Thursday, January 28, 2016

Book Review: Dangerous Lies

About the Book:

Dangerous Lies by Becca FitzpatrickTitle: Dangerous Lies
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Pub. Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 400
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Triller, Mystery 
Rating: 4.5/5 stars




Synopsis:

Stella Gordon is not her real name. Thunder Basin, Nebraska, is not her real home. This is not her real life. After witnessing a lethal crime, Stella Gordon is sent to the middle of nowhere for her own safety before she testifies against the man she saw kill her mother’s drug dealer.

But Stella was about to start her senior year with the boyfriend she loves. How can she be pulled away from the only life she knows and expected to start a new one in Nebraska? Stella chafes at her protection and is rude to everyone she meets. She’s not planning on staying long, so why be friendly? Then she meets Chet Falconer and it becomes harder to keep her guard up, even as her guilt about having to lie to him grows.

As Stella starts to feel safer, the real threat to her life increases—because her enemies are actually closer than she thinks…

Review:

This is yet another exciting novel from Becca Fitzpatrick! I have loved Ms. Fitzpatrick ever since I first read Hush, Hush, and my love hasn't stopped. She has written several good novels since the conclusion of that series, this novel included. This novel follows Stella, who is forced to go into Witness Protection after being a witness to a murder. With a strong cast of characters, this novel is perfect for anyone who likes YA mystery/thriller. It has just enough to keep you interested in the story, while appeasing contemporary romance fans as well. The entire premise of this story with Witness Protection was a unique element that I really hadn't read previously, and it made the story even more exciting. There were some twists and turns throughout the story that I didn't see coming, and the conclusion literally had me on the edge of my seat! Everything comes down to a heart-pounding end and for a moment I was in shock because of the events!! 

Where this book truly shined for me was the characters. Each character was unique and had their own secrets. It was almost like this book was a mystery within a mystery. First, there was the general thriller/mystery of what exactly happened the night that Violet was in Witness Protection for, but then there was also the mystery of each character's past. The added an interesting and exciting element to the story, and keeps readers intrigued throughout the story. Carmina, the retired cop that takes in Stella, was strict and tough, but caring. There were some truly touching and heartfelt scenes between her and Stella, and I loved their relationship. It felt so real, and it was exactly what Stella needed in her life. Carmina quickly became a constant in Stella's life, which is something that Stella desperately needed as her own mother wasn't exactly winning any Mom-of-the-Year awards. Chet was another interesting character. I knew there was more to him than when we were first introduced to him, and I loved the evolving friendship him and Stella had. They had a good balance together, and he helped her grow in ways no one else could. 

I highly recommend checking this novel out if you are a fan of Becca Fitzpatrick! She delivers yet another thrilling, fantastic story that takes readers into the dangerous world of Witness Protection. Don't miss out on this one!

P.S. The cover for this book is really cool because on the actual book it's textured...it's just an extra little touch that was different and I loved!



Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #32

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

Ruined: Amy Tintera 
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016 


Synopsis: 

Emelina Flores has nothing. Her home in Ruina has been ravaged by war. She lacks the powers of her fellow Ruined. Worst of all, she witnessed her parents’ brutal murders and watched helplessly as her sister, Olivia, was kidnapped. But because Em has nothing, she has nothing to lose. Driven by a blind desire for revenge, Em sets off on a dangerous journey to the enemy kingdom of Lera. Somewhere within Lera’s borders, Em hopes to find Olivia. But in order to find her, Em must infiltrate the royal family.

In a brilliant, elaborate plan of deception and murder, Em marries Prince Casimir, next in line to take Lera’s throne. If anyone in Lera discovers Em is not Casimir’s true betrothed, Em will be executed on the spot. But it’s the only way to salvage Em’s kingdom and what is left of her family.

Em is determined to succeed, but the closer she gets to the prince, the more she questions her mission. Em’s rage-filled heart begins to soften. But with her life—and her family—on the line, love could be Em’s deadliest mistake.

A girl marrying a prince under the illusion that she is his arranged marriage? Tell me that does not excite you! There seems like there can be so many things that can go wrong for Em and Casimir in this novel, so I obviously need to see what happens to them. 


Cassie's Waiting On: 

These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks #1) by Tarun Shanker & Kelly Zekas
Publication Date: February 9, 2016

Synopsis:

These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks, #1)England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared. 

If you even mention Victorian London in a book, I'm pretty much sold.  This book is being marketed as Jane Austen meets X-Men which sounds like a very unique concept for a novel, and I am interested to see how it is executed in this novel.  This novel has a lot of potential to be the start to a great series, so fingers crossed!  Plus, that cover is gorgeous!


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

ARC Review: The Mystery of Hollow Places

About the Book:

The Mystery of Hollow PlacesTitle: The Mystery of Hollow Places
Author: Rebecca Podos
Pub. Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 304 
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Contemporary, Thriller 
Rating: 3.5/5 stars




Synopsis:

All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It's the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters.

When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn't come back. Neither Imogene's stepmother nor the police know where he could've gone, but Imogene is convinced he's looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she's gleaned from a lifetime of her father's books to track down a woman she's never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she's carried with her for her entire life. 

Review:

This is a middle of the road book for me and in some ways, it's difficult to review. I'm torn because there were many elements that I enjoyed about this novel, but there were also a lot of things that bothered me. Overall, the book is very well written and Ms. Podos has a wonderful talent. This book could have been absolutely amazing, but it lacked in some crucial areas. Ultimately, I felt a bit disappointed and under-whlemed with the story because I expected a bit more.

This novel follows Imogen, a 17-year-old girl whose father disappears with no indication of where or how long he will be gone. Obviously, Imogen is desperate to know what happened and believes that he left her a clue...a clue that implies her father has gone after the woman he loved, Imogen's mother, who left when she was just a little girl. Imogen (for the most part) was a great female lead. She was extremely real, and this is very crucial to the story. You could feel her suffering and turmoil while reading. She is relatable in some ways because all of us our confident in certain aspects of our lives, while experiencing insecurities about many other things. However, the one part of her character that I didn't like was how she behaved toward her her stepmom and "best friend" Jessa. I'll just leave it at the fact that both of them, especially Jessa, had to put up with a lot, and she definitely is a true, quality friend. I do understand that Imogen was going through a tough time (Jessa and Imogen's stepmom understood and supported her constantly too), but it doesn't mean a person has to treat others poorly.

The story itself is very interesting, and as I said previously, the novel was very well written. While not your traditional mystery novel, it was still an interesting mystery and I was left wondering how it would all end. This being said, the pacing of the entire novel was extremely slow. There were scenes that seemed to drag and drag. Additionally, there are many scenes were something is explained purely by flashback. For example, a character might ask the importance of a clue Imogen finds, and the next chapter will be entirely made up of a flashback to explain to the reader(not the character that asked the question) what the importance is. Not that I usually have a problem with this, but I felt the author relied on this too heavily throughout the story. There wasn't much dialogue between the characters, and I would have liked to see a bit more interactions/conversations. Finally, while this novel discusses many difficult topics relating to mental health, I felt that for the most part, these topics were just glazed over and never actually elaborated upon. 

Rebecca Podos is definitely a very gifted author that knows how to draw in her readers. As an author, she has a lot of potential and I would be interested in seeing what else she writes. I did enjoy this novel, but there were some things I just couldn't get over, and unfortunately, this made me lower my rating. I was expecting a bit more from the ending after the build-up throughout the story, and perhaps this is where the downfall to this novel lies. I was expecting more. Nevertheless, I do think this is a novel worth reading just for Ms. Podos' lovely writing and the strong character/family relationships.

Thank you to Harper Collins for providing
this book in exchange for my honest review 

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Monday, January 25, 2016

ARC Review: Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)


About the Book:


Title: Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pub. Date: February 9th, 2016
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Rating: 3/5 stars



Synopsis:

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.


Review:

Reign of Shadows has both good and bad points. I was excited to get into this because it's a fairytale retelling. Even though i read the entire book, I wouldn't know it was a retelling of Rapunzel if someone didn't tell me. I actually thought it was sleeping beauty at first. Reign of Shadows could stand alone as a fantasy book instead of take on the connotation of "fairytale retelling". 

Characterization is great in Reign of Shadows. I really got an insight into Fowler's past, actions, and feelings. He was captivating to learn about and I was never bored when I was reading from his POV. He's calculating, downright sexy, and sometimes caring. Unfortunately, I didn't care much for Luna. I was bored when reading from her POV and she really bothered me. She was super clingy but then she wanted her independence, the entire time it was a huge push and pull for those things. I just wanted to shake her and say "MAKE UP YOUR MIND". There are also the secondary characters that also receive sufficient descriptions. I wasn't left with any questions regarding any of the characters so that was really impressive. 

The biggest problem I had with this book was the instant attraction (or should I say obsession). Almost immediately after Luna met Fowler she didn't want to leave his side. Literally, she was in emotional distress that he wanted to leave her tower to get back to his life. Another big problem, I'm not sure if this is a spoiler but since it happened in the beginning of the book, was the unrealistic disability of blindness that Luna possesses. Apparently, her caregivers didn't notice she was blind till she was older. How incompetent of a caregiver do you have to be to NOT notice that a child isn't focusing on your face or whatever you're feeding them? And yes, I believe that the blindness heightened her other senses, but running through a dangerous forest slicing things with her sword? Hmm, I don't think so. 

So while I did have some problems with Reign of Shadows, it was a decent story for the mere 304 pages. If you're looking for a quick romance read and maybe don't really care if everything doesn't add up, Reign of Shadows is for you! I feel like this book would have been a super fun read if I was on the beach and drinking wine, which is not necessarily a bad thing! I love reading books that I don't have to think too much into when I'm few glasses deep and I'm at the pool or the beach. I think this book is perfect for that. If you like to do that too, I'd hold out on reading this till summer ;). 

- Jocelyn 


Saturday, January 23, 2016

Cover Reveal: Vernal (A Royal Protector Academy Novel)

Sorry this is late guys, but here's the cover reveal for Vernal (A Royal Protector Academy Novel #1) by one of my favorite authors, Randi Cooley Wilson!  



Title: Vernal
Series: A Royal Protector Academy Novel
Author: Randi Cooley Wilson
Release date: Spring 2016


Serena has a bright future etched in stone. Tristan has a dark past that haunts him. Together, they have a love that can never be.


Sheltered, and unable to escape her bloodline, Serena St. Michael has spent the last two years training at the Royal Protector Academy. Struggling with a dark past, Tristan Gallagher’s current assignment is to protect a lifetime of secrets. One chance encounter will change everything. Serena must decide if she will follow her heart, forsaking all she’s ever known and risking a future worse than non-existence. Tristan will break every rule to save Serena, even if he can’t keep her. In their world of darkness, one love will ignite an ancient war. When pasts collide with the present, and secrets are revealed, will love be enough? Or will one lie destroy it all?

When you’ve hidden behind a mask for so long, would you reveal yourself for love? Vernal, the first novel in The Royal Protector Academy series is a dangerously exciting and darkly romantic tale that will take your breath away.





Randi Cooley Wilson is an author of paranormal, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance books for teens and adults. Randi was born and raised in Massachusetts where she attended Bridgewater State University and graduated with a degree in Communication Studies. After graduation she moved to California where she lived happily bathed in sunshine and warm weather for fifteen years. Randi makes stuff up, devours romance books, drinks lots of wine and coffee, and has a slight addiction to bracelets. She currently resides in Massachusetts with her beautiful daughter and amazing husband.











~Cassie

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Blog Tour: Lightning Kissed



About the Book: 
Lightning Kissed (The Lucent Series Book 1)
Title: Lightning Kissed
Author: Lila Felix
Publication Date: January 4, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Pages: 275 
Rating: 4.5/5 stars




Synopsis:
Colby Evans can leap from one country to the next in a heartbeat. She can see every sunset in every time zone in the same day. She can travel across the world in a flash. She defies gravity and physics with every breath she takes. She's tested her abilities and found them limitless.  She is the lightning. She is Lucent. And nothing can stop her. 

Except him. Theodore Ramsey isn't supposed to be able to flash like Colby. The power of travel is passed on from mother to daughter in their people. Except once in every hundred generations. 
Theo is the one. He can flash like Colby. And it makes him a target to their enemies and to himself. His abilities change everything he knows about life and throws his future into an uncertain tangent. In fact, the only thing certain in his life is the love he feels for Colby. 

Their love defies time and space and has been the only constant thing in their lives since childhood. But even their infallible love will be stretched to its limits. She will risk her life to protect him. But he will risk everything to protect them all.


Add it on Goodreads: Lightning Kissed

Purchase: Amazon    B&N      iTunes (iBooks)

Review:
Order this book now! Lila Felix has made me fall in love with this book, and I am so desperate to get my hands on the second novel in this series. I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed this book because my love is all over the place. This novel is unique and like something I have never read previously. This book grabbed my interest immediately, and didn't let go until I was finished reading. So basically, this book was 
description

This novel follows Colby and Theo, two Lucents who can "flash" anywhere they want, anytime. Colby likes to refer to herself as a "flasher," which had me laughing very hard the first time I read it (okay...it still cracks me up), and being the rebel that she is, tends to push the buttons of those in charge. There's a lot of terminology in this novel as it is a completely new and unique world, but I was never once confused. Everything felt natural and Lila Felix revealed everything at a natural pace, never once overwhelming the reader. The plot was expertly written, and so creative. I don't know how Ms. Felix came up with it, but I am happy she did because I'm now obsessed with this world! The story (although fictional) seemed very well researched. There are many exciting travel locations and I truly felt as if I was there every single time. Plus, now I want to go to all of the places that Colby and Theo flashed to!

This novel is told in alternating POVs, Colby and Theo. Colby was an amazing female lead. I loved the sassy, spunky attitude that she had. She is fiercely independent, but love Theo with all that she is--even though she tries to distance herself from him. Colby also is hilarious, and had me cracking up many times while reading. Underneath that tough exterior though, she has a big heart that is full of love. I loved reading her chapters because these were the times when we saw her true vulnerabilities come through. However, she grows immensely over the course of the novel, and I am interested to see where her character goes from here. Theo was AMAZING! I loved every single thing about this guy, and he's definitely a new book boyfriend. Just trust me on this, when you meet him, you'll fall in love instantly. He's exactly what every girl should have in their life. 



description

Together though Colby and Theo are the epitome of sparks flying. Their chemistry is spot on and they have a natural flow to their relationship. They're best friends and trust each other implicitly. Only Colby can balance out/quiet Theo's ever-growing power, and these scenes made for some very heartfelt moments. While their scenes are sexy, it's an understated sexy. This was refreshing to read and these scenes never overshadowed the plot. 

With a brilliant and unique plot, Lila Felix has crafted a story that is sure to be a huge hit once it is released in early January! There is a huge twist at the end that I wasn't expecting, which makes me even more eager to read the sequel to this amazing novel! Check this book out if you are looking for something new and exciting. You won't be disappointed!

Happy reading :)

~Cassie

Special thank you to Xpresso Blog Tours for providing an ARC of this novel and allowing us to participate in this Blog Tour!



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Waiting on Wednesday #31

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Jocelyn's Waiting On: 

A Season for Fireflies: Rebecca Maizel
Publication Date: June 28th, 2016


Synopsis: 

A year ago, Penny Berne was the star of her high school’s theater department, surrounded by a group of misfit friends and falling in love for the first time. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, her new best friend is the most popular girl in school, and her first love, Wes, ignores her. Penny is revered and hated. Then, in a flash, a near-fatal lightning strike leaves Penny with no memory of the past year—or how she went from drama nerd to queen bee. 

As a record number of fireflies light up her town and her life, Penny realizes she may be able to make things right again—and that even if she can’t change the past, she can learn to see the magic where she never could before.

Rebecca Maizel's novel, Between Us and the Moon was published last summer and was a captivating novel of not only love and heartbreak, but also family relationships. Rebecca's writing style is perfect for summer so I think I'll be relying on A Season for Fireflies as my go-to summer read! 


Cassie's Waiting On: 

A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
Publication Date: February 2, 2016

Synopsis:

A Criminal MagicMagic is powerful, dangerous and addictive - and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.
It's 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city's magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters' crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer's shine.

Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC's most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family's home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.

Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic - and when their paths cross at the Shaws' performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.


This book sounds amazing on so many levels.  First, it takes place in the 1920s, which is one of my favorite eras. Second, magic underworld? Umm..I'm sold!  I can't even begin to tell you how excited this book makes me just by reading the synopsis.  I truly hope this novel is as amazing as it sounds!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Interview: The Girl Who Fell by Shannon M. Parker


About The Book:

  Title: The Girl Who Fell
  Author: Shannon M. Parker 
  Pub. Date: March 1st, 2016
  Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse 
  Pages: 320
  Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Abuse




Synopsis :

His obsession.
Her fall.

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense relationship—by the new boy in school.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and…terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

Interview:

For today's stop on The Girl Who Fell tour, I'm excited to be featuring Shannon and her debut YA novel.


Hi Jocelyn! Thanks so much for having me on your blog today!!

1. What made you decide to write a young adult novel? 

I read a lot of YA. It is a genre that has my whole heart. Zephyr’s story had been with me for some time so I thought I’d try to tell it.


2. Zephyr completely changes throughout the course of the book. How do you think readers are going to be able to relate to her? 



Zephyr is a super strong high school senior who feels really vulnerable at the beginning of the book. She’s suffered some loss and that feeds a lot of self-doubt. When she meets Alec, he relieves her insecurities. He understands her. Gives her a space in which she feels important and loved. After Alec shows his true colors, Zephyr needs to go through a really dark place to regain her strength. But I hope that is what readers relate to. That Zephyr is strong. That she controls her destiny. And that she matters.


3. What was the hardest part of writing The Girl Who Fell? 


Putting Zephyr through all I put her through. Because, really? We all want love. It is beautiful and kind and I really wanted Zephyr to have it.



4. Do you have any projects that you are currently working on? 


Yes! I’ll be able to talk more about it soon! 



5. What 2016 book are you most excited to read? 



I’ve been lucky to read so many advanced copies of 2016 releases, but one book I have been stalking for forever is GIRL IN PIECES by the profoundly brilliant and brave Kathleen Glasgow. 


6. If there is one thing you want teens to take away from The Girl Who Fell, what would it be? 

Love shouldn’t hurt.


Thank you, Shannon 



About Shannon M. Parker


Shannon Parker lives on the Atlantic coast with a house full of boys. She’s traveled to over three dozen countries and has a few dozen more to go. She works in education and can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses and wooden boats. Shannon has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally, at the same time. The Girl Who Fell is her first novel. Find her at www.shannonmparker.com



Connect with Shannon: Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram 


Giveaway:
Prize: One (1) Hardcover copy of The Girl Who Fell + Swag

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the rest of the tour! 

Tuesday, Jan 12: Blessie @ Mischievous Reads Dreamcast
Wednesday, Jan 13: Emily @  Emily Reads Everything Review
Thursday, Jan 14: Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles Group's Favorite Quotes
Friday, Jan 15: Tika @ Fangirl Confessions Movie Playlist
Saturday, Jan 16: Kristen @ My Friends Are Fiction Review
Sunday, Jan 17: Melanie @ One Less Lonely Blog Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 18: Cyra @ Rattle The Pages Review + 5 Reasons You Need to Read TGWF
Tuesday, Jan 19: Jocelyn @ Novels and Necklaces Interview
Wednesday, Jan 20: Cat @ Let the Pages Reign Review
Thursday, Jan 21: Aentee @ Read at Midnight 5 Ways TGWF Destroyed YA Tropes + iPhones wallpapers
Friday, Jan 22: Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles Review + Interview
Saturday, Jan 23: Joey @ Another After Thought Review
Sunday, Jan 24: Stefani @ Caught Read Handed Review + Interview
Monday, Jan 25: Hanna @ Two Sister's Blogging Review
Tuesday, Jan 26: Michella @ YA Books Girl Review + Playlist
Wednesday, Jan 27: Michelle @ Dreaming of Alba Review
Thursday, Jan 28: Jamie @ Books and Ladders Review + Interview
Friday, Jan 29: Eileen @ BookCatPin Review
Saturday, Jan 30: Brian @ Brian's Book Thoughts Review
Sunday, Jan 31: Sarah @ The YA Book Traveler Review + Interview 



- Jocelyn

Monday, January 18, 2016

ARC Review: The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)

About the Book:

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1)Title: The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)
Author: Alison Goodman
Pub. Date: January 26, 2016
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Pages: 496 
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult, Paranormal 
Rating: 4/5 stars




Synopsis:

London, April 1812. On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

Review:

This is the first novel that I have read by Alison Goodman, but I must say that I was very impressed. She crafted a wonderful novel that was unique and very well written. It was new and a refreshing read. There was a lot to enjoy with this novel from the exciting world to the strong female friendships. This book remained realistic to the time period in which it is set, while also taking creative license in other areas. I loved the blend of the mythology with the dark London atmosphere. It fit the novel perfectly, and I am interested to see where the story goes in the next novel.

Helen, our MC, is great as the female lead. She is not only strong-willed, outspoken, and up for an adventure--unlike most girls in her time, but also quick-witted, very intelligent (with a desire to learn even more), and very curious. Suffice to say, Helen isn't your typical 19th century girl. Helen isn't that interested in getting married, she is interested in abilities that have suddenly begun to manifest themselves. I loved Helen's adventurous spirit, and she didn't back down when she finds out what is going on. This being said, she also didn't jump right into the society. She took her time making her decision. This aspect was actually my favorite part of this novel. Most times, in historical fiction (or even in novels set in modern day), the MC is basically forced into their role. If you can see demons, well too bad, you have to fight demons now. But in this novel, Alison Goodman did something different, she gave Helen a choice. Helen sorted through all the facts, and introduced herself to the world before making any decisions. And by the end, she did make a decision. 

I also applaud Ms. Goodman for featuring such strong female friendships in this novel. I adored Darby, Helen's maid. She was the perfect friend for Helen, and provided a good balance to her character in the novel. Lord Carlston was certainly an interesting character as well. He is very misunderstood, and no one trusts him after he was thought to have murdered his previous wife. While he definitely is a mystery and we don't learn too much about him, his personality comes shining through. You can tell that he does care about Helen, and is very respectable toward her. I did like the fact that he never pushed Helen into joining the society. Obviously, he wanted her to, but he always gave her a choice. 

My only complaint with this novel was the length and pacing. This novel is close to 500 pages, and in my opinion it could have been about 100 (maybe even more) pages shorter. There were some very exciting moments, but then there were pages upon pages where the story dragged. It wasn't particularly boring, but these extra scenes weren't at all necessary. Now don't get me wrong, I love long novels, and in some books it feels like you didn't read that large amount of pages at all. But in this book you definitely feel like you're reading 500 pages. It doesn't go fast, and it takes a lot of time to read the novel. However, this was most prevalent in the middle of the novel, and afterwards the novel picks up immensely.

Overall, I would definitely recommend checking this novel out if you're into historical fiction with strong female leads. I do hope the second book is edited down a bit more to allow for the pacing of the novel to stay consistent throughout reading, but I am interested to see what is in store for Helen and the other characters in the next book. 

Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing
this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading :)

~Cassie