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My thoughts on what I've been reading!

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July 2015

Book Review: Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty-5 Stars

Goodreads Summary 

Serafina and the Black Cloak is a middle grade fantasy novel set at the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC during the time that the Vanderbilts lived there. Serafina and her Pa secretly live in the basement of the Biltmore, as her Pa is the maintenance man. Serafina is a little different than most kids her age. She roams the halls of the Biltmore at night, catching rats and peeking on the guests during their parties and dinners, envisioning herself as one of them, or being friends with some of them. She has never known her mom, she is missing a toe on each foot, she’s super tiny, and she has really unique golden amber eyes. One night while roaming, she sees a creepy man in a black cloak take a girl who was staying at the estate.

Children continue to go missing, and Serafina strikes up a friendship with Braeden, the Vanderbilt’s nephew. Serafina can’t imagine what/who this person is in the black cloak, and is determined to find out and save the other children and protect herself. There were kind of two mysteries going on in the book-the black cloak, of course, and Serafina trying to figure out what she really is. Her friendship with Braeden was so sweet and genuine and just shows how two children from different social worlds, who look different, can see through to the heart of each other and become friends.

Even though this is marketed as a middle grades novel I didn’t find it to be too juvenile. I could not put it down! It was the perfect mix of suspense, horror, friendship, and magic! All of the main and supporting characters were perfectly developed and described to aid in the flow of the storyline. The climax of the novel surprised me, so kudos to Beatty, because I had not figured out the mystery of the black cloak nor Serafina’s heritage until it unraveled in the forest!

I may be biased since I’m from the area and I love going to Biltmore, but I highly recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley-thank you!!

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Book Review: The D.U.F.F. by Kody Keplinger- 4.5 Stars

Goodreads

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley; thank you!

I loved this book. Biana is your typical teen. She’s relatable, she has problems, she’s not a fake “teen” in some YA books that you are left seriously wondering what teen the author based them off of. Also, how awesome that the author wrote The DUFF when she was like, 17?!

At first I was appalled- that Wesley kept calling Biana Duffy to her face, and, even though it bothered her, she didn’t say anything. I’ve only been out of highschool for 8 years, but I can remember how much it sucked. Sure yeah I had my friends and I liked learning, but depending on where you’re at and who you’re with, everyone at one point is the DUFF. The lesser pretty, lesser cool person in that crowd at that moment. The DUFF portrayed high school perfectly. The ending was great, and it’s a relief to read something so real and to the heart even if it hurts sometimes, because you know there’s better days ahead, and you can’t label 1 person in particular a whore, a DUFF, etc. simply because we all have secrets and screw ups. EVERYONE has insecurities, some people are just better at covering them up than others.

Book Review: Ensnared (Splintered #) by A. G. Howard- 5 Stars

Goodreads Summary 

Yes yes yes yes YESSSSSS.

I’ve come across mixed reviews for how people felt about this conclusion to the Splintered trilogy. I personally LOVED it.

The trilogy centers around Alyssa and her parents, as well as her boyfriend Jeb, torn between their human world and Morpheus in Wonderland. I LOVE the dark, edgy, twisty take on Alice in Wonderland. Sometimes going into the final book of trilogies I’m a little apprehensive and don’t want to be let down. Not with Ensnared! It was the perfect mix of insanity, magic, romance, and fantasy. The final book Alyssa is trying to right all that is wrong, to repair relationships, and to save Wonderland. Alyssa is a great strong female MC who will go to any length to save those she loves. She knows her destiny is part Wonderland queen and part earthly human, and doesn’t want to let either part of her soul down. The world that the author creates is so magical, and I get pulled in like I’m seriously there.

I got all I wanted from the final book, and I can’t wait for Untamed, a collection of 3 novellas to come out in the winter, that gives more insight into the world of Wonderland and it’s characters!

 

“We will wreak such beautiful havoc together.”
TEAM MORPHEUS! 😉

Book Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins-4 Stars

Goodreads Summary

While I didn’t love this one as much as Anna and the French Kiss, it was still wonderful! The only flaw (in my opinion) is that Lola wasn’t extremely relatable. She was always designing new, outrageous outfits and wearing wigs. I just couldn’t relate to her character like I could with Anna. Anyway, I still liked her. Lola had a crush on Cricket Bell until something happened, and then his family ended up moving away and Lola thought she could finally forget him, until Cricket moves back in next door. Lola is in a relationship with an older bad boy, Max, whom her fathers HATE. Basically, this is one of those stories where there are lots of misunderstandings, scheming siblings, and stupid MC’s who are totally in love and if they would friggin’ talk to each other, they’d figure things out!!! It’s a really cute story that was fun and swoon-worthy. Especially when Lola says “And if I’m the stars, Cricket Bell is entire galaxies.” It’s a story of second chances, young love, and finding who you are. I can’t wait to read Isla and the Happily Ever After next!

Book Review: Burning Kingdoms (Internment Chronicles book 2) by Lauren DeStefano-3 Stars

Goodreads

I read the first book in this series, Perfect Ruin, last August and I loved it! It’s a great otherwordly, dystopian, romance packed fantasy! So needless to say, I had high hopes for book two. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it as much as the first one. You can read my review on the first book here. The Internment Chronicles tells the story of another city floating in the sky.

I felt like there was just too much random stuff thrown in and it took away from the main goal of the story, figuring out how, if possible, to get back to Internment.  Morgan and various others have escaped the floating city in their flying machine. The new world they find could have easily been described and discovered in less than 100 pages, but it kept on and on.  I was expecting more intrigue and excitement that she and her friends uncovered on the ground but I was left with a plot that kept spinning in circles. The world building at times was exciting, and it is almost like  the 1920’s mixed with the far future?!

I absolutely detested Pen in this book. I get that she was uprooted from her home, but so was everyone else! She really got on my nerves. At first I was also getting annoyed with Celeste, but I grew to like her and appreciate she and Morgan’s friendship towards the end of the book. I fell more in love with Basil than I did in book one, but then Judah has to throw a kink in things…While the plot did jump around and annoy me, there were certain revelations and secrets that were revealed that I can’t wait to see elaborated on in book three. I just wish there would have been more conclusions because it ended with a cliffhanger and the plot didn’t progress in a practical way. That said, I do still want to read the conclusion, obviously, so I can figure out what the heck happens!

*Sidenote* The new covers are hideous. -_-

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