Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Book Review: The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker

Author: Virginia Boecker
Series: The Witch Hunter #1
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: June 4th 2015
My Rating: 5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
The magic and suspense of Graceling meet the political intrigue and unrest of Game of Thrones in this riveting fantasy debut.

Your greatest enemy isn't what you fight, but what you fear.

Elizabeth Grey is one of the king's best witch hunters, devoted to rooting out witchcraft and doling out justice. But when she's accused of being a witch herself, Elizabeth is arrested and sentenced to burn at the stake.

Salvation comes from a man she thought was her enemy. Nicholas Perevil, the most powerful and dangerous wizard in the kingdom, offers her a deal: he will save her from execution if she can break the deadly curse that's been laid upon him.

But Nicholas and his followers know nothing of Elizabeth's witch hunting past--if they find out, the stake will be the least of her worries. And as she's thrust into the magical world of witches, ghosts, pirates, and one all-too-handsome healer, Elizabeth is forced to redefine her ideas of right and wrong, of friends and enemies, and of love and hate.

Virginia Boecker weaves a riveting tale of magic, betrayal, and sacrifice in this unforgettable fantasy debut.

*Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this novel from Netgalley and Orchard Books in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book so much! I want to thank Meredith from Pandora's Books for recommending it to me.

I usually have a hard time reading about witches, probably because of my love for one very famous wizard and his friends. But I am so, so happy I was told to give this book a try. It was a very interesting story, but what I loved even more than the story were the characters.

I loved Elizabeth. She was fun to read about. There's a moment in the book where she's being completely honest with herself about why she chose to be a witch hunter and I loved that moment. I also liked the fact that she admitted to herself what was right and wrong, that she had the ability to say  "yes, this is bad". I also felt sorry for her at some point, especially when I found out her backstory. She was obviously in search of a family and I'm so happy that eventually she finds it.

Caleb pissed me off. I can't say I liked him all that much in the beginning of the book, but by the end of it I wanted to physically hurt him. How could he be so blind to what was going on with Elizabeth and how she was feeling? UGH! A lot of other things made me angry at him, but they're too spoilery for me to talk about. I'll just say this: he needed to be in a lot of pain.

I adored some of the secondary characters that Elizabeth met at Nicholas' house. Some of them were so, so hilarious. I can't wait for the next book, to read more about them. Peter was hilarious. I'm just sorry there weren't more scenes with him.

The story was good. I enjoyed the descriptions a lot. And some of the scenes, especially with the punishments handed out to those accused of witchcraft were so well written. I also enjoyed some of the descriptions. So vivid, so colorful. At some point, some events were predictable. It was obvious that some of those things were going to happen, but either way, I enjoyed the way they were put together and how they were told. Some things that happened, however, were unexpected to me. I thought for sure the villain was a different character. It makes sense that it's who it turned out to be, but for me it was shocking.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I cannot wait for the sequel to come out and see how the story ends. Or how it continues, in case there are going to be more books besides the second one.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Obsessed With Covers #22: Into the Dim, Burning Glass & Reign of Shadows

Y'all know how much I love a pretty cover. I think about...40% of the books that end up on my shelves (be they physical or digital) do so because of the covers. Call me shallow but you have to admit that a pretty, shiny cover will catch your eye faster than a dull, boring one. Two, simple rules that I'll follow:

  • 1, 2 or 3 (no more than 3, though) covers per week;
  • books should be new-ish; no more than 2 years old.
Oh, before I share the covers that made me drool or want to stare at them for hours and hours, I have to say something. This is a semi-original idea. Why semi? Because almost every book blogger has something similar. The only thing I came up with was the title. If by any chance there's another blogger with a similar feature with the same title, I assure you I'm not stealing your idea. I'm just THAT bad with titles. Believe me, I'd love to be smarter and have a witty name for this feature, but I don't. So, no copyright infringement/theft/steal or anything of the sort was desired. All I can say is sorry :P


So, here are the prettiest covers I've seen this week.

 I discovered this book during last night's Fledgling Authors Twitter chat. I can't help but love this cover! The first thing that I noticed is the snow! *excited monkey* I love snow! And thunders. There's are thunders. And the girl. Am I the only one who sees Bonnie Wright in this photo? Doesn't she look EXACTLY like her?

I also love the infinity symbol used in the title. Oh, and let's not forget about her cape. I love that color! Dark green. It looks almost like emeralds. I love emeralds. Basically I love this cover and it needs to be in my shelf.

Into The Dim - Janet B. Taylor

Is that an amethyst I see? *heart eyes* There's something hauntingly beautiful about this cover. Aside from the amethyst. It's the ashes beneath the jewel, the dust coming out of the necklace. The sparks behind it, that somehow look like fiery stars. And nothing else. It's the fact that in the picture the only thing visible is the lone piece of jewelry that I like most.

Burning Glass - Kathryn Purdie

I don't think I'll ever get tired of covers such as this one. The font used for the title is gorgeous. And the covers are so beautiful. However colorful the cover might be, it gives me the impression of a scary story. Or a scary scene. I look at this and I can imagine one of those panic-inducing instrumental songs movies use to increase the feeling of danger. I really want to see the cover in real life.

Reign of Shadows - Sophie Jordan

Friday, June 26, 2015

Book Review: Lying Out Loud by Kody Keplinger

Author: Kody Keplinger
Series: The DUFF Companion
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Release Date: April 28th 2015
My Rating: 4 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Kody Keplinger returns to the world of The DUFF in this brand-new companion novel!

Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.

Amy Rush might be the only person Sonny shares everything with— secrets, clothes, even a nemesis named Ryder Cross.

Ryder's the new kid at Hamilton High and everything Sonny and Amy can't stand—a prep-school snob. But Ryder has a weakness: Amy. So when Ryder emails Amy asking her out, the friends see it as a prank opportunity not to be missed.

But without meaning to, Sonny ends up talking to Ryder all night online. And to her horror, she realizes that she might actually like him. Only there's one small catch: he thinks he's been talking to Amy. So Sonny comes up with an elaborate scheme to help Ryder realize that she's the girl he's really wanted all along. Can Sonny lie her way to the truth, or will all her lies end up costing her both Ryder and Amy?

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and Hodder's Children Books in exchange for an honest review.

I was ecstatic when I found out that Kody Keplinger was going to write another book set in the world of The DUFF. I absolutely loved that book and I wanted nothing more than spend more time with those characters.

What I like about Keplinger's books is that they always deal with important issues, no matter the age of the characters. Lying Out Loud, in my opinion, was about real friendships and lies. As Sonny found out, lies are so easy to tell. Sometimes they get discovered soon, sometimes they don't. But they are awfully easy to tell. And they ruin relationships. And it was also about true friendship, the one you can have with very few people in your life, the kind that will make the other person feel like a sibling. And how easy it is to lose it.

It was easy for me to relate with Sonny, mainly because I could see through her lies and figure out that they were about her trying to protect herself. Against what, I didn't know. However, at some point, I started wishing she'd get better at telling the truth. The lies eventually started to bother me a little.

I loved Amy. I really want a book from her POV, because she's a great character. I liked that she found it in herself to have a real talk with Sonny and tell her everything that was bothering her. Basically, she stood up for herself. I kept wondering, however, if she didn't have a crush on Ryder. I don't know why that seemed like what she was going through. Of course, she later explains in a conversation with Sonny why she was acting the way she did and I realized she was just scared of losing her best friend.

Ryder was such a hard character to like. He had no in-between, he was either hating something or someone, or loving them. That bothered me a little. Also, he could be a bit of a jerk. He hated everything small town for no good reason and he kept having that "I'm better than you" air about him. Maybe that too was a defense mechanism. Because I only got to meet him through Sonny's eyes, I can't be certain about that. But who knows, maybe there were other things that made him act the way he did.

What I loved was that every character from previous books make an appearance in this one. And I love it when seemingly unrelated books share some common link.

I keep hoping that Amy will get her own book, because she needs to be braver than she is right now. I thought she did a good job of defending herself and demanding the respect she deserved, but she still needs more. She needs to have that same courage with strangers in my opinion.

Anyway, I very much enjoyed this new book from Keplinger and I can't wait to read more books from this author.

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