Review: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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V I C I O U S

Author: V.E. Schwab

Genre: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Adult, Paranormal

Published: Sept. 24, 2013 by Tor

RATING: 5 stars (★★★★★)

Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?


 

MY REVIEW:

OK… Deep breaths, Jay, deep breaths.  Continue reading

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Cover Reveal: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

Hello, Lovelies!

With gorgeous description and detailed rendering of a world where not everything and everyone are what they seem, Rebecca Ross weaves an intricate tale of revenge, loyalty, and, ultimately, self-discovery. Don’t miss the beautiful cover for Rebecca Ross’s debut young adult fantasy, THE QUEEN’S RISING, and pre-order your copy today!

 

THE QUEEN’S RISING Synopsis:

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Add it to your Goodreads Now!

 

THE QUEEN’S RISING Pre-Order Links:

Amazon | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | HarperCollins

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rebecca Ross Bio:

Rebecca Ross received her Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia. In the past, she has worked at a Colorado dude ranch, as a school librarian, and as a live-time captionist for a college. She resides in Northeast Georgia with her husband and her dog. THE QUEEN’S RISING is her debut novel. Visit her on the web at www.rebeccarossauthor.com or on Twitter @_RebeccaRoss.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Instagram

 

 

Blog Tour: Post-High School Reality Quest by Meg Eden

Post-High School Reality Quest

by Meg Eden
Publisher: Rare Bird Books
Release Date: June 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult

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Synopsis:
Buffy is playing a game. However, the game is her life, and there are no instructions or cheat codes on how to win.

After graduating high school, a voice called “ the text parser” emerges in Buffy’s head, narrating her life as a classic text adventure game. Buffy figures this isjust a manifestation of her shy, awkward, nerdy nature—until the voice doesn’t go away, and instead begins to dominate her thoughts, telling her how to life her life. Though Buffy tries tobeat the game, crash it, and even restart it, it becomes clear that this game is not something she can simply “ shut off” or beat without the text parser’s help.

While the text parser tries to give Buffy advice on how “ towinthe game,” Buffy decides to pursue her own game-plan: start over, make new friends, and win her long-time crush Tristan’s heart. But even when Buffy gets the guy ofher dreams, the game doesn’t stop. In fact, it gets worse than she could’ve ever imagined: her crumbling group offriends fall apart, her roommate turns against her, and Buffy finds herself trying to survive in a game built off her greatest nightmares.

Continue reading

Blog Collaboration Day 3: An Interview With The Narrator of Caraval – Rebecca Soler

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Hello, Lovelies! We are down to the last day of my collaboration post with When Curiosity Killed The Cat. Today, I’m featuring an interview with the narrator who brilliantly performed Caraval. Please welcome Rebecca Soler!

She was kind enough to grant me an interview and answer a few questions about her experience narrating Caraval. I wish I’d gotten to ask her more personal questions but I think I’ll save those later for when I listen to her other works like Heartless and The Lunar Chronicles! 😉


 

1.What’s your favorite thing about Caraval?

The game. Stephanie Garber did such an incredible job of describing the world of Caraval and the danger of the game, that I was voraciously flipping pages to see more.

*~*~*~*

2. What inspired you for the voices of each character?

With any narration project, I try to write down all the descriptive words or phrases that an author uses to describe each character. That lets me build a foundation of who they are, their personalities, how energetic they are, how shy, what their pacing would be, any accent, what their motivations are etc. Then I attempt to make them sound like I imagine them to be. Sometimes they remind me of someone I know or someone I’ve “heard” (aka a character in a movie etc) and I emulate that voice. For Julian I was channeling my dad’s accent.

*~*~*~*

3. If you were the one inside the book, would you rather be a player or the audience?

A player! But the whole time I’d be scared out of my mind.

*~*~*~*

4. Pick anyone (can be fictional or real life) you would like to take along to the game.

Ooh awesome question. After over thinking this, I am scrapping all other ideas and going with the first gut thought that popped in my head: Hermione Granger. That girl is smart and can solve a puzzle. Plus, she has magic so Master Legend wouldn’t be the only one with an unfair advantage. Second runner up: Julie Andrews, because who wouldn’t want to spend 3 days with her? (Provided I could guarantee her safety).

*~*~*~*

5. When you were recording Caraval, did anything interesting or notable happen?

Actually, I had to rerecord every single time I said the world Caraval in the book. (Yes there were HUNDREDS of times I said that in the book). The publishers and I originally thought it would be pronounced more like the Spanish word for face (Cara). Especially since there are numerous Spanish words sprinkled throughout the novel. And after hearing the way that Stephanie referred to it, we re-recorded and did a more American vowel pronunciation. I always worry that will hurt the flow when you cut in words like that, but those wizards at Macmillan are amazing. It sounded great.

*~*~*~*

6. Who was your favorite character from the book?

Master Legend. The first time you hear his voice when he finally responds to Scarlett’s letters, is chilling. Most of the book, he is only talked about. People describe him as dangerous, possibly evil, possibly a misunderstood person. Then the cliff hanger at the end makes you crave more one on one time with him.

*~*~*~*

7. Which part of the narration did you struggle most with?

The re-recording of the word Caraval 😉

*~*~*~*

8. Tell us a bit about the projects you’re currently working on.

Right now, I am working on 2 animated series. One for Nickelodeon called Nella the Princess Night. I play the queen mom and 5 other characters. The second series is top secret project for PBS based on a beloved children’s book. So exciting. I also have been partnering with Bella Forest on her Gender Game series (super fun) and next week I record book 6. So, I am gratefully super busy.

*~*~*~*

9. Why should people read/listen to Caraval?

The world that Stephanie has created is magical, dangerous, suspenseful, dark and beautiful. Word of warning, don’t start it unless you have the time to finish it in that one sitting. You will get sucked in. It’s that good.

 


 

Find Rebecca Soler on any of the ff. sites:

Goodreads | Twitter |  IMDb | Website

 

ABOUT THE AUDIOBOOK

Caraval Audiobook

 

Caraval

 

 


Thank you for being here with us, Rebecca. And to you lovely readers, thank you for tuning in! I hope you enjoyed our segments and pls don’t forget to visit When Curiosity Killed The Cat‘s post for today. You MUST see it: the aesthetics she made – they’re a real treat for the eyes. 😉

 

Laters, everyone!

Blog Collaboration Day 1: Caraval Audiobook Review

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HEY, EVERYONE!

Today let me introduce to you a 3-day collaboration post with my best friend, Bea @WhenCuriosityKilledTheCat.

You might be wondering why we’re doing this out of the blue, but we’ve both agreed that we need to break from our normal routine and post something other than pure reviews. We’ve planned on doing this earlier, but because of personal matters and other holdups, we kept pushing back our schedule. But now, finally, we can get this out of our systems.

(Note: We’re just using this alliance to share our fangirling over Caraval. XD)

For now, we’ll start with giving our own respective reviews of Caraval. I’ll share my thoughts about its audiobook while Bea gives hers on the paperback version. Visit her at When Curiosity Killed The Cat to know what she thinks!

***

ALRIGHT…

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CARAVAL

Author: Stephanie Garber

Narrated by: Rebecca Soler

Format: audiobook

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Published: Jan. 31, 2017 by Flatiron Books

RATING: 5 stars (★★★★★)

Synopsis: 

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

 

Listen to an excerpt here.

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***

 

Story-wise, Caraval has to be one of the most compelling plots I’ve ever come across. I was thrilled in a way I’ve never been, and to think I am not much of a fan of circuses and carnivals, this is really saying something indeed. Not only is it just a magical game, it’s an elaborate performance as well. My feelings got so easily tangled with its twists and turns. It feels as if I was being driven mad along with the main character Scarlett.

Aside from the game, it was also fun trying to figure out the other characters, especially Julian. He makes you suspicious one moment and trusting the next. Back and forth it goes, until you can no longer decide which is real and which isn’t. Same goes for the rest. Tella surprised me the most, but it was ultimately Legend who had me wondering most of the time. I waited for his appearance to come, and when it did, I was both disappointed and not. (You’ll know what I mean when you read the story.) And Scarlett – I love how far she would go for her sister. But sometimes she drives me nuts with the marriage thing and her obsession with finding her sister. I wanted her to have fun and be more adventurous. But from her point of view, I can totally understand how this may be a little difficult. Anyway, the whole cast of characters were fantastic and memorable. I love how Garber made each one of them shine – even the minor ones.

I also like the world Garber crafted for Caraval. Enchanting, magical, bizarre, whimsical and so utterly full of random surprises – it was a world that was so dizzyingly easy to lose yourself in. The descriptions were incredible to the point I can almost visualize them vividly. That’s how good Garber’s writing was.

And combine all that with Soler’s narration – you have got a masterpiece.

To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting Caraval to live up to its hype. I even tried to stay away from it like it’s a plague. Then one day, out of nowhere, I just decided to open its audiobook version and started listening. Ten seconds into the audiobook, I knew I had a winner.

I think what really gripped me first was the childhood, dream-like quality in Soler’s voice when she was emulating Scarlett, writing her first letters to Legend. That was the only trigger I needed to keep going. I was truly amazed and enthralled by Soler’s performance. There were times when her accents slip, but then she blows me away with her soulful delivery.

She made an already compelling story even more compelling; she captured the essence of each character and gave them the most suitable voice; she just —- she simply brought to life the magic of this story. As a listener, I couldn’t have asked for more.

If it weren’t for the audiobook, I never would’ve guessed how great Caraval is. Until now, even after weeks of finishing it, it still excites me to hear about anything Caraval-related. This book really made me want to grab a copy of the real thing. And to those of you who’ve already read Caraval, I urge you to listen to the audiobook as well if you want an amplified experience. 🙂

 

P.S. If you read and loved Caraval, you might also wanna try A Crown of Wishes by Rokshani Chokshi. It’s the sequel to The Star-Touched Queen but can still definitely pass as a standalone. It has a somewhat similar plot to Caraval. They both have a pair of characters participating in a magical game wherein the winner gets one impossible wish as a prize. But before you get any doubts, I assure you – these two books are totally unique and set apart from each other. If you still doubt me, you can go ahead and read both books and see for yourself. 😉

 

Thanks for reading this post, lovelies! We’ll be back tomorrow. 😉

 

ARC Review: On The Spectrum by Jennifer Gold

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ON THE SPECTRUM

Author: Jennifer Gold

Release Date: September 12, 2017 (my birthday!!)

Publisher: Second Story Press

Date Started/Finished: June 6-7, 2017

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Mental Health

Format: eARC

Source: Netgalley

RATING: 5 stars (⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐)

SYNOPSIS: (Goodreads)

Growing up in the shadow of a famous mother, Clara has never felt good about her body. Now, at sixteen, she has an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. After a social media disaster, she decides to escape for the summer to Paris to stay with her estranged dad and her six-year-old brother, Alastair, who is on the autism spectrum. Charged with his care, Clara and Alastair set out to explore the city. Paris teaches Clara about first love and gives her a new love of food. And Alastair teaches Clara about patience, trust and the beauty of loving without judgment. Continue reading

Blog Tour: The Unlikelies by Carrie Firestone

The Unlikelies

by Carrie Firestone

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

Release Date: June 6th 2017

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

RATING: 3 stars (⭐⭐⭐)

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Synopsis:
Five teens embark on a summer of vigilante good samaritanism in a novel that’s part The Breakfast Club, part The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, and utterly captivating.
Rising high school senior Sadie is bracing herself for a long, lonely, and boring summer. But things take an unexpected turn when she steps in to help rescue a baby in distress and a video of her good deed goes viral.
Suddenly internet-famous, Sadie’s summer changes for the better when she’s introduced to other “hometown heroes.” These five very different teens form an unlikely alliance to secretly right local wrongs, but when they try to help a heroin-using friend, they get in over their heads and discover that there might be truth in the saying “no good deed goes unpunished.” Can Sadie and her new friends make it through the summer with their friendships–and anonymity–intact?
This rich and thought-provoking novel takes on timely issues and timeless experiences with a winning combination of romance, humor, and wisdom.

Continue reading