Sunday, October 30, 2016

Book Review: The Graces

The Graces (The Graces, #1)Author: Laure Eve
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Amulet Books
Series: The Graces # 1

Everyone loves the Graces.

Fenrin Grace is larger than life, almost mythical. He’s the school Pan, seducing girls without really meaning to. He’s biding his time until someone special comes along. Someone different, who will make him wonder how he got along all this time without her. Someone like me.

Fenrin’s twin, Thalia, is a willowy beauty with rippling, honey-colored hair. Wherever she goes, Thalia leaves behind a band of followers who want to emulate her. She casts spells over everyone she encounters, just like Fenrin—even if they both deny it.

Then there’s Summer. She’s the youngest Grace, and the only one who admits she’s really a witch. Summer is dark on the outside—with jet-black hair and kohl-rimmed eyes—and on the inside. It was inevitable that she’d find me, the new girl—a loner with secrets lurking under the surface.

I am River. I am not a Grace. But I’ll do anything to become one.

She had power. Of course she used it.

Magic didn’t seem to make things easier.

They haven’t seen a fucking thing yet. (Last sentence of the book!)

This book felt somewhat creepy and eerie all the way through and the ending took me by surprise, I must say. I wanted something huge and tragic to happen about midway through – and I didn’t get that until towards the end of the book. River, our protagonist, has a very convincing and edgy voice. I was hanging on every word she said, especially when it came to the Graces. The Graces are a group of three siblings that allegedly have “powers” and everyone at school both fears them and wants to be one of them at the same time. They are mysterious and wild and anyone who gets too close to them for too long ends up going stir crazy. River makes it her ultimate mission to be a part of their “group” and find a way into their inner circle. I loved learning the history of the Graces the most and trying to understand the stigma that followed their family name.

The book does have a creepy feel that makes you question what outlandish thing will happen next. Each of the Grace siblings has such a different personality and it is nice to see their stories unravel. You learn small secrets about each of them as the story progresses – books like this are always my favorite. By the end of the book, we are left with a cliffhanger where I must say that I am unsure if River will be evil or good by the time the series is over? I feel like she wants revenge and I am so stoked for the next book in the series. I have such high hopes for the next book. Such a perfect book for Halloween!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Book Review: Stalking Jack The Ripper

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Publication Date: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson Books
Series: Stalking Jack The Ripper # 1

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

“Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.”

“Fear is a hungry beast. The more you feed it, the more it grows.”

“There’s nothing better than a little danger dashed with some romance.”

“It was a great night for hunting Jack the Ripper.”

I have never been a huge fan of Jack the Ripper. I really hate stories where women are brutally murdered; however, I must say that this book was written exceptionally well. I am so intrigued after finishing this book that I believe I am going to find myself reading and researching more about Jack the Ripper. This story follows seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose, the daughter of a Lord and a young lady fascinated with dissecting cadavers. She becomes completely wound up in the case that soon becomes known as the Jack the Ripper serial killings. Audrey Rose was everything I could ever want in a female lead! When I tell you that I squealed a little when I found out this was a serious, I literally squealed…OUT LOUD.

I do not have what I consider a “weak stomach”; however, there were moments in reading this story that I had to look away and jump a few paragraphs forward. The author does a great job with imagery and fine detail – almost too good. Some parts are very graphic and the descriptions WILL make you cringe, which is perfect for a Halloween read. The end became predictable about three-fourths of the way through the book, but the writing is so superb that I was still hooked and wanted to see how Audrey reacted when she found out who, in fact, Jack the Ripper actually was. I am so excited for more from this author and more in this series!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Book Review: The Gilded Age

The Gilded CageAuthor: Lucinda Gray
Publication Date: August 2, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. BYR

After growing up on a farm in Virginia, Walthingham Hall in England seems like another world to sixteen-year-old Katherine Randolph. Her new life, filled with the splendor of upper-class England in the 1820s, is shattered when her brother mysteriously drowns. Katherine is expected to observe the mourning customs and get on with her life, but she can't accept that her brother's death was an accident. 

A bitter poacher prowls the estate, and strange visitors threaten the occupants of the house. There's a rumor, too, that a wild animal stalks the woods of Walthingham. Can Katherine retain her sanity long enough to find out the truth? Or will her brother's killer claim her life, too?

John frowns, and I know he isn’t fooled. But, tapping his horse smartly with the reins, he does as I say. I am, after all, the lady of Walthingham Hall.

“You won’t catch me going outside after dark again,” one mutters. “Not now that the Beast of Walthingham has claimed another.”

The Beast of Walthingham preys on the wicked, they say…

Then I see the gaunt, dark figure watching me silently from the other side of the rise.

For the month of October, I am trying to read books that are either gothic themed or have a creepy storyline. This book had a very gothic feel, but in the end fell short for me. The main character Katherine, along with her brother, come into a huge fortune when a relative suddenly passes away. When they move to Walthingham Hall they are impressed by a lavish and grandiose lifestyle, far different from they have ever known, but their lives are soon changed because of the mysterious and even fatal occurrences that happen in and around the manor. The novel had all the necessary elements to be a spooky, haunting read, but it lacked something that I find very pivotal for a novel to be at the top of my shelf: characterization.

Katherine was not what I expected in a female heroine. She was a very flat character and was not characterized very well. The mystery fell flat for me as well. I had the “who-dun-it” figured out about halfway through, and I was pretty disappointed when I realized there were not going to be any more interesting twists and turns. The setting was absolutely magical; the estate was gothic, creepy, and everything you hope an 19th century manor would be. The story line sounds perfect for Halloween, but the plot left me wanting more and left me unsatisfied by the end of the book.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Book Review: The Thousandth Floor

The Thousandth FloorAuthor: Katharine McGee
Publication Date: August 30, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Series: The Thousandth Floor # 1

New York City as you’ve never seen it before.

A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.

A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?

Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down…

“Maybe that's all that praying was, she thought, just wishing good outcomes on other people.”

“Sometimes love and chaos are the same thing.” 

“If you aren't sure, then you definitely aren't in love.”

This book gave me the biggest book hangover ever. No book that I read after this one was going to compare and I knew that about halfway through. The premise behind this book was so enchanting and after seeing so many people rave about it on YouTube, I decided that I had to give it a try. The book was full of drama and I loved learning more about the tower; I hope that in the series we learn more and more about the different floors. I will say, without spoiling the novel, that the higher to the top you are the more money and power you have. I just loved the idea that all of New York was in this thousand floor tower and even the modes of travel to get from one floor to the next were futuristic.

My favorite thing about this book was all the different perspectives that we are given. We get to read from the point of view of about five or six different characters which makes the world all the more entertaining because they all come from different backgrounds. Each character has something very interesting to add the story and reading from the different point of views allow you to feel like you are reading more than one story wrapped into one. The ending of the book answered enough of my questions to be satisfactory, but of course I am anxious to know where things are going from here. This is definitely a great book to pick up for Fall!