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Month: March 2016

Review: Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book arrived with my very first Uppercase Book Box in March 2016, and I was really excited to receive it. In fact, it’s such a good YA fantasy novel that I read it through in one day. I can’t wait to read the next book, but it’s not because this ends on a cliff-hanger or fails to have an ending, like some novels. It’s a very good story, all on it’s own. I just want more of the world, as soon as possible.

Amani, the main character, is fierce and fiesty, and she lives in a world that’s not kind towards women. This book is advertised as the Wild West meets Arabian Nights, and I think that’s a solid comparison. The culture of this created world is deep, rich, and fascinating. There’s tons of world building, but it’s incorporated so gracefully into the story and plot that it never feels unnatural, forced, or confusing.

Throw in some serious conflict, almost constant adventure, a touch of magic, and a huge rebellion, and this book is just good, from start to finish. I’m really excited about how many great YA fantasy novels have been published in the past year. I just wish I didn’t have to wait for all the sequels.

Pages: 320

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Review: November 9

November 9
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Colleen Hoover is brilliant. I think everyone should try one of her stories, and I don’t care what category and genres you like best (this falls under New Adult Contemporary Romance). There’s something about the way she tells a story that’s magic. She comes up with fascinating concepts, like this one, where two people meet up every year, on November 9, for five years. The only catch is that they can’t communicate with each other at all on the days and months between.

This is clever and funny, with a unique, non-linear format and a major twist. Basically, this story slayed me. Colleen Hoover pulls you into her worlds so fast and hard that I find it impossible to set her books down. They are an emotional roller coaster, and they’re the kind of ride I’d wait in line all day long to get on.

I hate to generalize, but if you can’t read a Colleen Hoover book and feel something, then it’s possible that you are soulless. Please note: I have no background in medical practice or religious theology and definitely cannot scientifically prove the existence of souls. This review should not be taken as a statement of fact or even advice. I just want you to know that if you hate her novels, I will be concerned about your well-being on a very personal level.

Pages: 320

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Review: The Testing Guide

The Testing Guide
The Testing Guide by Joelle Charbonneau
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s free, which is great. It doesn’t really add a lot in terms of the world or story, but if you just want to read a little bit more, it’s good for that purpose. I typically love novellas but don’t find this one to be a necessary read. If you are a die hard fan of the story, then downloaded it for free. There’s nothing to lose, so you can give it a try and decide for yourself.

Pages: 46

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Review: The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship of the Ring
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve been reading Tolkien for the past 20 years. This time around, I listened to the unabridged audio by Rob Inglis.

Tolkien had such a fascinating mind. He broke so many rules of today’s publishing world, and yet, I still love his work and the worlds he created. I guess that means there will never be another like him, as any modern day Tolkien would be edited into something else, entirely. I can’t decide how I feel about that, because some part of me does love the ways publishing and editing have changed over the years to keep up with modern times, interests, language, and readers. I guess this is partly how classics occur in the fist place…they mark a style and period in writing/editing history that can never be revisited, which may be both part blessing and part curse.

Regardless, I will always love Tolkien. His stories have a place in my heart and my memories. They always made it seem like it was okay to lose myself inside the worlds in my head, even when other people were frustrated by my daydreaming. He made it clear that there is no point at which someone can slip too far away into their imagination, and in fact, his ability to dwell in Middle-earth, for so many years, is what has made him so beloved.

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Review: The Summoning

The Summoning
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s not that this YA paranormal story is bad. It’s just not for me for a variety of reasons I won’t elaborate on. I am definitely not going to continue with this series.

Also, it’s one of the worst YA endings I’ve read in a long time. I am usually very open minded about endings and the author’s prerogative, right up until the point in which the ending is nonexistent, which is the case in this book. Basically, someone took a machete to this story and hacked off the ending, because the story I read didn’t even begin to have one, which was frustrating and reconfirmed my decision not to read on.

Pages: 416

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Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This contemporary YA novel presents as a charming airport/travel romance, questioning the probability of love at first sight, but it has a surprising amount of depth, especially in regards to relationships between the main character and her parents.

I think I found the family drama more interesting than all the rest, and I even wish the story had addressed a few more of my questions about that. Oliver, Hadley’s love interest, is appropriately funny and charming, with a good amount of emotional depth.

Pages :272

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