Review: Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1) – Linsey Miller


Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1) – Linsey Miller

Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1)

Title: Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows #1)

Author: Linsey Miller

Release Date: August 29, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Format: ebook

Page Number: 310

Source: Netgalley

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class—and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

1 out of 5 stars


I got this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.

This book was nothing special. It honestly was just a rip-off version of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. It was about assassins fighting to the death, so in that sense it was also a little bit like The Hunger Games.

I hate when books are just rip-offs, and I thought this would be interesting because it was marketed as a gender-fluid main character. Okay. A little bit about that.

The ONLY representation of that was when they said that they liked being called what they were dressed as. Which I’m assuming is a quality of someone who is gender-fluid, but there was nothing other than that. There was no reason other than the fact that the author wanted it to be a diverse book. Which pisses me off. Have adequate representation, and if you’re going to try, at least do it right and do it justice. Please. There are people that refer to themselves as gender-fluid, and I feel like this isn’t good representation of that.

There was also no beginning to the story. None at all. It just jumped right in with Sal fighting people pretty much. I’m not about that. Give me a little background information, please.

The romance in this book was also quite below average, and I was so disappointed with that. Because the gender-fluid thing wasn’t really introduced well, the romance seemed so rushed and fake because there was no back story on sexual preference. Sal just kinda ended up liking this girl, but she was of course the one who he robbed at the beginning. UGH give me some actual plot please.

I would not recommend this book just because of the poor representation attempt. I’m sad because I wanted this to be good. Ugh, life.

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Review: They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera


They Both Die at the End – Adam Silvera

They Both Die at the End

Title: They Both Die at the End

Author: Adam Silvera

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 384

Source: Barnes and Noble

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

5 out of 5 stars


Spoiler alert: I LOVED THIS BOOK!

Mateo is shy and has some anxiety. He lives at home, his mother died, his father is in a coma in the hospital. Mateo receives a call from Death-Cast telling him he’ll die in the next 24 hours.

Rufus lives with a foster family and loves his foster brothers more than anything. He is beating the shit out of his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend when he receives a call from Death-Cast.

Mateo and Rufus both sign up for the Last Friend app in hopes of finding someone they connect to to make their last days on Earth more bearable. They match with each other, and spend the best days of their lives living the rest of their lives to the fullest.

I loved this book. I loved every single moment, and I didn’t want it to end.

This was my most anticipated release of the year aside from Lord of Shadows. I am so happy to say that this is one of my favorite books, and will recommend it to anyone and everyone. Quick story. I went to Barnes and Noble on the 4th of September knowing that this book was supposed to come out the next day. I go in with a plan. I’m going to cheat the system with this book because I want to read it now. So, I walk into the store. I go straight to the register and ask for help finding this book. I show the woman at the counter a photo of the cover, and she immediately tells me she’ll look for it for me. She calls some guy over to get help because she sees that it’s supposed to be released the next day, and he tells her that he put the books on the shelf that morning. He leads me over to the YA section, and points out the book to me, and I control myself while he hands me the book. I went in with the plan of cheating the system, and didn’t even have to. Go me.

Anyway, I started this book on the 4th and knew I was going to love it right away. The writing style was so fun and interesting, and also beautiful and poetic. The characters were so beautifully flawed it felt real. I can’t even express how much I loved reading this book.

Mateo and Rufus were so different from each other, but meshed so well together. Their friendship started, and you just knew that they were going to have a real friendship on their last day together. Even though this book took place over one day, the friendship between them felt so organic and real. So real. I loved them together because they helped one another so much.

The concept of this book is what originally sold me. It sold me, because I could see something like this actually happening. I don’t know how it would actually happen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a way to figure it out. Getting a call on the day you’re going to die seems eerie, but it’s a really cool idea for a book. I think this would be such an amazing movie to watch, and I hope it happens, because damn I’m all for that.

This book was sweet, beautiful, sad, funny, cute, and full of love and heartache and hope. I will recommend this book to anyone. I loved this, and plan on reading more by Adam Silvera because I need more of his writing. He created one of my favorite friendships I’ve read, even though they only had one day together. Please read this book :)

Review: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) – Samantha Shannon


The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2) – Samantha Shannon

The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2)

Title: The Mime Order (The Bone Season #2)

Author: Samantha Shannon

Release Date: February 1, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 501

Source: TBR Pile

Paige Mahoney has escaped the brutal prison camp of Sheol I, but her problems have only just begun: many of the survivors are missing and she is the most wanted person in London…

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on the dreamwalker, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city’s gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take centre stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden? Paige must keep moving, from Seven Dials to Grub Street to the secret catacombs of Camden, until the fate of the underworld can be decided.

5 out of 5 stars


This book was just as amazing as the first one. Wow wow wow.

The Mime Order follows Paige and her little entourage in the hopes of solving all the issues with the Rephiam and the Syndicate and SciLondon. She decides to enroll into the battle to become Mime-lord with Jaxon. The two are the dream team. Mime-lord and mollisher of I-4.

Paige is the most wanted criminal in all of London, and she has to escape people that want to kill her, while also trying to be helpful to everyone. She’s stuck between a rock and a hard place, here…

Oh my gosh. So no spoilers, but the ending was everything I wanted in life it was so fricking good. If you want an epic fantasy/sci-fi series, read The Bone Season, then read this because it’s amazing.

Samantha Shannon has a way of writing that just draws you in so much, and keeps you hooked until the last sentence. Literally the last sentence of this book omg. So much happened in this book, and the only reason it took me so long to read was because I was buddy-reading this and my buddy didn’t read as fast as me. So I’ve had to take breaks while reading, but it was still so good. If this wasn’t part of a buddy-read I would have easily finished it in a couple of days because I was hooked.

WARDEN IS BACK. Yay!! He’s my favorite character, I think, because he’s so mysterious. He’s just trying to do the best for everyone around him, and his feelings for Paige… I don’t know exactly how he feels yet, but I have a feeling the next book will let me know. I’m so excited to read the next book because I know it will answer so many questions!

I cannot wait to see what happens with the rest of the series. I have no idea at all where it’s going to go because I don’t even know what’s going to happen in the next book! I know Samantha Shannon will take it great places because her writing style is gorgeous.

I actually gasped at the end. The last page gets ya, but don’t spoil yourself and go read it *I see you guilty last-page-before-the-book-starts-readers…*

Please read this series. It’s so well written, and there’s so much action. Seriously so much action the whole entire time. Paige is always getting into something, and she somehow always figures out how to get out of it.

I can’t wait for the rest of this series!!

Series:

The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season #0.5)

The Bone Season (The Bone Season #1)

 

Review: In Real Life – Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang


In Real Life – Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

In Real Life

Title: In Real Life

Author: Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

Release Date: October 14, 2014

Publisher: First Second

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 175

Source: Public Library

Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role-playing game where she spends most of her free time. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer–a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.

4 out of 5 stars


Anda is a gamer, and she gets invited to join a game called Coarsegold Online by a woman who comes to talk to her computer class at school. She gets told that she won’t have to pretend to be a boy in the game because there is an all girl group in this game. Everything is great, until she’s told she needs to go and kill some gold-farmers, because they’re just mooching off the system.

So she goes, but she finds that they don’t fight back, but she goes through with the orders anyway. Later, she meets a gold-farmer who speaks English and talks back to her about what’s happening. She befriends him against her leader’s wishes.

She finds times to talk to him and finds out he lives in China and doesn’t make much money, so he has to work a lot. She decides to try and help him…

The artwork is literally everything I’ve ever wanted from a graphic novel. It’s kind of like watercolor, and the colors are so vibrant and beautiful. It’s pretty much all pastels and very saturated color; I highly recommend reading it just for the fact that the art is GORGEOUS.

I’d say that the story is a pretty solid 3/5 stars, but the artwork sold me. Oh my gosh I’m in love. I think the message was good, and this would be good for any gamer girls who just feel out of place in the male dominated gaming world. I am personally not a gamer, but I could still relate to this.

I’ve been really getting into graphic novels/comics recently and would LOVE some recommendations. The library in my town for college is amazing and has tons of different options. Please, please, please give me some graphic novel/comic/manga recs!

Review: Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #3) – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn


Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #3) – Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

Alex + Ada, Vol. 3

Title: Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #3)

Author: Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

Release Date: July 12, 2015

Publisher: Image Comics

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 136

Source: Public Library

The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot. Alex takes a huge risk to unlock Ada so she can think for herself and explore life as a sentient android. As Alex and Ada spend more time together, they become closer. But as restrictions tighten on artificial intelligence, Ada feels unsure about her place in the world, and Alex questions being with an android.

In this final arc, Alex and Ada struggle against the growing hatred for sentient robots and their human allies. Can they survive what’s around the corner?

3 out of 5 stars


The final installment to the Alex + Ada graphic novel series… I liked this one more than the others because it felt like there was a little more plot, but I still didn’t love it. I wanted to be blown away, and I was slightly disappointed.

Alex and Ada have to run away in order to be safe, then Ada gets hurt, and Alex goes to jail for 25 years.

The thing with graphic novels, for me, is that there’s not a ton of plot! Maybe it’s just these, but I wasn’t blown away. I didn’t feel like there was anything spectacularly special about this series. The art style was, again, very strange, and there wasn’t a ton of character development throughout the series.

I would consider reading some of the graphic novels that are published by this same publisher, but I probably wouldn’t read any more by these authors specifically. It was hard to get really connected to because there wasn’t much going on.

Series:

Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #1)

Alex + Ada (Alex + Ada #2)

Review: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen


The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) – Erika Johansen

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)

Title: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1)

Author: Erika Johansen

Release Date: April 14, 2015

Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 464

Source: TBR Pile

Magic, adventure, mystery, and romance combine in this epic debut in which a young princess must reclaim her dead mother’s throne, learn to be a ruler—and defeat the Red Queen, a powerful and malevolent sorceress determined to destroy her.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

This book will be a beautifully designed package with illustrated endpapers, a map of the Tearling, and a ribbon marker.

3 out of 5 stars


I’m kind of torn between giving this 3 stars and giving this 4 stars, but I don’t do half stars…. I really liked the last half of this, but the beginning was so so so slow. I listened to this on audio and read it in physical format because I wanted to read while driving. I kind of wish that I could have listened to the second half on the car ride because it was much more exciting, but such is life.

This book followed Kelsea who is now the Queen of the Tearling, as the title suggests. She has been living in solitude with her guardians for 19 years, and she’s taken away on her 19th birthday to become the Queen. She’s always known this was how it had to be, but she still wasn’t as prepared as she thought she should have been. Her mother was known for poor decisions, but Kelsea wasn’t told about her failures. She lived a sheltered life with lots of academic classes and always thrived in the stories she got to read from the fiction books in her house.

I really love the premise for this book, but I don’t think it was executed as well as it could have been. If I were to rate the first quarter of this book I probably would have given it a 2 stars, but by the end I was feeling 4 stars. I don’t know. There were quite a few issues about this book that I wasn’t fond of.

There was an instalove situation that pissed me off. So first off. Kelsea has never seen a large group of people in her life, so why the hell would she be able to be in love with someone. Also, how would she know how to flirt well? Umm. She wouldn’t. The only man she had ever been exposed to was Barty, her father figure. Hmm. I hate instalove, and I couldn’t appreciate the love because it felt so rushed.

I also didn’t like that there was so much unknown to the reader. I’m all for figuring out as you go, but I like when you know a little more than the characters know. I like being one step ahead, but it always felt as if you were dragging behind. Not a fan of that at all.

It was cool because by the end you got to see a little of the power with the sapphire necklaces, but you only got a taste, so you want more. Clever. I’m impressed with your miniature cliff hangers, Ms. Johansen.

Overall I think this was a good book. I’m interested to see what happens in the next ones. I definitely recommend audiobooks in general because I think I’ve fallen in love.

Review: Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins


Tricks (Tricks #1) – Ellen Hopkins

Tricks (Tricks, #1)

Title: Tricks (Tricks #1)

Author: Ellen Hopkins

Release Date: August 25, 2009

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 627

Source: TBR Pile

Five teenagers from different parts of the country. Three girls. Two guys. Four straight. One gay. Some rich. Some poor. Some from great families. Some with no one at all. All living their lives as best they can, but all searching…for freedom, safety, community, family, love. What they don’t expect, though, is all that can happen when those powerful little words “I love you” are said for all the wrong reasons.

Five moving stories remain separate at first, then interweave to tell a larger, powerful story — a story about making choices, taking leaps of faith, falling down, and growing up. A story about kids figuring out what sex and love are all about, at all costs, while asking themselves, “Can I ever feel okay about myself?”

2 out of 5 stars


If you would have asked me what I would have rated this book about halfway through I might have said 5 stars, but the ending just fricked me up and I really didn’t enjoy it.

This story is about five teenagers; they all get caught up with people and say “I love you” and bad things happen.

There were LOTS of triggers in this book, so if you’re sensitive to rape, sex, drugs, alcohol, dysfunctional family units, parents dying, gambling, or prostitution, DO NOT READ THIS.

I don’t typically read books like this. Ellen Hopkins is the only author that I read about drugs, but I did not like this book very much! It was kind of confusing having 5 different perspectives. All the girls seemed so similar to me, and there were three of them. It was hard for me to separate them.

I honestly don’t even know how to review this because there was so much that happened, but none of it plot driven at all. I’ll give it a shot, I guess.

All these teenagers are desperate to find love. The gay boy lives on a farm with his father and basically gets banished from his home. One is a typical preacher’s daughter who ends up being kind of promiscuous. One girl has a broken family unit where her mother gets paid to let men rape her. One girl lives in the shadow of her older sister. And one boy has a problem with gambling and drugs.

The characters don’t even all meet up in the end. What the heck. I was waiting for some dramatic meet up situation and for everyone to figure out their lives together, but no. There was a brief meet up situation with two of the girls, but it was in very sad circumstances.

Ugh. I really did not enjoy this because of the last half. Ellen Hopkins has such a beautiful and intoxicating way to write that just pulls you in, but damn I didn’t like the content.

There was so much sex. So much unnecessary sex. After reading the little informational thing at the back, it talked about how her goal for this was to highlight the issue of child prostitution in the United States, so I get it, I guess. But there were pretty explicit sex scenes to claim this is a YA novel.

I’m 18 and I was still disturbed by it, I don’t even know what I would have done if I read this when I was 13 or 14. I read Perks of Being a Wallflower in early middle school and was traumatized…

I don’t know, honestly. Only read this if you’re not super triggered by what I listed above.