Monday, March 18, 2019

REVIEW: You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook - 4/5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Title: You Owe Me a Murder
Genre: Young Adult Mystery/Thriller
Author: Eileen Cook
Publisher: HMH
Publication: March 5th 2019
Cover Rating: 4/5
Reading Format: Netgalley

You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook is the story of Kim and Nicki. Kim is a scorned lover and Nicki feels like her mother has ruined her life. These two meet in an airport and become quick friends, start drinking on the plane and make lists about WHY the two people who hurt them deserve to die. Nicki jokingly tells Kim that it could be the perfect crime, killing each others person, because they don't know the person and have no true motives. But what if Nicki wasn't exactly "joking"?

Kim has a lot on her plate. Not only did her boyfriend break up with her but she now has to go on a trip with him that she signed up for before they broke up because her mother thinks it would be good for her. Her mother also thinks BLOGGING about her daughter's life is a good idea. Hmmm. Oh, and did I mention her ex's new girlfriend will be going on the trip as well? And she has a voice that carries. 

After meeting Nicki on the plane, they lose touch and Kim feels bad about it but she decides to enjoy her trip anyways. Then she meets a guy named Alex and she starts to have a decent time until disaster strikes. Somehow, Conner, the guy who ripped her heart out, ends up in front of a train and is killed. Surely it's just a coincidence, right? A stroke of bad luck? Maybe even suicide.

The end of this book was kind of shocking but also kind of expected. It was crazy to see what all Nicki was capable of and I can't help but wonder what would have happened if Nicki had met a different person on that flight that day. Also, did Nicki have anything to do with the baby?! 

I have no idea why but the entire time I was writing this review I kept wanting to add emoji's. Lot's of eye-rolls and the finger on chin thinking emoji popped into my head a lot. Can you even add emoji's to a review?! I am not sure. 🤔

In the end, this wasn't my favorite book by Eileen Cook. There was one specific thing that rubbed me wrong but it's a personal thing, I guess, so I won't dock her too much for that but this story just didn't hit me like all of the other books I have read did. I still enjoyed the story and will continue to read all of her books.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

REVIEW: This Cruel Design by Emily Suvada - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 1 comments
Disclaimer: I bought this book! Yay me!

Publication Date: October 30, 3018
Genre: YA Sci-Fi
Recommended Age: 15+ (science, hacking, disease, spontaneous combustion, cloning, and gore)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pages: 394

Cat thought the Hydra epidemic was over, but when new cases pop up, Cat must team up with an enemy to fix the vaccine before the virus spirals out of control in this thrilling sequel to This Mortal Coil, which New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman says “redefine’s ‘unputdownable.’”

The nightmare of the outbreak is finally over, but Cat’s fight has only just begun.

Exhausted, wounded, and reeling from revelations that have shaken her to her core, Cat is at a breaking point. Camped in the woods with Cole and Leoben, she’s working day and night, desperate to find a way to stop Lachlan’s plan to reprogram humanity. But she’s failing—Cat can’t even control her newly regrown panel, and try as she might to ignore them, she keeps seeing glitching visions from her past everywhere she turns.

When news arrives that the Hydra virus might not be as dead as they’d thought, the group is pushed into an uneasy alliance with Cartaxus to hunt down Lachlan and fix the vaccine. Their search takes them to Entropia, a city of genehackers hidden deep in the desert that could also hold the answers about Cat’s past that she’s been searching for.

But when confronted with lies and betrayals, Cat is forced to question everything she knows and everyone she trusts. And while Lachlan is always two steps ahead, the biggest threat to Cat may be the secrets buried in her own mind.

I loved the first book in this series and the second one didn’t disappoint. This book was amazingly well done and very smart! If you love books that are very technical, this is your book. The science in this book is pretty sound as well and this dystopian doesn’t seem so far out of reach.

However, I did feel that it was much slower than the first one and a bit more confusing. I often got lost while reading it. I think this book would be best read with the first one.

Verdict: A decent sequel! Can’t wait for the third book and the prequel!

Saturday, March 9, 2019

REVIEW: This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 1 comments

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Pages: 425


In this gripping debut novel, seventeen-year-old Cat must use her gene-hacking skills to decode her late father’s message concealing a vaccine to a horrifying plague.

Catarina Agatta is a hacker. She can cripple mainframes and crash through firewalls, but that’s not what makes her special. In Cat’s world, people are implanted with technology to recode their DNA, allowing them to change their bodies in any way they want. And Cat happens to be a gene-hacking genius.

That’s no surprise, since Cat’s father is Dr. Lachlan Agatta, a legendary geneticist who may be the last hope for defeating a plague that has brought humanity to the brink of extinction. But during the outbreak, Lachlan was kidnapped by a shadowy organization called Cartaxus, leaving Cat to survive the last two years on her own.

When a Cartaxus soldier, Cole, arrives with news that her father has been killed, Cat’s instincts tell her it’s just another Cartaxus lie. But Cole also brings a message: before Lachlan died, he managed to create a vaccine, and Cole needs Cat’s help to release it and save the human race.

Now Cat must decide who she can trust: The soldier with secrets of his own? The father who made her promise to hide from Cartaxus at all costs? In a world where nature itself can be rewritten, how much can she even trust herself? –

Let’s start with the fact that when I read this was going to be a dystopian I was like “YAS GIVE ME THIS BOOK”. I’ve been wanting to read this book since I saw it was slated to come out and so I was pumped to finally read it. I have to say that this was one of my favorite reads of 2017 and my husband even buddy read it with me (meaning we fought over who would get to read the book in an hour of downtime we had). I thought the plot was fantastically done and the pacing was on point. The characters were all very well developed and while the book had a somewhat love triangle in it it was not a typical YA love triangle and it was fantastically written to not annoy the crap out of me. The book as a whole was wonderfully well wrote and I think this book could be the next Hunger Games or Divergent.

The only issues I had with the book is that I thought the science was a bit hit or miss (I do recognize that Emily is infinitely smarter than me in math and science but sometimes there is a bit of suspension of belief with sci-fi books and I didn’t see how some of these things could come to be… but then again my great grandmother said the same thing about men landing on the moon so anything is possible!) and I wanted to know more about the world. The world building for the most part was fantastic, but I think that there could have been more.

Verdict: I am excited to see the sequel whenever it comes out! I will be first in line to Barnes and Noble when it’s on the shelves and I won’t be afraid to cry like a baby when I get my copy. I loved this book and if you loved the hunger games or divergent then you’ll love this book.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

REVIEW: The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco - 4.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 4:00 PM 0 comments

Title: The Shadowglass
Genre: Young Adult Fantast
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: March 5th 2019
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided ARC

The Shadowglass by Rin Chupeco is the last book in The Bone Witch trilogy. This is where this beautiful story comes to an end and I know I definitely wasn’t ready for everything that happened in this book.

Before sitting down writing this review I asked my husband, “Do you think a review full of heart eyes emojis would be okay?”. He obviously laughed at me and said no but that doesn’t change the fact that I really want to do that. 

Throughout reading this series I have gone from being bored and having to start the first book a few times before I could get through it to devouring every page of the second and third books. After learning the terms and lore from the first book everything just went smoother. 

Also, I know this isn’t really important to the story but I think this my favorite cover out of all 3 books. That black on the cover looks galactic and I LOVE GALAXY PRINT. 

In the end, I think this was a really strong ending to a beautiful trilogy. I know I will definitely be reading the books again because I know there is so much I missed. This will be one of those series that you can reread and always find something you missed because there was so much going on, this book will always give the reader something new.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

REVIEW: The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco - 4.5 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Title: The Heart Forger
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: March 20th 2018
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading format: Provided ARC/Owned Hardback

The Heart Forger by Ron Chupeco is the second book in The Bone Witch trilogy. This book continues Tea’s story but it also starts the war and her revenge plot on the people who wronged her.

I will not lie, the events that ended book one had me jumping, running over to my bookshelves to grab book two. I am SO GRATEFUL that I did not read these books without having the next one ready and waiting. The ending of book one had me snapping my head around so fast I might have gotten whiplash. YOU SAID WHAT, WHO, HUH?! My goodness. Luckily, the second book gets into the story pretty quick and I got some answers to my questions within the first 100 pages.

Reading this second book really showed me how amazing of an author Rin Chupeco really is. He writing is just so beautiful and the way she describes things and some of the designs she made up for things in these books are just breath-taking and I would love to see some of the clothing garments be brought to life. There are just a lot of visual aspects of these books that my mind gets to create on it’s own and I love that so very much.

I don't want to say that this book was better than the first one because you can't really compare them. The first book was paving the path for the story ahead of us and the second book actually got into the story and it was a much faster read. This book is more the meat and bones(haha punny) of the true story, the war and everything else we learn about. 

In the end, I feel like this book was the real start of the story. Yes, the previous book had the story and this book still have the back and forth with Tea telling her past story while being in the present but this book just felt like it had a better pacing to it and I didn’t have the issues with boredom and wanting to put the book down like I did the first few times I tried to read The Bone Witch. This book sucked me in.

Overall, I gave the book 4.5/5 stars.

Monday, March 4, 2019

REVIEW: The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco - 4 stars

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Title: The Bone Witch
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Author: Rin Chupeco
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication: March 7th 2017
Cover Rating: 5/5
Reading Format: Provided ARC/Owned Hardback

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco is the story of Tea and how her life completely changed when she found out she is an Asha. She has to come to terms with a lot of things and she could end up being the one thing that can stand up to incoming danger.

When Tea was a young girl, around fifteen, she finds out that she is an Asha, essentially a witch. There are a few types of Asha but, unfortunately, Tea finds out that she is a Bone Witch, the most feared, hated and misunderstood type of Asha there is. It also happens to be the most powerful. How did Tea find out that she is a Bone Witch? Oh, you know, she just accidentally brought her brother, Fox, back from the dead. No big deal, right?

So because Bone Witches are feared and hated, Tea must leave her home and apprentice under Lady Mykaela. She is taught how to read heart glasses to tell what sickness a person has, how to heal and how to destroyed dangerous creatures that plague her world. Even with all the good that Bone Witches do, especially protecting people, they are still looked at as evil, horrible abominations. You just can’t please people even if you save lives. 

The entire time I was reading this book a lot of the scenes and aspects kept reminding me of Memoirs of a Geisha. This book has a TON of description, world building and backstory so be prepared for that if you decide to read this trilogy. We spend the entire book going back and forth between 15-year-old Tea and 17-year-old Tea so we are given a lot of information. I won't lie, it took me about three tries to finally be able to sit down and read this book without feeling the need to switch to another book. It is not because this book is bad, it's actually quite good, but I was just not in the mood for this type of read.

In the end, I am so glad I was finally able to sit down and comprehend everything that was happening in this book. It was such a rich story with an interesting plot-line and fun characters. Most of the book is, as stated above, world building and backstory but once you get closer to the end everything starts making a lot more sense. I will be diving in to book two right away.

Overall, I gave the book 4/5 stars.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

REVIEW: Romanov by Nadine Brandes - Paige

Posted by HelloJennyReviews at 9:00 AM 0 comments
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Publication Date: May 7, 2019
Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 15+ (violence, death, attempted suicide)
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

So for the most part I really liked this book. I loved Nadine’s take on the Romanov’s story and how the book is so heavy in history. I already knew the history of their last days, but this book made it feel more personal and real. The plot was intriguing and the writing was well done. The characters were all well developed and I loved the magic in this book.

However, I did have some issues with the book. I don’t agree with how Rasputin was shown. From my research and knowledge of Rasputin, I believe him to be… incredibly creepy and I can see evidence of where he might have been inappropriate of the kids. While his visits have been regarded as innocent, I find it creepy that a grown man would go into a nursery while the four girls were in their nightgowns (which were the equivalent of underwear in this time). I’ve just always had this weird feeling that there was more to the story than what was released and since the Romanovs were incredibly secretive it’s not hard to believe that there might have been more to the story. I worked with kids and have seen them in awful situations, the things that would give you nightmares. Second, I didn’t like the romance. It felt a little forced and off. Third, I didn’t like how the magic system wasn’t fully explained. It seemed to have really cool rules and I would have loved to see it more in the book and have it fully explained. It seemed that things happened at whims. And fourth, the book was a recap of the Romanov’s time in captivity until after halfway through the book. The main focus of Anastasia’s story is after the murders, but that didn’t happen until about 53% in the book. While the book was great and I liked it, I wish that more of the story focused on after the murders, because then the rest of the book felt really fast-paced and confusing.

Verdict: A great fantasy retelling of Anastasia that any fan would appreciate.

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