Book Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

About the Book:

Fangirl

Cath and Wren are identical twins, and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair anymore – she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She’s horribly shy and has always buried herself in the fan fiction she writes, where she always knows exactly what to say and can write a romance far more intense than anything she’s experienced in real life.

Without Wren Cath is completely on her own and totally outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s learning that there’s more to learn about love than she ever thought possible.

My Thoughts:

A well-written coming of age novel, Fangirl follows Cath’s journey as she navigates the world of university and discovers her identity separate from that of her twin. Lost completely in a fictional fantasy world, Cath spends most of her time writing fan-fiction revolving around the fictional characters of Simon Snow and his arch enemy Baz. Having grown up as a twin, Cath is more dependent on Wren, seemingly always in her shadow. The abandonment she feels when her mother leaves them, pushes her towards becoming more of an introvert.

This story not only brings out the contrast between the two girls, but it shows us that the world has a lot to offer if we only let it. Cath learns to find her way, forming a weird bond with her roommate, finding love and facing betrayal from a classmate. Dealing with all this makes her stronger and she learns to open up more. We are shown how the girls are quite similar yet different and the reader will come to love all the characters.

The characters are relatable and quite real, making it easy for the reader to understand them. The emotions are real and the events in the story are such that they could easily happen to any of us. On the whole this story is about getting out of one’s comfort zone and learning to live. Even though the focus is on Cath, we get a glimpse into who her twin is, how their father is coping with life and how they deal with college and growing up.

A wonderful book in the YA genre, Fangirl is worth picking up and giving in to.

Book Blitz: Court of Vampires by Megan Linski

Court of Vampires
Megan Linski
(The Shifter Prophecy #1)
Publication date: January 31st 2017
Genres: Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Vampires and werewolves shouldn’t fall in love.

Lysandra was born for one reason; to kill shifters. Princess of vampires, the heir to Vlad Dracula’s throne and the last descendant of Princess Anastasia, Lysandra lives in a castle of witches and human slaves,engaged to a dark vampire prince and prophesied as the one who will end the war between vampires and werewolves forever.

Everything changes when Lysandra finds a dying werewolf. She takes him into her care and quickly falls in love, unable to explain the magical connection between them. If she’s discovered, she will be put to death. But how can she stop the war when her worst enemy is her true love?

A heart-stopping love story filled with shocking twists, Court of Vampires is a thrilling young adult fantasy that readers will devour over and over again. The legend of what really happened to the Romanov family is retold in Megan Linski’s newest haunting paranormal romance.

Goodreads / Amazon

 

Author Bio:

Megan Linski is the owner of Gryfyn Publishing and has had a passion for writing ever since she was a little girl. Her specializations are romance, fantasy, and contemporary fiction for teens and adults. When not writing, she enjoys ice skating, horse riding, and being outdoors. She is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and suicide prevention, and is an active fighter against common variable immune deficiency disorder.

In December 2016, Megan signed a deal with Amazon’s Kindle Press for her Kindle Scout Winner, Court of Vampires, due to be published 2017. You can find Megan at http://www.meganlinski.com, and receive a FREE book, The Witch’s Curse, by signing up for her VIP List there.

Megan Linski also writes under the pen name of Natalie Erin for the Creatures of the Lands Series, co-authored with Krisen Lison.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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The Magician’s Workshop, Volume Two by Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr

I’m back with book 2 in the series, the continuation of the story and it is mega! Read on to know more about the book and what I thought about it.

About the Book:

The Magician's Workshop, Volume Two

Return to the world of The Magician’s Workshop: Where Dreams Become Reality.

In Volume Two, the Festival of Stars has finally arrived, and the Color Ceremony is about to commence. As children from all over the islands gather to stand before a puller, one question remains: who will have a Color, and who will be found void?

Rejoin your favorite characters as they step forward and receive a label that will have the power to dramatically alter the course of their lives forever.

My Thoughts:

Where the first book was light-hearted with the focus on introducing us to the world and characters, the second book takes the story ahead more seriously. A shift in the direction of the plot adds more to the magic of this series.The declaration of whether our characters have color in them or not is finally given out.

It’s interesting how parallels are drawn between the colors and personality traits. We are shown how people change when color is discovered in them as well as when it isn’t. The distinctions cast between having color and being void is indeed quite unfair. The pressure on the children to have something in them is immense and with high expectations, sometimes it is easy to lose one’s own individuality and identity. It becomes difficult to read about the characters and how they feel throughout this ordeal. Family bonds, friendships and even relationships are strained through this adding to the already declining morale. This is the kind of coming of age idea where after the color ceremony, the children are considered to have “grown up” or are adults. It is a freaky concept, one that can create or destroy a person and the bonds they share with those around them. The harsh rules and manner in which they are enforced do not make it any easier.

The Master Magician turns up with words of encouragement along the lines of color, no color, it doesn’t matter, but to accept all anyway. This comes across as a surprise and a rather new concept to everyone who think that the ultimate goal is to be found with color and then to train to get into the magician’s workshop. No-one seems to know or understand the hardships that it entails or even those that follow this kind of dream. There also seems to be an underlying sub plot to change how things are perceived in the islands for so many years. We meet some rather interesting older characters who though briefly introduced in Book 1, have more importance in this and probably further on. There is talk of how everyone should be equal irrespective of whether they have color in them and this seems to threaten a lot of people. This is a difficult idea to change and would take a lot of work.

Now that everyone has found out their place (it feels harsh to write it this way, but I cannot think of another way of articulating this), it’s time to move further, to train, to find new goals and to deal with the next stage of life. The authors slowly emphasize the importance of two characters, Kai and Layauna, and the story slowly shifts focus with more of the later chapters written from their points of view. Coming out with the kind of colors they have, it will give us a sense that the tests that life will throw at these two will be harder and that they will need all the help and support from their friends and family. It is also clear that now, having been declared as adults, our beloved characters cannot let their guards down and need to be careful about whom they trust.

This book continues on in chapters from where the previous left off. The authors flawlessly craft the story to take us further and draw us in. They maintain the playfulness and style of expression which is quite refreshing and enhance the concepts and story. It is easy to experience everything with the characters and this is one of the main things that drew my attention.The style of writing, the description about each projection only add to the soaring imagination of the reader. A wonderful feat achieved successfully by the authors. Kudos to the work they have done and the time they have spent in creating this world.

It has been a while since reading Harry Potter, that a series in this genre has kept me hooked. I will say it again and again that this is one mega awesome read! Keep projecting and I hope that the next book comes out soon.

Undertow: Death’s Twilight (Maura DeLuca Trilogy, #2)

About the Book:

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Maura finally found the truth she was always seeking…or has she?

After being left in the dark for all of her life, Maura’s father, Maxwell, has finally returned to reveal sinister family secrets Maura could never have dreamed possible—including his revelation that she is one of The Born. But his daughter soon discovers both he and her mother are keeping pieces of her reality hidden, still. As Maura struggles to unravel the mysteries surrounding her new existence and discover every piece of the cryptic puzzle, life appears intent on casting stumbling blocks across her path with every step forward.

Tragedy seems to stalk Maura, and those around her, as she stumbles along, altering the young changeling’s family, just when they have all come back together. The changes left in its wake could be for the better, or may threaten their existence, entirely.

With the arrival of Christmas comes the opportunity for Maura to draw close to everyone she loves—and finally reunite with Ron, her long-distance boyfriend. But permanence has always eluded her, and in her current state of flux this pattern endures, as fate seems intent on snapping the threads that bind her to those she holds most dear. Maxwell’s good intentions pave a road for Maura, littered with misery, while her mother, Caelyn’s, desire to shield her family from pain may tear her away from them, altogether. The perfect happiness in the young vampire’s grasp is so easily swept away and dragged under, out of reach. Can Maura erupt from the darkness and confusion to break the surface and find the life she’s always dreamed of?

In the midst of chaos, assistance materializes in the form of another of her kind—ephemerally beautiful, yet explosively volatile, this new vampire may prove capable of unlocking the puzzle-box Maxwell seems intent on securing from her sight. Maura will discover the darkest parts of herself in her quest to understand the being she is destined to become. Her new found friend has some shady intentions of his own—such as thwarting the love that has grown between Maura and Ron. Following in the wake of the impulsive vampire’s misguided instruction may further pull a naive Maura down into the depths of ultimate despair, heartbreak…and even destruction.

My Thoughts:

This is a wonderful sequel to the first book Rising Tide: Dark Innocence. After reading the first book in the series I could not wait to read the second book. This book delivers as much as the first did. In fact I must admit that this book is even better than the first. The author doesn’t hesitate to take the story to greater depths and she flawlessly weaves a story that will keep the reader enthralled.

I read this book at a stretch without putting it down. We are introduced to some major characters in this story. Maura’s father finally makes an appearance and for a little time it feels as if the family is back together. However, it is not the typical all is well that ends well kind of story. At this point, Maura comes to the realization that her parents are still keeping a lot of secrets from her even though they did reveal some things as though trying to appease her and keep her curiosity at bay. They may have good intentions in trying to protect her, but we all know that curiosity killed the cat. There are many twists that arise especially in the form of a new friend/vampire who claims that his only interest is in helping Maura.

The story is well written and gripping until the very end. The story ends in such a way that the reader will be left wanting more! As I mentioned in my review of the first book, this is a must read for all fans of vampire stories, Young Adult fiction, some romance and some mystery.

Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on this book in the comments! 🙂

Review of Rising Tide: Dark Innocence (The Maura DeLuca Trilogy)

About the Book:

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Could Maura’s life get any worse? …turns out it most certainly can.

Isolated and sheltered by her lonely mother, Maura’s never been able to make friends. She seems to drive her classmates away—except for the odd times they pay enough attention to torture her—but she doesn’t understand why. Maura considers herself to be a freak of nature, with her unusually pale skin and an aversion to the sun that renders her violently nauseous. Her belief is only worsened by the fact that almost everyone around her keeps their distance.

Even her own father deserted her before she was born, leaving Maura alone with her emotionally distant mother, Caelyn. Even though Maura is desperate for answers about her unknown parent, Caelyn remains heartbroken and her daughter can’t bring herself to reopen her mother’s wounds. Or is there a more sinister reason Caelyn refuses to utter a word about her long-lost love?

When a cruel prank nearly claims Maura’s life, one of her classmates, Ron, rushes to her rescue. Darkly handsome & mysteriously accepting, Ron doesn’t seem to want to stay away, but Maura is reluctant to get too close, since her mother has announced she’s moving the two of them to Vancouver…nearly 3,000 miles away from their hometown of Indiana, Pennsylvania.

If life wasn’t already challenging enough, Maura begins to experience bizarre, physical changes her mother seems hell bent on ignoring, compelling Maura to fear for her own life. Vicious nightmares, blood cravings, failing health and the heart-shattering loss of Ron—as well as the discovery of a tangled web of her own mother’s lies—become obstacles in Maura’s desperate quest for the unfathomable truth she was never prepared to uncover.

About the Author:

Claudette Melanson lives in Guelph, Ontario, with her husband Ron and four bun babies: Tegan, Pepper, Butters & Beckett. She graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BA in English and an MA in Literature. Vampires have been a passion since age five. She hopes to one day work full time as an author, since there are many, many books living inside her head.
Rising Tide Dark Innocence

Follow the author on :

twitter: @Bella623

website: http://claudettemelanson.wix.com/author

goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/CMelanson

My Thoughts:

I came across this book quite by chance and was drawn to the story after reading the synopsis. It seemed like an interesting work of teen fiction and though I am way past that age, I thought it would be interesting to read. Luckily it turns out that my instincts were right and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

This Young Adult fiction deals with so many things that teenagers deal with today right from peer pressure to bullying and a sense of not fitting in. The story revolves around Maura, your average teenage girl who initially is at the receiving end of all the bullying the “popular kids” throw her way. At the same time she finds out that her body is undergoing some changes that she cannot understand. As the reader we are made aware of what is going on but Maura does not know and the author keeps it that way till the end laying a wonderful path for the next book.

As the story progresses the reader will come to know that Maura’s mother knows something about what is happening when she doesn’t seem too concerned about what her daughter is going through. This freaks Maura out even more and leads her to ask a lot of questions. Her hair lengthens and smoothens out, she has a sudden craving for blood which is unusual and unsettling to say the least among various other changes. Coupled with the fact that her father is not around and she doesn’t know why and her mother’s secretiveness, Maura is confused about whom to trust. Add to this Maura’s mother deciding to move them away, just when Maura is developing feelings for Ron who reciprocates them, we have some teenage romance in the scene.

The author has woven a wonderful story that will keep the reader hooked till the end and then waiting for the next book. This  is worth a read for all the fans of vampire novels and fantasy, fiction and young adult fiction.

A Life of Death by Weston Kincade

About the Book:

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Alex Drummond is a troubled high school senior with a checkered past, a broken home, and a surprising ability. When he touches items that murder victims held in their final moments, Alex relives the events in gruesome detail, seeing what they saw, thinking their thoughts, and even feeling what they felt. But who will believe a troubled teen, especially when the murders are so close to home and might reveal skeletons hidden for hundreds of years? Join Alex as he struggles to find his destiny, understand love, solve the mysterious murders within his small home town, and speak for victims who can no longer speak for themselves.

My Thoughts:

I was given the e-book by the author in exchange for an honest review and I must say I was blown away when I read it. This is  wonderful coming of age story with a paranormal angle. Alex is a teenager struggling to deal with his father’s death, his mother’s remarriage to a man who is always drunk and violent and his realisation that he loves his best friend Paige. Through all this he also discovers the ability to relive things that happened to people ultimately resulting in their death when he touches something owned by that person. He stumbles upon this by chance and as he struggles to understand this he realises that he has a chance to help people who have been wronged and make a difference. Alex learns to deal with this new found gift of his and along with Paige’s help he sets out trying to understand the deaths he witnesses and doing something about the information he gets.

Alex also finds out the truth about his step father and tries to protect his step sisters. through all this he learns a lot about family and the importance of being there for the people closest to you. There are some tragedies that occur in this story and they will touch the reader a lot. The author has taken great care in crafting this story and I must say he has done a brilliant job.

This is a believable story with a paranormal angle that will greatly entertain those who like this genre and will definitely ensure the reader is hooked on till the end.