Book Review: Golden

Golden CoverBook: Golden by Jessi Kirby

Published May 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers|288 pages

Where I Got It: Nook Store

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

You can find Golden on goodreads & you can find Jessi Kirby on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: Seventeen-year-old Parker Frost has never taken the road less traveled. Valedictorian and quintessential good girl, she’s about to graduate high school without ever having kissed her crush or broken the rules. So when fate drops a clue in her lap—one that might be the key to unraveling a town mystery—she decides to take a chance.

Julianna Farnetti and Shane Cruz are remembered as the golden couple of Summit Lakes High—perfect in every way, meant to be together forever. But Julianna’s journal tells a different story—one of doubts about Shane and a forbidden romance with an older, artistic guy. These are the secrets that were swept away with her the night that Shane’s jeep plunged into an icy river, leaving behind a grieving town and no bodies to bury.

Reading Julianna’s journal gives Parker the courage to start to really live—and it also gives her reasons to question what really happened the night of the accident. Armed with clues from the past, Parker enlists the help of her best friend, Kat, and Trevor, her longtime crush, to track down some leads. The mystery ends up taking Parker places that she never could have imagined. And she soon finds that taking the road less traveled makes all the difference.

I absolutely love Jessi Kirby!  I did after reading In Honor, and reading Golden has cemented that!

So, I was expecting something a little bit different with Golden…like the town mystery being something that happened in the last year or two, not something that happened ten years earlier.  Still, I liked how Parker came across Julianna’s journal and the senior project of writing in a journal mailed 10 years later.  Actually, that’s such a cool project, and it would be really interesting to see what 17-year-old me wrote…well, interesting but also a little scary and weird.

I really liked Parker as a character and I can definitely relate to not taking the road less traveled.  It really is easier for her to do things that make her mom happy instead of what will make her happy, but that’s something she discovers in her quest to uncover the mystery of ten years earlier.  What happened to Julianna and Shane is really something she latched onto, but discovering what really happened…she learned a lot about herself.

And naturally, I couldn’t help but cry at the end, because Parker’s story…I just loved it.  I don’t know what it is about reading book where the main character goes on a journey of self-discovery but they are very near and dear to my heart.  And Golden is no exception, because I liked that she finally told her mom how she felt about the expectations placed on her.  I also liked Julianna’s story, and how well it matched Parker’s story.  We see her journal entries, which were really nice to see.  I do wish they were their own chapters, instead of mid-chapter, because I felt like they stood on their own really well.  Other than that…I loved how their stories intersected.

To Sum Up…

I just totally loved Golden, and Jessi Kirby is definitely one of my favorite authors!  While I wasn’t expecting the town mystery to be a decade earlier, I still liked the parallels between Parker’s story and Julianna’s story, and how Parker did something completely unexpected.  Golden gets 5 stars!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish. Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own Top Ten List based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Tuesday Header

Top Ten New-To-Me Authors I Read In 2013

This is going to be a tough one, because a lot of the authors I’ve read this year are not new to me!  Still, I read enough that picking 10 new favorite authors wasn’t too hard.  So here they are!

  1. Gayle Forman.  If I Stay and Where She Went are so freaking awesome, and I am definitely a fan!
  2. Gail Carriger.  I still need to finish her Parasol Protectorate series and I definitely need to read Curtsies and Conspiracies, but I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of her books!
  3. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  I love their Beautiful Creatures series, and I’m really looking forward to reading the BC spin-off.  And reading their individual books…
  4. Jennifer Echols.  Such A Rush was so amazing and I felt really connected to Leah.
  5. Michael Glasscock.  I’m really loving his Round Rock series, and I can’t wait to read the other two books in the series.
  6. Beth Revis.  I finally read Across The Universe this year, and I can’t wait to finish the series.
  7. Veronica Rossi.  So…my explanation for Beth Revis also works quite well for Veronica Rossi.
  8. Jason Hough.  Okay, so…I’m really impressed with Jason’s Dire Earth Cycle, and I’m not just saying this because I know him. I’m definitely looking forward to his upcoming books!
  9. Katherine Owen.  The entire time I was reading This Much Is True, I totally felt like I wasn’t emotionally stable enough to read it, but I found that I couldn’t help but want to know what happened next.  I have the feeling I’ll be completely heart-broken when I read her other books, but I don’t freaking care at this point.
  10. Abbi Glines.  Fallen Too Far was such a great read, and after going to a book signing she did with Jamie McGuire and Colleen Hoover, I’m even more of a fan!

Book Review: The Plague Forge

The Plague Forge CoverBook: The Plague Forge by Jason Hough

Published September 2013 by Del Rey|448 pages

Where I Got It: I got the paperback (signed!) from Mysterious Galaxy

Series: The Dire Earth Cycle #3

Genre: Adult Science Fiction

You can find The Plague Forge on goodreads|You can find Jason on goodreads,  facebooktwitter and his website

Goodreads Summary: After discovering the first key in the wreckage of a crashed Builder ship, Skyler Luiken and his crew follow the migrating aura towers in search of the four remaining relics. But time is running out: the team learn that the next Builder event will be the last, and one of the objects has already fallen into dangerous hands…Will the survivors finally reveal the Builders’ plan?

I’d like to start off this review by saying that I know Jason, so my review is probably a little biased…but I’ll try not to be!

I’ve really enjoyed this trilogy, and The Plague Forge was such a good ending for the series!  We finally learn what’s going on with the Builders, and we actually see an emissary from the Builders…who explains everything that’s being going on, and I wasn’t expecting it at all!  While everything is resolved (well, mostly), there’s also room to think about where things are going and how it will go, because the ending is slightly open-ended.  I’m actually curious about what earth is like a few (hundred) years after the end of the trilogy.  It’s a really satisfying ending, and there’s a lot of action!

Characters!  We see a different side of Blackfield, which was actually nice, because he kind of falls into a shade of gray for me.  And Grillo…I’m not even sure what to say about Grillo, who is not a cool guy. And Prumble really came through for everyone- as did a few of the other characters.  I really liked seeing the different perspectives, because there’s a lot going on, and I finished The Plague Forge feeling like I had a really clear picture of what was going on.

I want to go back to the Builders, because that was one of my favorite parts of the book!  There’s so much mystery and you can’t help but wonder what they want and what the ultimate plan is.  And everything we learn about them is very well-placed.  It’s not disappointing or lame or anything, and it’s actually super-believable for this world.  Because I really had no idea what to expect or where things were going, and I’m glad everything led to we learned about them.

The Plague Forge is easily my favorite book in the series.  For the reasons I’ve already talked about…and there’s just something about this book in particular, although I could not tell you what that is for the life of me.

To Sum Up…

I am so happy with how everything ended!  Things are pretty much resolved, but there is a part of it that also leaves the door open for future books set in this world.  The Plague Forge gets 5 stars.

ARC Book Review: Drawn

Drawn CoverBook: Drawn by Cecilia Gray

Expected Publication is December 15, 2013 by Gray Life, LLC|Expected Number Of Pages is 151

Where I Got It: from, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way.  Promise!

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary with a dash of paranormal

You can find Drawn on Goodreads & You can find Cecilia Gray on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: Take a journey into the gritty world of political espionage through the eyes – and lies – of one extraordinary girl. A wholly original tale of friendship and betrayal from the author of The Jane Austen Academy series….

Sasha has a secret – that she can make you spill your secret with nothing more than a question. Her strange gift makes her a burden to her foster family and a total freak of nature. Not that Sasha cares. Why should she when no one cares about her?

Then the CIA knocks on her door. They want to give Sasha a new identity and drop her into a foreign country to infiltrate a ring of zealous graffiti terrorists. They want to give Sasha something to care about.

To survive a world where no one is who they seem, Sasha needs to make people trust her. But when that trust blossoms into love, Sasha is forced to decide between duty and friendship, between her mind and her heart, and whether to tell the truth or keep her secrets.

Drawn…what to say about Drawn?  I really like the idea of a girl who has a voice that can make you spill your secrets.  It’s one interesting ability, and it’s a really interesting take on that ability.

She really is the perfect person to work for the FBI or the CIA.  I’ll admit that the FBI Sasha helping out the FBI since she was 12 to be a bit unbelievable…but at the same time, I was totally willing to overlook that, since it’s the set-up for the rest of the book.

I like the graphic novel part of the book and how each chapter was introduced by a panel from a graphic novel.  Given that Sasha likes to draw and is into comics, I thought it made Drawn interesting, even though there wasn’t a lot of emphasis on Sasha’s love of drawing.

I was expecting more mystery and espionage, and I was expecting a little more action than what we got in the book.  Still, I liked that she did make a friend or two.  I was also expecting something longer, and I think more time on her assignment with the CIA would have been nice, because there were times when I felt like the book was just going from one point to the next.

Sasha was an interesting character- mostly because of her ability, but also because her interest in art. I get why she’s not close to anyone, because her voice- understandably- makes people uncomfortable. But for the most part, I felt like I really didn’t get to know who Sasha is.  And there were times when I felt like I didn’t really care about Sasha.  I think part of that is that Drawn felt like the beginning of her story, and I’d be interested to see if there’s a sequel, just because Sasha’s story seemed unfinished.

Still, I really like that she’s pretty much a human lie detector and travels to Belgium for her assignment with the CIA.  Belgium isn’t a country you tend to see in YA, so it was a nice change.  And as much as I loved Belgium as a setting, it didn’t leave me with a memorable impression of the country.

Final Thoughts:

I did like Drawn, especially Sasha’s ability and the fact that it was set in Belgium, a country you don’t tend to see in YA books. unfortunately, it was hard to care about Sasha at times, and I was expecting more mystery and espionage than what we got in the book.  Drawn gets 3 stars.

Book Review: One Tiny Lie

One Tiny Lie CoverBook: One Tiny Lie by K.A. Tucker

Published June 2013 by Atria Books|Pages: 256

Where I Got It: Nook Store

Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #2

Genre: New Adult Romance/Contemporary

You Can Find One Tiny Lie on Goodreads|You can find K.A. Tucker on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: Livie has always been the stable one of the two Cleary sisters, handling her parents’ tragic death and Kacey’s self-destructive phase with strength and maturity. But underneath that exterior is a little girl hanging onto the last words her father ever spoke to her. “Make me proud,” he had said. She promised she would…and she’s done her best over the past seven years with every choice, with every word, with every action.

Livie walks into Princeton with a solid plan, and she’s dead set on delivering on it: Rock her classes, set herself up for medical school, and meet a good, respectable guy that she’s going to someday marry. What isn’t part of her plan are Jell-O shots, a lovable, party animal roommate she can’t say ‘no’ to, and Ashton, the gorgeous captain of the men’s rowing team. Definitely him. He’s an arrogant ass who makes Livie’s usually non-existent temper flare and everything she doesn’t want in a guy. Worse, he’s best friends and roommates with Connor, who happens to fits Livie’s criteria perfectly. So why does she keep thinking about Ashton?

As Livie finds herself facing mediocre grades, career aspirations she no longer thinks she can handle, and feelings for Ashton that she shouldn’t have, she’s forced to let go of her last promise to her father and, with it, the only identity that she knows.

This series is really growing on me!  The story that started in Ten Tiny Breaths continues with One Tiny Lie, but this novel focuses on Livie’s life at Princeton while also continuing some of the story lines from Ten Tiny Breaths.

I really loved Livie’s story, and seeing Livie on her own, away from the home she had in Miami.  She and Kacey have so many differences, and I really liked that One Tiny Lie focused on Livie and how car accident and the events of TTB affected her.  You got an inkling of it before, but there was something very different about an entire book focused on Livie’s story.

Livie is one who strives for perfection, and doesn’t want to let anyone down, and I can totally relate to that.  But along the way, Livie realizes that it’s okay to do what’s right for her, and that she wouldn’t be letting anyone down by not becoming a doctor or finishing her education at Princeton.

Livie does crack, and now that Kacey is okay, she’s getting some help from good, old Dr. Stayner.  Who actually sounds like he would be an awesome- but completely unconventional- psychiatrist.  And it’s nice that Livie has Dr. Stayner to challenge her perfection. Livie has her own demons, and that car accident that killed her parents affected her in a very different way.

And she and Ashton are so good together!  They have their issues, and Ashton has something being held over his head and his own issues to work through, but I think it’s why he and Livie are so cute together.  There are quite a few obstacles in their way, of course, but I liked their journey together.

My emotions were all over the place with One Tiny Lie, but in a totally good way.  I laughed and cried and smiled.  It’s not as emotional as Ten Tiny Breaths, but it’s still pretty emotional.

Final Thoughts:

I’m such a fan of K.A. Tucker now!  One Tiny Lie has cemented my love of her books, and I am so very looking forward to continuing this series!  I just love Livie’s story and she is such an easy character to relate to.  One Tiny Lie gets 5 stars.

Audio Book Review: Blameless

Blameless CoverBook: Blameless by Gail Carriger, Narrated by Emily Gray

Published March 2011 by Recorded Books|Run Time: 11 hours, 59 minutes

Where I Got It:

Series: Parasol Protectorate #3

Genre: Adult Paranormal/Steampunk/Fantasy

You can find Blameless on Goodreads|You can find Gail Carriger on TwitterFacebook and her website 

Goodreads Summary: Quitting her husband’s house and moving back in with her horrible family, Lady Maccon becomes the scandal of the London season.

Queen Victoria dismisses her from the Shadow Council, and the only person who can explain anything, Lord Akeldama, unexpectedly leaves town. To top it all off, Alexia is attacked by homicidal mechanical ladybugs, indicating, as only ladybugs can, the fact that all of London’s vampires are now very much interested in seeing Alexia quite thoroughly dead.

While Lord Maccon elects to get progressively more inebriated and Professor Lyall desperately tries to hold the Woolsey werewolf pack together, Alexia flees England for Italy in search of the mysterious Templars. Only they know enough about the preternatural to explain her increasingly inconvenient condition, but they may be worse than the vampires — and they’re armed with pesto.

BLAMELESS is the third book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

I am so enjoying this series!  I really liked Blameless, and things got interesting in this book!

Alexia being pregnant with Lord Maccon’s child is quite scandalous, as werewolves do not have the ability to have children…which means it would appear that the child is not Lord Maccon’s.  But Alexia and a select few know that she did nothing scandalous at all. But as most everyone believes differently, Alexia travels to Italy to find out the answers she is looking for.  Namely, how one can have a child with a werewolf.

Conall and Alexia are separated for almost the entire book, but I do like that we see Alexia’s adventures and Conall dealing with banishing Alexia from his home.  He did, in the end, realize he was acting like a complete idiot, and he and Alexia did make up by the end of the book.  She did, I suppose, forgive him a bit too easily, and the entire situation in France and Italy could have been (mostly) avoided had she insisted she didn’t do anything wrong and had he not acted like an idiot.  Still, given the times, I kind of understand why he had her leave.

So…Alexia’s unborn inconvenience.  I like that she and her friends were trying to figure out what happened, and what her child could be.  We do get an answer with the help of a German scientist, who kept referring to Alexia as his female specimen.  The way he said it was hilarious, but it did get a little trying by the end of the book.  Still, since her child is the result of someone who is soulless, and someone who is a werewolf, it’ll be interesting to see if Alexia is repelled by her child (if indeed her child is a preternatural) or if her child will take on other supernatural qualities that no one can foresee. Since it’s pretty rare and all.

There were quite a few times when I could not stop laughing!  Alexia is hysterical, and she is such an interesting character!  Not only is she funny but she is not one to mess with, because she’s smart and witty and pretty quick on her feet.  And I liked how she had the support of her friends while traveling through France and Italy, and that Conall saw the errors of his ways and came through for Alexia in the end.

Emily Gray is such a great narrator!  She does so well with the different accents, and she really does bring Alexia to life!  I can’t imagine anyone else narrating the series.

Final Thoughts:

I really enjoyed Blameless, and it was such a fun book to listen to!  It’s hard not to laugh at Alexia sometimes, but she’s a great character, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for her and Conall now that she’s pregnant.  I didn’t completely love Blameless, and I did miss Alexia and Conall together, but Blameless is still a great book!  Blameless gets 4 stars.

Book Review: Destiny

Destiny CoverBook: Destiny by P.T. Michelle

Published October 2013 by Limitless Ink Press|327 pages

Where I Got It: Nook Store

Series: Brightest Kind of Darkness #3

Genre: YA Paranormal

You can find Destiny on Goodreads|You can find P.T. Michelle on TwitterFacebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: When destiny is on the line, will love be enough to light the way?

In order to save Ethan, Nara gets pulled deeper into his dark world, where everything she thought she knew about Ethan and herself turns on its head. Ethan and Nara turn up the heat with bone-melting seduction and heart-rending moments, but surprising revelations, lies, treachery, betrayal, and unimaginable evil will challenge their relationship and their future together. As the stakes rise, encompassing more than just her relationship with Ethan, will Nara make the ultimate sacrifice?

I’m really liking this series!  Destiny was a really interesting read, and every book in this series reveals more about this world.  But as my questions get answered, I find that I have more questions about this world and what’s going on and what it all means!

So, we learn more about Corvus and the Order and that there’s a Master Corvus who only appears when needed.  And we learn why Nara was in so much danger in Lucid!  We finally learn what Ethan knows, but it definitely takes a while, as there are some…issues…that need to be taken care of first.

I definitely like Nara and Ethan working together, and they really are better and stronger as a team than they are when they’re on their own.  Actually, it’s nice to see people in it together, because I feel like that doesn’t happen too often.  But I’m glad things work out for Nara and Ethan.  At least, I’m glad that things work out in this book, because I have the feeling that things are going to get very interesting in the next book.

We also meet Nara’s dad, and I’m hoping we see more of him.  I feel like he’s going to have more of a role, but what that is, I’m not sure.  Well, I’m hoping he has more of a role, but that could be wishful thinking on my part.

And the ending!  I can’t believe I have to wait for the next book, because I really want to know what happens next.  There was definitely some yelling involved, because there is a bit of a cliffhanger.  An idea that seemed so simple in Brightest Kind Of Darkness is so much more involved than I ever imagined.  But in a totally good way, because there’s so much more to this world than I could have imagined was possible.  And I can’t wait to see what else is revealed about the world Nara and Ethan are living in, because I feel like there’s so much that will surprise me in the next one.

Final Thoughts:

I really like this series, and I’m always surprised with how interesting this world is!  I’m definitely looking forward to the next book to see what we learn, because questions get answered, and a ton more take its place.  Destiny gets 4 stars.

Audio Book Review: Changeless

Changeless CoverBook: Changeless by Gail Carriger, Narrated by Emily Gray

Published March 2011 by Recorded Books|Run Time: 10 hours, 33 minutes

Where I Got It:

Series: Parasol Protectorate #2

Genre: Adult Fantasy/Paranormal/Steampunk

You can find Changeless on Goodreads|You can find Gail Carriger on Twitter, Facebook and her website 

Goodreads Summary: Alexia Maccon, the Lady Woolsey, awakens in the wee hours of the mid-afternoon to find her husband, who should be decently asleep like any normal werewolf, yelling at the top of his lungs. Then he disappears; leaving her to deal with a regiment of supernatural soldiers encamped on her doorstep, a plethora of exorcised ghosts, and an angry Queen Victoria.

But Alexia is armed with her trusty parasol, the latest fashions, and an arsenal of biting civility. So even when her investigations take her to Scotland, the backwater of ugly waistcoats, she is prepared: upending werewolf pack dynamics as only the soulless can. She might even find time to track down her wayward husband, if she feels like it.

CHANGLESS is the second book of the Parasol Protectorate series: a comedy of manners set in Victorian London, full of werewolves, vampires, dirigibles, and tea-drinking.

I loved Changeless!  It was such a fun book to listen to, and I loved the adventures and trouble Alexia got herself into.

Alexia is absolutely hilarious, and I couldn’t help but laugh almost the entire book.  I can’t help but love Alexia.  Especially when she’s with Maccon.  I just love the two of them together!  Actually, I love Alexia with pretty much anyone.  Like her friendship with Ivy, or how she was with her sister or many of the other characters we meet throughout the book.  Because we meet quite a few new characters, and see quite a few old characters.  I did like the new characters, who made Alexia’s troubles really interesting.

So, in Changeless, we learn that there’s something that can neutralize vampires and werewolves.  Naturally, Alexia is unaffected, but also blamed.  At least, she is at first, because she’s soulless and can do that.  But not to the scale that happened in Changeless.  Everything gets sorted out, of course, and there are a few other interesting things that come up throughout the book.

Especially the part that happens in the last 10 minutes or so.  I’ll admit, I did figure it out right before it came up, and it will make Blameless a really interesting book to listen to.  I mean, Alexia’s not lying, and we know she’s not lying, but other people don’t believe her.  Like Lord Maccon, for one.  It makes me wonder if it’s somehow connected to the supernatural neutralization, or if there’s something else going on.  Because it involves Alexia and Lord Maccon, and so it’s not going to be normal.  Because nothing in their lives are normal.

Emily Gray is such a great narrator!  She really captures the essence of Alexia and who she is, and Alexia really comes to life because of her.  Whoever decided to go with her as the narrator did a great job in picking her.

Final Thoughts:

Changeless is such a great sequel to Soulles, and I loved it much more than Soulless.  I still like Soulless, but Changeless was really fun to listen to.  I can’t wait to see how the ending of this book gets sorted out in the next book.  Changeless gets 5 stars.

ARC Book Review: Elizabeth Of York

Elizabeth Of York CoverBook: Elizabeth Of York by Alison Weir

Expected Publication Is December 3, 2013 by Ballantine Books|Expected Number Of Pages: 536

Where I Got It:, which hasn’t influenced my review in any way.  Promise!

Series: None

Genre: Adult Non-Fiction- History- Tudor England

You can find Elizabeth Of York on goodreads|You can find Alison Weir at her website

Goodreads Summary: Many are familiar with the story of the much-married King Henry VIII of England and the celebrated reign of his daughter, Elizabeth I. But it is often forgotten that the life of the first Tudor queen, Elizabeth of York, Henry’s mother and Elizabeth’s grandmother, spanned one of England’s most dramatic and perilous periods. Now New York Times bestselling author and acclaimed historian Alison Weir presents the first modern biography of this extraordinary woman, whose very existence united the realm and ensured the survival of the Plantagenet bloodline.

Her birth was greeted with as much pomp and ceremony as that of a male heir. The first child of King Edward IV, Elizabeth enjoyed all the glittering trappings of royalty. But after the death of her father; the disappearance and probable murder of her brothers—the Princes in the Tower; and the usurpation of the throne by her calculating uncle Richard III, Elizabeth found her world turned upside-down: She and her siblings were declared bastards.

As Richard’s wife, Anne Neville, was dying, there were murmurs that the king sought to marry his niece Elizabeth, knowing that most people believed her to be England’s rightful queen. Weir addresses Elizabeth’s possible role in this and her covert support for Henry Tudor, the exiled pretender who defeated Richard at the Battle of Bosworth and was crowned Henry VII, first sovereign of the House of Tudor. Elizabeth’s subsequent marriage to Henry united the houses of York and Lancaster and signaled the end of the Wars of the Roses. For centuries historians have asserted that, as queen, she was kept under Henry’s firm grasp, but Weir shows that Elizabeth proved to be a model consort—pious and generous—who enjoyed the confidence of her husband, exerted a tangible and beneficial influence, and was revered by her son, the future King Henry VIII. 

Drawing from a rich trove of historical records, Weir gives a long overdue and much-deserved look at this unforgettable princess whose line descends to today’s British monarch—a woman who overcame tragedy and danger to become one of England’s most beloved consorts.

I’m super-fascinated by the Tudors, and I’m also a huge fan of Alison Weir, so I knew I had to read Elizabeth Of York.  I don’t know much about her, or the Wars Of The Roses, since I tend to read about Henry VIII and his wives and children.  It was great reading about Elizabeth, since I didn’t know a lot about her.

The first few chapters…they were a little hard to go through, mostly because I found it hard to keep up with all of the people and events Weir writes about.  It’s fairly easy to understand, but it’s a lot to take in, and I think I need to read the book a few more times with pen and paper to have a better grasp of everything.  It’s very readable, but my head swam with names and such.

One thing I thought was interesting was how Henry VII kind of needed her to make his role as king legitimate.  It’s not surprising, given there was a war over who should be king, but it’s still interesting that marrying someone like Elizabeth neutralized some claims to the throne.  Not completely, of course, and some of them must have taken their toll on her.

Another interesting thing was the possibility that Henry VIII named his daughter Elizabeth after his mother.  I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me before, but it does make sense.  I also thought that Henry would want to have a relationship like the one his parents had to be interesting.  It seems like Elizabeth and Henry VII had a really good relationship and marriage, so Henry had a relationship to look up to.  I don’t know why that surprises me, but it does.  Of course, trying to find someone like his mother wasn’t conclusive or anything, since having heirs was really important.

While I found the first chapters confusing, they were also really interesting.  I liked reading about her childhood, and you could easily focus in on that part of her life.  Having to live somewhere really secure because of living in uncertainty, and losing her 2 brothers and not knowing if they were dead or alive, and holding out hope…I do have a lot of sympathy for her.

A lot of the book, especially those early years, focus on what was going on around Elizabeth, since there isn’t a lot we know of that time in her life.  So I don’t mind that part of the book is more about the people around her, because it shows how she became the person she did, and why things went the way they did.

Final Thoughts:

Overall, Elizabeth Of York was very readable, and I liked learning more about her.  It was hard to keep track of what was going on at the beginning, but in the end, I learned a lot!  Elizabeth Of York gets 4 stars.

Book Review: Charade

Charade CoverBook: Charade by Cambria Hebert

Self-Published by Cambria Hebert|332 pages

Where I Got It: Nook Store

Series: Heven & Hell #2

Genre: YA Paranormal

You can find Charade on Goodreads|You can find Cambria Hebert on Twitter, Facebook and her website

Goodreads Summary: Dying at the hands of a psycho was a shock. Having my life returned to me by an angel was incredible.

Being named a Supernatural Treasure and being given Sam as my guard was pretty darn awesome. Acquiring a debt for it all—well, I should have seen it coming.

Now here we are, fighting demons from Hell, caring for a boy that I just don’t trust, and traveling to faraway places to return a treasure to its rightful place. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone wears a mask; everyone puts on a charade. It’s up to us to separate the truth from the lies and reality from fiction. A hard task when my new reality involves fallen angels, witches and dragons… and did I mention Hell?

Anchoring me down through it all is Sam. Sam, who must face tragedies of his own and is put to the test again and again.

If we fail in our task, life as we know it—life as you know it—will end. Forever.

There was so much I didn’t expect from Charade, but I really liked it!  Things are not what they seem, and it made Charade a really fun read!

Just when I thought I knew what was going on, Hebert would do something that would completely take me off guard and remind me that I really have no clue what is going on.  There were definitely a few parts I should have seen coming, and while there times when something was off, I could never quite figure out why…because my theories tended to be smashed to bits.  There was so much mystery, and I loved that I didn’t quite know what was going on.

Trouble abounds for Sam and Heven, and that trouble comes in several different ways, none of which I want to reveal, because that will definitely be giving something away!  They do go to Rome to put the map in its rightful place, and of course, things go terribly, terribly wrong.  So I’m hoping things will go back to normal in the next book.  Because I don’t think I’ll be happy if they don’t.

I really liked seeing Sam and Heven narrate the book, and they often took turns narrating in the same chapter.  It worked really well, and they both had their own voice and their own stories, and it was nice to see what things were like for the two of them. I do wish they got to spend a little more time in Rome, because that part of the book went really fast!

I really like Heven, and already, Heven’s changed quite a bit!  I really liked her in this book, and I just love her grandma.  I’m still not a fan of her mom or Kimber, which is still kind of warranted in this book.  I’m actually neutral about Sam, but I did like how he was protective of Heven and how he wanted to take care of his brother Logan.  Logan, by the way, was really annoying throughout the book…but I totally understand why he was acting like a brat for pretty much the entire book.

Final Thoughts:

I really liked Charade, and how nothing is what it seems!  Just when I thought I had everything figured out, I was proven so wrong, and I liked that I was kept guessing.  I can’t wait to see what happens next.  Charade gets 4 stars.