Review: Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
Publisher: Dial
Release date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: Graceling Realm

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been a few years since I read either Graceling or Fire. And since I have so many books I want to read, re-reading books is no longer a priority when new sequels come out, unfortunately. Maybe if I had reread Graceling, and even maybe Fire, I might have loved Bitterblue. As it was though, I only liked it. Fair warning, this review does contain spoilers, so if you have not read it yet, please do not highlight the next paragraph. It has been whited out so that you will not be spoiled.
I felt like there was a love triangle, only a weird one. Bitterblue was obviously attracted to Sapphire, but was anyone else rooting for Giddon? Because I sure was. Even if that age gap of only 8 years, they were pretty much able to be honest with each other about everything, even if Giddon had to wait until after doing something to be honest about it. And they obviously cared for one another. As much as I liked Sapphire, and I did, I am team Giddon all the way.
Other than that though, the story was interesting, if a bit dull and dragging at times. This book is huge, and crams so much into it. But still parts drag here and there. But when it’s revealed what is happening, it’s horrifying how deep Leck’s control is, even years after he is gone. If you just stop and think, you are disgusted at what’s happening, but heartbroken for these people at the same time, because it’s not really their fault.
At the end, I have to say my first thought was “I’VE DONE IT!” I’ve completed this monster of a book. Goodreads informs me that it is the longest I have read so far this year, shoving Insurgent out of that spot. I was glad to visit this world again, and would definitely love a sequel to Bitterblue detailing what happens in her 20s maybe, when she has a few more years added on to her reign. Just maybe not quite this size.

On being sick

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days guys, I’ve been sick and not feeling up to much. I actually had to leave work early yesterday and call in today. I hope to get back at this soon though. See you all in a few days!

Waiting on Wednesday {24} A Fractured Light

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine, showcasing an upcoming release that you’re looking forward to. Here’s mine for this week! Link leads to its Good Reads page.

I haven’t done one of these since January! I thought it was about time I did one, since I definitely have books I’m waiting for. Like this week’s. I absolutely loved A Beautiful Dark, so I really cannot wait until A Fractured Light comes out. Now, last time the girl on the cover was in a white dress, and this time she’s in black. That’s interesting, because it’s indicative of where the story might be going. For the most part though, I just want more Asher! Can it be September already please?! =P

Releases: September 25, 2012
Publisher: Harper Teen

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release date: April 3, 2012
Source: Purchased
Series: His Fair Assassin #1

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

I have never had a 500+ page book read so fast. This book was a masterpiece. T he only thing I didn’t like about it was that we didn’t get to see Sybella and Annith hardly at all, but I think that’s because each of them will have their own book in the series. Robin LeFevers’ Grave Mercy is for young adults what Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series is for adults. Deeply cunning, pieced together masterfully. I could not put this book down.

The people in this book were astounding. Gavriel Duval is one of the most yummy male characters in books today. I loved how there was instant animosity between him and Ismae, and then they grew slowly to have feelings for each other. Ismae was awesome as well. Strong and definitely able to think for herself, I love what she chooses it in the end. I would have loved to have seen more of Gavriel’s men, de Lornay and Beast because they made every part they were in fun to read. I love when supporting characters are just as developed as main characters and they definitely added to the enjoyment of this book.

The first chapter or two probably my least favorite, but necessary in setting up this story. After that though once this beast of a book gets moving, it doesn’t stop. Despite how big it is, it never once slowed or got boring. In fact I wouldn’t have minded it being just a tad bit bigger if we could have had more romantic scenes between Ismae and Gavriel. The story itself is just mindblowingly good. It always amazes me when I read stories with such deep laid conspiracies, and I’m never able to figure them out until thing are revealed. I like when I can’t figure it out, though some people might be able to predict what will happen.

Grave Mercy is pretty much perfect, for me. This is definitely taking the spot for favorite read of 2012 so far. If you like historical fiction in general, but loved the original Kushiel trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, Grave Mercy is definitely for you.

My Book Haul for the Week!

I usually get this out on Saturday’s, but after that What’s Next post, since Grave Mercy had the most votes I started it Friday and really got into it yesterday. When I got home from work I pretty much did nothing but read until it was time for bed. I’m hoping to finish today and post my review tomorrow. Bitterblue will be next since it was also voted for a lot!

Anyways, I only bought two physical books this week, so I’ll also highlight ebooks I’ve gotten over the last few weeks that I always forget to mention in these posts. I don’t know when I’ll get to those though, since I usually prefer to read print books. But I’ll read the ebooks eventually!

bought print

bought e-book
Die for Me by Amy Plum
Witch Song by Amber Argyle
EXILED by RaShelle Workman
Social Suicide by Gemma Halliday

That’s it for me this week. Let me know what you guys got!

What’s Next…

This is a new weekly feature from Icey Books, where we list 3-5 books we’ve been wanting to read, but can’t decide on. Then you guys vote on which book looks most interesting, and I’ll end up reading whichever book has the most votes. I think this’ll be great, because I know lately I’ve had some trouble deciding to what to read with so many books to choose from. On to the choices! I will almost always just post three.

Have you read any of these yet? Let me know with your vote which you think I should read next week!

To link up your own post, or to see what others have put up for voting you can go to the first week’s link up here!

Review: Destined by Aprilynne Pike

Destined by Aprilynne Pike
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release date: May 1, 2012
Source: Publisher for an honest review
Series: Wings #4 (final book)

Tamani looked at her gravely, and reached up to tuck her hair behind her ear.

He hesitated for an instant, then his hands found the sides of her face, pulling her to him. He didn’t kiss her, just held her face close to his, their foreheads resting together, their noses almost touching.

She hated how much it felt like good-bye.

Laurel now knows the truth: Yuki is a rare Winter faerie, the most powerful—and deadly—of all, and Klea plans to use her to help conquer and destroy Avalon. But Klea’s reach extends far beyond one wild Winter faerie. With Tamani, David, and Chelsea by her side, Laurel prepares to face what may be Avalon’s final days, in the stunning conclusion to the Wings series.

An explosive end to what has become one of my favorite faerie series. I barely even know where to start, so while I’m thinking about that, let’s talk covers for this series. I’d have to say my favorites are the cover for Wings, and the cover for this book, Destined. Spells and Illusions just had too much going on, but these two each had a single thing, so it works. Destined is my favorite overall.

This book was like a movie in my mind. Most of the time when I’m reading I can imagine in my mind what I’m reading, but it doesn’t always have that feeling of a movie. But this one does, because I think Destined is the best example of Aprilynne Pike’s writing. I can even recall specific events that had they been real would be devastating and haunting, what happened at the Academy. Another thing amazed me was how the battle felt drawn out and yet at the same time didn’t, and I know that doesn’t really make any sense. I don’t know how to explain it, but whatever it was it worked.

Klea is one of those characters that is truly evil, even though she didn’t start out that way before we met her. I felt bad for what had happened to her before we met her, but not about what happens after. Everyone rose to the occasion for this final confrontation though. While Chelsea and David are both just in high school, they did a lot of growing up in Destined. I was proud of both them and what they were able to do to help Avalon. We do see some friends go, and it is sad. This book has made me choke up a couple of times.

Like Claudia Gray’s blurb on the front cover says this is “The perfect ending.” I am for the most part satisfied by this ending, though it is also bittersweet. There is a letter at the end though that had my heart hurting for it’s author. I won’t say who wrote or who it was written to, but I do warn to you be careful in deciding to read it.

In the end this is a must read series, especially if you love faeries.

Book Haul for the Week!

I got a lot of great books I’m excited for this week! A few period books, two that remind me somewhat of Downton Abbey (Yay!), and then Gilt, with Henry VIII. I really need to cut back though on the book buying for a while… especially since I have to go to the dentist here soon.

To Marry an English Lord by Gail McCall & Carol McD. Wallace
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Fated by Alyson Noel
Immortal City by Scott Speer
for review
Sirenz Back in Fashion by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman
For the blog tour, thanks Charlotte!
The House at Tyneford by Natasha Solomons
The House at Riverton by Kate Morton
Gilt by Katherine Longshore

And then because it’s just so adorable, here is a screen capture from one of the Japanese anime shows I’m watching, Acchi Kocchi.


Cover Reveal: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

OH YES! I loved Daughter of Smoke and Bone, and it’s cover. I am extremely excited for Days of Blood and Starlight. And this cover is GORGEOUS. I also love the titles of both books.

Release date: November 6, 2012 from Little, Brown & Company

From Goodreads:
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed “Daughter of Smoke and Bone,” Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a “must read” by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by, and The New York Times called it “a breath-catching romantic fantasy.”

Review: Wrecked by Anna Davies

Wrecked by Anna Davies
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release date: May 1, 2012
Source: Purchased

Secrets of the sea have never been sexier than this.

Ever since the death of her parents, Miranda has lived on Whym Island, taking comfort in the local folklore, which claims a mysterious sea witch controls the fate of all on the island and in its surrounding waters. Sometimes it’s just easier to believe things are out of your control.

But then a terrible boating accident takes the lives of several of her friends, and Miranda is rescued by a mysterious boy who haunts her dreams. Consumed by guilt from the accident, she finds refuge in late-night swims—and meets Christian, a boy who seems eerily familiar, but who is full of mystery: He won’t tell her where he is from, or why they can only meet at the beach. But Miranda falls for him anyway…and discovers that Christian’s secrets, though meant to protect her, may bring her nothing but harm.

I really wanted to like this book. I love mermaid stories, and I absolutely adore the cover to this. But Wrecked just didn’t work for me.

Short explanation starts now. The characters didn’t really feel all that fleshed out. I didn’t understand why everyone automatically hated Miranda just because she was driving the boat during the accident. The writing was not great, and things were sometimes repeated or were contradictory. There were choppy sentences sometimes, and then there were just wordy sentences that felt like filler. I also couldn’t understand how Miranda could fall in insta-love with Christian after the crash. The story was just full of little holes that I couldn’t get out of my mind.

Every now and then when I read a debut I’m sometimes flabbergasted by how awesome a book is and surprised it’s the author’s first. That was not the case this time. I could tell this was a debut. If you like mermaid stories give it a try, but I would definitely suggest borrowing this from a friend or the library, instead of buying.