Recommended: Kindle Daily Deal (1)

Hey y’all! A part of today’s (21st July) Kindle Daily Deal is Omens by Kelley Armstrong! Overall, a really entertaining and thrilling read. If you’re looking for a fun mystery on sale, get this deal!! You can read my review of the book here. The sequel is coming this August!

For Kindle - $2.99
For Nook - $2.99
Google play – $2.99

It’s not on sale for Kobo, sadly, and those three above are the only known e-book platforms I know to look for. Do you guys know of any others, for future reference?

Unreviewed Books (5)

A Mad, Wicked Folly; Sharon Biggs Waller. My first book by this author, I gained a lot from the view inside England during women’s suffrage. That’s a topic with which I wasn’t familiar at all, but now I feel as if I gained some background knowledge while adventuring alongside a kick-ass heroine! Not to mention the love interests. I felt like that in combination with the suffrage movement gave a lot of insight into Victoria Darling herself. 10/10

If I Stay (#1); Gayle Forman. This book really made me feel. I sobbed like a baby. I wish I had a good enough reason, though. I wasn’t super attached to any characters, the writing wasn’t anything special. My best guess would be that I easily implanted myself into the situation, hence the feels. But at the same time, I didn’t really like that it felt like the author was depending on this one instance and the result of feels. Don’t think I’ll read the next book. 5/10

Rebel Belle (#1); Rachel Hawkins. A pleasant surprise! I’d kind of been avoiding this one because of the cover (despite the cool plot synopsis) — it is too pink. I still stand by that. The pearls are perfect, the knife awesome. But maybe a different (pastel?) background. I love Harper — a southern belle who undergoes some serious personal growth. Excited for the next book! 8/10

The Calling by Kelley Armstrong

Details: 326pp, Harper hardcover
Series: Darkness Rising, book 2
Rating: 6/10

Summary (from Goodreads): Maya Delaney’s paw-print birthmark is the mark of what she truly is -a skin-walker. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly everyone else. Experiencing intense connections with the animals that roam the woods outside her home, Maya knows it’s only a matter of time before she’s able to Shift and become one of them. And she believes there may be others in her small town with surprising talents.

Now Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they’re kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves in the Vancouver Island wilderness with nothing but their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.

Spoiler warnings: some spoilers for book 1.

My thoughts: Where to begin… I have to say, Kelley Armstrong’s YA writing is really not impressing me. I read Omens a few months ago, the first in her new series for adults and really enjoyed it all-around. With her young adult books however, it feels to me like she tries to dumb-down the language too much. Although the characters are upper high school students, her writing style read like an upper middle school YA book.

There also was not enough environmental changes for me. It seems a little silly to mention, but it felt like the environment throughout the book was all the same, when in fact it did change. I think this could also be attributed to the above in that Armstrong tells rather than shows.

Some STRONG POINTS of the story, to end on a positive note, is that I love how the friendship among characters is portrayed. Here is a group of kids who are going through hell and not once do they try to abandon each other. That is one thing that really kept me going. And the mystery of Maya’s powers was further developed in this second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy. I’m hoping that the last book, The Rising, will round out her powers and come to a nice conclusion. 6/10

 

W…W…W…Wednesday (41)

W…W…W…Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB.

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What did I recently finish reading? I finished reading Murder on the Orient Express (a classic Agatha Christie) on Monday and before that I finished reading Panic, my first reading of a Lauren Oliver book.

What am I currently reading? The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari. This book is proving to be a big “wow” factor book for me — it’s such a well-formed mystery-thriller! Definitely my first but definitely not last book I’ll read from the author.

What am I planning on reading next? I grabbed three new library books today so I’ll read one of those next. The most likely of the batch is The Lucky Ones by Anna Godbersen, the last in the Bright Young Things series.

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday (31)

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is a meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea. Simply share the first paragraph of the first chapter of the book you are reading or thinking about reading soon.

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From The Stolen Ones by Richard Montanari….Currently reading

In the city beneath the city, through these hollow black halls where dead souls murmur and the seasons do not change, he moves, silent as dust.

By day he walks the city above. He is the man in the shabby overcoat on the bus, the man in the gray workman’s coveralls, the man who holds the door for you, touching a finger to the brim of his cap if you are a woman, offering a tactful dip of the chin if you are a man.

Somehow, I didn’t realize that this was part of a series, but since it’s a mystery it doesn’t really feel like part of the series. I really like the author’s style and the attention to detail! So far, I’m at 37% and would recommend to any mystery lovers.

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Details: 416pp, Doubleday Canada hardcover
Series: Age of Legends, book 1
Rating: 5/10

Summary (from Goodreads): In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court–one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

My thoughts: I need to preface this review by saying that this book started off really well for me. It wasn’t until about halfway through that I began whispering “why the crap are these things happening” which slowly progressed to me think-shouting the same thing.

The good:

THE WRITING STYLE. Holy moly, is the writing whole worlds better than Darkness Rising. I don’t know how or why, but it is and it very much excited me.

The general idea of the story. I love that this is a high-fantasy world.

The fast action. I liked that the story jumped into action. For me, this made the beginning very fast-paced.

The bad:

Though there was a lot of action, we’re thrust into it without any pretense…nor are we given one by the end of the book. This would be why I begin thinking (which progressed to think-shouting) “WHY THE CRAP IS THIS HAPPENING”.

Minimal world-building. If it’s a fantasy world, we need world building! Are the characters traveling over wide open plains, over rocks and boulders? Or are they having to muck through a plain we can’t even see properly because there is a dense gray fog? I need to know!

The characters. I started out liking the characters, but after awhile I started getting confused with who was who. That points out that none of the characters were very well-defined.

I wanted to like this book so badly, and at first I did. But my frustrations outweighed the positives in this case. 5/10

July Goals: An Update

At the very beginning of July, I posted my bookish goals for the month. This is a brief update on my progress!

  • Book-buying ban: I’ve bought 1 e-book and that’s it. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer went on sale for $2.99 so I got it… But that’s it so far! I’m holding to the ban fairly well.
  • Reading owned books first: Of my book goal to read at least 10 books off my shelves, I’ve already read 5. And I’m working on a 6th. Progress!
  • Reviews: This is the only goal on which I have not made progress. BUT I have been taking notes of books that I want to review, so I just need to get around to using those notes to write full reviews.

Overall, I’m happy with my progress so far! The reviews part I need to work on still, but I have time for that.

Do any of you have bookish goals for the month? How are they coming along?