Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1), Sarah J. Maas

Amanda

Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s

Hardcover, 416 pages

Source- Galley from ALA MW meeting

16096824

From Goodreads…

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

A Court of Thorns and Roses was described to me as a retelling of Beauty & the Beast with fairy elements.  This was not your Disney version of Beauty & the Beast!  Feyre and her family are starving.  They live in hovel and she hunts to get what little food she can.  She points her bow at a wolf in the woods with the knowledge she could be killing a fairy – but she is so full of hate towards the fae that she does not care.  In the world Maas has created the fairies are the former slave masters to the human race and it took a war for the humans to be freed.  They live with the knowledge the fairies can really return at any time and slaughter them.  When Feyre learns she did indeed kill a fairy she must pay the price- to be killed or to give up her life in another way by returning to the fairy lands with Tamlin.  She goes, but plans to try to escape as soon as possible.

Feyre is not a quiet Beauty that goes to her Beast.  In fact, something that struck me while reading this is how long it takes before any suggestion of Feyre’s appearance even comes up.  Yes, she becomes beautiful but at the beginning of her story she is not a beauty inside or out.  She has a lot to learn about herself, her own family and the world she moves into.   Maas builds beautiful worlds when she writes – if you’re a fan of fantasy and not reading her Throne of Glass series you’re missing out!  She creates hard and sometimes cruel worlds for sure, but as a reader you are immersed where she wants you to be.   Feyre is accustomed to being responsible for her own survival so by her constant questioning of Tamlin and his court she learns a mysterious sickness is plaguing the fairy lands and putting her human world at risk.

I appreciated how smart Feyre was – and she recognized her own weaknesses.  She knows she can fight and she can hunt, but she knows her odds against the fairies especially in their own lands are not good.   She soaks up information to try to find her way home.  This was definitely a story of hate to love — but it was a slow development.  I was glad Feyre didn’t fall quickly head over heels.  I really loved the dynamic between Feyre, Tamlin and his emissary Lucien as well.  The banter and the action was great.  Feyre is really a sad character at first – she’s lonely, she’s bitter and she needs someone to love her.  I was really glad she started with finding friends, even if she didn’t trust them fully.  And back to the love to hate- wow.  This romance gets HOT.

I really can’t think of why you shouldn’t read A Court of Thorns and Roses!  Kick-ass heroine, deadly villains, mysterious blights to fairies, great friendships, and a sexy “Beast”.  I am really excited to see where Book 2 goes and I hope to learn more about the other lands and about the history of the fairy courts.

Other than my slight obsession with Seanan McGuire and her October Daye series I don’t really read a lot of books about the fae.  No matter how much I love the books I always feel a little lost in the mythology- and I felt the same while reading A Court of Thorns and Roses.  I think that’s going to be my homework while we wait for both of Maas’ next books.  Any suggestions out there where I can about the Tam Lin?  Or things like puca and the other fairies out there?  Maybe that will get me ready for whatever awaits Feyre and Tamlin!

5 stars!

Thank you Bloomsbury for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review!

Advertisements

Review: Between Everything and Us

Between Everything and Us, Rebecca Paula  (Sutton College #1)

Amanda

Published January 20th 2015

Source-e-ARC from author

23257933From Goodreads

Matisse Evans is determined to make her sophomore year of college successful after failing out of a prestigious art school and spending a horribly boring gap year at home. Despite her focus, time isn’t on her side as she struggles to hold down three jobs so she can afford her first apartment while juggling course work. In the chaos of it all, Beau Grady moves in and shakes up her world. A college dropout and tattooed bad boy, the rumors about Beau mean one thing for Matisse—trouble. Paralyzed by the fear that she’s missing out on life, Matisse discovers plans may unravel, but what rises in their wake can be worth the uncertainty.

After spending the summer couch surfing, Beau Grady moves into an empty room at his ex-girlfriend’s Portland bungalow, skipping his senior year of college to spend his days working at a Vietnamese food cart instead. Once a star hockey player and gifted student, he’s put his life on hold after receiving a life-altering diagnosis, complacent to live in the moment. Hiding behind false rumors and bad habits, Beau falls for Matisse, letting her believe the worst until their relationship blooms into something they both can’t ignore. Falling for her means having to face a future he’d rather forget, but loving her just might be worth it.

I reviewed Rebecca Paula’s debut Everly After last year and I could not have loved it more.  I felt like I found a bit of my beloved Beckett in Beau Grady.  Beau has all the right appeal for a college girl looking for romance a) he’s hot, b) he’s a hockey player, and c) he’s got a motorcycle. Enough said. However, there’s more to Beau that meets the eye, and the rumors on campus don’t begin to get to the truth.

Matisse- Mati, is trying to prove she can make it as an art student after failing out of her first school. She tries – really tries! – her hardest to avoid the distraction in her hot new roommate.  She has an eye on a prestigious internship and is trying to keep her parents happy with her performance at school.

There’s a slow burn between Beau and Mati which I loved.  They annoy each other into flirtation and some serious sexual tension.  I loved the back and forth- will they or won’t they?  Beau hides behind the rumors about his reasons for dropping out of school. He doesn’t feel like he’s good enough for Mati:

Mati is a someday-girl, the one you’re supposed to meet later when you’re less of a prick and have your shit together.  Someday girls are lost to idiots like me now, and if I’m being honest, they don’t’ exist in the future either.  Because there’s a guy who is ready, who does know how to be an adult and can love a girl like Mati as much as she deserves.  And those guys turn someday girls into forever girls and leave us losers to keep chasing after a string of hookups while we’re stuck remembering the one perfect girl who got away.

Sigh – after all the build up I wanted more.  It felt like Beau and Mati went from interested in each other, to cooling things off, then straight into a relationship -and then on their way out again .  Give me the pay-off for the slow burn!  I wanted less fighting and more flirting!  Paula definitely does write hot romances though-that you can count on.  Rebecca Paula is an author I will for sure keep reading and I am curious to see what else goes on at Sutton College!

3 stars

Thank you Rebecca for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion.

Blog Tour: Make it Last by Megan Erickson

blog tour

Amanda

Its time to finish the Bowler University series by Megan Erickson.  I reviewed Make it Count and Make it Right last year which were both cute and sexy new adult romances.  Bowler University would be a fun school for sure! Now it’s time for Cam’s story!  Don’t miss the giveaway link at the end!

MiL

Title: Make it Last

Author: Megan Erickson

SeriesBowler University #3

Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Publication: January 6th, 2014 by William Morrow Impulse

After graduating from Bowler University, the last place Cam Ruiz ever expected to find himself is his hometown. A bad job as a bouncer and worry over his mom’s health make living in Paradise anything but. There’s only one thing that can make his return any harder—running into the only girl he’s ever loved.

Tate Ellison made a mistake when she was eighteen, one that cost her the best thing she’s ever had. She’s always hoped the regret of losing Cam would fade over time. Too bad it’s only grown. She took comfort in the fact she’d never have to face him again, so his presence in Paradise throws her for a loop.

The pull between them is instant and when the truth of what happened years ago tumbles out, they share a mind-blowing kiss…which leads to more. But the past has a way of repeating itself. When all the cards are on the table, Cam and Tate must decide what they are willing to do to make it last.

Purchase:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo

_____________________________________________________________

MEAbout Megan

Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

_____________________________________________________________

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

quote MiL

Review: Everly After

Everly After, Rebecca Paula

Amanda

Published October 21st 2014

Source: e-ARC from Love Between the Sheets Blog Tour

Book Cover - Everly After v4Synopsis:

All truths burn bright and clear. I’m still waiting in the dark.

Everly Monteith has traded her life of glitter, parties, and self-destruction for waitressing at a Parisian café. She’s put the tragedy that sent her across the Atlantic in the past—until her toxic ex shows up and sends her reeling once more. Her fresh start begins slipping away until a smug British war correspondent crashes her party. But falling for Beckett means letting down her guard, something that might pull them both into the dark.

There are beautiful lies in this world, and it takes me being chased through a hallway at a rave to decide this girl is one of them. But even the most beautiful lies aren’t worth chasing.

Twenty-five-year-old Beckett Reid is forced into sabbatical after being kidnapped on assignment in Afghanistan. Back in Paris, he locks himself away to work on a novel, focused on saving his budding journalism career. But when he meets an enigmatic American heiress, his plans are quickly neglected. Everly is the perfect replacement for dangerous war zones, even if she does leave glitter on everything he owns. Reckless and wild, she runs through life making more mistakes than anyone he’s met, but Beckett is determined to fight for her, even if he must face the messy truth that he must fight for himself first.

*This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.*

I’m going to start you off with the messages I sent to my friend Christina while reading this book:

Holy shit this book is intense.

This is so much more than I expected!

I don’t even know what to say. I’m totally on edge and am going to have to finish tonight.

And if I read this book for Beckett to die ** ***** I am going to be supremely pissed!

I even tweeted at Rebecca Paula that she had better not break my heart!

So now almost a week later-my heart is recovered from the stress and I can tell you that I loved this book. Everly After is about two very different kinds of romantic love–love that makes two people bring out the best in each other and those that only bring out the worst in each other.  This story was a battle of who would win out in the end.  Paula did an amazing job of wrapping me up into Beckett and Everly. They felt completely real to me and their emotions were often so raw.   I wanted to reach through and shake them both on occasion (ok mostly Everly), but in the end I think things worked out perfectly.  I felt like I was right there with them-and my goodness-I felt the heat between them coming out of the book!

I don’t read a lot of New Adult (NA).  I expect NA to be fluffier books -romance, some sex and some light drama perhaps.  Just not what I gravitate towards first.  Everly After-not what I expected of NA and I am so glad I was proved wrong.  This was not light and fluffy but it was a book with depth and heart.  If this is her debut, I cannot wait to read what else Rebecca Paula is writing.

Thank you Rebecca Paula for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion!

Here’s a link to a super fun giveaway including a copy of Everly After

Buy The Book

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vwJNUy

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1pd6jdQ

KOBO: http://bit.ly/1w3SZ0y

About The Author

RebeccaIt began with a boy who survived a plane crash in the wilderness.

I discovered my love of writing during a fifth grade writing assignment for Hatchet. After that, I knew I wanted to be a writer.

Always the hopeless romantic, I write late Victorian and Edwardian historical romances as well as contemporary New Adult romances.

I am a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as the New Hampshire chapter (NHRWA) and the New England chapter (NECRWA). I contribute regularly to the Modern Belles of History blog, a site dedicated to writing, reading, and researching 20th century women’s historical fiction.

When I’m not writing, I’m most likely reading or daydreaming about my next travel adventure. I live in New Hampshire with my husband and our cat, Bella.

Website: https://rebecca-paula-esmo.squarespace.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rebeccapaulaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beckapaula

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8442728.Rebecca_Paula

Review: Make it Right

Make it Right (Bowler University #2), Megan Erickson

Amanda

Published September 9th 2014 by William Morrow Impulse

Ebook 384 pages

Source: Edelweiss

Thank you for joining us on the Make it Right blog tour today! I hope you enjoy Max and Lea’s story as much as I did!

From Goodreads….

unnamed (1)

Max Payton lives by two rules:

Size and strength win any fight, and never show weakness.

When a rash of assaults sends Bowler University for a tail spin, Max volunteers to help teach a self-defense class. One of the other instructors is the beautiful pixie-faced girl he keeps butting heads with…and who challenges everything he thought he knew.

Lea Travers avoids guys like Max – cocky jocks who assume she’s fragile because of a disability caused by a childhood accident. She likes to be in control, and something about being with Max makes her feel anything but. But during the moments he lets his guard down, Lea sees a soul as broken inside as she is outside. Trusting him is a whole other problem…

When the assaults ramp up and hit close to home, Lea and Max must learn, before it’s too late, that true strength can come from vulnerability…and giving in to trust is sometimes the only way to make things right.

Oh Max and Lea.  I reviewed Megan Erickson’s Make it Count here and I have to tell you that Make it Right was even more fun.   When we met Max in MiC he was the not-so-great boyfriend of our heroine Kat.  He was meathead and honestly a jerk.  You had to root against him and for Kat and Alec.   I was not really sure how Erickson was going to turn Max into a character who I wanted to see fall in love and win the girl in the end, but she definitely did!

I knew that I was starting to fall for Max when he began searching for recipes to make gourmet cat treats for the stray he took in-who wouldn’t love a guy like that?  We learn how Max learned to build up the walls around his heart and you have to let your heart soften towards him.  And wow- the date he plans when Lea gives him a chance -swoon!  Max may have made some mistakes along the way, but I knew he was going to make it when he went through so much to plan the perfect night for Lea.

Then we have Lea.  Lea is not a fan of Max at the start because she is friends with Kat, but she starts to realize the sparks flying between them are more than just Max being a jerk.  Lea has had a hard path to get to Bowler University and she has walls of her own built up.  Lea may look frail, but she teaches Max that his strength is not the only kind that counts.  The banter between Max and Lea cracked me up and I think this is one of Erickson’s strengths; her characters are just funny together!  I knew this was a book for me when I caught a Dirty Dancing reference early on.

Lea and Max give each other chances when others might not have done so.   They teach each other about vulnerability and forgiveness, as well as when to stand your ground and fight and when to accept help.  I am so glad Erickson gave Max a book to come back from Make it Count and I loved him with Lea.

Also, let me just say-damn-Megan Erickson can write some sexy, sexy scenes.  I cannot wait to see what she comes up with for Bowler University #3 next year!  Give Max and Lea a chance and let me know what you think of this pair!

4 stars !

You can enter a Rafflecopter giveaway to win your own copy of Make it Right!

Purchase:
About Megan:

Megan Erickson grew up in a family that averages 5’5” on a good day and started writing to create characters who could reach the top kitchen shelf.

She’s got a couple of tattoos, has a thing for gladiators and has been called a crazy cat lady. After working as a journalist for years, she decided she liked creating her own endings better and switched back to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. And no, she still can’t reach the stupid top shelf.

Thank you edelweiss and William Morrow for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

Hosted by Good Choice Reading Blog Tours

 

Cover Reveal: Everly After by Rebecca Paula

Cover Reveal: Everly After by Rebecca Paula

Amanda

The description of this upcoming NA book has me intrigued and I love the cover! Check out Everly After!

Book Cover - Everly After v4

Synopsis:
All truths burn bright and clear. I’m still waiting in the dark.

Everly Monteith has traded her life of glitter, parties, and self-destruction for waiting tables in busy a Parisian café after college graduation. She’s put the tragedy that sent her across the Atlantic behind her—until her toxic ex shows up and sends her reeling once more. Her delicate grip on a future begins slipping away, before a smug British war correspondent crashes her party and refuses to let her live hiding behind oversized sunglasses. But falling for Beckett means letting down her guard, something that might pull them both into the dark. 

There are beautiful lies in this world, and it takes me being chased through a hallway at a rave to decide this girl is one of them. But even the most beautiful lies aren’t worth chasing.

Twenty-five year-old Beckett Reid is forced into sabbatical after he’s kidnapped while on assignment in Afghanistan. Back in Paris and struggling with PTSD, he locks himself away to work on a novel while recovering and save his budding journalism career. But when he meets an enigmatic American heiress, his plans of laying low are quickly forgotten. He craves the energy and danger of war zones and realizes Everly is the perfect replacement, even if she does leave glitter on everything he owns. Reckless and wild, she runs through life making more mistakes than anyone he’s met, but Beckett is determined to fight for her, even if he must face the messy truth that to do so means fighting for himself first.

*This New Adult romance is recommended for readers 18+ due to mature content.*

 
Who doesn’t want romance under the Eiffel Tower?  You can enter to win Everly After right here
 
About Rebecca :
It began with a boy who survived a plane crash in the wilderness.
I discovered my love of writing during a fifth grade writing assignment for Hatchet. After that, I knew I wanted to be a writer. 
 
Always the hopeless romantic, I write late Victorian and Edwardian historical romances as well as contemporary New Adult romances.
I am a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), as well as the New Hampshire chapter (NHRWA) and the New England chapter (NECRWA). I contribute regularly to the Modern Belles of History blog, a site dedicated to writing, reading, and researching 20th century women’s historical fiction. 
When I’m not writing, I’m most likely reading or daydreaming about my next travel adventure. I live in New Hampshire with my husband and our cat, Bella.
 
 

YA? Why, eh?

I would like to talk about some things I do not understand.

What, exactly, makes a book “young adult”? Just what constitutes “literary fiction,” and what do I call a book that’s not that but not quite anything else? And what are other terms that mean the same thing as “narrative nonfiction,” so that I can find more books like Devil in the White City?

When we started blogging, I finally started tracking things on Goodreads, like Amanda had been telling me to do FORever. Recently, I started trying to add to my currently-reading,  to-read, and  read shelves with more some more detailed shelves.

I can do “fiction” and “non-fiction.” I can do “fantasy” and “historical fiction.”

Beyond that though, I get confused.

In my mind, the difference between a book that is categorized as Young Adult versus a book that is not is the discussion of s-e-x in the book. Right? But that must not be right, because there is some of that in books like The Lumatere Chronicles and His Fair Assassin and all things John Green.

So then I’ve heard that the difference between YA – Young Adult and NA – New Adult is the age of the characters. However, I’m also pretty sure that NA was just made up to write books about college-age kids (books with s-e-x in them)… so that is confusing when there are also books about college-age kids that are YA (and sometimes involving s-e-x.)

Can’t we just call them all, well, books? Or at least use the “genres” instead of age-classifications? Or is there some other telltale giveaway that I’m missing when it comes to age-divisions?

Sigh…and then the genres. I can get behind classifying fiction into different categories, but then I get stuck on “literary fiction.” Ha, according to wikipedia: “Literary fiction is a term principally used for certain fictional works that are claimed to hold literary merit” – which is basically an “I know it when I see it” definition. And sometimes I know it – but, what does one call a novel that does not fall into a particular genre but uh, does not hold literary merit? What do we call that? Or do we need to call it anything?

I suppose it helps to have genres when trying to find books-like-other-books. And I really like nonfiction books that read like novels – but I’m not always sure what to call them. Creative nonfiction? I heard “nonfiction novel” on an episode of Literary Disco talking about Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but I don’t think that term is used much nowadays  (it’s attributed to Truman Capote and In Cold Blood). Perhaps narrative nonfiction is the label-of-choice these days – but are there a bunch of subgenres here too?  I found this list on Goodreads called “memoirs, narrative nonfiction and other (mostly) true things.” Perhaps that’s where I need to start to look for more books.

However, I still have no clue to how organize my own Goodreads shelves.

Help?

This is not my bookshelf - borrowed from apartment.therapy @ http://tinyurl.com/7x94c5l. Maybe I should take up organizing by color?

This is not my bookshelf – borrowed from apartment.therapy @ http://tinyurl.com/7x94c5l. Maybe I should take up organizing by color?