Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

Falling into Place 
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 304
Source: eARC for Review
ISBN-10:  0062367889
Rating: 4 Hearts
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22103884-falling-into-place

Book Description


"On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road. Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher."


Review

Short and Sweet:

I think that Falling Into Place is a really beautiful book. I loved reading it and would definitely recommend it, but it wasn't my favorite. 

To Elaborate...

Liv Emerson seems to have it all, a hot on-again/off-again boyfriend, loyal best friends, popularity, and a mean-girl attitude that demands respect. But no one knows what's going on in her head, what causes her to drive her car off the road on purpose. As she lays in the hospital, bits and pieces of her life are revealed to show how she got there and why. 

The writing in this is stunningly beautiful. It looks at some very serious and dark concepts, but has strong glimmers of hope throughout. The best friends, Kennie and Julia, each have their own unique problems that they struggle with (that Liv might have encouraged), but they are completely loyal. I especially enjoyed Liam, Liv's quiet admirer, who saw how she really felt. 

Even though I loved so many aspects of Falling Into Place, I still felt like I was waiting on something more to happen. I thought a big twist might show up around a few corners, or some different scenes would be looked at that would take the story up to a new level. The lack of this suspected twist didn't necessarily disappoint me, but it was kind of like, "Oh...ok...that's it....alright" by the time I finished. 

I still think Falling Into Place is a great story, and it is a good read for anyone who enjoyed Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver.  

4 Hearts! 

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Review: Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20613491-trial-by-fire
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Pages: 384
Source: ARC for Review
ISBN-10: 125005088X
Rating: 4 Hearts
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18285437-rites-of-passage

Book Description


"This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily's other self in this alternate universe.

What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected."

Review

Short and Sweet:

Trial by Fire is a delightfully different world to spend time in. Magic wars against science in this time-bending tale full of infinite worlds and possibilities.

To Elaborate...

While the story starts off a bit meekly, it soon becomes clear that the first few chapters are a contrast point for the main character, Lily Proctor, as she moves forward. In her own world, Lily is practically allergic to air. She lives an extremely limited life, barely staying alive with EpiPens and minimal exposure to... well... pretty much everything. She lives with her mother who is fairly obsessed with many things that haven't actually happened and multiple versions of everyone around them. Everyone knows how crazy Lily's mom is. Even her dad has abandoned them.

After a particularly bad night out that ends with her best friend/love interest, Tristin, betraying her and nearly dying, she's feeling defeated and hopeless. So when she starts hearing voices, specifically her own voice, calling her away, she agrees, unwittingly, to leave her universe. Lily wakes up in a parallel Salem so unlike her own that she assumes she must be in a coma dream state. Lily is almost immediately mistaken for a powerful witch named Lillian. In fact, Lillian is another version of Lily and has brought her to this strange version of Salem for some unknown purpose. The incredible part is that in this world, Lily is not gasping for air. Somehow she is stronger. Still she's incredibly freaked out and runs out into the city to escape her evil alter ego.

It isn't long before Lily runs into Rowan, who coincidentally hates her the moment he lays eyes on her since he believes that she is Lillian. Since her story of how she is actually not Lillian isn't exactly plausible it takes her a bit to convince him not to murder her. And then she meets the parallel version of Tristan, who seems different than the one in her own universe. 

Boy problems aside, Lily finds out that the reason she has lived a tortured, allergic-to-everything existence in her own Salem is that she is actually a Crucible. Crucibles rule powerfully over New Salem, and evil Lillian is the ruler of them all. As Lily slowly discovers what she's capable of and begins to understand this perplexing new world, she also must decide whether she'll return to her own world, weak and dying, or embrace this strong, magical version of herself and fight. 

Overall, Trial by Fire begins quietly, but quickly heats up into a fiery, magical story that is stunningly creative at every turn!

4 Hearts!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen

 http://iheartyafiction.blogspot.com/
 Throwback Thursday is a weekly feature here at I Heart YA Fiction where we will be reviewing older releases and/or books that have been on our shelves for awhile. Feel free to participate by reading from the bottom of your shelf and join the linky list below! We would love to read your Thursday Throwback Reviews! 

This week's feature?

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1)
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher:  Walker Childrens
Pages: 292
Source: Borrowed from library
ISBN-10: 0802723462
Rating: 4 Hearts

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11983940-scarlet

Book Description


"Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for."

Review

Short and Sweet:

I love retellings, but I haven't read any with Robin Hood before. I adore Scarlet's take on it, and the characters are so complex!

To Elaborate...

Will Scarlet is widely known as one of the men in Robin Hood's band. However, in Robin Hood's band, everyone knows that Will Scarlet, or Scar, is actually a woman. With a mysterious past, Scarlet does everything in her power to help Robin Hood and save the people in Nottinghamshire from the Sheriff. When her past catches up to her in the form of evil thief tracker, Gisbourne, her identity needs to be hidden more than ever. 

This was such a good retelling of Robin Hood. I love how deep the author has made these characters. John, Robin, Scarlet, and Much feel so much like a family, and their personalities are fun and deep. I especially love all the tension between Scarlet and Robin. 

There is a love triangle between Scarlet, Robin, and John, and Scarlet is pretty reluctant to admit either like her (or at least seriously, since John is a huge flirt). While I love the scenes between Scarlet and Rob, and even though John has some swoony moments too, I wasn't a big fan of the triangle. Plus, I thought it was really obvious (at least in John's case) how he felt about Scarlet, and it seemed like it took her forever to figure it out. 

Even so, the incredible world building and overall feel of the story definitely made up for it. The story has a very distinct voice to it that I loved, and I'm really glad there's a sequel to look forward to reading!

4 Hearts!

And don't miss out on our current giveaways!

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Your post doesn't have to be on Thursday to participate! Just link up your own reviews of recently read older books!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop! 2 Winners! 4 Books Each!


It's that time of year! Time to get ready for all of those amazing Fall/Winter releases by getting rid of double copies, the books I'm never going to read, and the ones I've read and loved, but must part with to make space! For this giveaway hop I found all of these lying around:


There will be TWO winners (US ONLY) and each winner can choose 4 books! Here is a LIST of the books on Goodreads for you to check out. 

Enter to win below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't miss out on our other current giveaway! Open INT!

http://iheartyafiction.blogspot.com/2014/08/august-new-release-giveaway-hop-int.html
 

Now Keep Hopping!

  

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

http://iheartyafiction.blogspot.com/ 
Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine :)
 

I can't wait to read:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17878931-red-queen?ac=1

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17878931-red-queen?ac=1

Book Description


"Mare Barrow's world is divided by blood—those with red and those with silver. Mare and her family are lowly Reds, destined to serve the Silver elite whose supernatural abilities make them nearly gods. Mare steals what she can to help her family survive, but when her best friend is conscripted into the army she gambles everything to win his freedom. A twist of fate leads her to the royal palace itself, where, in front of the king and all his nobles, she discovers a power of her own—an ability she didn't know she had. Except . . . her blood is Red.

To hide this impossibility, the king forces her into the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. As Mare is drawn further into the Silver world, she risks her new position to aid the Scarlet Guard—the leaders of a Red rebellion. Her actions put into motion a deadly and violent dance, pitting prince against prince—and Mare against her own heart.

From debut author Victoria Aveyard comes a lush, vivid fantasy series where loyalty and desire can tear you apart and the only certainty is betrayal."

________________________

Why I'm Waiting:

You guys know I love a badass female character, and Mare sounds incredible. 


Red Queen also hits all of my literary buttons: fantasy, historical, royal, supernatural abilities! I'm so excited to read this one!
 

What book are you 'waiting' to read?

Leave me a link to your WOW so I can stop by! :)

And don't miss out on our current giveaways!

Win an August YA New Release! INT!
http://iheartyafiction.blogspot.com/2014/08/august-new-release-giveaway-hop-int.html

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop! 2 Winners! 4 books each! US ONLY!
http://iheartyafiction.blogspot.com
 
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