The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 7, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: ARC via publisher (THANKS!)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
Intrigue abounds in this hotly anticipated sequel to The Kiss of Deception!
Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save her life, Lia’s erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.
Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: there’s Rafe, who lied to Lia, but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be barbarians. Now that she lives amongst them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny. – Goodreads
According to goodreads, I read this book from June 13th to July 19th. It rarely takes me a month to read a book, but between ALA and being in a general slump this book took me awhile. I honestly found The Heart of Betrayal to not help me with this slump.
While I found Pearson’s writing and storytelling to be as solid, if not better, than the first book Kiss of Deception, I consistently struggled through this story. I found the middle 70% of the novel to not work for me. It was not the characters I had expected from the previous book in the series.
“..the fact is, I came for you, Lia, no matter who or what you are, and I don’t care what mistakes I made or what mistakes you made. I’d make everything single one again, if that was the only way to be with you.” —paper ARC pg 28.
Throughout the story the characters became stronger, they gave me glimpses and hints to the characters that I remember, particularly when Lia calls people on their bullshit. I love when characters call people on their bullshit.
“Fall in love with me again …. this time as a prince.” —paper ARC pg 33.
While I did not mark up many lines in this novel, the ones I did mark up, of course, dealt with the love story and maybe that’s why I struggled with The Heart of Betrayal, it’s wasn’t a true love story. I, understand, and respect that this book is about growth and not a love story there were expectations with the lines I savored over and over again.
Of course though, I will be reading the third book in the trilogy. I’m hooked, I need to know what happens.
When a woman’s body is found in a Portland park, suspicion falls on an awkward kid who lives only a hundred feet away, a teen who collects knives, loves first-person shooter video games, and obsessively doodles violent scenes in his school notebooks. Nick Walker goes from being a member of Portland’s Search and Rescue team to the prime suspect in a murder, his very interest in SAR seen as proof of his fascination with violence. How is this even possible? And can Alexis and Ruby find a way to help clear Nick’s name before it’s too late?
April Henry weaves another page-turning, high stakes mystery in Book 2 of the Point Last Seen series. – Goodreads
One of my favorite books of 2014, was The Body in the Woods, however Blood Will Tell was not one of my favorites of 2015. Unfortunately the love and appeal of the series that Henry had suck me into this series did not carry through this book for me. Blood Will Tell actually fell extremely flat. From the multiple POVs, to the story line, I unfortunately stopped caring. I was actually planning on finishing it, but I put it down and never remembered to pick it back up. I may pick it up again, but it won’t be anytime soon. I am interested in what happens to Nick, and probably wouldn’t have minded if this whole book was from his point of view, that may have helped the pacing for me.
Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
“Denton Little’s Deathdate” takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that’s in just two days–the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle–as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend’s hostile sister. (Though he’s not totally sure–see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is “this” what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton’s long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton’s life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager’s life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on. – Goodreads
I’m not sure why I put this on hold at the library but I believe if I would have read the blurb I probably would not have put it on hold. The whole “fans of John Green” generally puts me off. Sad but true. And there was nothing wrong with this particular book; however, it is very clearly not an Ashley novel. It is an interesting concept though, what would you do if you knew what day you were going to die? Would that change anything?
As an audiobook this was fascinating because so many parts are painfully awkward and actually listening to them was painful, which made the book and the soon to be death…real. While I did enjoy Denton’s friendships, particularly with his BFF Paolo, I just was not overly drawn into the story. From the purple mark that was covering Denton and his friends, to the fact I ended the book with more questions than answers. That being said, the friendship between Denton and Paolo was so painfully real that I would love to have more of them.
Part Hitchcock, part Hinton, this first-ever stand-alone novel from Heather Brewer, New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series, uses classic horror elements to tell a darkly funny coming-of-age story about the dangerous power of belief and the cost of blind loyalty.
When Stephen’s dad says they’re moving, Stephen knows it’s pointless to argue. They’re broke from paying Mom’s hospital bills, and now the only option left is to live with Stephen’s grandmother in Spencer, a backward small town that’s like something out of The Twilight Zone. Population: 814.
Stephen’s summer starts looking up when he meets punk girl Cara and her charismatic twin brother, Devon. With Cara, he feels safe and understood—and yeah, okay, she’s totally hot. In Devon and his group, he sees a chance at making real friends. Only, as the summer presses on, and harmless nights hanging out in the cemetery take a darker turn, Stephen starts to suspect that Devon is less a friend than a leader. And he might be leading them to a very sinister end. . . . – Goodreads
The Cemetery Boys is my first Heather Brewer novel and unfortunately while I believe every book has a reader, I am not this books reader. I am also in a mood where I don’t like any book. But that is my own thing I’m dealing with. The Cemetery Boys is the story of Stephen, a boy who just had to move to a random, small town that no one lives in (really, population is 814..or now 816.) Stephen makes it very clear that it is a backwards town and he feels very uncomfortable there, which I understood because reading about the town made me extremely uncomfortable.
But that uncomfortable town, and Stephen’s backstory explain why Stephen makes a lot of the choices that he chooses. He really is just trying to survive, even if that is making obvious poor life choices. He’s still a teenagers and teenagers make poor life choices. Hell, adults make poor life choices. It’s a good book and extremely relate-able, it just didn’t work for me.
Posted by ashley in Book Review Tags: 2 star, 3 star, audiobook, author: brewer, author: henry, dnf, genre: contemporary, genre: mystery, genre: young adult, mini review, publisher: harperteen, publisher: henry holt
A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins . . . .
Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target. – Goodreads
Book Scavenger is one of the cutest middle grade books I have read in quite sometime. Book Scavenger is the story of Emily, who’s family is constantly on the move. Her family rarely lives in a place long enough for Emily to find friends with a goal to have 50 homes in 50 states for blog fodder. Emily and her older brother are over it, but how do you tell your parents that you’ve had enough? You don’t.
This time they are brought to San Francisco and Emily is thrilled. She participates in a book scavenger group and her literary idol, Garrison Griswold, lives there. What Emily doesn’t expect is to get caught up in the middle of a caper and form a new friendship while participating. I found this whole book to be just a really, really cute book and while I was annoyed at Emily’s parents for not seeing that their children had enough of moving, I also understand that if kids don’t say anything to parents, they don’t always get it.
But this isn’t the story of Emily being annoyed that they moved again. It’s the story of Emily, and her new friend James, that lives below her in the apartment. Between the two of them, their love of clues, and an old book the reader is taken on a journey that is unexpected not only for Emily, but also the reader. I was pleasantly surprised by the Book Scavenger and recommend it for anyone that enjoys mysteries.
Dream a Little Dream (Silber #1) by Kerstin Gier
Release Date: January 6, 2015
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Source: ARC provided by publisher! (Thank you!!)
Buy It: Amazon | IndieBound
Mysterious doors with lizard-head knobs. Talking stone statues. A crazy girl with a hatchet. Yep, Liv’s dreams have been pretty weird lately. Especially this one where she’s in a graveyard at night, watching four boys perform dark magic rituals. The really weird thing is that Liv recognizes the boys in her dream. They’re classmates from her new school in London, the school where’s she’s starting over because her mom has moved them to a new country (again). But they seem to know things about her in real life that they couldn’t possibly know, which is mystifying. Then again, Liv could never resist a good mystery. . . . – Goodreads
While I haven’t read Gier’s other series, I was fascinated about this book after I read the blurb. Mysterious doors. Talking statues. Crazy girls with hatchets. Sign me up! Because Gier had to spend a bit of time world building, I got bored quickly. I put this book down with the plan to pick it back up a little bit later and I never came back to it. Months later when I was checking goodreads, I knew if I went back to it I would have to start from the beginning and I don’t have time for that sadly.
Quinn is looking forward to her senior year at Poe University. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend, flirt with a certain boy genius, party at her favorite dive bar and figure out what she’s going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major. But that’s before she meets Luke, a hot townie who’s moved back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it’s before a weird epidemic sweeps across campus, mysteriously turning people’s eyes purple.
Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug?
Is it a rogue virus developed in a campus lab?
Is it the mark of the devil?
Soon the town starts blaming the university and the student religious group becomes frighteningly aggressive in their on-campus accusations. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle—until a tragic accident forces Luke to reveal the one part of himself he’s kept carefully hidden. That he’s so much more than the happy-go-lucky boy next door Quinn had believed him to be isn’t a surprise…but this truth might be too dangerous for her to handle – Goodreads
Nope. Nope. Nooooope. This didn’t work for me on page 1 and 30 pages later it still made me rage. I have no regrets stopping this.
If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.
Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.– Goodreads
In I’ll Meet You There, Demetrios tells the story of Skylar who hates her life. Her BFF and her have decided to get out of town and all they have to do is survive the last summer before college and then they are out of Creek View. That is all Sklyar wants. To be out of Creek View, away from a town full of memories she doesn’t want to deal with. The town where her father died, her mother found the bottle and lost her own job and where Skylar wants to scream from uncomfortableness and the fact she doesn’t feel like she belongs.
All of that helped this book has a permanent place in my heart. This book contained real, flawed, relateable characters that when the book ended I was sad because I wanted more from the characters, even the ones I didn’t like. The thing is, Skylar wants nothing more than to leave Creek View, she doesn’t want to be the girl who stays, until it’s time to go and she seems to freeze. And one of her BFFs, Chris, calls her out on it.
…it almost feels like…you’re looking for an excuse to stay.–ARC, pg 234
This of course enrages Sky, because she doesn’t want to stay. Really she doesn’t, because who wants to be a typical Creek View girl, until it dawns on her, her other BFF, Dylan is. And the great thing about I’ll Meet You There, is that Demetrios, also wrote a real, fleshed out book that includes female friendships! MY HEART FOR FEMALE TEENAGE FRIENDSHIPS. Demetrios had the characters call each other out when they do shitty things (like accidentally looking down on the other) but they still love each other at the end of the day..you know like real teenage girls.
Then, of course there was Josh. While Sky was figuring out herself, she was also figuring out Josh. The bad boy from town who went to war and came back completely different. He’s a shell of who he was, he’s missing a leg and he has some extreme PTSD. Through snippets of his worldview, we understand Josh and what pain he went to and how no matter what does he seems to fuck it up and that includes Sky. He just wants to be good for her.
That Josh I grew up around, with two legs and an ego that couldn’t fit through the door? I didn’t love him. I didn’t even always like him. —ARC, pg 361
Nothing I say will be perfect for this book, because it’s just one of those you have to read. It’s so good and part of me wishes I could go back and read it for the first time. While this is my first Demetrios’ book, I can tell that this won’t be my last. While I’ll Meet You There is not a light and fluffy novel, it’s a real novel that touches on things that affects everyday people. PTSD, a small town and trying to get out of it, friendships, parents, love
When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End. – Goodreads
Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks is the story of Tuesday McGillycuddy and her dog Baxterr, who go on the search of Tuesday’s mom–the famous children’s book author Serendipity Smith! What Tuesday doesn’t expect is this magical adventure that appears. This is a magical adventure that not only her mom knows about, but her father. They’ve both have been “hiding” this from her essentially for her own safety. What was unexpected is that Tuesday is able to be taken away to this same magical world, that her mother is also able to do when she gets swept away in a story.
While Tuesday is out looking for her mother, her mother comes back home and is in shock that Tuesday was able to leave to this magical adventure, particularly at her age. While on her journey, Tuesday meets a very hilarious group of characters. From the Librarian who Tuesday is unsure of, to Vivienne Smalls that Tuesday realizes is more special than she was aware of. And Baxterr? Oh Baxterr is amazing.
What Finding Serendipity is a cute story about mother daughter bonding and just a little bit of magic. Magic being the power of storytelling and what storytelling can really do.
In this timeless new trilogy about love and sacrifice, a princess must find her place in a reborn world.
In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.
On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love. – Goodreads
One of the joy of having friends in the book world is they are excellent book pushers. It’s not only clear I would know about a lot less books (obviously) but I would never have picked up this book. My friend Ksenia pushed this book and she pushed it hard and am I glad. I understand, yes, it’s her job, but this was so far out of my comfort zone it would have never dawned on me that I would enjoy it and you know what, I really did.
Princess Lia’s life has been set up for her from the moment she was born as the First Daughter, she had no choice in the matter, until she decides, yes, she has a choice. And then chapter two happened! Lia is not the ordinary princess, sh’e pretty bad ass and willing to work when needed. Which made this a super fascinating book to me as a reader. I’m very much over books in which girls fawn and boys do everything for them. Lia made it clear that she did not need a man to survive, the assistance of her maid? Yes, but anyone else? No.
What also made this a fascinating story to me is the fact that it’s told from three point of views. Lia, Rafe, and Kaden. What the three don’t know, but the reader does, is that one of the men is the Prince that Lia ditched and the other was here, to this distance village, to kill her. I wasn’t sure it would work because it is a little out there, but it does and then the reader starts to root for a particular guy and it becomes questionable, is it the Prince? Is it the killer? Even being in their mind, you still don’t know. Speaking of the love triangle, while it worked for The Kiss of Deception, it did not work personally for me, it almost bogged the story down for me. That is also partly because I’m over love triangles. I know, a YA reader who is sick of love triangles, what is that madness, but I am. It got to the point I didn’t really care what boy she chose, but I was more interested to find out who was the killer and who was the prince. Which had me guessing for quite sometime.
However, the story still was an enjoyable read for me. What works is the bonding and growth that occurs between the characters in this story purely because of the turmoil that they have been put in. Lia starts the story, as an extremely boring, flat character, for me. But by the end she is so badass that I’m glad I continued on reading the book because she wants to fight for what is hers. I went from wanting to skim this book to devouring it needing to know what happens. I cannot wait for book two.