Book Review: Beasthood by A.Z. Green


Title: Beasthood
Author: A.Z. Green
Published: February 17, 2014
Publisher: Self

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
What would you do if you discovered you weren’t human? That you turned into a bloodthirsty monster against your will?
What if your instincts, emotions and desires were torn between your own and the dark, dangerous animal lurking inside of you?
If it could make you yearn for someone you shouldn’t, make you say and act in ways you wouldn’t and overwhelm your whole existence?
If everything you’d ever known about your life was a lie?

In a world where a deeply hidden community is swathed in mystery, deadly secrets, betrayal and murder, Jaz Barker struggles to fight against the dangerous Beast within her and the emotions and desires it thrusts her way.

When tensions ride high and people she cares about are put in danger, she will have to decide how much of her newly awakened animal-side she’s willing to let in.

And if it is worth the risk…

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Beasthood is a wonderful urban fantasy book with some great horror/mystery elements to it as well. This is a quick read full of twists and turns and no one is who they say they are. The prologue sets up a great driving plot and also introduces the bit of intrigue and mystery into the story. Jaz is a great character. I like that she’s well developed, has a backbone and frankly doesn’t take too much crap from anyone. What really fuels my slight obsession with this book is the werewolf culture. These shifters are different from others that I’ve read, and I really appreciate that. I like their society and reading about their laws and the way that they act with each other.

There’s a lot going on, but the story doesn’t seem rushed at all. It’s beautifully thought out, paced well and there’s always just enough hinted at to keep me engaged and wanting to read. I didn’t want this book to end, and I’m sorry to say that the second hasn’t been released. I love the scenes between Jaz and Nic and I want more. This is a great fast paced story. It kept me guessing to the end and wanting to keep reading long after it was over.

Overall: pink5 I’d love to read more of this world.


I was given a copy of this book for review by My Family’s Heart Book Reviews and Tours. I am not being compensated or influenced in any way.

Book Review: Teeth by Hannah Moskowitz


Title: Teeth
Author: Hannah Moskowitz
Published: January 1st 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Be careful what you believe in.

Rudy’s life is flipped upside-down when his family moves to a remote island in a last attempt to save his sick younger brother. With nothing to do but worry, Rudy sinks deeper and deeper into loneliness and lies awake at night listening to the screams of the ocean beneath his family’s rickety house.

Then he meets Diana, who makes him wonder what he even knows about love, and Teeth, who makes him question what he knows about anything. Rudy can’t remember the last time he felt so connected to someone, but being friends with Teeth is more than a little bit complicated. He soon learns that Teeth has terrible secrets. Violent secrets. Secrets that will force Rudy to choose between his own happiness and his brother’s life.

picadillypink I am really conflicted when it comes to this book. I really like a lot of aspects of it, and then there are a few things that just drive me absolutely crazy about it. I’m going to start with the things that I did like about it. I really love the character of Rudy and how he changes through the novel. He cares so deeply for his little brother, and the sacrifice that comes with caring for a sick relative really shines through–as does the guilt of wanting to have some sort of life outside of being a caretaker. His interactions with the other characters is amazing. I love the slow burn between him and Diana and how their relationship changes, becomes something that neither of them are ready for. Despite that I think the real ‘relationship’ is between him and Teeth. What he does for Teeth in the last third of the book and how he helps him speaks so much about the way Rudy operates and the base intentions of his actions.

Speaking of, Teeth is a really interesting character. I haven’t come across anything quite like him in the books I’ve read. I guessed his origin pretty quickly, though how he came to be is quite possibly one of the weirdest conception stories in the world. I love the friendship that they build and I felt for the little one-sided romantic feelings that Teeth had toward Rudy. I think that he and Rudy play similar roles: misunderstood, protector, wanting more for themselves. Unfortunately things don’t always work out nicely. Teeth suffers in this book and there are some rather disturbing ideas (though never explicitly shown, there is mention of rape and forced oral sex). Which brings me to one of the major things I had a problem with.

I don’t like non-consensual sex as a plot device. And while it’s not explicitly shown, it’s implied through dialogue and some imagery between Teeth and a couple of the fishermen. I don’t know where it fits in, and I think the story would have been just the same without the sexual violence. I also feel that the book could have been longer. I want to know more about the world, the island and why certain things work the way that they do.

Overall pink5 amazing characters and relationships make this story.

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern.
Release Date: January 11, 2011
Publisher: Doubleday
The Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus per­formers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

Written in rich, seductive prose, this spell-casting novel is a feast for the senses and the heart.

The Review: I fell in love with this book, and I wasn’t certain I was going to. I’ve had it sitting on my shelf for nearly a year now, and I’ve started and re-started it countless times. I sat down yesterday and powered through it in one go, and I have to say I’m hooked. I love the world that Morgenstern has created. It’s lush, full of description and really really beautiful. At times I felt that it was real, tangible and the setting and the world that this story takes place in caught a hold of me.

I really enjoyed this book. There were just a couple things that caused me to shake my head. The random lapse into second person narrative. This is not something I’m fond of at all, and probably one of the reasons why I kept starting/stopping this novel. The insta-love aspect is also something I’m not fond of, but it didn’t distract me too much. The promised fierce competition was a touch anti-climatic, but again, I don’t mind too much.

Honestly, I can see where people have issues with this book, and the amount of just polar opposite reviews makes me laugh. The time jumping, the point of view changes and the sheer amount of prose can be a lot for some to handle. It really did take me a while to read this, and since I did start and stop so many times that when I did finally sit down to read it, I had to start over. I think this is a book that needs more than one read through. There’s so much going on, and so many layers that it’s almost impossible to catch everything the first time through.

Plus, the writer in me goes bananas when I realize that she wrote this as a NaNoWriMo piece. Clearly it’s been edited and reworked, but I just love being able to read it like this.

Purchase The Night Circus Wherever books are sold. I bought my copy at Target.

Have you read The Night Circus? How did you feel about it? Let’s talk about this book.

Review: Elixir Bound by Katie L. Carroll.

Elixir Bound By Katie L. Carroll.
Release Date: August 31, 2012
Publisher: MuseItUp Publication.
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The Summary:Katora Kase is next in line to take over as guardian to a secret and powerful healing Elixir. Now she must journey into the wilds of Faway Forest to find the ingredient that gives the Elixir its potency. Even though she has her sister and brother, an old family friend, and the handsome son of a mapmaker as companions, she feels alone.

It is her decision alone whether or not to bind herself to the Elixir to serve and protect it until it chooses a new guardian. The forest hosts many dangers, including wicked beings that will stop at nothing to gain power, but the biggest danger Katora may face is whether or not to open up her heart to love.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this to read and review. I am not influenced or compensated in any way. All opinions are my own.

The Review: Elixir Bound introduces a lush fantasy world and some really interesting characters. I had a hard time connecting with Katora at first, finding her a bit too whiny and indecisive, but as the book goes on and the story progresses she starts to grow and change. The group accompanying her on her quest to retrieve the flowers is made up of family and the very attractive son of a magical mapmaker. Katora and Hirsten have great chemistry and their relationship unfolds slowly, in fact Katora refuses to acknowledge her own feelings for the boy until after the quest is over.

This is a high fantasy book, the world has humanoid creatures, and other beings that are less than humanoid. Magic is a way of life, used in the healing elixirs that Katora’s family produces, the magic in the map-maker’s craft. The map is one of my favorite things in this story. The map makers have the ability to attach memories to various locations and they play out like movie scenes for those who view the map. Magic is also used as a weapon used by the antagonists who are trying to stall Katora and her group from getting to the flowers.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a quick well written high fantasy book. High fantasy isn’t normally something I’m drawn to, but in the case of Elixir Bound I didn’t mind it. The story is really well written with a great ‘voice’ as a main character. The romance is cute and doesn’t distract from the main story. I’d recommend this to anyone who’s looking for a good introduction to high fantasy in the YA genre.

Purchase Elixir Bound on: Amazon

Review: Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske

Black Diamond by Jennifer Loiske.
Release Date: January 22, 2013
Publisher: Self through Amazon.
Rating:  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif  photo kasa_zps3bb337c2.gif

The Summary: After her mom’s sudden death, twelve-year-old Shannon McLean has to move from the US to the English countryside to live with her mysterious father, Connor McLean, whom she hasn’t seen since she was a baby. Soon she discovers that he doesn’t want her around and her moving into his huge manor, Greyman Hill, is nothing more to him than a compulsory deal. But if he does not exactly give her a warm welcome, his servant Robert is most likely an incarnation of evil. He runs the house with an iron touch and makes everyone who works there his little puppets.

Weird things start to happen and the whole place scares the crap out of Shannon. Her dad can control her just by looking at her. The walls are full of secret passages and apparently she has the talent to awaken the ghosts in them. Every day is worse than the day before and she wants badly to run away but discovers it’s impossible. If she wants to stay alive she has to do exactly as her dad says or else she will not only jeopardize her own life but also the lives of the people around her.

While Shannon struggles to find the magic inside her, Connor is slowly turning into a demon. One carelessly spoken word from her could either save or destroy them both. In the end she has to decide whether to save herself and her loved ones, or lose her dad to the darkness and evil that threaten to eat his soul.

Disclosure: I was gifted a copy of this book to read and review. I am not being compensated, nor am I influenced in any way. All opinions are my own.

The Review:

“Magic is all about words and believing. If you believe then anything is possible.”

I’m at odds with this book. I feel as though it’s a decent story, and has some great writing in it, but I didn’t really get into it. My main problem is that a lot of the details are spelled out word for word. It’s a classic story of telling rather than showing, and that really pushed me out of the story. I may sound a little harsh, but the potential for the story is there. It’s rushed at times and twists on itself becoming a little too convoluted for what it is.

It’s an interesting premise and a fun take on good vs. evil. Shannon is a great character, with a strong voice and she fits well with the story. She grows as the plot moves forward and learns as she does. I like that she’s not handed all of these abilities straight off the bat, it’s a journey of discovery and learning. I like the way the magic is presented, and the rules that go along with it. The world that Loiske has set up is amazing, and Greyman Hill is probably one of the creepiest settings ever. A lot of the characters are more than they seem and there are some really good points in this book.

Overall, it’s an okay book with some major potential. I actually rated this up to a three umbrella rating–I’d consider it more like a 2.5 rating. Some might really enjoy it, but in the end it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Purchase Black Diamond here Amazon