister:

Young Adult is a genre that is dearly close to my heart, yet I have so many misgivings and hatred toward certain things, one of them I’ve already mentioned. The girl on girl hate that is often in the novels is another. Rarely do we find friendships or girls being kind and generous towards one another in this genre, and many of the other genres. The irony is that the genres targeted towards women are usually the ones that have the most slut shaming and girl on girl hate.

Channary is portrayed as the selfish, jealous, egotistical older sister who obsesses with her looks in almost every scene. She’s a bitch, and she’s meant to be. Again, just because this is in the POV of Levana doesn’t mean I can excuse. This is not a justifiable reason.

example one: 

“Why aren’t there any mirrors in here? I want to see how beautiful I look for my tear-filled performance.”

example two:

 Then, quick as a viper, Channary backhanded Levana across the face, sending her stumbling into one of the bedposts. 

*Beyonce snappy fingers* 

3. The unrealistic actions of the characters

 I’m going to have to put this section in spoilers. There’s just no way to prevent spoilers. I’m going to put this section in black highlight. Just highlight the black and you’ll be able to see the spoilers.

Unless you’ve read the book please don’t read this section:

Those of you who’ve read the novella know that Channary is very spoiled and thinks only of herself. Of course, she does. She’s constantly looking in the mirror, yelling, and showing cruelty towards servants. She’s a mean bitch. Ever since Levana was little, Channary has bullied and pushed Levana into doing things that could only be cruel and sadistic. We learn the way Levana receives her scars: her sister in a random act of cruelty pushes part of Levana’s body into the fire. She burns so bad that she glamours herself every second of her life to hide herself from others and from herself.

My grievance with this is that psychologically, a child who is a spoiled brat doesn’t just push her sister into a fire because she’s supposedly cruel. If she’s cruel enough to push her into a fire, there is something psychologically wrong to the point where she would have to be considered insane. There is no development or explanation in the text that convinces the reader that Channary is mentally ill. Obviously, we know that Levana is. In comparison, Levana actually changes to let us know when and how she becomes insane. She’s delusional and convinces herself of things that a normal person wouldn’t. She manipulates and coerces others and herself into believing she’s in love with a man she barely knows. She tricks a man into believing he’s attracted to her. In her obsession, she becomes cruel and eventually mad. This, we did not get from Channary. We didn’t get any indication that she was mentally ill. Instead, we’re told she’s selfish, mean, and cruel.
4. The plot that disappeared:

The plot was Levana, her character, and her past. That’s it.

Yeah…not a plot.

I couldn’t pick out an actual consistent and integral plot in this novella. She was the plot. I’m having a difficult time deciding if I can forgive this. Can I mark this as a reason to lower my grade of this book, even though it’s not a full length novel? I’m wrestling with this. I’m not sure if I can let this go because it’s only a novella. I’m mentioning to let you guys know about and decide for yourself.

That moment you realize you’re a lonely ass reviewer. The reviewer that was disappointed by a book everyone loved.

*I’m a fucking rainbow cat*

YEAH. THAT. 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine highlighting upcoming releases we’re looking forward to.



Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.


I get very giddy about high fantasy Young Adult novels. It’s like being able to snap your fingers and have a triple espresso. There are infinite possibilities here and I can’t sit here make them all up.  It’s just a magical feeling.

That name is so historical and victorian, it’s hilarious. I love hysterical names in Young Adult. This will be a great read for sure.

That is a very interesting concept: a world where magic isn’t permitted. How Meadows will tackle this is beyond me. I just imagine her wrestling with an elephant of a story. Oh yeah. It’s on big badass animals. Meadows’s claws will come out, dear creatures of today. A world like that? That takes some serious wording.

My only worry is that the “Princess” will turn into a Special Snowflake. I don’t like a main character that tries to get the reader to sympathize with her by slut shaming, being the poor rich girl, or even GASP have the love interest save her. I’m a demon when writing reviews and it will show, if this happens. Please don’t let this happen. I beg of you.

IT’S NO JOKE HOW MUCH I’M CAPTIVATED BY THIS PREMISE. A DRAGON COULD  SHIT GLITTER AND I WOULDN’T GLANCE THE OTHER WAY.


Jodi Meadows lives and writes in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, with her husband, a Kippy*, and an alarming number of ferrets. She is a confessed book addict, and has wanted to be a writer ever since she decided against becoming an astronaut. She is the author of the INCARNATE Trilogy and the forthcoming ORPHAN QUEEN Duology (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen). Visit her at http://www.jodimeadows.com

4 Star Review: The Falconer

One girl’s nightmare is this girl’s faery tale.

She’s a stunner.
Edinburgh, 1844. Eighteen-year-old Lady Aileana Kameron, the only daughter of the Marquess of Douglas, has everything a girl could dream of: brains, charm, wealth, a title — and drop-dead beauty.

She’s a liar.
But Aileana only looks the part of an aristocratic young lady. She’s leading a double life: She has the rare ability to sense the sìthichean — the faery race obsessed with slaughtering humans — and, with the aid of a mysterious mentor, has spent the year since her mother died learning how to kill them.

She’s a murderer.
Now Aileana is dedicated to slaying the fae before they take innocent lives. With her abilities and her knack for inventing ingenious tools and weapons — from flying machines to detonators to lightning pistols — ruthless Aileana has one goal: Destroy the faery who destroyed her mother.

She’s a Falconer.
The last in a line of female warriors born with the gift for hunting and killing the fae, Aileana is the sole hope of preventing a powerful faery population from massacring all of humanity. Suddenly, her quest is a lot more complicated. She still longs to avenge her mother’s murder — but she’ll have to save the world first.


There’s blood coming from my eyes. It drips down my cheeks and flows down my neck. It’s coming in large spurts and gulps. I touch my neck and discover it’s not coming from only my eyes, but my neck. Blood sprays out like a fucking squirt gun. I’m so shocked by the ending that I’m numb. I’m so torn apart that I don’t feel the pain.

 I can see why the author’s hair is the color of blood. She must die her hair with the blood of her readers with a cliffhanger like that. Scary lass.

I’m sorry you guys had to read my awful attempt at writing (Edit: I am editing this and I’m annoyed). I’m one of the few bloggers that doesn’t want to be a writer. I’m like a stray wolf. Almost every blogger I’ve come in contact with is trying to get published. It’s a lonely realization.

I’m not sure about this, but I’m pretty sure my brain cells burst like an atomic bomb after reading this book (edit: Um..??????). This book was just pure unadulterated fun. I was skipping the entire time. My enjoyment level was catatonic.

Usually when we read a review and they say “the MC is so badass” we roll our eyes right? Once we actually read that book, we sit there completely disappointed because the MC ended up only killing a few creatures of terror. Not Aileana. She kills mercilessly. I can’t even list how many faeries we get to see her kill. The author is very poetic about blood and guts and explosions and BLOOD ON HER KNIFE!

I swing the hammer back and slam it into the redcap’s temple. Blood bursts at me, splatters warm across my face. And a single thought echoes in my mind: More. 

My god. It’s beautiful the way she describes the kills. She is a bloodthirsty badass bitch in truer ways than any other Young Adult heroine. This is no Throne of Glass, where the MC brags about how many people she’s killed. There is no past tense or off the scene killing. It’s present and it’s delicious.

Her name is Aileana. She’s vengeful, distrusting, and has a taste for blood. She’s a talented inventor. She even makes weapons on the side, when she’s nervous or upset. She’s one of those shameless heroines that doesn’t care about gossip, popularity, or propriety. Some people have grumbled about Aileana’s carelessness for not caring for reputation as a society miss, but I love that it doesn’t matter to her. She doesn’t intend to get married or have children. She doesn’t like her title, but she doesn’t whine about either.

I’m a ruined girl who made her choice. This is who I am: a night creature who thrives on death and destruction.

Her duty is killing Faeries. She’s a Falconer, which is like the faerie equivalent of a Slayer. That’s where her responsibilities lay. I appreciate a heroine that doesn’t want to be part of society. Since this is historical fantasy and not a historical, I felt it fit. I  could get behind her ballsy nature to prefer mutilation to dancing with suitors. She’s always running off to kill faeries in the middle of a party, returning with rips in her dress and her hair in disarray (edit: hell if I had to wear big fat silk dresses, I would start killing people too).

Aileana’s development in this book is something that I rarely find in Young Adult fiction. First, she’s badass and refuses to believe she’s anything except strong. I love this type of confidence:

I lean in, indecently close. “You underestimate me,” I whisper. “And that is a mistake.”

Confident heroines should be more apparent in Young Adult fiction. Her character develops slowly and surely, where she’s faced with the fact that she’s not as strong and competent as she made herself out to be. She learns to trust her friends with her secrets. There is no girl hate in this book. She has a best friend, and spoiler: her friend doesn’t stab her in the back.There is something really wrong with Young Adult in that I have to mention that little bit.

Look guys. I know that I like books where romance is secondary and the plot is the basis. This is also true with this book. The romance is definitely not the focus. But, um….sexy times guys. Man oh man do I love the romantic times in this book. There were times where I was turned on by the fight scenes and the blood. Either I’m a fucking psycho (edit: I am seriously considering my sanity right now) or the author was turned on by the sexy fight scenes (edit: Elizabeth May if you are reading this, please forgive me. I’m pretty sure I was…not sober) herself. I’m just…I..*fans self*

(edit: YEP. There may have been alcohol involved when writing this paragraph).

Kiaran stands in the hallway, soaked through from the downpour, hand braced…

*smirks* I’ll just leave it there to tease you guys. (edit: WHAT WAS I DRINKING? My god..is that Britney Spears? You hate BS.)

The problems I had with this book is that the world building was messy. It was full of depth and intricately interesting. Yet, I had a hard time grasping onto it which usually tells me that the world has chinks in its armor. There were certain things, such as the mechanical spiders, that could have used more explaining. The world could have been more grounded, especially when it came to the city of Edinburgh. The pronunciation in this book is just difficult. That’s not a criticism. It’s just difficult is all. The mechanics of the world are left alone. Oh and by the by: the author has told me that this isn’t steampunk. That’s what her publisher called it, but she looks at it as historical fantasy.

Aileana would occasionally do something in the realm of stupidity (edit: Hey. Past me. Listen up idiot. You jump off…oh spoiler. OOPS.) and I didn’t really get down (Edit: HA! get down…OH GOD.) with that. For example, she killed faeries without her ancient mentor knowing and this has serious repercussions. Sometimes she’ll rush (edit: is that a sexual euphemism? I really shouldn’t drink and review) into things and not go over them in her head. Although, there really was no way for her to plan those things since there was nothing she could plan. But, I still had a problem with it. She’s a bit like Buffy when it comes to doing things right then and there. But I understand why this happened, she’s only had a year of training from Kiaran.

Aileana felt too perfect at times. I really think her talents in creating new weapons is badass, but I don’t think she fucked up enough. Maybe I’m being cynical here, but I feel like a heroine needs to be right in the middle between being confident enough and a fuck up. At least, at the start of the book. I have some quibbles (edit: What are you British? *head desk*) about her inventor shenanigans. Most of her inventions I could buy into, but a few I didn’t. Like the secret passage in her room. That sort of thing involves architecture and things completely beyond her realm of knowledge and ability. Secondly, the floating hand (edit: I WOULD KILL FOR THIS) that delivers books to you. Lastly, the flying machine. That’s a little too much bullcrap for me.

This book is a new favorite of mine and little (Edit: liar liar pants on fire) of it has to do with the fact that it is a good substitute for the hellish fart cake (edit: BURN YOUR SOUL YOU WORDLESS MANIAC): Burned by Karen Marie Moning. This book has similarities to the Fever series, but not so much that it became tedious. Instead of being annoyed by that, I was rooting for how similar it was. This is the best fan fiction of the Fever series you will ever read. Kiaran is like Barrons minus the misogynism and dominance over the Main Character. Aileana has similarities to Mac, but is vastly different. She’s not a spoiled brat, she’s badass in a competent and intelligent manor, and she rarely mentions what she looks like.

This book was my crack and Lizzie Bennet says it better than I ever could: