Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Archer's Voice by Mia Sheridan (a book by a female author)

I figured I use a romance novel for this category even though I have read a lot of other books this year that meet the criteria. Every once and awhile I just need to read a good romance or new adult novel. They always help get me out of reading slumps because they are always very entertaining and they don't require too much thought to enjoy. Every girl needs steamy romance novels to satisfy her book boyfriend needs. This book was exactly what I needed after I had a hard time getting through Redeployment. It was heart-wrenching and beautiful and had just enough sexy times. I loved the main male character Archer because of his innocence and adoration for Bre. I thought the situation of a mute character was unique and not a perspective I am used to reading from.


Holy shit was this story emotional and heart-wrenching! I don't think I have ever read a romance where the girl is more experienced than the guy and Archer's insecurities were heart breaking. His "guys night out" practically killed me. I was so mad a Travis for manipulating Archer and making feel insecure about his relationship with Bre. I was so upset when he felt forced to go into the back room to "learn" so that he could make Bre happy. Travis knew what he was doing and he played Archer in the hopes of ruining his relationship. I listened to this as an audiobook, and had just gotten to the part where Archer goes to Bre's house after the strip club before I got to work and I had to wait over six hours to get back to listening! It almost killed me having to wait that long to see how they fixed their problems. I was upset with Archer for listening to Travis and I just wanted him to explain the situation to Bre. I was also heart broken when I thought that he had gone through with it with the stripper and felt so bad for Bre. When they talked and Archer admitted that he hadn't had sex with her, I was beyond relieved. I began to hope that their relationship could go on smoothly. Of course that wouldn't make a very good book, so there had to be other bumps in the road. When ARcher was texting Bre and she wasn't responding I was just as worried as he was that she had been in an accident. I was worried that Archer would have to relive the death of his parents and lose the one person that he had finally opened up to. I understood that he had problems showing his love for Bre but I couldn't believe it when he left her. He left for months and never said anything to her and I thought that he wouldn't be coming back and that Bre would find him hurt in a hospital somewhere. I didn't expect him to come back when he did because it was pretty random but I couldn't complain that he finally returned. I liked that he took the time to try and become normal for Bre and conquer his insecurities but I wished he had at least let her know what he was doing. When Bre's father's murderer showed up and shot Archer I seriously thought he was dead. I thought the town meeting they had was a memorial service not Archer claiming his family land. I liked how the book ended with and epilogue five years in the future. I loved seeing his kids learning sign so that they could communicate with their dad. It was so sweet and a perfect ending. The only thing that caught me off guard was the fact that Archer never spoke; the book is called Archer's Voice but he never truly talked. I thought when he left for a few months that he was going to a doctor to see if he could have his vocal chords fixed. I kept expecting a Maybe Someday ending where the mute man finally expresses his love through words. Even though that didn't happen because it was too late to fix the damage I enjoyed the book and thought the title was a good fit.


Monday, May 25, 2015

Redeployment by Phil Klay (a book of short stories)

After reading this book I now understand and solidify my dislike of short stories. I can't connect to the characters, because I never have enough time to actually relate to them; there really isn't a plot or an arc, and there is no definitive end. Most of the stories in this book fit the mold of no plot, unrelated bel characters, and poor endings. The only story I really enjoyed was the first, and the title of the novel, Redeployment. It had a full arc of the realities of war following the soldier home. The only redeeming quality of the collection was the rawness and new perspective it provided on modern war. I don't really enjoy short stories in general, so don't let my poor opinion of the book stop you from reading it. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (a book published this year)

For once a book that was actually worth all the hype surrounding it! This book was really fast paced and each chapter ended in a great cliff-hanger that was made even more awesome because of the changing perspectives. Yes, this book had a lot of elements found in other YA, like the trials and the dictator society, but the book was unique and interesting. I only have two problems with the book; it didn't really remind me of ancient Rome and that it is a stand alone. The book was pitched as ancient Rome and I didn't see that at all. It isn't a huge deal, I just feel like it was advertised wrong. Also there is no way that this book can be a stand alone. There were so many loose ends and problems that need to be resolved! I am giving this book a five star rating but only on the assumption that there will be a second book (if not the book would get lower ratings because it wasn't wrapped up well enough).


I have to start off by saying that this book was quite violent for YA. Most YA characters have some sort of trauma in their past but Laia and Elias's pasts are f-ed up. Laia's parents and older sister were arrested and tortured to death, then she watches her grandparents get murdered right in front of her. Elias was abandoned at birth and then forced to attend a school to teach him to kill people when he is six. The school leaves his in the desert to die when he is like eight and makes him watch other kids get beat to death. Also in the third trial he has to kill his friends in order to prove he is strong. Don't get me wrong, I loved the drama but WOW.

I also liked the not so romantic romance. At first I was surprised because it seemed like Laia would end up with Keenan and Elias would be with Helene. It surprised me because normally when there is a male and female characters whose story lines cross they end up together. I liked how there was the conflict with the attraction with people besides Elias and Laia. It was interesting and something you don't normally see in YA. I still am pulling for them to ed up together though because Helene is just to ruthless for Elias.

The main thing I have to say about the book though, is that IT CAN"T BE A STAND-ALONE!! There are so many problems that need to be solved. For one thing, the whole reason Laia went to Blackcliff was to help free her brother, which didn't happen in this book! If it was a stand-alone we could assume that Elias eventually helps her free her brother but come on, I want to know how. Also the Teluman blacksmith tells Laia that he and her brother have a lot of work to do to help overthrow the empire. AND Marcus can not remain emperor. I also want more of the Elias/ Laia romance. We still don't know who the spy is in the resistance, although it could be Maven. We don't know the whole story about Cook. Also, there is a chance that Laia's parents are still alive. She never saw their bodies and someone told her that people can survive for years in Kauf because they are tortured not killed there. I can't believe they would leave all of this unresolved. The author says she has their stories planned out til the end, she just needs someone to publish the next book!

MY RATING: *****

Friday, May 8, 2015

Slammed by Colleen Hoover (a popular author's first book)

This book was a reread for me but after reading all of Colleen's newest books I wanted to go back to the first book she published and fall in love with her writing all over again. I enjoyed going back to read this book because the first time I read it for some reason I skimmed a lot of the poetry, which is what makes this book so unique. I love that Colleen Hoover is constantly changing the experience you have while reading her books. I love how she doesn't just write but she makes the story come alive. I felt that all over again when I read this book and the amazingly captivating poetry that is a part of it. I loved her characters like always and i was in tears a few times while reading. She is one of my favorite authors because of her unique books and her love for her fans. She is so down to earth and a fun loving person. I really like how she donates her books to the free library near where she lives. This book was just as awesome the second time around.