Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday Pages: Pointe by Brandy Colbert!!!

Hello guys!

This week's Saturday Pages comes a lil later than usual because I finished this book so late last night that I was too tired to write the review upon finishing it and I needed to let the whole book sink in a bit.

It is February's Alyssa Recommends book and since that is one of the categories in my 105 Challenge, it is counted towards it, as well as my 2015 Debut Author Challenge, since it was a 2014 debut.

PointePointe by Brandy Colbert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pointe was one of my Alyssa Recommends books, and this month I felt like reading it, because I've been more drawn to anything and everything with ballet references as of late.

Theo is a normal teenager on the surface, dedicate to her love for ballet and doing well enough at school, going out to parties with her friends, and with one or two not so unhealthy habits. But very soon we see there's so much more in the past that we don't know, and the façade of Theo doing well starts crumbling once a ground-shaking event happens, her best friend Dononvan who was abducted/kidnapped 4 years ago, when they both were 13, has been found and returned home.

With Donovan's return and the revelation of who his captor was, Theo has her world shaken to the foundation, and she finds herself slipping to an already known spiral for her, the same one she fell into 4 years ago, when her then boyfriend left without a trace and her best friend disappeared.

This book deals with a lot of tough subjects and doesn't pull any punches when it comes to bad language, eating disorders, sexual relationships, drug usage, rape and abuse. It also has positive relationships with friends and parents, safe environments and a main character that undergoes a lot of growth all through the book.

Theo is not a perfect character by any means, she has many unresolved issues and the one that requires more work is the fact that she doesn't see herself as a victim, even if her eating disorder was a desperate bid for control when she felt she had none, she always kept her secret and she refused to think that there was anything wrong with it, and once it really sinked in for me what had been going on between her and her "boyfriend"... I felt like I had been punched!

This book is definitely gritty and shows us a face that might one to ignore, the fact that teenagers do have sex, that even regular good teenagers that do have a drive and love for something so demanding like ballet can still do drugs occasionally, can be at risk in ways their parents can't suspect no matter how they try to protect them, and one of the best lessons from this book is how Theo's parents may not know what is going on, but they do take action, they are there for her daughter and remind her of that, they're not oblivious, but if you don't feel like you need help or if you don't know if you deserve the help... you are the one that will need to take the first step and you need to confide in someone at some point.

Despite what a tough book this is, it ends with a lot of hope, with Theo being the one to ask for help once she realizes she needs it, Theo learning to be strong enough on her own and not expecting someone else's appreciation to make her special. She decides that no one can heal her unless she does it herself, and that is a wonderful message of hope.

A brilliant debut, so tough, beautiful and poignant, very well deserved of 4 to 4.5 stars for sure! I'll be looking forward for more books from this author!

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Friday, February 27, 2015

Friday Reads: Mrs Frisby and The Rats of NIMH!!

Hey there guys!

Happy Friday! This week's Friday Reads is once again this month's The Midnight Garden Classic MG & YA book! I'm so very happy to continue with this challenge and even more since this month for the first time, it was a re-read for me too!

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (Puffin Modern Classics)Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I continue to take part of the Classic MG & YA challenge hosted by the ladies of The Midnight Garden and this month's book was for the first time since I joined, a re-read!

I read Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH when I was still in primary school and I think it was one of the first books I got from the public library as opposed to getting it from my school's library.

To be perfectly honest I didn't remember all that much about the book, to my shame, even if of course I knew I had read it and a very general idea. But once I started reading it I kept remembering the feelings that the book evoked in me, all those years ago!

Our main character is Mrs Frisby, a widowed mouse that is taken care of her four children on her own, and finds herself in a very tough position, where she needs to find a way to move to her summer house without it costing her the life of her younger & frail and sick child, Timothy. She finds herself getting help from unexpected allies, like a crow and an owl and finally the most unique and intelligent rats.

I remember being extremely fascinated by the rats and their past and I was equally fascinated this time around! It's fantastic how based on reality the whole labs of NIMH were, with the trials of different serums, the control group, the learning techniques with the mazes. How they were rather smart animals to begin with and how they began to improve and become more and more intelligent, plotting and planning and learning to read. I have a serious soft spot for characters in books that love reading!

I loved how strong a character our Mrs Frisby was! She was tough and kind and brave and knew how to get over her fear to do what she felt was right! The book was full of wonderful lessons like how kidness can be returned to you tenfold, how you need to make something of your own instead of simply taking the easiest way out, and it never felt preachy, which is quite an achievement!

This book really made me cheer for the rodents and hope for an alternative society of intelligent beings that were not humans. I must say that thinking about it now, this book is plenty dark and scary with the themes it deals with, but the main feelings I remember were of fascination and wonder!

A great book that was a lovely re-read for me! 4 well deserved stars!

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Reader's Lounge Book Club February: The Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark!

 Hello guys! This Thursday is a special kind of Thursday, because I'm having an extra review included since this month is shorter and I don't have enough days to get everything done!

I'm having the review for February's book for my book club, The Reader's Lounge Book Club and also an ARC that I got from NetGalley! Thank you so much Emma for being amazing!

Since it's an ARC it's also part of my 105 Challenge and part of my books for review category!

The Boy Next DoorThe Boy Next Door by Katie Van Ark

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Boy Next Door was February's book for the Reader's Lounge (the book club I'm part of) and even though I started following pace, I ended up finishing it too fast because I needed to know what happened!

I found it a fun and quick read, that kept me turning the pages because I wanted to know when Gabe would finally get his shit together, and what was going on with Maddy's dad!

I absolutely adored everything that was about ice skating in this book, the training, the choosing of a new program with the choreography and the music. I've always loved watching ice skating (even if I cannot skate on ice or otherwise to save my life) and I know all the terms pretty well, so it was super easy to follow those parts of the book, and I feel I was as excited as Maddy to try for the triple Axel!

The relationship between Maddy and Gabe was alternatively sweet and frustrating for me. I liked that Maddy was proactive and knew what she wanted, but I really was irritated that Gabe kept on going on the secret thing and she went along with it. I was glad to have Gabe's POV because it kept me from wanting to punch him, because I could see how torn he was and how he thought he wasn't good enough for Maddy.

If the book would have only been about the skating and their relationship, it would have been enough, but then we had some added drama with Maddy's dad, and I feel like it was too much. It's also quite puzzling that give my line of work, I didn't guess what was going on at all!

What I really liked was that despite the drama and the hot and cold, both sounded like rather real teenagers, and I'm glad that the book was very sex positive, presented as something natural and showing how important consent and being sure about what you want is.

Not so in love with this one as I was with January's book, but very much worth the read for all the the ice skating bits! 3 to 3.5 stars to this one!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday #83!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

What book am I dying-of-impatience-because-I-want-it-to-be-here-but-damn-it's-not-yet, why is not yet here this week? The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows!!!

Goodreads Summary:

 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.

Why am I eagerly awaiting The Orphan Queen? Two main reasons: it's fantasy!! And it's by Jodi Meadows!! Also, I read the sampler and I'm simply dying to read the rest! I NEED MOOOORE!!

What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tell Me Tuesdays #27!!

Tell Me Tuesdays is a meme/feature created by the awesome ladies of Please Feed The Bookworm and La La In The Library, where we can share how we choose the book we are currently reading from our TBR pile!

I'm always curious about that, cause as much as I tend to make myself a rough schedule for books to read and the like, I'm quite a mood reader and sometimes I just HAVE to ignore my schedule and read something else!

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

A new historical thriller masterpiece from New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Wein

Emilia and Teo's lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo's mother died immediately, but Em's survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes-in a place where he won't be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.

Seeking a home where her children won't be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall or their salvation?

In the tradition of her award-winning and bestselling Code Name Verity, Elizabeth Wein brings us another thrilling and deeply affecting novel that explores the bonds of friendship, the resilience of young pilots, and the strength of the human spirit

 Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

Seraphina took the literary world by storm with 8 starred reviews and numerous “Best of” lists. At last, her eagerly awaited sequel has arrived—and with it comes an epic battle between humans and dragons.

The kingdom of Goredd: a world where humans and dragons share life with an uneasy balance, and those few who are both human and dragon must hide the truth. Seraphina is one of these, part girl, part dragon, who is reluctantly drawn into the politics of her world. When war breaks out between the dragons and humans, she must travel the lands to find those like herself—for she has an inexplicable connection to all of them, and together they will be able to fight the dragons in powerful, magical ways.

As Seraphina gathers this motley crew, she is pursued by humans who want to stop her. But the most terrifying is another half dragon, who can creep into people’s minds and take them over. Until now, Seraphina has kept her mind safe from intruders, but that also means she’s held back her own gift. It is time to make a choice: Cling to the safety of her old life, or embrace a powerful new destiny? 

 Uprooted by Naomi Novik

 Naomi Novik, author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Temeraire novels, introduces a bold new world rooted in folk stories and legends, as elemental as a Grimm fairy tale.

“Our Dragon doesn’t eat the girls he takes, no matter what stories they tell outside our valley. We hear them sometimes, from travelers passing through. They talk as though we were doing human sacrifice, and he were a real dragon. Of course that’s not true: he may be a wizard and immortal, but he’s still a man, and our fathers would band together and kill him if he wanted to eat one of us every ten years. He protects us against the Wood, and we’re grateful, but not that grateful.”

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted Wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, driven wizard known only as the Dragon to keep its powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as falling to the Wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows—everyone knows—that the Dragon will take Kasia: beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, all the things Agnieszka isn’t, and her dearest friend in the world. And there is no way to save her.

But Agnieszka fears the wrong things. For when the Dragon comes, it is not Kasia he will choose.

All these three are ARCs and I'm really enjoyed them all, though I haven't been making a lot of progress with them! Uprooted is a fantasy highly recommended by Jessica for Rabid Reads and she rarely leads me astray. Black Raven, White Dove is historical fiction with a different kind of narrative that I'm quite enjoying! And Shadow Scale is equally as gorgeous as Seraphina was, but I'm feeling like Phina is less in control that she was on the previous book and it's annoying me a lil how she fails to see some things coming!

  So what are you all guys reading and how and why did you decide to pick up that book? Shiny new ARC? Comfort read? Scheduled for review? Must have new release? Tell me!!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop!!!

I'm starting this week's Mark This Book Monday with one of those recent amazing reads that I've been lucky enough to fiind! And I must thank again Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat for pushing the series on me relentessly and to Frannie from On Clouds of Pages for being an awesome buddy read buddy!

Murder of Crows (The Others, #2)Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Once I read Written in Red, I needed Murder of Crows like the air I breathe, so I started it as soon as I could! And boy what an amazing book it was! It was even better than Written In Red! It was everything that Written in Red was but somehow more!

Be aware that even though I'll try to keep this review spoiler free, it might have some spoilers for book 1 and if I get too rambling and enthusiastic I might end up blurting something here and there...

Things have changed a bit since the events in Written in Red, the terra indigene at the Courtyard have adopted Meg into the family/pack and now she's one of theirs. And when Meg has a new prophecy about death and black feathers, the Others learn about a new twist in the threat to Meg and to themselves. And they decide to take the battle to the humans and the Controller.

We continue to learn a bit more not only about the history of the terra indigene and how humans evolved differently and separated from them, and how they came to interact. We learn more about how the Others work and have evolved, we learn about how humans have shun some of their own and these groups have become allies of the terra indigene, the Inuit. And we learn a little bit more about the cassandra sangue, their origins and how they came to be.

There's more about interactions between the human pack at the Courtyard and the police and the terra indigene, and how their opinions and usual reactions have changed and continue to change. And also we get more about the Humans First and Last organization and their rethoric. I loved how it showed how the mob mentality works and how the general feeling of the public can be changed, twisted and manipulated. The humans of Thaisia don't seem to remember history very well, and forget quite easily that they're not on top of the chain.

I simply love the evolving relationship between Simon and Meg, it's one of those couples that I ship like there's no tomorrow! There are some misunderstandings, and Simon keeps on thinking that having Meg around is a complication he shouldn't have allowed, but at the same time he doesn't want to lose Meg as a friend, or the kind of comfortable intimacy that they share, mainly when he's in Wolf shape.

One of the things that I love about this book and this series is the way the terra indigene are presented, like the dangerous predators that they are, and how humans don't seem to realize how in the wrong they can be. And how it makes my blood boil the way they deal with the "benevolent ownership" for the cassandra sangue and how they are treated as less than human in most of the places they are kept. Humans don't always act as humane as they ought to towards their own and when it comes to power and the cassandra sangue... the fail.

I'm not even sure what else to say because I'd love to talk and talk and talk about this book and this series all and if you want to discuss theories with me, hit me up here or on Twitter!

I was so impressed with how the story was expanded, how the world building was expanded, with more knowledge about Thaisia and how the human settlements are part of it, the different continents and cultures. More about the Inuits and their past and what makes them special and more about the cassandra sangue, even if we're given the information very little by little. More about the characters, more about the world, more about everything!

I just cannot wait to continue learning more about this world and to see Meg and Simon's relationship continue to grow and progress! 5 stars to this one for sure!! READ IT!

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Book Blogger #LoveAThon: Mini-Challenge #1: Book Spine Poetry!!

To continue with the 2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon I'm doing the first Mini-Challenge and my very first Book Spine Poetry!

Dylan was amazing and helped me choose because I wasn't too inspired!

2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon Kick off questionnaire!!!

Hey again guys!!

This weekend there's an amazing event taking place in the blogosphere: the 2015 Book Blogger Love-A-Thon!! Organized and hosted by the lovely Alexa from Alexa Loves Books!

I'm gonna try and take part as much as possible but my work schedule might not be the best for this, given how I am a bit zombie today after working night shift!

But let's get this started! The first official post is gonna be a questionnaire so any of you lovelies that might be visiting the blog for the first time will get to know me a bit, and those that visit now and then will get to know me a lil better!

1. What’s your name?
 I have two first names, Maria Pilar, but I go by the second one only, so Pilar or Pili.

2. Where in the world are you blogging from?
Alcala de Henares, very close to Madrid, in Spain!

3. How did you get into blogging in the first place? 
I started blogging about handmade items and then transitioned to blogging about books because I've always LOVED books and reading.

4. How did you come up with your blog name?
I chose it when I was blogging about handmade stuff, so it was quite self explanatory, thinking of changing it soon though!

5. What genre do you read and review the most on your blog?
Mostly I read and review science fiction and fantasy, and a few contemporaries now and then!

6. What other types of posts do you do on your blog, apart from reviews?
I usually do a meme or two, and when I have the time to do so, I have my Ink & Batter feature, where I shared book inspired decorated cupcakes!

7. Best blogging experience so far?
I've loved connecting with fellow bloggers and reaching out to authors and taking part in tours and the like. And one of my fave things have been doing matching Ink & Batter and Cover Puppies posts with my friend Becca from Pivot Book Reviews!

8. Favorite thing about the blogging community?
Interacting with authors and being able to flail and comment the good and the bad with people that understand my feelings and craziness about books!

9. Name the 5 books you’re most excited for this 2015!
Hmmmm, Queen of Shadows and ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas, The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger, End of Days by Susan Ee, Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater... and I could go on and on and on!!

10. What’s an underrated book or series that you think everyone should read?
A Mad Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller and All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill! And as for a recent series that more people need to read Every Breath and the next two books in the series by Ellie Marney!!

11. Which book boy or girl would be your book BFF?
I think Rachel Watts from Every Breath because despite not liking being out of her comfort zone, she takes risks and is kick arse!

12. Apart from reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?
I love baking and photography and travelling!

13. Apart from book shopping, what else do you like shopping for?
As of late, mostly housewares, because I'll be moving to my own place soon and I am enjoying choosing dishes and glasses and the like!

14. At a party, the DJ suddenly changes the song – and it’s your song. What song would be playing?
Defying Gravity from the Wicked Musical, it's the song that manages to put me in a good mood no matter how awful I feel as of late!

And that's all for now folks!

Saturday Pages: Written in Red by Anne Bishop!!!

Hello there guys!

I hope your weekend is going great and most of my fellow bloggers are taking part of the 2015 edition of Book Blogger Love-A-Thon! I will be taking part as much as my work schedule will allow me to, which won't be as much as I'd like!

As this week's Saturday Pages review I have a book that was highly recommended (read: relentlessly pushed on me) by Octavia from Read Sleep Repeat and I must say that boy, was she right to insist that I read it already! Thank you so much for making sure I read it, Octavia, now I shall be the one pushing this one on everyone!!

Written in Red (The Others, #1)Written in Red by Anne Bishop

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Written in Red has been one of those books that I had in my radar for a while, even more since my bloggy friend Octavia flailed about it like a mad woman (let me tell you something right away, she HAD VERY GOOD REASON TO DO SO!) so much that she sent me the ebook as a Xmas gift!

Still I didn't start reading this book until I got approved for the third book eARC on NG, so that was the push to finally read now instead of later! I seem to need a ticking clock of time telling me I need to read something before this date to get me started... *shakes head at procastinating self*

So listen to me, if you've been wondering about starting this book, do it now!! I loved it SO MUCH!! And I'm kicking myself for not having read it earlier!! This is adult urban fantasy and it deals with very adult themes, oh and if humans as something other than top of the food chain bothers you... you might not like this book.

The world of this series feels both familiar but at the same time extremely alien from ours. Humans are not the only sentient species and they sure aren't the ones calling the shots, and the furry and fanged aren't exactly the ones you might have met in other UF books. The Others or terra indigene might take human appearance but they are something entirely "Other" and non-human, that consequently doesn't act or think as humans and that have rather minimum to none regard about human wants or wishes.

All human cities have a Courtyard where a number of The Others live, to trade with and to make sure the humans don't forget their place in the natural order, otherwise they'd just go overboard and take more resources and dump more waste and basically do what we do in our world... Meg Corbyn arrives at the Courtyard of Lakeside while running away from the man that held her prisoner all her life and finds herself surrounded by the Others, that have to decide between allowing her, a human, sanctuary or simply eat her as an unwelcome intruder.

Meg is not your regular human either, she hides a secret from the Others, because she's being hunted and she'd rather die than be taken back. Soon she finds herself carving a lil place for herself as Human Liaison for the Courtyard and although her secret is found out pretty soon because she isn't used to fending for herself and doesn't know much about the world. Still, she conquers the Other's hearts, from Simon Wolfgard, who rules the Courtyard, to Erebus, the elder of the Sanguinati, not to mention Tess, the terra indigene that no one in the Courtyard knows what she is, AND to Winter and the other Elementals.

This book has some amazing world building, with a world so similar yet so different from ours that sometimes you end up forgetting about the differences until you get a reminder, in the same way the humans get a reminder that the Others still consider them meat. And despite all that, I found myself siding with the Others most often than not! I liked very few of the humans in this book and there came a point when I was rooting for some of the terra indigene to either eat or kill humans. Seems like my species loyalty is rather limited!

Then the characters, Simon the Wolf is both alien, scary and somewhat endearing in his dealings with both Meg and his nephew Sam. You could consider him an alpha, but given that he isn't human, I don't think he should be judged by human or regular human shape-shifters standards. Meg is not just your regular human either, and she starts the story running away and then hiding and she's somewhat child-like at first, but she's a combination of knowing too much and too little, and I was rooting for her from page one! The relationship between Simon and Meg is slow, tense and full of moments that will make you wonder, cringe, laugh and swoon and you'll end up shipping them like there's no tomorrow, or at least, I very much did! I was very happy to see how slowly it is developing, because anything else wouldn't have felt right for the characters or the story!

I feel like I could spend hours talking about the different kind of terra indigene, like Vlad and Erebus the two main Sanguinare (their name for vampires) and Tess (our unknown, kick arse terra indigene that runs a cafe) and other Wolves like Nathan and Sam. Sam is a character that got to me so very much. He's a puppy that's traumatized by his mother's murder in front of him so he's refused to get out of a cage for years and has not taken the human shape since then. Then Meg comes along and finds a way to get him our of both cages, the literal and the figurative one. Let's not forget some of the few humans that I actually liked and cared about, like Heather and Merri Lee, employees at some of the Courtyard stores, Montgomery and Kowalski police officers in charge to dealing with Courtyard matters and Burke, their captain, along with Ruth, Kowalski's wife.

The villains were either big unknowns orchestrating from afar, or petty and stupid humans with no real sense of what they were doing. For Asia Crane all was part of her ambitious game of being a famous actress one day and she didn't seem to care about who was injured or the consequences for the bigger picture. This can seem two-dimensional, but unfortunately there are plenty of real humans like this, so I was hoping she'd get eaten since her first interaction with Meg.

I simply ADORED this book!! I loved it and started recommending it before I had even finished it! Brilliant book, brilliant start of a series and if you haven't read it yet... GO READ IT NOW!! Extremely well deserved 5 stars (and a few more!) to Written in Red!!

View all my reviews

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Reads: Ensnared by A. G. Howard!!!

Hello there!

Friday is once again here, and I'm having a weekend of zombieness, because I'm working today and Sunday night shift, which means I'm hoping for quiet shifts for some reading time! And then I'll spend Saturday and Monday like a zombie!

Today I have one of my most awaited books of the year up for review for this week's Saturday Page! And it also counts towards my 105 Challenge for my 2015 release category!

Ensnared (Splintered, #3)Ensnared by A.G. Howard

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ensnared was one of my most awaited books of this year, the conclusion to one of my fave trilogies as of late, the Splintered series! A creepy and visual reimagining of the Alice in Wonderland story with Burtonian touches!

After that cruel cliffhanger of an ending that Unhinged left us with, I was dying to get my hands on Ensnared and although it was shipped early, I had to wait over a week and a half till it finally arrived!

The book starts pretty much where Unhinged left us. With Alyssa dragging her dad into an adventure that he doesn't even know he's part of, with magic shrinking mushrooms and a toy train where to recover his lost memories.

Everything got bigger and creepier and the plot twists got even twistier! Alyssa's dad past was something I wouldn't have expected but so very fitting! And then going to AnyElsewhere was like Wonderland with an extra dose of darkness and creepiness, and meeting the Queen of Hearts was even creepier than the Red Queen, except for when you realize that the Red Queen has plots within plots and you're not sure how Alyssa and the rest will manage to stay afloat!

The character development, the plot, the descriptions, the brilliant and visual writing would guarantee a 5 stars from me for this book, but emotionally this book was very tough for me to read... not by any fault of the book, but my own emotional state. I was too anguished and I ended up having to distance myself from the romance and the story a bit, so when the ending came I was left with a very odd feeling. Uneasy I think it's how I'd describe it, so I'm gonna end up giving the book 4 stars. Not because I don't think the ending is not appropriate or the book isn't amazing, but the romance gave me such a bittersweet feeling...

So 4 stars it is for this one, a wonderful conclusion to this amazing series and I cannot wait to see what Anita has coming next!

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz & Giveaway: Sword by Amy Bai!!

Hello everyone!!

Welcome to release week's Book Blitz for Sword by Amy Bai, organized and hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Let me introduce you to the book and author and remember there's a book blitz wide giveaway going on!

Sword by Amy Bai 
Publication date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Sword shall guide the hands of men . . .

For over a thousand years the kingdom of Lardan has been at peace: isolated from the world, safe from the wars of its neighbors, slowly forgetting the wild and deadly magic of its origins. Now the deepest truths of the past and the darkest predictions for the future survive only in the verses of nursery rhymes.
For over a thousand years, some of Lardan’s fractious provinces have been biding their time.
Kyali Corwynall is the daughter of the Lord General, a child of one of the royal Houses, and the court’s only sword-wielding girl. She has known for all of her sixteen years what the future holds for her–politics and duty, the management of a House, and protecting her best friend, the princess and presumed heir to the throne. But one day an old nursery rhyme begins to come true, an ancient magic wakes, and the future changes for everyone. In the space of a single night her entire life unravels into violence and chaos. Now Kyali must find a way to master the magic her people have left behind, or watch her world–and her closest friends–fall to a war older than the kingdom itself.

About the author:

Amy Bai has been, by order of neither chronology nor preference, a barista, a numbers-cruncher, a paper-pusher, and a farmhand. She likes thunderstorms, the enthusiasm of dogs, tall boots and long jackets, cinnamon basil, margaritas, and being surprised by the weirdness of her fellow humans. She lives in New England with her guitar-playing Russian husband and two very goofy sheepdogs.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Interview with the author

1) What is your novel about? 

Sword is a coming of age high fantasy about a girl pretty much at odds with everything, including and especially herself. It's set in a fictional kingdom called Lardan, one with a long history of magic and war, and a population so complacent they've forgotten that either one ever applied to them. They learn differently when history begins to repeat itself: there's an uprising, the kingdom is thrown into civil war, and the royal family, of which my main character Kyali is a satellite member, is murdered. Kyali, her brother, and the princess are forced into exile with a small army of refugees. Kyali was badly hurt during the uprising, and comes out of that a changed person; unfortunately for her she's now the only person with the training to command what is left of the army, and her friends need her.

Sword is her story, how she learns to deal with what happened to her without shutting out the people she loves, and with the responsibilities she has to shoulder now that the older generation is dead and the kingdom is overrun. It's about loyalty and love, fate and family and politics. It's also violent, occasionally sarcastic, and unabashedly sappy.

2) What inspired you to write the story?

I had a very sullen young woman with a battered old sword and no patience kicking my frontal lobe. As motivators go, it was a pretty good one.

--Ok, so that's a little dramatic, but really not too far from the truth (except the part about the frontal lobe, of course). Kyali Corwynall started out as a patchwork of some of my favorite characters from books like Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, and Patricia McKillip's Cygnet, going all the way back to Barbara Helen Berger's Gwinna, which I read when I was seven. My brain is like cosmic flypaper: the stuff I like (or hate) sticks, accumulates, eventually acquires a gravitational field, and before I know it light's bending around it and I'm up at 3 am mainlining coffee and my keyboard's broken. Sword was like that. One day I had scattered pieces, and the next I had a character with layers, flaws, goals, scars, and a complicated history. Stories always start that way for me, no matter how cool my premise may be (or how cool I may think it is, anyway) --my characters inspire and drive it, start to finish.

3) Since your novel is medieval-influenced, can you tell us a bit about your researching journey? 

Wow. How I'd love to give you a list of planned, organized steps I took. It would make me feel so much smarter! But no. I stumbled into the research for Sword much like I did the story itself. I think my research began the moment I realized I had no idea how heavy a sword really was, or how hard it might be to wear armor and, you know, walk at the same time. I remember thinking writing fantasy would be easy (yes, feel free to laugh at me). It didn't take long before I realized it was very, very obvious when I didn't know what I was talking about. So I went from looking up Irish baby names online to running to the library after work to find the Focloir Scoile or The Book of the Sword. I eventually learned to restrain myself, because research can be a wonderful excuse for not writing when you're stuck-- but overall, it was great fun.

4) What's your best revision tip? 

Remember basic dramatic structure when you're reading your draft(s). It definitely doesn't always apply, and definitely shouldn't always apply, but I've found it can be a great lens: I can look at the whole story, each subplot and character arc, each chapter, and each scene with that structure in mind, and I'll always find something to tweak. Or mangle. Or outright kill. ...Revision is a slightly violent process for me.

Blitz Wide Giveaway

A print copy of Sword (which comes with an extra short story and character sketches) and a poster of the cover.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Return by Jennifer L Armentrout Release Day Launch!!

Hey there guys!!

This Monday was release day for The Return, the spin-off series for the Covenant series, by Jennifer L Armentrout!!

As soon as it downloaded to my Kindle, I just had to read it, and you guys need to read it! Even if you haven't read the Covenant series, that I highly recommend!, you need to give this one a try! Seth is quite a character, he's both swoony, cocky and a bit annoying (or quite a bit, depending on who you ask!)!

The Return by Jennifer L Armentrout

The Fates are cackling their bony asses off...

It's been a year since Seth made the deal with the gods that pledged his life to them. And so far, the jobs they've given him have been violent and bloody--which is kind of all right with him. But now Apollo has something else in mind for Seth. He's got to play protector while keeping his hands and fingers off, and for someone who really has a problem with restraint, this new assignment might be the most challenging yet.

Josie has no idea what this crazy hot guy's deal might be, but it's a good bet that his arrival means the new life she started after leaving home is about to be thrown into an Olympian-sized blender turned up to puree. Either Josie is going insane or a nightmare straight out of ancient myth is gunning for her.

But it might be the unlikely attraction simmering between her and the golden-eyed, secret-keeping Seth that may prove to be the most dangerous thing of all.

Because history has once again been flipped to repeat.



 And just in case you guys need some help deciding if you want to get it, or if you ought to start it already and ignore the rest of the TBR pile as I did... I have an excerpt to share with you all!!

"Shaking my head, I pivoted around and walked down the long hall to my dorm room. As I reached the door, the shiver was at the base of my spine again, dancing its way up until it traveled across my shoulders. My heart turned over heavily and I closed my eyes.

Twice in one day.Oh God.I’d never felt this more than once in any span of several days.

Swallowing hard, I wrapped my fingers around the doorknob, battling the urge to turn and scan the hall, because I knew no one would be there.

Dragging in a deep breath, I opened the door and stepped inside the room. My brows flew up, and I forgot about the feeling as I closed the door behind me.

Erin was sprawled on the floor, palms pressed down on a mat, her spandex-covered behind jutting up toward the sky. She turned her head, peering at me from under her armpit.

Her armpit.

“How in the world do you get your neck to bend like that without killing yourself?” I asked.

“Skills, yo.”

Erin did yoga and meditation religiously, saying it helped merge her yin and yang together or something. She’d once told me she had a hell of a mean streak, and contorting herself into painful-looking positions helped keep “good vibrations” around her. Which was strange, because I’d never seen Erin lose her temper in the two years I’d known her.

Erin unfolded herself from some kind of downward dog or upward pony and grinned at me. “Check under the bed.”

Curious, I dropped my bag and stepped over her legs. Bending down, I lifted the bedspread and my eyes grew to the size of saucers when I spotted the bottle. I snatched it up and clutched it to my chest as I whipped toward her. “José!”

Her grin spread into a smile. “The best boyfriend ever.”"

About the Author:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen. Her book Obsidian has been optioned for a major motion picture and her Covenant Series has been optioned for TV.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.


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Waiting On Wednesday #82!!

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted at Breaking The Spine  that spotlights those can't-wait-to-get-my-hands-on-them books that we are eagerly awaiting!

This week I'm featuring a book that I'm absolutely dying to get my hands on and that I CANNOT wait to hold and devour: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab!!

Goodreads Summary:

"Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.!

Why am I eagerly awaiting A Darker Shade of Magic?? Well, I got to read a sampler early and I was totally addicted, hook, sink and liner since the very first pages, so now I'm simply dying to read the whole book!! Also, I need one of Kell's coats!

 What are you all (im)patiently awaiting this week?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Mark This Book Monday: ARC Review of The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski!!!

Hello there!

Today we're starting the week with a new edition of Mark This Book Monday! And today I have one of the eARCs that I've been more excited to get approved for ever, mostly because I was really dying to get my hands on this book!! So thank you so much to Bloomsbury UK & NetGalley for approving my request!

I'm pretty sure I will be re-reading this one once I get my preorder of the hardcover in the mail because I feel that I like having my feelings tortured! And I cannot wait to hold this stunningly gorgeous cover in person!

The Winner's Crime (The Winner's Trilogy, #2)The Winner's Crime by Marie Rutkoski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Winner's Curse was one of my favourite books of 2014 and getting approved for the eARC of The Winner's Crime on NG by Bloomsbury UK was the highlight of the end of 2014 for sure!

Everything that I had loved in The Winner's Curse, the historical fantasy, the politics, the plotting, the mysteries, the forbidden love... everything is in here but magnified! The court intrigues and plotting kept my heart pounding and every turn of the page was a source of anxiety for me!

I think the whole time I spent reading this book, my anxiety was flaring, my heart was pounding and breaking for Arin and Krestel! Their relationship is so full of difficulties from withing and from without... Not only theirs is a forbidden love because they're in opposite sides of a conflict and belong to different cultures, but they also are at a point where they can't talk to each other, so they keep second guessing and interpreting each others' actions or lack thereof.

Krestel is very talented at strategizing but she's rather out of her league when it comes to dealing with the Emperor because he's the master manipulator supreme! Whenever he appeared in the book my heart rate increased, because he is one seedy and scary character! Krestel does her best to stay ahead of the game but it's like trying to stay afloat in a tempest with no hope of rescue, you know that sooner or later you're gonna tire and go down. 

Arin is bitter and fighting and having the hardest time at dealing with his position, with having to deal with Krestel in the opposite sides that they're now and so ends up going on a journey to find a position of strenght for Herran.

The world gets bigger and we find out more about Herran, about Valoria and about a new place that we get to discover. Everything reminds me of empires of the Classical age, Romans, Greeks and now a new place that reminded me some of Egypt and some of Persia. I simply adore the world building in this book as I did with the one in book 1. It feels familiar enough to cultures familiar to us but at the same time they feel different enough to be part of a new world.

And of course, the writing... oh my goodness, the writing. Marie Rutkoski has the most gorgeous prose ever! With stunning prose, wonderful world building and plenty of heartache and pain, this book is the most excruciating and glorious painful experience ever! Very well deserved 5 stars! I can only hope that the next one will have more happiness or I might not survive reading it!

View all my reviews

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Saturday Pages: ARC Review of Collide by Melissa West!

Hiya there guys!

Having the weekend off is quite cool for once! But since it's V-day I'm gonna do my best to avoid the tv ads, specials and all the overload of it to see if I can avoid my brain being an arse to me. My plans are reading, reading and more reading! And watching some Outlander because Jamie!

For this week's Saturday Pages I have an eARC that I was approved through NetGalley (thank you Entangled Teen!!) and that made me finally get back to the series and read the middle book that had been in my TBR pile for months!

As an ARC it's counting towards my reviews category for my 105 Challenge!

Collide (The Taking, #3)Collide by Melissa  West

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I got approved for Collide on NetGalley (thank you Entangled Teen!) so it was the push I needed to finally read Hover and I was quite glad to do so because the ending of Hover was a cliffhanger of the evil category!

Collide starts back on Earth, shortly after the ending of Hover, with Ari betrayed, injured and completely confused and out of the loop, worried sick about Jackson. This Ari is back to the act before you think that she was in Hover, but I could understand that given the shock of finding herself in hostile territory instead of returning home as she hoped.

It was clear that there was something going on that no one knew about, some plot that Ari and the rest failed to see because they were so focused on preparing to fight Zeus. It wasn't exactly unexpected for me, but I also failed to understand the motivation behind the conspiration, since it was never really explained better than your typical bid for power and control.

My favourite part of the book has to be Ari & Jackson's relationship, once Ari finally stopped throwing herself at everything and anything head first! Her character growth in this one was very much welcome, because she started realizing her strenghts, starting allowing others to help her and she finally allowed Jackson to support her and herself to be weak at times. They made a simply amazing team!

The final part of the book was a bit crazy with all the betrayals, mental manipulations, deaths and loss. The pacing was insanely fast but I was rather taken aback with one last minute introduction/twist that was resolved too easily so I'm not sure what the point of that was...

We get a very nice epilogue at the end that closes everything rather nicely and allows us to see a hopeful future and gives us closure in a better way than the ending per se did. Once again 3 stars for this final book.

View all my reviews

Friday, February 13, 2015

Friday Reads: Gates of Thread And Stone by Lori M Lee!!

Friday at last! And this week also means a weekend off for me!

For this week's Friday Reads I've got a book that I've finally got to read, that has been on my TBR pile since August of last year and that was one of my most anticipated debuts of 2014. I pushed it back for some reason or other and now I finally got to read it!

As a 2014 debut it counts both for my 2015 Debut Author Challenge and for my 105 Challenge as one of the books that has been in my TBR pile since 2014 or before!

Gates of Thread and Stone (Gates of Thread and Stone #1)Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From the moment I heard about this book I was extremely excited about it, then saw the cover and was in love and then I got a signed copy and flailed all over the place... and then it took me months to finally read it, and boy am I kicking myself for not having read it before!

I went into this book expecting a fantasy book but I got an added extra bonus of having some uniquely postapocalyptic added touches to it. Unique because the world was already a fantasy world before the catastrophe happened and it continues to be so afterwards.

Kai, our main character, is an orphan that was taken in by Reev, her brother in any way that counts but blood. I loved how their relationship, of one caring for the other and trying to protect each other, is what moved the plot along. It's quite unusual that a familial relationship would be the stronger motivator for a character, instead of the romantic one.

She is determined to get her brother back, and to rescue him she'd do anything. Use her secret & hidden ability, start a dangerous adventure and get herself infiltrated in the most dangerous place in the city. She's strong, determined a lil rash but not overly so and she has so much trust and faith in her brother that you sometimes worry about her, in case she is disappointed.

That the romantic relationship is not the one driving the main character doesn't mean there isn't one here, because there is, and one that I was a huge fan of from the start. Avan and Kai are friends, there is attraction and butterflies in the stomach and something more going on, but it's a fantastic slow burn and Kai is always putting her search for Reev first. So much that poor Avan feels like a second fiddle but remains with her protecting her and helping her every moment.

The mythology that we get to discover in this book is once again at the same time unique and familiar. There's some limited magic left after the fight that led to the catastrophe and there are some extremely powerful beings that are not exactly gods but are godlike, The Infinite. I cannot wait to find out more about them, their past and even more after the information that we got at the ending of the book!

About that ending... well it was quite explosive with revelations and fights and Kai kicking arse and refusing to be manipulated and quite a bit of heartbreak and a shock or two, BUT it doesn't end with a cliffhanger! We do want to know more about what comes next but aren't left crushed and wailing for the next book, which for me it's always a plus! Very well deserved 4 stars for this one!

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Interview & Review: The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall!!!

Hello guys!!

Today I have a lil bit of a special post in the blog today! After reading and loving The Conspiracy of Us, I asked Maggie Hall, the author, if she wanted to be on the blog for an interview and she very graciously agreed! And not only that, but I'll also be sharing my review for the book!

But first, let me share some information about the book and the author for any of you guys that hadn't heard about this 2015 debut book!

The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall

To fight her destiny as the missing heir to a powerful and dangerous secret society, sixteen-year-old Avery West must solve an ancient puzzle in a deadly race across Europe. Forbidden love and code-breaking, masked balls and explosions, destiny and dark secrets collide in this romantic thriller, in the vein of a YA DaVinci Code.

Avery West's newfound family can shut down Prada at the Champs-Elysees when they want to shop in peace, and can just as easily order a bombing when they want to start a war.

They are part of a powerful and dangerous secret society called the Circle of Twelve, and Avery is their missing heir. If they discover who she is, some of them will want to use her as a pawn. Some will want her dead.

To thwart their plans, Avery must follow a trail of clues from the landmarks of Paris to the back alleys of Istanbul and through a web of ancient legends and lies. And unless she can stay one step ahead of beautiful, volatile Stellan, who knows she’s more than she seems, and can decide whether to trust mysterious, magnetic Jack, she may be doomed after all.

 Hello! I'm Maggie Hall. I'm a YA writer. 

My debut novel THE CONSPIRACY OF US, which features scheming and code-breaking, Paris and Istanbul, and forbidden love and fate, is coming from Putnam/Penguin January 13, 2015. It's the first in a trilogy.

I've just come back to Albuquerque, NM after a year of traveling around the world with my husband. 

When I'm home, you can usually find me DIY-ing something off Pinterest, or learning to cook new, delicious things, or watching USC football. (Fight on!)

 photo Twitter_zps9fd810ed.png  photo Goodreads_zps7e11a242.png  photo Pinterest_zps2372a8f7.png  photo Instagram_zpsf9916cce.png  photo tumblr_zps23e71311.png
Welcome to the blog Maggie, thank you so much for taking the time during the whirlwind that is after-release-day!

- Reading The Conspiracy of Us reminded me of two of my favourite and very much re-read books: The Eight & The Magic Circle by Katherine Neville. The girl that finds herself in the middle of a fight that spans the ages and is key in the struggle. In your case, what came first, the girl that hides her eyes? Or the centuries old struggle & secrets?

I didn’t know about these Katherine Neville books, but now I’ve looked them up and am excited to read them! Thanks for the tip!

I’d say both Avery and the plot came to me at more or less the same time. I knew I wanted to write about a girl who had secrets but didn’t really know it, and that learning more about herself and her past was going to be an important theme. And at the same time, I knew vaguely what I wanted to do with the conspiracy, and a girl who didn’t know about her importance to this group fit in perfectly. Her eyes, specifically, weren’t one of the first things I thought of, though—that came a little later.

- I found the Circle of Twelve extremely fascinating and I've read that you based them on groups that conspiracy theorist insist that do exist. How did you choose their origin story?

There have been conspiracy theories about powerful groups of people ruling the world for a long time. One of the most popular is the New World Order theory, which says, that certain families around the world (some theories even say twelve families!) hold immense power, and that many of our rulers have come from those families, etc. So that’s always been really interesting to me, to think about this very small group with enough power to mold the world as they wish.

I don’t know of any conspiracy theories that tie these groups all the way back to Alexander the Great—that was just me! And so the Circle’s origin story came from twining powerful-family conspiracy theories to the real history of Alexander’s time.

- Paris and Istanbul are fabulously described in your book and made me feel like I was there again (in Paris) and made me want to visit it madly (Istanbul). Was there any particular reason you chose those two for the first book? Can you give us any hints about any other cities we'd get to visit in the next books?

I love both Paris and Istanbul because they’re places that have a personality of their own. I’ve been to some cities that are very nice, but don’t have as much character, and I knew I wanted the places Avery visits in the series to be places that leave a strong impression on her and the reader. There’s nowhere else quite like Paris, walking along the bank of the Seine at sunset, drinking wine. And there’s nowhere that has such an intriguing mix of ancient and modern as Istanbul.

In book 2, we’re going to some places I really love. :) I don’t want to tell you too much! I can tell you one of them: Venice! It’s always been one of my favorite cities, and I’m so excited to have Avery and the boys go there. And another thing I can tell you is that they spend some time on a boat—not in Venice. ;)

- We meet two of the families of the Circle of Twelve and learn a bit more about them and their symbols? How did you choose the compass and the sun? Can you tell us a bit more of the significance of those symbols?

Each of the twelve families of the Circle has a symbol that corresponds to their house motto. The Saxons, for instance, have a compass symbol and the motto Know the Way. The Dauphins, with the sun symbol, are Light in the Dark. It has to do with how the family sees themselves, and what’s most important to them.

- The book is being called The DaVinci Code, the YA version, but I really liked that our main character is a girl looking for answers instead of an expert symbologist. I liked that she had the help of an expert, but she was the one doing the digging and putting the puzzle together again. How did you planned the whole search for answers and the leaving of clues in ancient artifacts?

It was really interesting planning all the clues, actually. With some of them the clue came first, and I had to decide where and how would be best to plant it. But with some of them, I would learn a historical fact that fit too perfectly, and I had to use it. For instance (I don’t think this is too spoilery), I learned that Napoleon was crowned Emperor at Notre Dame Cathedral, and that happened to fit perfectly into something I was doing. That’s happened quite a few times for these books—real history fits eerily well with the story. Hmmm… ;)

- I'm usually not a fan of love triangles but I felt like the one that seems to be shaping up here might be more interesting that the usual trope. How did you find yourself with such interesting guys with reasons to want to be with our Avery? Which one of them arrived first in the story for you?

Stellan has always been really easy for me to write. I just understand him, I guess. He pretty much came to me fully formed as a character, and has never changed from that—though there’s still a lot the reader doesn’t know! Jack is obviously intriguing, too, but he’s more mysterious to me. It’s like he’s so guarded he doesn’t even want to tell me his secrets. :) The boys have very similar life circumstances, but are really different people and react to things so differently, and that’s one of the things that I find especially compelling about the relationship between them and each of their relationship with Avery. 

I hope you find where it all goes to be interesting! That’s one thing I’m looking forward to—there are such important relationships between each leg of this triangle (should I really call it a triangle? I feel like I’ll get people being angry about it. :) Let’s call it Three People Who Have Various Kinds of Relationships with Each Other), and the relationships are going to grow and change so much as the series goes forward.

Wow, guys I'm even more excited now about the sequel that I already was before!

My Review

The Conspiracy of Us is pitched as a YA version of The Da Vinci Code, but although I enjoyed that book, for me it was more like a YA version of two of my favourite non-YA books that I've re-read tons of times: The Eight and The Magic Circle by Katherine Neville.

Like those two, the main character is a girl that finds herself thrown into a situation she didn't know she was part of, has to run around looking for answers and she finds herself part of a conspiracy that spans ages! With historical references, adventures around the world and conspiracy theories this one was clearly like catnip for Pili!

Avery is a teenage girl that lives only with her mum, moving from one place to another following her mum's job, not staying in the same place more than a few months or a year. She decides to stop making friends or form any sort of attachments, something that gets challenged by Jack, another new boy at the school.

The beginning was quite particular with Avery trying to stick ot her resolutions, but once her mother decides to demand something, she ends up going against it (typical teenage principle, and another consequence of hiding things from people, if you don't give them the truth or a good reason, they won't understand why it might be important!) and finds herself flying to Paris with a stranger, going to meet her real father.

Poor Avery is completely out of her league, thrown into a game of power and a fight that spans through the ages and she doesn't know a thing about it all, but still tries to understand what's going on and doesn't take lightly being manipulated. She finds an ally on Jack, who was not a new boy but works for one of the families that Avery finds herself part of, not knowing which one of them she is part of for sure.

Once she finds herself with a bit more information she ends up travelling all over Paris and Istanbul, fearing for her life, trying to find out more about the past, her ancestry and the prophecy that will decide about the rest of her life, but she doesn't do it alone because she has Jack on her corner to help her no matter what, and there's Stellan, the stranger, a reluctant ally.

I fell in love with the conspiracy bits of the book and the historical references and bases for this group of powerful people and I'm really looking forward to find out more and follow more clues on the next book! Alexander the Great, Napoleon, shootings at Prada, dancing at night in a club in Istanbul to end up covered in spices at a market... I simply loved how visual the writing was and how it made me want to visit every place!

By the end of the book Avery has gone through quite a few adventures and that has put her in a position of more power and she's not just at the mercy of those that want to control her. She's ready to keep the fight going and discover the truth behind the prophecy.

We're not left with the most horrible of cliffhangers, but surely intriguing enough to make me want to get my hands on the sequel as soon as possible! Addictive, fast paced and intriguing, well deserved 4 stars for this one!