21 July 2017

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines REVIEW

 Image result for girl in the arena lise haines


During the week, Lyn lives in a big house in Cambridge and hangs out with friends in Harvard Square. But over the weekend, she cheers her father on as he gears up for neo-gladiator competition--a high profile televised blood sport that rivals the NFL. Lyn's father is the top player in the league, and the paparazzi that have always swarmed him have started to dog Lyn's every move. All this fame comes with another price--Lyn's family lives with the constant presence of violence, uncertainty, and a strict cultural code set by the Gladiator Sports Association. When a skilled young fighter slays Lyn's father, the GSA imposes an unthinkable sentence--Lyn must marry her father's murderer. Though her mother has made a career out of marrying into Glad culture, Lyn is prepared to do whatever it takes to claim her independence. Even if it means going into the arena herself . . .

My Thoughts:

This book was very different than other books I've read, and a lot different than I thought it would be. Lyn is actually for nonviolence, and doesn't care much for Glad society/culture. And her brother, Thad, is special needs, and can also tell the future, as he predicted their father's death a year before it happened. Lyn is determined not to marry her father's murderer, and to take care of her family herself, even after her mother commits suicide.
There's no action until the end, and that's when Lyn starts to fight the murderer instead of marrying him. And despite telling a family friend NOT to bring Thad to the fight, they do, and he gets injured trying to get to Lyn. That's about when the book stops, and the conflict/fight was supposed to carry on another time, but as far as I know, there's no sequel.
Yes, the author doesn't use quotation marks, which is a bit confusing, but not too confusing to make me stop reading. The Glad rules are kind of stupid and unnecessary, but I guess that's what happens with a society like this. The only problem I have with this book was the lack of successful end of conflict, and a few things that could have been explained more.

My Rating: 5 stars

18 July 2017

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White REVIEW


Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins who helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets--instead they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary is beginning to question whether she can continue in this life when she's offered the challenge of a lifetime--determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. After all how does one steal a family's history, their very name?
As Europe moves ever closer to World War I, rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can't help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the crown--so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstep pretending to be a well-credentialed historian, Peter believes she's the right person to help him dig through his family's past.
When danger and suspicion continue to mount, both realize they're in a race against time to discover the truth--about Peter's past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.

My Thoughts:

First, I'd like to correct the summary: Rosemary pretends to be a librarian, not a historian.
Next, I'd like to say how hard it was to put this book down: very hard.
At the beginning the story is interesting but then for a bit was boring; however it got very exciting later on.
What's funny is that Rosemary is there to prove him guilty of being loyal to Germany but actually ends up proving him innocent. And falling in love with him. And also marrying him.
Peter is trying very hard to hide the fact that he writes novels under a pen name because a lot of people hate him because they think he's guilty.
I will definitely look into reading more of this series when the next books come out.

My Rating: 5 stars

**I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for review. Thank you!**

05 July 2017

Dove Alight by Karen Bao REVIEW

**sequel to Dove Arising and Dove Exiled**

Shy, introverted Phaet Theta has gone from being a top student to an interplanetary fugitive to the reluctant but fierce leader of a revolution. With the Earthbound on their side, she and her friends finally have a chance at toppling the evil leaders who've held the people of the Moon hostage for decades. But as the death tolls rise, the cost of war weighs heavily on Phaet, even as she's forced to lead her siblings and Wes, the love of her life, into unimaginable danger.
Phaet began this war because she lost a person she loved. Will she have to lose another to end it?

My Thoughts:

The answer to the last question is yes, she loses Wes. I'm not even totally sure why he had to stay behind, but even though I had a feeling it would happen, I still cried at that part. Also, she ends up marrying the friend who had feelings for her from the beginning--another thing I saw coming.
Other than those things, I loved this book a lot, and I really hope the author continues to write more books not related to this series, since this is the last book.
I saw someone else's review on this and they said it was "the hunger games but in space" and I got really annoyed. Sure, there are a few small similarities, but there are tons more differences than similarities. Other than the fact that there's a corrupt government and a revolution, there's not really any more similarities, big or small.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

29 June 2017

The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks REVIEW


 Night Angel Trilogy: Book One

For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art--and he is the city's most accomplished artist.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he's grown up in the slums and learned to judge people quickly--and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.
But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins' world of dangerous politics and strange magics--and cultivate a flair for death.

My Thoughts:

I honestly don't know where to start with this. The book was interesting, but the way it was written was a little confusing. For example, it would randomly switch from one character's part to a different character's part with zero warnings.
Secondly, some characters, such as Elene, should have had more parts in the book, considering her apparent impact in Azoth/Kylar's life. This would also make certain parts less confusing.
And thirdly, some groups of people/animals/objects were mentioned either once or frequently, but were never properly explained, if they were explained at all. If for example if the ka'kari was explained further, the reader would have more of an idea of why its impact on some of the characters' decisions were heavy.
In conclusion, I still don't know what I think of it. At first it was pretty boring, then it got better, and then it got quite a bit confusing. However, the story was good enough that I will consider reading the other two books in this series.

My Rating: 2.5 stars


25 June 2017

Gauntlet by Holly Jennings REVIEW

**Sequel to Arena**

There's a new game in town: a brutal, winner-takes-all international video game tournament showcasing the world's most elite players and promising fame, prestige, and unbelievable fortune. But there's a catch. The game uses new VR pods guaranteed to push digital warriors to their physical and psychological brink--adapting every time a player makes a move.
As the first female captain and youngest team owner in the Virtual Gaming League's history, Kali is used to defying the odds. But when the all-star-tournament heats up, her determination starts to waver and the pressure of media, sponsors, and the game itself begin to put cracks in her hard-set convictions--and strain her relationship with the one person who matters most.
If Kali and her teammates are to survive, they'll have to find a way to be stronger than ever before. But battling the system may prove too difficult for even the most hardened of fighters . . .

My Thoughts:

At the beginning, it was kind of confusing. Like, things happened in between books that are mentioned but not really explained? Which made the book kind of hard to follow?
The book was well written and interesting though. The new game's system and the pressure of media and sponsors make it even better. Not to mention someone in charge is trying to get them out of the game and ruin their reputation because they revealed the hardships of gamers to the public.
The thing is though, the end was very much a cliffhanger. There'd better be another book, because how are they going to get back to their life, if gaming is their life?

My Rating: 3.5 stars