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A Trail of Books Left Behind

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The Storyspinner
Becky Wallace
Mortal Heart
Robin LaFevers

Unchanged (The Unremembered Trilogy)

Unchanged (The Unremembered Trilogy) - Jessica Brody I don't even have words!

Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein For the book club meeting that I joined, my sister chose this particular book. It was one that I'd heard about, but had never really been sure I'd want to read. World War II and the Holocaust are very difficult topics, but I decided to give this one a chance.

And I am so glad that I did.

Elizabeth Wein did such an incredible job with the details and historical aspects that I knew I wanted to know more. I had been unaware of female pilots during World War II, or even their enlistments in the military, so getting to read story with two characters who'd done just that was so much fun.

The two main characters, Verity and Maddie, were probably the best part of this for me though. Verity started off the book and I loved her voice. Though she was in a horrible situation, she maintained a snarky attitude and kept me intrigued throughout. When it switched to Maddie's perspective, I wasn't too happy at first, but I quickly understood why.

I don't want to give anything away for anyone who hasn't had the chance to read this. All I will add is that Elizabeth brilliantly weaved the threads of this story together. She gave us two very strong characters, and showed the bonds of a friendship and how far they were willing to go for one another.

It was beautiful and sad and a wonderful read. One that I'm glad I gave a chance.

Starting Over (The Shephard Series book #1)

Starting Over (The Shephard Series book #1) - Savannah Yarbrough I got to read a very early copy of this particular story before it was ready for ARCs and publication, so I was beyond excited to be asked to read and review this for her.

One of the main things I can say about Savannah's writing is that she knows how to bring in the emotions and really stomp on your heart. I think it's difficult to get into any story, but especially a romance, if you don't feel for the characters. That isn't a problem here and I love how delicately and sweetly Savannah handled it.

We also got to see the story from both Brianna's perspective and Jeremiah's, which I think can add just a little something extra to the overall feel. They both struggle with loss and the difficult circumstances ahead of them throughout, but find a way to move forward with the hope of something more.

I truly enjoyed reading this and look forward to reading what else Savannah has in store for her other characters in this series. I know that it will be wonderful, if not a little heartbreaking along the way.
Finale - Becca Fitzpatrick Let me start off by saying that this was probably my favorite book in the series. Not only is the cover gorgeous, like all of them have been, but I absolutely loved everything about the ending of this series and that not everything was tied up in a neat little bow.

What made me even more excited to read this was the fact that Becca came to my favorite little bookshop on her tour so I got to meet her and get my books signed which was incredible! It gave me a little more insight into the characters she created and what made her decide on this particular world.

Anyways, at this point so much has happened for Nora and Patch. Ups and downs as a couple as well as individually and they've gotten to a pretty good place because of it all. But they still have a big hurtle to get over before things can settle down. And, as always, nothing for them will come easy.

I love how strong their relationship is, but there's still room to grow. They love and trust each other, but Becca pushes them even further so they truly rely on one another. I think that was one of my favorite parts of this book.

This also had an ending, or conclusion, that I felt fit the book perfectly. There were still a few things left open that you don't know the answers to, just as the characters don't, but it doesn't take away from anything. The possibility of how it all works out is left up to the reader in a way, while the battle and the main story of the series was resolved.

While I'm sad to see this series and these characters go, I loved how everything ended. I can't wait to read more from Becca and explore different worlds that she creates.
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater I fell in love with Maggie's writing from the moment I discovered Shiver, the first books in her The Wolves of Mercy Falls books. So as soon as I learned about her newest series, I knew that I had to read it. And I'm so glad that I did!

Any regular reader of this blog knows how much I love mythology and legends. I'll read just about anything that I can that uses myths as a basis. In this particular series, that's exactly what Maggie did. She took a Welsh myth about sleeping kings and ley lines that was just absolutely fascinating. I found myself wanting to do research on some of the things she'd mentioned. It's explored in a pretty interesting way through this first book so as a reader you don't feel out of the loop.

One of my favorite things about reading Maggie's work is how she can take something mythological or magical and make it seem real, as though it could actually happen. In a modern setting where life seems completely normal and unordinary, she inserts something out of this world. It blows me away how she does it every time.

We also get introduced to the Raven Boys: Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah; as well as the girl that enters their world Blue. Each of them bring an interesting piece to the group and what it is they're searching for. I'm crossing my fingers that we get to learn a bit more about Ronan in the next book.

Now I'm waiting excitedly (and a little impatiently) for book 2, The Dream Thieves, and for the chance to meet Maggie again in September when it comes out. So close!
Defiance - C.J. Redwine First of all, I really love this cover and the finished copy on the hardcover is even more beautiful. The mixture of the light and the dark fit perfectly with the theme of the story. Gorgeous!

This book completely blew me away. I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but it was so much more. The world that C.J. created was a dark and intense setting to begin with. But then there were certain situations that came up that I didn't see coming. These things I believe truly added to the dystopian aspect and made the circumstances seem even more imperative.

We also got both Rachel and Logan's points of view. It wasn't just one or the others story, and I loved that. In some instances it's important to get a different character's perspective, especially if the characters end up separated. C.J. weaved their stories seamlessly and kept me engaged to them both the entire time.

I just can't emphasize enough how completely blown away I was by this book. There was so much that took place from the story plot and action to romance and heartbreak. I'm so excited to find out what happens next for Rachel and Logan in Deception, and I have no doubt it will be even crazier than Defiance.
Keeper of the Lost Cities - Shannon Messenger This was probably one of my favorite debuts last year! As any regular follower of this blog can tell, I don't normally read middle grade books. Harry Potter was probably the only one I'd gotten into, but there was just something about this one that sounded interesting. And I'm so glad that I did pick this up.

Sophie Foster has never really fit in. At twelve years old she's a child prodigy, but there's something else about her that no one else knows. She is a Telepath. A talent she struggles with daily.

But everything for Sophie changes the day she meets Fitz, a boy who can read minds just like her. He introduces her to a whole new world, a world where she fits in and can finally be herself. But even in her new life things won't be as easy as she imagined. The secrets of her past and finally finding a "home" are some of the things she has to face.

I just don't even have words for how absolutely adorable this book was. Shannon did an absolutely phenomenal job with this world and these characters. Sophie was so cute and I just wanted to pick her up and hug her throughout the story. There were even times that I forgot how old she was, but I think that's what I loved the most. And her cast of friends only added to the mix: Fitz, Dex, Keefe and more.

I don't want to give anything away, but when Sophie is finally thrust into her new world or life, the originality Shannon used to create it was awesome! Everything from the creatures, the society, even the gifts that they possessed were wonderfully thought out and such fun to imagine. Shannon gave great descriptions and really made it seem like you were there right along with Sophie.

The best part was the story line. Not only was there this fun world that Sophie gets to discover, but there's also a mystery and so much more to Sophie and her new home than she ever realized. It's slowly revealed, but I can't even imagine what else we'll learn as the series progresses.

Now that I've finished with this one, I'm trying to wait patiently for book 2: Exile. After seeing the cover and the description for it I'm even more excited to find out what's in store of Sophie and company. Keepers was so much fun, adorable and imaginative. I highly recommend it.
Princess of the Silver Woods - Jessica Day George When I first started reading this, I didn't realize that it was a part of a trilogy, or the last one, but that was okay. I could still keep up and things were explained enough that I knew what was going on.

Princess Petunia is the youngest of King Gregor's twelve daughters and she finds herself on a trip to visit a friend, welcoming the change.

But her journey doesn't go as expected when her carriage is stopped by some wolves. Wolves who just so happen to have two legs and open her eyes to an injustice she'd never known. As her journey continues, Petunia discovers things she thought that she and her sisters had laid to rest.

Though I came in a little late, I found that for the most part I could figure out what was going on. Petunia's story for the most part was linked with one of the wolves, a handsome boy named Oliver, who robbed royal carriages, including hers.

But the big part was what's happened in the previous two books. The girls, forced to dance each night for years in a magical kingdom, were being forced to marry the princes and king of Under Stone. Promises had been made and magic was being expended to get them there.

With the help of Oliver, the princess husbands, and the princesses themselves, they have to figure out a way to stop their captors. And it's a nonstop adventure to figure out if they'll be able to do it in time. This was a fun, sweet story that I really enjoyed and I think others will too (especially if they read the rest of the series...)
Touched - Corrine Jackson There's only one thing that I want to say right off the bat... I loved this book! It wasn't a debut since Corrine Jackson had another one a few months before this, but it was my first from her and I am hooked.

With just one touch, Remy O'Malley can heal, but there is a price. She takes on the injuries of those she heals, including those her mother received from her abusive stepfather.

Remy finally gets the chance to leave all that behind and live with the father she never really got to know and start fresh. That is until Asher Blackwell comes into the picture. He and his family are Protectors, sworn enemies of Healers like Remy, yet he feels drawn to her. Their connection is undeniable, but will it be enough?

One of my favorite things about this book was the fact that I really didn't know a whole lot about it going in. I had a basic idea of the premise, but other than that I had no idea where the story was headed. That made discovering everything as it unfolded even more exciting.

I also really enjoyed the fact that both Remy and Asher were the "magical being" in the story. It's more common than not to read a story where one or the other character has powers of some sort and the one that doesn't is thrust into this whole new, mind-blowing world. For Remy, she didn't know about the Protectors, but it wasn't such a shock to her to learn about them since she could heal others. Discovering what the other could do and strengthening their powers was just the tip of the iceberg and I enjoyed every second of it.

Corrine did a fabulous job all the way around. The world building, character building, and relationships were done beautifully and I really enjoyed getting to see it all develop. There wasn't an information overload and just enough was revealed to leave readers wanting to know more. I can't even imagine what else will happen, but I know it will be worth the wait.

Waiting for book 2 in the Sense Thieves trilogy, Pushed, is not easy. I finished Touch before the new year and was so sad when I realized how long the wait would be. But, that only builds up the anticipation. I definitely recommend this book and series, and hope you'll join me in waiting for the rest!
Poison Princess - Kresley Cole The description is what first drew me in to want to read this, and Kresley did not disappoint with such an interesting premise to her young adult debut.

Evie had the perfect life in her small hometown, at least until she starts having horrifying hallucinations. All she wants to do is put them behind her finish out her senior year, and that's exactly what she's going to do, until her hallucinations come true.

Jackson Deveaux, the new "bad boy" in town, drives her crazy and is the one guy who can keep her safe. As he helps Evie on her search for answers, she discovers there's more happening than she'd ever thought. An ancient prophecy and battle that other teens like her have to face. Who is on the right side?

One of the things that I loved was that this was set in Louisiana and the male lead was a true Cajun boy. It made my day to actually see his true "Cajun speak" after hearing it from my parents and relatives in passing. That really endeared me to him and this story.

I also loved Kresley's take on the tarot cards and how we see them play out with a handful of the characters. If you haven't read it, then I don't want to give anything away, I'll just say that it's definitely set up for more to happen and I'm interested to see how it all plays out.

After the ending, it'll be interesting to see how things progress in the next book. I'm not sure if the whole series will be from Evie's point of view, but I hope that it will because I want to see how she grows and what happens with her and Jackson. Throughout the book they battled each other and assumed that the other had ulterior motives, so I'm crossing my fingers that we'll get to how they change and learn more for the overall story.
The Crown of Embers - Rae Carson I read the first book in this series last year and was definitely intrigued, but after hearing my sisters take and reading this one for myself, I completely fell in love with this series!

Now the Elisa is Queen, she is under even more scrutiny to get things just right. Especially since she is only seventeen. There are also very few she feel she can trust: Hector, her royal guard, and her companions from her adventures previously.

On a new adventure, Elisa has to discover some of the secrets of her Godstone and figure out a way to defeat her enemy as Queen. Danger, romance, and new powers await Elisa on her quest for answers.

Some people have said that they usually find sequels to be a little disappointing, but I can say that wasn't the case with this one! Rae Carson did a phenomenal job of bringing this world to life and showing Elisa growth. There was just something more to it that drew me in and I hated to put it down, or to even reach the end.

Elisa not only had to begin seeing herself in a different light after losing all of the wait that she did in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, but she also had to begin seeing herself as Queen. She wanted to do right by her people, but not let those in her council try to steal the crown from. Her journey to discover who she was just as Queen was wonderful to see.

But the best part was her discovery of the power her Godstone could hold and want it meant for her to defeat her enemies. She'd only had a vague idea of the potential and now there's a fabulous setup for the last book, The Bitter Kingdom. Her Godstone is a big part of who she is and why she's chosen to do the things that she is, but it's also only part of who she is and the growth she has yet to make.

My sister and I spent quite a bit of time talking about this particular book and it was fun to get her take on it. But now we have to wait for the last book, which is exciting and sad. I will hate to see this series come to an end, but am excited to find out just what Rae has in store for us!
City of Lost Souls - Cassandra Clare Cassandra Clare has managed to completely pull in me in with each book and she definitely didn't disappoint with this latest installment. And look at this cover, isn't is gorgeous!

After finally finding Jace and Sebastian, Clary discovers that they are bound to one another because of Lilith. To kill one would be to kill the other as well.

She is determined to find a way to save Jace, and with the help of Alec, Isabelle, Simon, and Magnus they will find it. But what price is too much to pay? And will they find what they end before it's too late.

Maybe it was just me, but I noticed a slightly different tone in this book as opposed to the others, which wasn't a bad thing. The writing and the tone was just a little bit different, more mature and intense perhaps. Either way I really liked it and it seemed appropriate for the setting of CoLS and where it was headed. I'm going to try my absolute hardest to not give any spoilers.

One of my favorite things about Cassie's writing is not only her attention to the world building, but also the characters. We get a little bit of everything from her, and yet it's so much for the series and the overall story. I can hardly remember it all, but Cassie brings it all together seamlessly.

I've been a big Jace and Clary fan from the beginning, wanting them together and loving when they finally had the chance. But after this particular book I have to say that I'm rooting a little more for Isabelle and Simon now too. Sure, I thought they'd be cute if they'd end up together, but I really loved how Cassie showed each of their struggles and the growth their relationship. I hope to see more of them in the last book. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the Jace and Clary moments that we got, because I did. They were some of my favorites.

Hopefully I can say this without any spoilers. Now, after the final battle in this particular book things have been set up for the ultimate battle for the series. I can only imagine what all she will have in store for us, and can't see any of the characters that we've come to love die. We shall see. But until that happens we have the last book in The Infernal Devices trilogy, Clockwork Princess, coming out soon and I'm beyond excited for that. I have my fingers cross for the conclusion I'm hoping for and am looking forward to how it all works out.
Immortal City - Scott Speer When I first read the description I thought it sounded pretty interesting and when the cover came out I thought it was gorgeous. But, it wasn't until I finished this book and met Scott and the Teen Austin Book Festival that I really wanted more!

Jackson Godspeed is about to become a full Guardian and everyone wants to know who his first protection is going to be. Jackson just wants... more.

Maddy, unlike the rest of the world, doesn't follow the Angel blogs or gossip. She just goes to school and work, preparing for college. But when she gets swept up into Jackson's world of glitz and glamour... and apparently murder, things take a completely different turn. For both.

I'll admit that I wasn't entirely sure how I was going to like this book, but I found myself completely intrigued the more I read. With a premise that may at first seem superficial, Scott delves not only into an outsiders perspective of the Hollywood scene but also into how our society views celebrities.

The story is told from both Maddy Montgomery's perspective and Jackson Godspeed's, which I think worked just right! Jackson doesn't really know anything different then how he grew up, being in the public eye. While Maddy has grown used to being in the background, invisible. And they both find themselves thrust into situations that they aren't used to.

Oh and did I mention that there's a bit of a murder mystery, too. Not only do we get fun with the angel/celebrity world, but we also get a pretty scary case that needs to be solved before it's too late. Who will be the next victim?

I don't want to give anything away for anyone who hasn't had a chance to read this yet, but I did get a question that I had by the end of the book answered at the Book Festival. Now I can only imagine what will happen in the next book, Natural Born Angel! Waiting is going to be difficult...
Embers and Echoes - Karsten Knight I discovered this author last year just before his debut, Wildefire, came out and I'm so glad that I did. His writing, attention to detail, and wit are just a few of the things that I love about this series and can't wait for more.

When things don't work out in California or on her trip with Cole, Ashline Wilde heads to Miami to find her little sister Rose, the goddess of war.

Along the way she discovers more young deities, both stronger and more dangerous than before. And things are only just beginning.

One of the things I've discovered about some male writers, especially when they're writing from a female perspective, they tend to have a difficult time expressing the emotion a girl would have or writing a lot of details. Karsten definitely doesn't have that problem and I think that's one of the reasons I love this series so much. Ashline is clearly a tough character, witty and a bit sarcastic, but her emotions clearly come across the page. You get the struggles she's dealing with and want to know more about her.

Mythology is also pretty much one of my favorite things, and Karsten introduces a whole bunch of new mythological gods and goddess this time around. He thrusts them into a modern setting and presents them in a way that you could really see it all happening.

I especially love the intricate story and plot line that is given. There's so much more happening than our characters know about and as it slowly unravels you just want to know where it's all leading. All of the characters and different deities offer something, they aren't added just to be there and I can't wait to find out who all will be there in the last book.

Now after the way things ended in this book, not that it was really a cliffhanger, I am more than excited to get Afterglow, the last book in the trilogy. Everything has been building up to this and I'll have to sit and wait patiently (or as patiently as I can).
Hidden - Sophie Jordan One of the main things that drew me into this series was Sophie's dragon's. She built such an amazing world with them and created her own unique one's.

Jacinda has to set things right after Cassian's sister, Miram, is captured. With the help of her sister, Will, and Cassian, Jacinda infiltrates herself as a prisoner to help get Miram out and to safety.

But nothing is as easy as it seems. There's no guarantee of them all making it out and as truth's are revealed, everyone is tested. Including Jacinda.

I've loved Jacinda from the very beginning. She's unique even among her pride as a fire draki and is driven by her natural instincts. Though she's expected to be this protected, good little girl among the other draki, Jacinda doesn't accept that. She falls in love and doesn't want anyone else to tell her who she is or what she can do. An amazing character.

Each book has had just a little bit more about the draki world, including new and interesting draki's that weren't mentioned before. Especially in this last one, Sophie introduces a pretty amazing male draki that I'm not entirely sure what kind he is, but I definitely want to know more about. Their lives hidden by the mists, their connection to gems and such, even their training to fly is all stuff that I really enjoyed.

The world of Firelight has so much to it that I'd be happy if it never ended. The fantasy world of the draki, the mystery and adventure for the characters, and the romance between Jacinda and Will. There's just so much there that I'd keep reading, but since it eventually has to end I'm happy that we got just the right one. Sophie gave us conclusions and hope for more without leaving readers disappointed or feeling bittersweet.

Sophie ensured that I'll continue to read more from her with this series and I'm already itching to get my hands on her new book Uninvited. If only I didn't have to wait...
Insurgent - Veronica Roth I fell in love with this series last year when Divergent first came out. I told my sister that I had to force myself to slow down and savor what I was reading with that one, and I found myself doing it again.

Instead of enjoying her initiation day, Tris and the rest of her friends have to flee from Dauntless headquarters and seek safety when war breaks out. War has broken out.

Every decision Tris makes has consequences and as she faces them, Tris fights to protect those closest to her. Everything is falling apart, and as the secrets those in power want to keep hidden come to light, the lives they've clung to will be transformed.

One of the things I love about these books is how real and intense the situations are. Veronica doesn't hold back and I think that makes the story even more gripping. You can see and understand each faction, how they got to where they were and how each person fits into them. Even more so in Insurgent when we get to see the other factions besides Dauntless.

My sister and I have had a few discussions about this particular book. And one of the main things I've mentioned is how different Four was for me. In Divergent Four was all about pushing Tris to be strong and showing her that he knew that she was. That's one of the things that I loved about him. He didn't treat her like the small girl she appeared to be. Insurgent he was a bit different and seemed more overprotective of her, though he always mentioned how strong she was. I still love Four, he's one of my favorite male characters, but I think we got to see a different side of him in this book and Tris for that matter. Everybody responds to tragedy and war in different ways and Veronica showed that to us.

There are so many different facets to Insurgent especially and I don't want to give anything away. With each chapter I kept finding myself wanting to read just a little bit more because I couldn't stop where I'd wanted to. One of the focuses in this one was about the divergence. Sure it was quickly mentioned in Divergent, but it was explored more in this book and more of those who were Divergent were revealed. I loved getting a little bit more of an understand on just what that meant.

I can hardly imagine what all will happen in the final book, but I can barely wait! There's just so much that Veronica brings to the plate, so many details and thorough characters, that I'm beyond excited for the conclusion. This is one of the few dystopians, as well, that doesn't have me all squirmy and freaked out to find out what's going on.

Now, to wait patiently...