Category Archives: ARC

Book Review- Crewel

So, this book was AMAZING. WITH ALL CAPS LOCK. I’m in shock. I was lucky enough to win it in a signed ARC off of Twitter, and I also have signed matching bookmarks. Matchy matchy! So cool. I’m very lucky.  (as always with bigger ARC’s, I’m sticking to the GR summary)

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.
That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.
Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.
Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.
Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.
Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.

Sounds unebelievable. Y’all know I’m always wary of books that are too hyped, because nothing kills your love of books like reading a book where you expect it to be great and it stinks. (Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, I’m talking to you) This book wasn’t what I expected, it was BETTER.

First, lets talk about the writing style. Gosh, do I love Gennifer’s way with words! This is such a delicate story; a genius idea and great world building, but without the breathtaking and poetic writing style, I wouldn’t be anywhere near as impressed. It could have been one of those novels you love the idea for, but the excecution was terrible. But it wasn’t, and thank goodness for that! Right from the start, I was hooked by the gorgeous prose. And after a couple pages, the plot captured me, and the rest is history.

The world buiding is eeriely believable. With such a specific topic, it would have been easy to do something characteristic of James Patterson and forget the details you wrote earlier, thus making the reader very, very lost. I was absolutely glued to this book for all of yesterday and didn’t give up until I finished.

I love how this book has me thinking about weaving. I can almost see the weave of that walls around me (not really, I wish). Made me really thing about the scarf I’m crocheting, and what if I was using a thunderstorm for yarn instead, or the gold time thread, or water, or a person. People have threads, too. It especially reminds me of a yarn I’m crocheting that scarf with right now. It’s called The Wedding Job from Nerd Girl Yarns. (I think they should rename it Crewel, but…)

The romance is great. There is a sort of love triangle, but not in the usual tear-your-heart-apart-everyone-ends-up-sad way. The realistic kind, I wouldn’t be surpised if it happened in real life. The boy Adelice eventually chose was the one I (and a lot of other people too, I think) was rooting for from the beginning. The other boy isn’t too torn up about it. Whenever they were together, I got this silly smile on my face, because as terrible as the situation is, they were still really adorable.

The whole plotline is tangled up, and the way it unravels is truly awe-inspiring. The ending is very…. whoa. There were way more sci-fi and thriller elements in it than I expected, but I was not disappointed! The way the end was worded was a little bit hard to understand, but once I understood what had happened I couldn’t find the words to talk about it. I can’t…. she totally surprised me. The second book isn’t even officially OUT yet and I’m already dying for it!

Crewel releases October 16th, and you can pre-order it here! Recommended to everyone. Really great book. And if you would like to try it first, the first 5 chapters are available free on Kindle!(Link)

Hope everyone liked the review! 🙂

Olivia

P.S. Have y’all seen my new header? I love it! It was designed by my friend @alliebbooks. I’ll be adding contact info for her on my bio soon.

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Filed under ARC, Fiction, Modern Fiction, Romance

Book Review- Origin

I’m happy to say that this book made me think. A lot. More than any book that I’ve read recently. About genetics, morality, true love, science…. I really enjoyed this change of pace!

 Origin is about a girl named Pia. Scientists have engineered her to be perfect; unbreakable skin, ridiculous endurance, a sharp mind. All her life she’s lived in Little Cam- her compound somewhere in the middle of the Amazon-, never leaving. She’s never wanted to leave, until one day she sees a hole in the fence around the compound and can’t resist. She expects to be gone for just a few minutes, but then she meets Eio, and everything changes. All of a sudden, she’s sneaking out every chance she can to be with him. Eio makes her challenge everything she knows about her immortality, and the further she digs into the secrets of Little Cam, the more disturbing her past becomes.  (if you’d like a nice little snippit of the book, here’s the book trailer! It’s the first one I’ve actually liked in a long time!)

What a summary, huh? This book captured me from the very first page. I found Pia to be likable and very relatable. She’s very brainwashed at the beginning (i.e. “What’s San Francisco? Who is Shakespeare?”) but it’s amazing to watch her break out of the cage they’ve built for her. She begins to question things, come into herself. Pia is refreshingly dynamic, a huge contrast to some static characters in popular YA (such as Katniss, even? Don’t go off on me for that- I just didn’t think she changes that much through the series). I also have an affinity for standalone books (probably due in part to the fact that series’ usually end up ripping my heart into pieces, but that’s beside the point) and it pleases me that I could read this and not go crazy waiting for a real ending! There is talk of a companion, which I would happily read, of course.

The world building is complex, and I love that it *isn’t* a future dystopian. It’s so creepily realistic. It shows us the semingly perfect girl, and the terrible things that happened to create her.

I loved the romance. To all the people saying that this book is ‘too chaste’, I think you don’t know teens well, honestly. This book isn’t deliberately preachy or clean, it’s natural. Honestly, if I was running from wack-job scientists and a bunch of other very bad things I can’t tell you for ruining the novel (but there may be flesh eating ants involved) my primary focus would not be kissing Eio. As hot as he is, in the moment that is not important. Protecting him is, but not kissing him. I appreciate the genuinity of the romance, I thought it played out naturally and it couldn’t have been better.

The pacing and action are great. Unlike some books, I was totally surprised at the plot twists. By the end, I was attatched to every single character- the minor ones, Pia, Eio, Albert, even Paolo. Jessica Koury gave them the layers that you can’t find in not-so-good YA.

My only negative thought is that it took me a couple chapters to really get engrossed in the story. But once I did, it didn’t leave my hands until I was finished. The sci-fi elements that I would normally avoid like the plague were surprisingly charming.

Overall, I loved it! I truly think this book will be The-Next-Big-YA-Sensation, and I’m so happy that a book with such potential to be popular conveys a great, non-preachy message among lovely writing. I look forward to many more years of fabulous books from Jessica Khoury. (she’s only 22!)

Happy Reading, all!

Olivia

P.S. To all those who’ve read it, I am really looking forward to seeing some Origin inspired jewelry! Yresa necklace, please! 🙂

P.P.S. Origin is now released! YOU should go buy it!

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Filed under ARC, Fiction, Modern Fiction, Romance

Book Review- Breathe

Hey guys! It’s my 3rd ever ARC!

*CAKE FOR EVERYONE*

Anyway, what makes this ARC special? It is signed! My first ever signed book! So I figure that now is a better time than ever to start taking my own pictures of the books I’m reviewing!

Release Date: October 2nd, 2012

Publisher: Greenwillow (imprint of HarperCollins)

Sorry if it looks a little warped. I tried my best to get a good picture without carpet in the background. Anyway, don’t you just love this cover? It’s beautiful in an eerie way. It was cut out of the picture, but above Sarah Crossan’s name, it says ‘it takes a lot of air to break free’. I just love that, and you really start to understand it once you get into the book.

And of course, I had to take a picture of the signature, because that alone makes this book worth so much more to me.

How awesome is that?! I just… wow. I’m so thrilled to have this book. Unfortunately, I don’t lend out anything that is signed as a rule. The signature just means a lot to me, and as much as I wish I could share with some of my truly lovely blogger friends, I won’t. Maybe next time. 😉

When it comes to ARC’s, I’m always a little worried about giving too much away. So I’m using the Goodreads summary, which is unusual for me.
The world is dead.
The survivors live under the protection of Breathe, the corporation that found a way to manufacture oxygen-rich air.
ALINA
has been stealing for a long time. She’s a little jittery, but not terrified. All she knows is that she’s never been caught before. If she’s careful, it’ll be easy. If she’s careful.
QUINN
should be worried about Alina and a bit afraid for himself, too, but even though this is dangerous, it’s also the most interesting thing to happen to him in ages. It isn’t every day that the girl of your dreams asks you to rescue her.
BEA
wants to tell him that none of this is fair; they’d planned a trip together, the two of them, and she’d hoped he’d discover her out here, not another girl.
And as they walk into the Outlands with two days’ worth of oxygen in their tanks, everything they believe will be shattered. Will they be able to make it back? Will they want to?

Sounds awesome,right? Well, the summary doesn’t quite capture the complex world-building of this novel. I read a lot of dystopian fiction, good and bad, and the author totally sold me on this world. Part of my mind believes this world actually exists. (you’ve read books like that before, right? It can’t just be me.) The characters were LOVELY. Realistic, enjoyable, and different! Sometimes I read books where the characters are all practically the same, and therefore agree on everything. That makes me irritated, because that doesn’t happen in real life. Each of the main characters were entertaining in their own special way. I feel like I connected most to Bea, of the three. We have the same frail-but-strong mindset. I also loved the minor character! It is quite the achievement for the author; I feel almost as connected to the minor characters as I do to the major ones. Maude, Silas, Petra, Jazz. I love them all.

I have nothing bad to say about this book. Nothing. Maybe everyone won’t love it as much as I did, but I highly doubt that. This is going to be a HUGE hit, I can feel it in my bones. I can see this book drawing equal female and male audiences, because not only is the book amazing, but romance isn’t the central focus. The writing is fabulous, and I really hope this is made into a movie someday. It would make a great one! Someone needs to snap up the movie rights for this, if they haven’t already.

I don’t do this often, but here is the link to where you can pre-order it. DO IT, y’all. You absolutely won’t regret it, that’s for sure. I’ll be putting Sarah Crossan’s other book on my TBR list ASAP. It’s called The Weight of Water, and it premiered in January of this year.

Happy Reading, y’all!

Olivia

P.S. BIG HUGE face-squishing hugs to Ari from The Fuzzy Mango for hosting this giveaway! You rock, girl!

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Filed under ARC, Modern Fiction