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Tag Archives: author: messenger

18051183Let the Storms Break (Sky Fall #2) by Shannon Messenger
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: ALAMW2014
Rating: starstarstarstarblank_star
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Vane Weston is haunted. By the searing pull of his bond to Audra. By the lies he’s told to cover for her disappearance. By the treacherous winds that slip into his mind, trying to trap him in his worst nightmares. And as his enemies grow stronger, Vane doesn’t know how much longer he can last on his own.

But Audra’s still running. From her past. From the Gales. Even from Vane, who she doesn’t believe she deserves. And the farther she flees, the more danger she finds. She possesses the secret power her enemy craves, and protecting it might be more than she can handle—especially when she discovers Raiden’s newest weapon.

With the Gale Force weakened by recent attacks, and the power of four collapsing, Vane and Audra are forced to make a choice: keep trusting the failing winds, or turn to the people who’ve betrayed them before. But even if they survive the storms sent to destroy them, will they have anything left to hold on to?. – Goodreads


I have never hidden the fact that I am a fan of Messenger’s writing, and while I don’t think it is always spot on perfect, I think Messenger knows what story to tell and she is going to tell that story and she’s going to tell it well. Let the Storms Break picks up right after Let the Sky Fall. Audra and Vane are still bonded to each other and are still trying to survive.

For the safety of Vane, Audra has let him be. She is in hiding because she believes it to be safer for him. It’s not though; he’s ultimately trapped. In his brain, his dreams, his life. He is trapped, and he hates it. He wants to be back to normal, or whatever his normal now is. Heck, his parents want that also. They really just want him to be happy, even if that is with Audra. While Vane knows that he is in love with Audra, and he wants Audra forever, Audra believes they need to be apart, that them being apart is the best for Vane. Even though it was clearly not the best for Vane in the the first so many years of their relationship. But teenagers, what can you do?

All of that being said, not once did I feel that these were not the same characters that I had read about in Let the Sky Fall. They were the same two crazy kids that love each other and happen to have super powers also. There were also little twists, turns and hints that remind the reader that Messenger never once puts something into her story or writing that doesn’t belong there. Everything proves a point or has a point even if it takes a whole book for that point to be made. Things are that important and crucial in this world. What was important in this book was history, background, where Vane and Audra came from and how what’s best for you isn’t always the right thing.

13260670Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2) by Shannon Messenger
Release Date: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Aladdin
Source: Edelwiess // ALA 2013
Rating: starstarstarblank_starblank_star (3.5)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound

Sophie Foster thought she was safe. Settled into her home at Havenfield, surrounded by friends, and using her unique telepathic abilities to train Silveny–the first female alicorn ever seen in the Lost Cities–her life finally seems to be coming together.

But Sophie’s kidnappers are still out there. And when Sophie discovers new messages and clues from the mysterious Black Swan group, she’s forced to take a terrifying risk—one that puts everyone in incredible danger.

As long buried secrets rise to the surface, it’s once again up to Sophie to uncover hidden memories—before someone close to her is lost forever.

In this second book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must journey to the darkest corners of her luminous world in a sequel that will leave you breathless for more. – Goodreads


I was super excited when I found out that there were ARCs of Exile not only online, but also at ALA 2013. It was one of the highlights of ALA 2013 for me. I joked when I met Shannon there that it was getting stalkery of me. I mean, I’ve seen her multiple times in Arizona, but to see her in Chicago was getting out of control. BUT! Exile was mine.

And then I sat on it. And I sat on it some more. Finally one day I had enough and I decided it was time to read it. I remembered how much I missed Sophie, and this world that Messenger had created. As we learned in the first book, Sophie is a girl who was growing up in the wrong world. While she is still that girl, she has become more confident in herself and who she is meant to be. While this is considered a “middle grade” book, it does not read at all like a typical middle grade book. And this is not to put middle grade down at all. That is the last thing I would want to do, because I love and adore middle grade. But I feel Messenger writes with confidence that not many middle grade writers have. While Sophie is a strong character, there is also a lot that she deals with which makes Sophie’s struggle seem even harder. That struggle of course makes it easier to relate to Sophie. Sophie’s world is also a top-notch world. Messenger is a strong world builder and it continues to show in the second novel.

In the follow up to Keeper of the Lost Cities, Messenger takes one on a wild ride. It however was not nearly as strong as Keeper was to me, and I think in part, that came from the fact that this is a big book. At almost 600 pages of pure fantasy this is, to me, a tough middle grade. It took me almost a month to get through. That happened for various reasons, life, the fact that it really is long, and a bit slow to get through in parts, Sophie’s world is also hard to understand in parts. But all of that being said I still highly recommend this series. Messenger is on her game with her writing and world building.

I joke that authors are my rockstars, but no really they are. When they tweet back I tend to flail to Tina and I have planned vacations around tours. Although to be fair I recently planned a vacation and then found out about the tour. But still. Ashley loves her some authors. Sadly my work schedule makes it extremely hard for me to go to said book signings. My BFFSarah and I bookshowever make it work that when we can, we head to our local indie and hit up the signings. Thankfully the awesome changing hands does them a lot, which has helped me become mayor of Changing Hands on foursquare (yes. I’m proud.)

When I found out that one of my favorite authors Shannon and her friend Debra were coming to town I pretty much told Sarah we were going, and then I felt bad and I actually asked her if she was up to it. This was one of the best book signings I have gone to. You can tell that these two are extremely good friends and treated all of us like we were just hanging out in their living room reading1talking to them, with them throwing candy at us. It was comfortable, completely informal, full of fun, belly laughs and mocking. I wish more book signings were like that because it was just so..right. They read from each others books, they asked each other questions, they allowed us to ask questions, they made fun of each-other but made clear the mocking was out of love. I really felt like I was hanging out with old friends I hadn’t seen in a year.

They also had a giveaway in which there was In-N-Out gift cards, which is a plot point in Let the Sky Fall and Debra gave out a Changing Hands gift card,shannon which I was lucky enough to win. Because in the words of my friend “Yes, exactly what you needed. Another excuse to spend money here.” Thank you Debra, I didn’t thank you enough in person!

I’m sure I’ve made it clear, but I love and adore Shannon (and her writing) I’m pretty sure so far I’ve come to all of her Arizona events and not once has she looked at me like “Oh. The crazy one is back.” Here’s the thing, I ramble to Shannon a lot, which is hilarious because she rambles a lot, too but she debranever once treated me like a bother, or a pester. Even though I send far too many tweets that I usually get really embarrassed about. Every time I see her, it’s like hanging out with an old friend for an hour, it’s awesome and lovely. And Debra and I discussed nail polish, it was equally awesome. Thank you Shannon and Debra for coming to Arizona, we really do love you here.

If you haven’t been to a book signing I can’t recommend it enough! Who do you wish you could meet? Who have you met?

Review for Let the Sky Fall here.
Review for MILA 2.0 coming soon.

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists.

  • Roarke. I can picture the face Tina will make when she reads that I listed the lead guy from the in Death series. But his fierce love of Eve (the woman who becomes his wife) and his willing to protect her no matter what makes it so easy to love him. Of course he gives Eve a hard time a lot, which also makes it easy to love him.
  • Calvin Morrisey. When I was younger, I read massive amounts of romance paperbacks. Then I found out about Jennifer Cruise and inhaled all of her books at once. Not that I still don’t read massive amounts of romance novels, because I do. Cal, although he has his faults. He loves Min with all of his11988046 life and the two of them play such a game of cat and mouse that by the end you just want to smish them together. Yes. Smish.
  • Trevor. From my review here, I made it quite clear I was team Trevor. There was a strong point in the novel that my heart turned and my love for Trevor only grew. While he is a sensitive soul he also has his moments of snark and slowly worked his way into my heart.
  • Vane Weston. It is not remotely a secret for anyone that I love and adore Shannon Messenger’s Let the Sky Fall But Vane? Oh Vane is my YA dream boy. He’s snarky, he takes no shit, and he tries his hardest. Plus he loves and adores his parents, which is pretty awesome.
  • James Compton. When you first meet James Compton you don’t love him. Hate comes to mind, but slowly he becomes more human and with him becoming more human he becomes someone that not only does Maisie fall in love with, but the reader, too. Plus he has a bit of snark. What can I say, I love snarky boys.
  • Ethan Wate. I’ve loved Ethan since the very first chapter in the very first book of the Caster Chronicles. He is who all other male narrators are compared to, and usually found wanting. I don’t think it has so much to do with looks, but I love a boy who reads, first of all. And a boy who doesn’t believe everything he’s told (I specifically remember his mocking of being taught about the War of Northern Aggression). I also really loved how he stuck by Lena, how he described her powers, and how just devoted to her he was. He was my first male narrator. You never forget your first!
  • Peeta Mellark. The Boy with the Bread. Steadfast, worthy, charismatic, horribly brainwashed and tortured. I loved Peeta from the beginning (even if I didn’t love him with Katniss right away), because he was never the showy bad boy, or the pretty one. He was just Peeta, the baker’s son with a good heart, the one who saved Katniss and Prim’s lives once. That he’d loved Katniss since she was a little girl only makes it better, really. And the movie has only made me love him more, because while I had my doubts at first, Josh Hutcherson is perfect for the role and is really good at looking vulnerable. I just want to hug him!
  • Christian Prescott. I started the Unearthly series a Tucker fangirl, but Hallowed made me change my mind hallowed(plus I’m not exactly into the whole cowboy/rodeo thing). I don’t know any other Christian fans, but I really loved the connection he had with Clara, and how he knew when not to say anything and just be there. People don’t like him for what he did in the cemetery with Clara, but honestly, that was the turning point for me. He knew what she needed. He was there for her.
  • Cricket Bell. I have a weird relationship with Stephanie Perkins’ novels. I’ll be the first to tell you that I really should not read contemporary romance; it only makes me rage. I raged during Anna and the French Kiss, and I raged even harder during Lola and the Boy Next Door. Just thinking about it makes me mad, remembering Lola and all her stupid moves. Cricket saved the book. He was so sweet and quiet, and he saved the day over and over. He does have an unfortunate name, yes, but when he tells Lola she looked incredible? I swooned. I maintain that he deserves better than what he got. *ducks*
  • Adrian Ivashkov. I’ll just come right out and say it: I prefer Adrian to Dimitri. Dimitri always seemed like such a cardboard cutout. When I read the Vampire Academy series, it was for Rose, not Dimitri, though I admit I liked their romance. For awhile. Until Blood Promise. Which ruined everything. I haven’t read Last Sacrifice, but I started Bloodlines, because I care more about what happens to Adrian and Sydney than Dimitri and Rose. Adrian is a classic sarcastic bad boy who’s hurting on the inside, but he doesn’t seem like a cliche to me. His circumstances make him more interesting than that.
  • Honorable Mention from Tina: Cas Lowood. Cas, who kept himself friends-less, who fell in love with a ghost, who crossed the Atlantic Ocean to help her, who in the end had to let her go. Watching his evolution in Anna Dressed in Blood from outsider to close friend, and watching his love grow over the course of the novel, was so lovely. And what happened at the end of Girl of Nightmares was heartbreaking, but Cas pulled through and was mature enough to do what had to be done. And besides, Kendare Blake basically endorsed my crush on Twitter the other day.

Top Ten Tuesday is a new thing we are trying at yAdultReview, because, well why not? Plus, we know Ashley loves her some lists, and Tina just likes Ashley being happy, so ta-da!  For our blog generally Ashley will be number 1-5, and Tina will be 6-10.

In the words of The Broke and the Bookish who host the feature:

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Limiting this down to five is hard enough for both of us, but we shall prevail!

  1. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger. Really, are you shocked? Really? I know you aren’t. But it’s nice of109059 you to act shocked. This is my go-to feel good book. I feel the need to re-read it now that I’m thinking about it. The characters, the plot, everything just makes me happy.
  2. Crash by Lisa McMann. Lisa McMann, 2 me u r purrfect. No really. I love and adore this book. If anything the only thing that upsets me is that books 2-4 aren’t out yet and I need to know and I need to know what happens now. But Crash is such a quick read that I can’t help but recommend it to people.
  3. Scaredy Squirrel Series by Mélanie Watt. I never reviewed the series here, but this is hands down one of my favorite children’s series. My BFFSarah and I found this series when we worked together at a public library and we still patiently wait for the next in the series to come out. I just got an ARC of Scaredy Squirrel goes camping and I can’t wait to read it.
  4. Matilda by Roald Dahl. A girl who loves to read and has magical powers, what more does one want from a Roald Dahl novel?
  5. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. While the rest of my JR high class was reading the classics and usual middle grade books, I was reading trashy romance novels. This is probably why most “smut” doesn’t phase me. Because when you read it at 12/13 it takes a lot to make you shocked. This book is my idea of a perfect contemporary romance that helped Crusie move her way into my favorites/must read list.
  6. Grave Mercy by RL LaFevers. Just read my review. Seriously. Angsty gothic perfection.crash
  7. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. This is one of the best YA fantasy novels in existence. Seriously. An awesome heroine, a backburner romance, dragons, and a princess is who more than she seems. I cannot wait for the next novel. (Review.)
  8. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Another simply fantastic YA fantasy novel. I loved the Darkling, who is a villain in the best way, and I also loved the unrequited love Alina had for Mal. The way citizens were twisted by magic was grotesque in this one, and I loved how Bardugo made the Grisha society seem so lush. Worldbuilding was beyond perfect in this one. Dark, dark, dark. (Review.)
  9. Crash by Lisa McMann. Once again: read the review. This book blew me away, but that’s nothing new for a novel by McMann.
  10. Divergent by Veronica Roth. Still at the top of my list for best YA dystopia. This one just does it so well, and not only because it takes place in my beloved city. Tris and Four had such an awesome romantic unfolding, and Roth is not afraid to maim or kill her darlings. I love that in a YA author. There are so few willing to do so.

In honor of our blog and all that jazz we are offering a giveaway including a book by one of our blog’s favorite authors! YAY! See reviews/flailing here.

Ashley happens to live in a town that has one of Messenger’s favorite indies, and because of this fact there are signed copies of her Keeper of the Lost Cities there all. the. time. Which is good news for you because we have a brand new autographed copy for you


Look. Shiny!

Ashley also asked extremely nicely (and then hid from her twitter account. She does that often.) if Shannon would include a prize pack and she said yes! Double YAY! Photo thanks to Changing Hands.


As someone who has one of these prize packs I can tell you it is awesome. It includes:

  • An exclusive set of four signed and numbered limited edition 4″ x 6″ color art prints
  • A sheet of four stickers
  • A mallowmelt recipe sheet (note: delicious)

Note: if Messenger comes back to Phoenix before we mail the book, we will get it personalized for you. However this is not guaranteed. This depends on Messenger’s travel schedule to the Phoenix area and sending it out.

We would both like to thank Shannon for offering up a prize pack and signing ALL THE BOOKS! at Changing Hands and listening to Ashley’s rambles and Saved by the Bell quotes.

Rules for the giveaway:
• US only (Sorry international shipping is a lot!)
• You must be 13 years or older to enter.
• The giveaway ends at the end of 3/24/2013 MST. Time check here
• The winners will have 24 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen in their place.

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to talk about the books that you’re eagerly waiting to be released.

Ashley is waiting on…


Exile (Keeper of the Lost Cities #2) by Shannon Messenger
Release Date: October 1, 2013

Why Ashley is waiting for it:
So it’s a known fact that I love and adore Shannon Messenger, correct? It started when I read Keeper of the Lost Cities. Then that love was confirmed when I read Let the Sky Fall. The fact that I’ve met her (twice) and she’s super nice helps me enjoy her books too. Plus! She puts up with me on twitter. Always a plus. This is the second book in her Keeper of the Lost Cities series. It is a middle grade series involving a tough, strong girl named Sophie. I’m so on Sophie’s side that I’m team Sophie. And while there are love interest and a magical storyline to the series, the exciting part for me is to see where Sophie is going.




Tina is waiting on…


Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris
Release Date: May 7, 2013

Why Tina is waiting for it:
Because it’s the final Sookie book, and even though I basically hate Sookie now and wish she was dead, I have to see this one through. Actually, I pretty much hate everyone from this series now, and of course there are the problematic elements, but seriously, I hope everyone is murdered and Sookie is made into a vampire, her worst nightmare. You might call this a hate read. I just have to see what happens at the end.