To All the Books I Forgot to Review (1)

10 January, 2014 Giveaways, To All the Books... 69 comments

Don't You Forget About MeIn 2013, I did something I never usually did: I didn’t review some books that I had read. It’s not that I didn’t like them because most of them were really good, some even my favorites of the entire year. But there was always something that got in the way or I got distracted or lazy or started drinking… you get the picture. So in order to feature some of these awesome books, I’ve decided to do a new mini-review feature. I’m hoping to be able to do this every few months or so depending on how much I read. This will leave me with more time to read and not stress about reviewing everything, but at the same time I get to share my thoughts with everyone. The best part? These books are already out! Yay!

Dear Books I Forgot to Review,

I totes didn’t forget about you!

(Hover over the covers for the synopsis and links!)

If you love Fantasy…

Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott Goodreads | Purchase A powerful tale of magic, love, and revenge set in fairy-tale Japan. Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create herself in any form - a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother's new husband, Lord Terayama? Or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama's kitchens? Or is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver.

Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott

Goodreads | Purchase
A powerful tale of magic, love, and revenge set in fairy-tale Japan.
Trained in the magical art of shadow-weaving, sixteen-year-old Suzume is able to re-create herself in any form – a fabulous gift for a girl desperate to escape her past. But who is she really? Is she a girl of noble birth living under the tyranny of her mother’s new husband, Lord Terayama? Or a lowly drudge scraping a living in the ashes of Terayama’s kitchens? Or is she Yue, the most beautiful courtesan in the Moonlit Lands? Whatever her true identity, Suzume is destined to use her skills to steal the heart of a prince in a revenge plot to destroy Terayama. And nothing will stop her, not even the one true aspect of her life- her love for a fellow shadow-weaver.

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor  Goodreads | Purchase Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war. This is not that world. Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

Days of Blood & Starlight (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #2) by Laini Taylor

Goodreads | Purchase
Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love and dared to imagine a world free of bloodshed and war.
This is not that world.
Art student and monster’s apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is—and what she is. But with this knowledge comes another truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it.
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she’ll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life.
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope.
But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

1. Shadows on the Moon by Zoë Marriott three-stars

I really loved how this one had diversity and eastern influence. The writing was gorgeous and the love interest totally swoon worthy. The main character had a good amount of character development and I really could connect with her. The beginning was a little slow for me, but the second half was much better.
Need an in-depth review? Kat reviewed it here.

2. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor three-stars

I was desperately waiting for Days of Blood and Starlight to come out and, boy, this was quite a book. Don’t let the rating mislead you into thinking this wasn’t an excellent book because it was. The plot was tighter and the action much more intense than in the first book, but it’s just so incredibly sad that I felt mentally and emotionally drained after reading it. Plus, it didn’t quite get me in the feels as much as Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I think I will need to re-read this one soon to have a more definite opinion.
Need an in-depth review? Kat reviewed it here and Paul reviewed it here.

 

If you love Dystopia…

Allegiant

Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth

Goodreads | Purchase
One choice will define you.
What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?
The explosive conclusion to Veronica Roth’s #1 New York Times bestselling Divergent trilogy reveals the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent.

Champion

Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu

Goodreads | Purchase
He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?
June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

1. Allegiant by Veronica Roth three-stars

My favorite of this series is still Divergent, but at least Allegiant wasn’t as boring and nonsensical as Insurgent. The biggest con for me was the dual point-of-views of Tris and Four because they sounded just alike and it was a chore to have to continually go back to the beginning of a chapter to remember who was narrating. Before the ending, I would have given Allegiant only 2 stars, but I really enjoyed how Roth handled it. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, but the reactions from fans have been really interesting to say the least.
Need an in-depth review? Meg reviewed it here.

2. Champion by Marie Lu three-half-stars

For whatever reason I didn’t quite enjoy Champion as much as I loved Prodigy. Trilogies have to be incredibly difficult to end and this one didn’t wow me. Cons? The explanation for Day’s brother’s blood and June’s was very rushed. I would have loved to know more, but it seems most of the focus was on the war. Understandable, however, it left the book feeling incomplete. The action was pretty fantastic and Lu is excellent at building anticipation as she did in Legend and Prodigy. There were times when I didn’t know who would survive. For those that are wondering if this features a similar ending like Allegiant, I’m not telling. 😛 But I will say that you’ll either feel satisfied or unhappy because it’s a semi-open ending end. I ended up enjoying it, though.

 

If you like Paranormal Romance…

Spirit

Spirit (Elemental #3) by Brigid Kemmerer

Goodreads | Purchase
With power comes enemies. Lots of them.
Hunter Garrity just wants to be left alone. He’s learned the hard way that his unusual abilities come at a price. And he can’t seem to afford any allies.
He’s up to his neck in hostiles. His grandfather, spoiling for a fight. The Merrick brothers, who think he ratted them out. Calla, the scheming psycho who wants to use him as bait.
Then there’s Kate Sullivan, the new girl at school. She’s not hostile. She’s bold. Funny. Hot. But she’s got an agenda, too.
With supposedly secret powers rippling to the surface everywhere around him, Hunter knows something ugly is about to go down. But finding out what means he’ll have to find someone he can trust…

The Liberator

The Liberator (Dante Walker #2) by Victoria Scott

Goodreads | Purchase
Bad boy, meet bad girl.
Dante has a shiny new cuff wrapped around his ankle, and he doesn’t like that mess one bit. His new accessory comes straight from Big Guy himself and marks the former demon as a liberator. Despite his gritty past and bad boy ways, Dante Walker has been granted a second chance.
When Dante is given his first mission as a liberator to save the soul of seventeen-year-old Aspen, he knows he’s got this. But Aspen reminds him of the rebellious life he used to live and is making it difficult to resist sinful temptations. Though Dante is committed to living clean for his girlfriend Charlie, this dude’s been a playboy for far too long…and old demons die hard.
With Charlie becoming the girl she was never able to be pre-makeover and Aspen showing him how delicious it feels to embrace his inner beast, Dante will have to go somewhere he never thought he’d return to in order to accomplish the impossible: save the girl he’s been assigned to, and keep the girl he loves.

The Golden Lily

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines #2) by Richelle Mead

Goodreads | Purchase
Sydney Sage is an Alchemist, one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets—and human lives.
Sydney would love to go to college, but instead, she’s been sent into hiding at a posh boarding school in Palm Springs, California–tasked with protecting Moroi princess Jill Dragomir from assassins who want to throw the Moroi court into civil war. Formerly in disgrace, Sydney is now praised for her loyalty and obedience, and held up as the model of an exemplary Alchemist.
But the closer she grows to Jill, Eddie, and especially Adrian, the more she finds herself questioning her age–old Alchemist beliefs, her idea of family, and the sense of what it means to truly belong. Her world becomes even more complicated when magical experiments show Sydney may hold the key to prevent becoming Strigoi—the fiercest vampires, the ones who don’t die. But it’s her fear of being just that—special, magical, powerful—that scares her more than anything. Equally daunting is her new romance with Brayden, a cute, brainy guy who seems to be her match in every way. Yet, as perfect as he seems, Sydney finds herself being drawn to someone else—someone forbidden to her.
When a shocking secret threatens to tear the vampire world apart, Sydney’s loyalties are suddenly tested more than ever before. She wonders how she’s supposed to strike a balance between the principles and dogmas she’s been taught, and what her instincts are now telling her.
Should she trust the Alchemists—or her heart?

1. Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer three-stars

I didn’t enjoy Spirit as much as I did Spark, which is interesting since Gabriel is my least favorite brother, but I was very surprised to see how far Kemmerer took her characters. Hunter has probably had the roughest past out of them all and he dealt with a lot of pain and drama. I felt bad for the guy. Also, I really think the writing in Spirit is the strongest so far in the series, especially since it didn’t work too well for me in Storm. Overall, I’ll be continuing on with this series because I can’t wait to read Nick’s book!

2. The Liberator by Victoria Scott three-half-stars

I cannot get enough of Dante! He is one of the best anti-heroes I have read about in a long time and has some of the best lines. I can’t even begin to count how many times I laughed while reading The Liberator. What I loved most was the character development of Dante. He’s a lot more serious this time around, and if you’ve read The Collector, you’ll know that’s pretty big for him. He starts to question his and Charlie’s relationship more because they fell so hard and fast for one another. I thought that was well played considering there were some reviewers who feel their relationship bordered on insta-love. So for Dante to question this and work on his feelings, it was a good move. The ending really surprised me and Warrior is a must read for me this year!

3. The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead three-stars

Richelle is hands down one of my favorite authors, but I don’t love this series as much as Vampire Academy. I think that mostly has something to do with Sydney since I’m not really a big fan of hers. She’s not as interesting as Rose and tends to grate on my nerves. BUT this was better than Bloodlines in a lot of ways and it feels like Richelle is starting to hit her stride since I hear The Indigo Spell is even better. Also, Adrian makes any Vampire Academy book better. I wasn’t sure how I felt about an Adrian and Sydney ship, but it’s starting to grow on me.

 

If you like Sci-Fi…

One

One (One Universe #1) by Leigh Ann Kopans

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When having two powers makes you a Super and having none makes you a Normal, having only one makes you a sad half-superpowered freak.
It makes you a One.
Sixteen-year-old Merrin Grey would love to be able to fly – too bad all she can do is hover.
If she could just land an internship at the Biotech Hub, she might finally figure out how to fix herself. She busts her butt in AP Chem and salivates over the Hub’s research on the manifestation of superpowers, all in hopes of boosting her chances.
Then she meets Elias VanDyne, another One, and all her carefully crafted plans fly out the window. Literally. When the two of them touch, their Ones combine to make them fly, and when they’re not soaring over the Nebraska cornfields, they’re busy falling for each other.
Merrin’s mad chemistry skills land her a spot on the Hub’s internship short list, but as she gets closer to the life she always wanted, she discovers that the Hub’s purpose is more sinister than it has always seemed. Now it’s up to her to decide if it’s more important to fly solo, or to save everything – and everyone – she loves.

Starglass

Starglass (Starglass #1) by Phoebe North

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Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn’t interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he’s yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she’s got.
But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain’s guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship’s idyllic surface. As she’s drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime–one that will determine the fate of her people.

1. One by Leigh Ann Kopans three-half-stars

One is one of those self-published gems that I seem to always be hunting for. It’s not perfect, but it’s just really fun to read. It reminds me a lot of x-men, but with teens. The writing is decent, though, I do feel it was better in the second half, and the plot is pretty good. The anticipation was built just right and the climax did have me on the edge of my seat. Not to mention the cover is gorgeous, one of my favorites of 2013. If you enjoy superhero books, you’ll probably like this one.

2. Starglass by Phoebe North four-stars

Wow. I loved this book. I was so impressed by all the research that was clearly done and the way everything lined up for the ending. My goodness, THAT ENDING. Starglass feels like very old school sci-fi for the younger generation and I couldn’t find any plot holes in my reading. The only reason why I didn’t give it 5 stars is because the beginning is pretty slow and could possibly turn off less patient readers. It worked for me because I fell in love with North’s prose. But once the climax hits, the plot went nuts. I would highly recommend this to fans of Beth Revis’ Across the Universe series.

 

If you like Contemporary…

Maybe Tonight?

Maybe Tonight? (Snap Decision #1) by Bridie Clark

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Maybe Tonight? opens as the reader is getting ready for the most exciting party of the year—Midwinter’s Night Dream, set in the frosty woods just off campus—with her roommates and best friends Annabel Snow, Spider Harris, and Libby Monroe. Choices unfold quickly and the reader must decide which risks to take in pursuit of social status, adventure, success, and love.

Charm & Strange

Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn

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When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .
Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.
He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.
He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable.
Over the course of one night, while stuck at a party deep in the New England woods, Andrew battles both the pain of his past and the isolation of his present.
Before the sun rises, he’ll either surrender his sanity to the wild darkness inside his mind or make peace with the most elemental of truths—that choosing to live can mean so much more than not dying.

1. Maybe Tonight? by Bridie Clark three-stars

Maybe Tonight? reminds me a fluffy version of the old Choose Your Own Adventure Goosebumps books I used to read in elementary school back in the day. Except it has considerable amount less gore, death and fear. I read this right after I finished a few different “serious” and “deep” books, so the lighter feel was perfect for me. The novel is fairly short and filled with different sections that allow the reader to choose how the story unfolds. There’s not really a climax or any “wowing” moments in it, but I enjoyed myself regardless simply because it was something different from what I usually read. A lot of other reviewers have been giving it around 2 stars or less, and I get why. It’s not going to wow anyone and I wouldn’t tell people to rush out to the store to purchase it. But if you are looking for something fluffy and have an hour to burn, Maybe Tonight? does the job.

2. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn five-stars

OMG. THIS BOOK. I held off reviewing Charm & Strange for one reason: I have no idea how to review a book like this. It’s a psychological thriller that leaves you completely confused until the very last pages. There were literally times where I thought, “Okay, this is dumb” or “WTF am I reading?” But wow. I was left in pieces by the end and I think I might have finished the entire book in one day, which is a feat for me with kids running around all day. I couldn’t tear myself away from it. I’d recommend this one for more mature YA readers, as it does cover a sensitive subject.

 

If you like Audiobooks…

Dualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman Narrated by Alicyn Packard Goodreads | Purchase Two of you exist. Only one will survive. West Grayer is ready. She's trained for years to confront her Alternate, a twin raised by another family. Survival means a good job, marriage—life. But then a tragic misstep leaves West questioning: Is she the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future? If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from herself, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her. Fast-paced and unpredictable, Elsie Chapman's suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a chilling, unforgettable world.

Dualed (Dualed #1) by Elsie Chapman

Narrated by Alicyn Packard

Goodreads | Purchase
Two of you exist. Only one will survive.
West Grayer is ready. She’s trained for years to confront her Alternate, a twin raised by another family. Survival means a good job, marriage—life.
But then a tragic misstep leaves West questioning: Is she the best version of herself, the version worthy of a future?
If she is to have any chance of winning, she must stop running not only from herself, but also from love . . . though both have the power to destroy her.
Fast-paced and unpredictable, Elsie Chapman’s suspenseful YA debut weaves unexpected romance into a chilling, unforgettable world.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson Narrated by Jennifer Ikeda Goodreads | Purchase Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness. Elisa is the chosen one.  But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.  Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess. And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake. Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn't die young. Most of the chosen do.

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns #1) by Rae Carson

Narrated by Jennifer Ikeda

Goodreads | Purchase
Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.
But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.
Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.
And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.
Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.
Most of the chosen do.

The Demon King

The Demon King (Seven Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Narrated by Carol Monda

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Han has vowed that he will no longer steal, no matter how bad things get for his mom and sister. But life isn’t easy, and the mysterious silver cuffs that have always been clasped to his wrists seem to promise no help for the future.
When Han catches wizards setting fire to the sacred mountain of Hanalea, he forces a confrontation-and gains possession of an amulet carried by one of the wizards. This is no ordinary amulet, however, and Han learns that it once belonged to the legendary evil Demon King. Knowing that the wizards will stop at nothing to reclaim the amulet, Han has to summon every ounce of his courage to ensure the amulet isn’t used for worldwide destruction.
Cinda Williams Chima won accolades for her New York Times best-selling Heir Trilogy. The first of a new young adult trilogy, The Demon King features a sterling narration from acclaimed vocal talent Carol Monda.

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner Narrated by Cynthia Holloway, Johnathan McClain & Sarge Anton Goodreads | Purchase It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they're worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

 

Narrated by Cynthia Holloway, Johnathan McClain & Sarge Anton

Goodreads | Purchase
It’s a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.
Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

1. Dualed by Elsie Chapman three-stars

I had an ARC of this for a while, but never really got around to reading it. So when I say it on Overdrive, I went ahead and tried out an audiobook. This was the very first audiobook I’ve ever listened to and I was really impressed with the narration. The premise is what originally drew me to this one since the heroine is on a mission to kill her Alt, a girl who is just like her in every aspect. Unfortunately, the science doesn’t really make sense to me because I really don’t think genetics works the way it was portrayed in the book, but I’m no expert. The biggest problems I had with it was the heroine herself and the romance. West is annoying at best and induced a few *headdesk* quite a few times. I understood her fear, but at times, it felt exaggerated to prolong the romantic tension. The romance fell very flat for me as there was very little development. I wouldn’t consider it insta-love at all, but I never got a feeling the heroine and love interest had any feelings whatsoever until closer to the end. The ending also was interesting because there’s no resolution to the main character’s dystopian society (later I found out this is apart of a Duology, but it honestly reads like a standalone), which is very different from the genre. Regardless, I enjoyed the narration quite a bit, but I’m unsure if I would like the print version equally considering the issues I already had, so I probably won’t be checking out the second book.

2. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson three-stars

I listened to both The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Crown of Embers (which I gave 4 stars to), and this is a really great series! I plan to listen to the final book very soon this year. I’ve found that listening to High Fantasy novels is the way to go for me and the narrator for this series is fantastic. I love how this series has strong Hispanic influences and I think this may be the first series I’ve read that does this. It was also so refreshing to have a heroine who wasn’t skinny and who saves the day with her intellect. I loved the character development and how Elisa went from a self-conscience girl to a woman who was confident with her curvy body and decisions. She’s not a perfect heroine and makes a lot of mistakes that end up costing her, but she felt so realistic to me.

3. The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima five-stars

OMG. If I could give this series 10 stars, I would! This is an amazing story and equally amazing audiobook. Plot: perfect. Characters: perfect. Romance: perfect. The only negative thing I can think of is that the first book does take a little while to get started. However, DO NOT GIVE UP ON IT. By the time I got to book four, The Crimson Crown, I was a zombie connected to my iPhone listening to Carol Monda’s every word. She has such a deep and gritty voice that she effortlessly switched back and forth to both female and male characters. LIKE WHOA GUYS. If you only ever read one audiobook series in your life, let it be this one.

4. These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner three-half-stars

These Broken Stars is going to be a hit or miss for a lot of people because it’s a survival book that has the characters walking through the wilderness almost the entire book. I usually hate books like these since it can get very boring. So, for me, I feel listening to the audiobook version of this book was a good decision. It has three narrators and they all did a marvelous job keeping me entertained as Tarver and Lilac wandered and wandered and wandered. The thing I loved was the plot twists because they were totally WTF-worthy. This is another one that feels very classically sci-fi with a pinch of Twilight Zone thrown in for good measure. The ending was so science-y that I can’t even begin to pick anything apart, so I’ll just stare off into the distance until I have book two, which I hear features two different characters. Interesting!

 

If you dig Manga and Graphic Novels…

Fairy Tale Comics

Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists by Chris Duffy

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From favorites like “Puss in Boots” and “Goldilocks” to obscure gems like “The Boy Who Drew Cats,” Fairy Tale Comics has something to offer every reader. Seventeen fairy tales are wonderfully adapted and illustrated in comics format by seventeen different cartoonists, including Raina Telgemeier, Brett Helquist, Cherise Harper, and more.
Edited by Nursery Rhyme Comics’ Chris Duffy, this jacketed hardcover is a beautiful gift and an instant classic.

Hana Kimi

Hana-Kimi, Vol. 1 (Hana-Kimi #1) by Hisaya Nakajo

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THE PRETTIEST BOY IN SCHOOL…ISN’T A BOY!
Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has gotten herself a transfer to a high school in Japan…but not just any school! To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she’s going to an all-guys’ high school…and disguising herself as a boy! But as fate would have it, they’re more than classmates…they’re roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates–and the school nurse–must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation…

Pretty Gardian Sailor Moon

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 2 (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Renewal Editions #2) by Naoko Takeuchi

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The mysterious Tuxedo Mask has revealed his identity, forcing Usagi to come to terms with her growing affections for the masked vigilante, all the while defending the people of Earth from renewed attacks by the sinister “enemy”. Everything threatens to overwhelm even Sailor Moon when suddenly a new Sailor Guardian appears. Could this new Guardian be the Moon Princess the Sailor Guardians are sworn to protect?

1. Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists, edited by Chris Duffy four-stars

I loved this book and the different spin the cartoonists put on these old stories I grew up on. The artwork is different for every story (17 in total) and some of them are really funny. Here were a few of my favorites (click to view the bigger image):

2. Hana-Kimi by Hisaya Nakajo four-stars

This is one of my favorite shoujo mangas ever. I love how it challenges gender expectations and the romance is completely adorable. If you’ve never read manga before, the strange, exaggerated mannerisms of the characters may throw you off, but trust me when I say nothing throws your feels around in a glitter machine on acid like a shoujo manga romance. The series does have a huge gap that might get you a little frustrated (side story lines and frustration at the main character), but the ending brought on the water works.
Looking for an in-depth discussion? Check out this post.

3. Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 2 by Naoko Takeuchi five-stars

Another favorite shoujo and anime series is Sailor Moon. If you haven’t read this yet? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR IT’S LIKE THE BEST THING EVER. I’m slowly making my way through the new manga as they release them and let me just say that the colored pages are AMAZEBALLS. Also, SWEET NOSTALGIA. This was my face after I found out they were re-releasing the manga and rebooting the anime series:

Happy_sailor_moon

 

Hey, Picture Books are cool too…

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea

Goodreads | Purchase
Hi, I’m Goat.
Things were just fine around here until UNICORN showed up.
So what if he can fly?
Or make it rain cupcakes?
And turn stuff into gold?
Big deal.
I can do some cool stuff too, like…
Hey! What are you doing? Why are you opening the book?
He’s just going to tell you how great he is. Blah, blah, blah.
Go ahead. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Dopey Unicorn.

Chick-o-Saurus Rex

Chick-o-Saurus Rex by Lenore Jennewein & Daniel Jennewein

Goodreads | Purchase
A bullied little chicken discovers his inner strength along with some surprising dinosaur ancestry in this farmyard tale with huge heart.
Little Chick just wants to belong, but the bullies of the barnyard—Little Donkey, Little Pig, and Little Sheep—won’t let him play in their tree house because he is a chicken, and chickens are not strong and brave. Little Chick sees their point: What have chickens done besides invent the chicken dance and cross the road? But when his father shows Little Chick the family photo album, he learns something HUGE: He is related to the gigantic and ferocious Tyrannosaurus rex!
Armed with this new knowledge, Little Chick returns to the tree house just in time to rescue the bullies from a scary wolf and prove that strength and bravery have nothing to do with size.

Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom

Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco

Goodreads | Purchase
Every super hero gets his powers from somewhere. The young hero of this book, Rocco, thinks his abilities come from his shock of red hair, and the longer it gets, the stronger he becomes. He even has a posse of super friends with wild hair of their own. Our hero is unstoppable–until the day he’s dragged to the super evil villain’s lair and robbed of his powers. How will he face his friends? Will he ever regain his super hero-ness? A girl who has been watching all along offers the gang a chance to save the day and get their groove back.
With bold images that burst with energy from white backgrounds and narration as earnest as Superman himself, SUPER HAIR-O AND THE BARBER OF DOOM is a feel-good and funny book for emergent comic book fans and parents who grew up on them.

1. Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea five-stars

Guys, HE MAKES CUPCAKES RAIN FROM THE SKY. I love reading this one to my kids and it never gets old. It’s such a charming and cute story about jealousy and envy told in a way that is funny. The illustrations have legit GLITTER on the pages and the cover. This made my daughter eternally happy. (Okay… so me too. 😀 )

2. Chick-o-Sauras Rex by Lenore & Daniel Jennewein five-stars

I had the awesome opportunity to meet the authors at my local children’s bookstore and it was one of the best signings I went to! I love the illustrations and how bright the colors are. The story follows a chicken who wants to be mighty to fit in and, in the process, finds out he’s related to the T-Rex. Plus, Daniel drew this adorable illustration in our book:

Chick-o-Saurus Rex drawing

3. Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco four-stars

I love, love, love Rocco’s drawings. I first picked up his other book, Blackout, and immediately became a fan. His books feature diverse kids of different ethnicities and I just don’t see that very often in picture books. This one is about a kid and his friends who have super powers because of their hair or so they think, until one day they all get a hair cut. Ha! It’s the perfect bedtime book.

 

Giveaway

Whew! That was a lot. I have 5 physical books to giveaway:

ARCs:

  • Dualed by Elsie Chapman
  • Maybe Tonight? by Bridie Clark
  • Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
  • Champion by Marie Lu

Finished hardcover:

  • Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists, edited by Chris Duffy

One US winner will receive all 5 books and one international winner will get to pick one book mentioned in the post.

Contest Rules:

  • To enter, please fill out the Raffelcopter form below.
  • We ask that all entrants be at least 13 years or older to enter.
  • The giveaway is open to International.
  • When the winners are chosen, it will be announced here and the winners will be emailed. Please check your email because we are only giving the winner 48 hours to respond! Otherwise another winner will have to be selected.
  • Please enter your email address in the Rafflecopter form and not the comments.
  • Also, please understand that we reserve the right to disqualify any entries we find gaming the system. Cheaters never prosper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker and fangirl, YA Books Central editor and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.
Steph Sinclair
Book Blogging Rules You Must Follow https://t.co/9zthVhYukE #CuddlebuggeryArchive - 2 hours ago

69 Responses to “To All the Books I Forgot to Review (1)”

  1. Arshia
    Twitter:

    If you don’t mind answering, what sensitive topic does Charm and Strange cover? I’ve heard nothing but praise for this book. Which is exactly why I scuttle away from it everytime it comes up.

    THE SEVEN REALMS. This perfect perfectionism is book I don’t even know what coherency is anymore. The reason it worked so well was that the romance never, ever, ever overpowered the main plot. Chima should give out classes on how to do a slow burn romance so well that you’re so worked up, you want to jam their faces together already 😛 The characters. The plot. The *pacing*. The everything of this book. Okay. I’m shutting up.

    Champion isn’t out in my country yet. Rafflecopter. Does you hear me.

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      Charm & Strange deals with sexual abuse and child abuse. It’s a really sad, but powerful story. At first it doesn’t make much sense because of the way it’s narrated (the MC is just as confused about everything as the reader is) and it jumps from past and present a lot.

      SEVEN RELAMS blew my mind. I am soooo happy I listened to it. And I agree about the romance taking a backseat. I mean, by the time I go to the garden rooftop scene, I was swooning so hard it’s not even funny. Plus, I just loved Huntsalone. I mean, that guy was going HAM on everyone left and right. Seriously, thug life and mic drops. LOL.

      • Arshia
        Twitter:

        I’ve never listened to a single audiobook. Ever. I just don’t get how the magicky magic of the book can translate into people reading it out. You know? I might pick up the Seven Realms though, since you’re so strongly for it.

        Hans’ badassery is unrivaled.

        You can’t have everything,” she said.
        “I can. And I will. I will find a way.”

        LIKE A BOSS, HAN. Like a boss. Do not underestimate the power of that scene to make me squee. And let’s not forget the wonderfully majestically magnificent marvelousness that is Crow.
        Arshia recently posted…The Great Big Funk.My Profile

  2. Amanda @ Book Badger

    I’ve heard some fantastic things about The Seven Realms Series, and am seriously considering it myself at some point, I’m glad you enjoyed it Steph, and these are a lot of ‘forgotten’ books, but this is great way to review them in short. Great idea!

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      Haha! Well, I didn’t *have* to review them, but most of them I had requested from publishers, but never reviewed. Trying to clear the slate for this year. One stone and a whole bunch of birds thing.

  3. Kate Copeseeley

    All I can think about right now is Pitch Perfect and how much I need to watch that movie again. hahaha

    The seven realms was probably my favorite fantasy series of 2013. And, yes, compared to normal YA speedster pacing, it is a bit slow at times. But for epic fantasy, slow buildups are pretty typical in my experience, so I didn’t really mind.
    I may check to see if I can get these broken stars for audiobook, because I’m looking for another good one to get into.

    • Steph Sinclair
      Twitter:

      I’m with you. I didn’t mind the slow pacing either. I thought it work out perfectly over the span of the series, especially in relation to the romance. I also loved how the princess had other love interests and just didn’t fall for the first guy she kissed.

      Let me know how you end up liking These Broken Stars.

  4. Lena
    Twitter:

    There are good amount of books that I loved and read in 2013 that I did not review…. because I am lazy haha. The Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists looks awesome!!! and One was a really cool read- me likey.
    I still think you should try the Nature of Grace series… S.R. Johannes is awesome!
    The first book is free on amazon!—> http://www.amazon.com/Untraceable-The-Nature-Grace-Book-ebook/dp/B0069Z9A74

    ok err sorry for long comment…

  5. Tammy
    Twitter:

    Allegiant has been sitting on my kindle, I’m afraid. I started the Legend series, read book one so far, really good. Indigo Spell let me down, not sure if I’ll read Fiery Heart. I’ve been thinking about starting The Seven Realms series, you convinced me I should.

  6. Kaethe

    Love the format: just enough to tell me whether or not I want to read a book. And count me among the delighted that you included picture books. Thanks! I added almost everything to my to-read list. I love the mini reviews (with stars), and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of these. Were you to put one up every single month I’d be thrilled (although I realize it wouldn’t be a long post).

  7. Suz Reads

    I haven’t read any of the listed books but I can’t wait to read Champion! I read Legend recently and have Prodigy in my pile to read next. Thanks for this amazing giveaway – I would love to win!

  8. Kara @ Great Imaginations
    Twitter:

    Really, really great idea if you let yourself get behind to do a post like this. I will keep it in mind if it happens to me. I’ve been playing a lot of Mario Kart and watching Awkward (OMG watch that show if you haven’t) and I may get lost in a black hole at some point. Heh.

  9. Heather Currie

    I’ve read the entire Princess Guardian Sailor Moon Saga and loved it! I’m glad you’ve started reading them – I think you’ll be very happy with the entire series. I’ve even read the short stories collections. I’ve also read Allegiant and loved it – I agree that my favorite is Divergent but still loved the final book of the series. Thanks for the other suggestions 🙂 I just added another 5 to my TBR shelf.

  10. Madigan

    I love this post! Genius idea, I say, posting these mini-reviews. I should do the same, since I’m in the same boat. Bravo!

  11. Nova Lee @ Out of Time
    Twitter:

    Have I told you how made of awesome this post is? I think I did. Well, here’s me saying it again!

    I haven’t read very many of these books. I’m still trying to convince myself to read Allegiant; it’s just not feeling me anymore or vice versa. I know these are like little mini reviews, but I found the ones I have read really helpful and I agree with them. I probably need to do this too, lol.
    Nova Lee @ Out of Time recently posted…Won’t Shut Up [6]: JealousyMy Profile

  12. Amber J.

    I really like all your quickie reviews. In less than five minutes you’ve helped me decide what books to buy and what books I already own that should be moved to the front of my TBR list.
    And now I also know I made the right choice in buying the audio version of TBS.
    Thanks, Steph!

  13. Kallicalico

    I loved Days of Blood and Starlight, but I have to agree with you with not getting the same feel as reading Daughter of Smoke and Bones. I wonder if it’s because it’s so packed with action and information cause I remember many times while reading it wondering if I missed something. It’ll be something I’ll be planning on re-reading sometime in the future.

    Ahhh, yes! I just read the Indigo Spell recently (actually, I believe it was my first read book of the year) and I loved it so so much. It definitely surpassed The Golden Lily, for sure.

    Sailor Moon, Sailor Moon Sailor Moon!!! I probably shouldn’t be surprised, cause the franchise has been around for quite some time, but it was still a treat to see someone blog about the manga (and the upcoming new series coming out sometime this summer, I’m so excited!!).

    One day I’ll finish up the rest of the Divergent trilogy and I’ll get my hands on the Legend trilogy as well. I really dislike starting something and not finishing it up. ) : But it doesn’t help that it’s been difficult finding these copies in the library, which in the end is a good thing- it means others in my community are reading them, so yay!!
    Kallicalico recently posted…Review: Also Known AsMy Profile

  14. Holly Letson
    Twitter:

    I’ve definitely read *Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon*, V2. I loved the Sailor Mercury cover, since she’s my second favorite Sailor Senshi, second only to Sailor Neptune (who is on V8 of PGSM: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13533761-pretty-guardian-sailor-moon-vol-8?ac=1).

    Have you seen the new “Perfect Edition” (3rd generation) editions of the “Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon” mangas? They’re pictured at http://sailormoon-official.com/comics/ , and the covers are very nice. They’re issuing in Japan right now, but probably won’t be released stateside for quite awhile, since we just did the “renewal” (2nd generation) of the PGSM manga.

    Sadly, it seems that the new PGSM anime has been delayed yet again, and instead of airing at the end of this month, it won’t air till Summer (June/July). But, I hear it will be dropping the “Monster of the Week” format, and focusing on the actual manga story, so it should be worth the wait. I just don’t care for the new OP theme. Still, I am very much a Moonatic, and I am–of course–looking forward to the new anime. I intend to watch it with my fiance’, who is also a Moonatic.
    ————————–
    I have also read V1 of *HanaKimi*, back in the days that I read a ton of scanslations (many years back), under its’ long Jap name that translated to “For You in Full Blossom”. I didn’t care for it at that time, and dropped it after V1. But, after seeing the J-Drama a few years ago, and enjoying it, I decided I’d eventually read the entire series one of these days. Just haven’t gotten around to it, yet.
    —————————–
    As for books in this list that look good, *Fairy Tale Comics* catches my eye. Also, *Maybe Tonight* sounds good, too, since I loved *Choose Your Own Adventure* books as a child.

  15. Darith L.

    I need to read Allegiant to see how I feel about it, despite knowing the ending! (Dang you, internet!) But I’m excited to read The Retribution of Mara Dyer. 😀

  16. Shannelle C.
    Twitter:

    There’s now colored manga? Seriously? Wow, it’s amazing what happens in a few years. I would like to buy one to see what’s it like, but my old manga collection takes up such a big chunk of the shelves and I don’t want to hasten my book shelf’s uselessness by buying more books.

    As for Allegiant, definitely not as bad as Insurgent, but it wasn’t good. I can’t help but want to put a ridiculous “REALLY?” GIF at it when the genetics part came up. Like, what was the whole point of the whole series if it the big explanation’s some crap about messed up genes?
    Shannelle C. recently posted…I Have A ProblemMy Profile

  17. Levanne Resullar

    i haven’t read any of the books mentioned above 🙁 however, i cannot wait for the day i get my hands on allegiant. i was spoiled about the ending and the heartbreaks i possibly might go through i just needed the book itself or someone who could lend me one. hope it would be you. :)) thank you for the giveaway!

  18. Holly

    Want. Days. Of. Blood. And. Starlight. So. Much. *Drools*. It has such a pretty cover. I have the first one but I’ve never gotten around to buying the second one or even seeing it on any shelves.
    Anyway, thanks for hosting the giveaway 🙂

    Holly

    P.S. When you say that the international winner gets to pick a book mentioned in the post, do you mean one of the five or one of the ones given the quick review?

  19. vennie martinisi

    I haven’t read any of these books, but, all sound great. I look forward to reading The Liberator by Victoria Scott It just sounds like a more enjoyable read than the others. Thanks for the giveaway.

  20. Larissa

    I’ve read a few of the books mentioned (: Starglass, These Broken Stars, Spirit and The Liberator … [: I loved them!

    The Seven Realms Series seems interesting, and you seemed to have completely adored it! I’m definitely going to check the series out [:

  21. Wendy Darling
    Twitter:

    I have like a dozen books I’ve never been able to review, too, and I keep putting them off…I like the way you’ve organized yours here!

    I am with you on thinking PRODIGY was better than CHAMPION, by the way–I actually did like the way the series ended (even if it was not what I expected, and somewhat angstier), but it didn’t thrill/grab me the way the previous one did. Oh, well. Her new series looks fun, though!
    Wendy Darling recently posted…Secret (Elemental #4): review discussionMy Profile

  22. Caitlin

    Dualed has been on my to-read list for awhile, but I need to get through all the books I purchased over the years xD. I’m currently reading Prodigy and I’m definitely looking forward to reading what happens in Champion.

  23. Chenise J.

    There’s a ton of sequels on this list that I’ve been dying to read! I have Spirit but just have to find the time to fit it in. Champion means I still have to read Legend – and it’s absurd I haven’t read it yet! And I’m waiting for Allegiant from the library.

  24. Eva

    the Fairy Tale Comics look really interesting and fun!
    thank you for your excellent reviews.

  25. Natasha Areena

    I haven’t read any of the books mentioned. I’m looking forward to read These Broken Stars . Thank you so much guys 🙂

  26. sierra

    Thanks for the giveaway!
    And I absolutely do not blame you for forgetting to review a lot of books. I tried out the bookblogging and as much I love reading, all it did was stress me out.
    LOVE reading book blogs, though.
    sierra recently posted…Master’s Sun & My DictionariesMy Profile

  27. Shamara

    I’m sad to say I haven’t read any of those books. I own Dualed but have never gotten around to reading it due to mixed reviews.

  28. Lynn K.
    Twitter:

    I loved Days of Blood and Starlight! Really enjoyed the GoF&T trilogy and I like your manga picks! xD
    Looking forward to reading These Broken Stars, One and Starglass.

  29. Bube

    I have read only The Golden Lily and I really love,love Bloodlines Series,I was a little bit sceptical about this series,but Richelle Mead again proved that she is amazing writer 🙂

    Thanks for all reviews,I enjoyed reading 🙂

    Thanks for the chance!

  30. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    You used to review all the books you read? I don’t even know that Steph. *waves at past Steph*

    ONIETO. Gaahhhhhhhh. He’s delicious. Loved Shadows on the Moon. Three stars? Girl, I don’t know you anymore. :-p

    YOU GAVE THE SAME RATING TO THOSE FIRST THREE. LAINI TAYLOR AND ZOE MARRIOTT = VERONICA ROTH. HOOOOOOWWWWWW?

    In other news, I didn’t like Girl of Fire and Thorns, but the series just gets better. Keep going! The Bitter Kingdom is awesome, though I wasn’t totally in love with the Hector narration.
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: TsarinaMy Profile

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