Review: Prelude (Book One of the Nocturne’s Reaping series) by Jennifer Alice Chandler

Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this novel in exchange for a review. As always, all of my opinions are 100% honest!

Before I get into my review, I want to mention that I’m also going to post an interview I did with Jennifer. She’s very sweet and while she may not be the most famous author in the world, she has some insight into the genre and in publishing. I think you’ll enjoy it, so stay tuned!

Official Book Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Lark Tampy was falsely convicted of a crime and sent to an adult prison colony as a child. She soon comes under the thumb of the ruthless leader of a syndicate of outlaws. This man is known by the name Leader Monrage. Still, as bad as being Leader Monrage’s pawn can be, it pales in comparison to the secret plan he has in store. It is a plan that could take countless lives throughout the universe.

Nocturne's Reaping Cover

Can you sense the drama yet? Can you feel it? *looks into camera while dramatic music plays*

I’m going to start with Lark. Lark is pretty commendable, considering she did not do the crime (won’t tell you what it is or who actually did it of course) and yet is serving the time. (Whenever I rhyme by accident I get pretty darn happy with myself. “She didn’t do the crime but still did the time HA!) But Lark isn’t in just any sort of prison. She’s in a prison COLONY, meant for adults, as a child. And then there’s Leader Monrage. Let me tell you one thing; he’s creepy. But he also seems so…human. He is human, but he didn’t seem that ruthless or vile to me. I don’t know if he was intended to be, but this made it more interesting. He seemed more like a crazy guy with big ideas and an evil mindset. Still, don’t mess with him if you ever meet him. Just don’t.

I’ve also gotta give this novel points for such an interesting array of names. No John Smith’s here. Lark, for example, is such a cool name.

I can’t say much else without giving anything away, so I’ll leave you with that. I’m going to give Prelude 3.5 stars, because it was fast-paced and enjoyable, and had interesting characters. There were also a couple twists along the way that made it even easier to keep reading. Overall, a good sci-fi novel that will especially please sci-fi connoisseurs more than those who just dabble in the genre. Not my favorite sci-fi novel, but still something I don’t regret reading.

You can pick up Prelude on Amazon for your kindle here:

http://www.amazon.com/Prelude-First-Book-Nocturnes-ReapingTM-ebook/dp/B00TYVROKK

or you can snag yourself a nice print copy here:

http://www.amazon.com/Prelude-First-Book-Nocturnes-Reaping/dp/1507537980/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

Happy reading! 🙂

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Review: The Half Life of Molly Pierce by Katrina Leno

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Description screenshotted from Goodreads

Genre: YA, psychological-mystery

The Half Life of Molly Pierce, (or Half Life, as I’m going to abbreviate it), is another one of those books that doesn’t tell you very much about it on the inside cover but what it tells you is more than enough to get you excited to read it. (I.e We Were Liars by E. Lockhart) It was not what I was expecting at all – in a good way. (If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll remember I said “holy schnitzel” in reference to the book.)

So as not to spoil anything, let’s jump to the part where I tell you if it is worth reading or not.

It’s a short, fast-paced read. You’ll want to read it in one sitting, or at least you’ll be forced to read it in one sitting. It’s too engrossing to put down, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. This is no psychological-thriller. (Sorry ladies, no hot zombies here!) It’s a mystery of a girl who has blank gaps in her memory and is beginning to remember and fill them.

I couldn’t think of any books Half Life was similar to until about 3/4 of the way through, so I think it is safe to say this novel is quite original. I like the use of first-person perspective rather than third-person omniscient, because you get to be in Molly’s head, and you get to (hooray!?) struggle through this memory mystery with her.

My only complaint? People are inevitably going to judge books by their covers and spines. This book has what I consider to be quite a misleading cover. The front cover has an image of who I suppose is Molly and smoke rising up around her face. The back cover is blue and has some little water droplets. I’ve been trying to think about symbolism and what these things could represent in relation to the book but I really don’t see the connection, and if there is a deeper connection, it couldn’t be easily recognized by the reader. I like covers to really fit the books and I just don’t see it. Honestly, and this will sound strange, when I first saw it, the front cover made me think of Looking for Alaska and someone either a) smoking or b) in a fire. But neither of those things are what the book is about! I would never guess that the book is a psychological mystery about memory loss!

But cover rant aside, this one gets a definite 5/5 stars from me!

Have you read The Half Life of Molly Pierce? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: In Real Life by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang

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Description from Goodreads

My Thoughts
First off, I’ll tell you that I am no expert on graphic novels and I do not claim to be. I haven’t read a graphic novel in a couple years. But when I saw this at the library, something pulled me to it. I felt that for a minute I was a graphic-novel lover and I NEEDED that book right now.

The next thing that you should know about this graphic novel is that is an extremely quick read, especially since not all the pages have text. It is a hundred and seventy five pages, yes, but I read it in about 15 minutes, if even that. But since reading speeds vary from person to person, I’d say it’ll probably take you from 15-30 minutes.

I enjoyed it but I felt it went a little too fast. The book takes place over a couple of weeks, but it felt like maybe one or two days had passed. Again the entire book can be ready in 15 to 20 minutes depending on your reading speed. I wanted more! It was awesome to see a video game come in book form, and I didn’t understand why it had to be so short! I would’ve loved to meet the teacher in-game, for example.

One note critique; it says on the top of the front cover (cut off above), that it’s a “graphic novel for gamer girls of all ages.” However, that very statement, though meant to be a complement, probably turns off a lot of guys who may have thought of reading it. Boys and girls can and should totally read the same books, but what guy wants to walk around with a book that basically has a “girl alert” label on it?

The Verdict
– Awesome idea and illustrations from an amazing author and illustrator, but it left me wanting more. The story was good, so why limit it? I hope Doctorow will write more graphic novels in the future.

– This is a nice read for boring car rides or to cure any “book hangovers” you may have!

I give this one 3/5 stars!

P.S You may have noticed I have switched to a different uploading schedule. Before, I was posting every day, or as many days a week as possible. However, most posts were not reviews. I am trying to strike a balance between reviews and posts where you can get to know me better as a blogger and a person! Thanks for your patience and understanding! Blogging can be difficult; sometimes you feel like you are talking to a wall! Please don’t be a wall! 🙂

Dragon’s Loyalty Award!

Oh my, this is award’s week isn’t it. I figured I’ll just get this one of the way and let you guys learn more about me in the process!

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Cool graphic, I must say.

Anyway, here are the rules!
1. Display the award on your site
2. Announce your win with a post and link to whoever nominate you
3. Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers
4. Drop them a comment to tip them off that they have been nominated
5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself

Seven Facts about Me!
1. I used to never like any cheese as a kid. Not on pizza, not on pasta, nothing.
2. My favorite holidays are Christmas, New Years and Halloween.
3. I have scoliosis.
4. I don’t have any siblings or pets. (I love how I put those in the same category! Lol)
5. In elementary school I ran a website about Webkinz that was so popular I had a giveaway with an online store.
6. I love makeup but hate having to take it off so much that a lot of times I just don’t wear it!
7. My favorite classes are Psychology and Newspaper.

Now, rather than pick and choose some bloggers to nominate, I’m just going to nominate all of my followers! That’s right, if you follow me, you are nominated for this award.

See you soon!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: Impostor by Susanne Winnacker

My Summary

Tessa can absorb DNA and become a perfect mimicry of anyone. She’s been a valuable trainee for the FEA, a branch of the FBI, and the agency has her first assignment lined up. She must imitate a girl named Madison and stop a serial killer before he gets to her. But it’s hard not to get too attached to your classmates, friends and family, especially when anyone could be the killer…

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I loved this book. The characters, the plot, the twists… Everything.

It was engaging. When you needed something to happen plot wise to keep things exciting, something happened. Chapters ended with a cliffhanger, so I felt the need to keep going. At 274 pages, it is most definitely readable in one night. I read it in mainly one sitting.

Tessa is relatable and I loved her. I understood her fears and desires, and she was always on a mission. She felt compassion for those she be heartless towards according to others, and she stayed true to her values despite pretending to be someone else. Although absorbing DNA is not realistic, it felt realistic enough.

However, I do have a couple negative things to say.

– A couple characters were not too well developed personality-wise. I felt they were there more for information giving, not really for the character. I mean Ana and Holly could’ve been the same person really

– This isn’t the most original novel I’ve read. This and Don’t Look Back have many similarities. However, the twist is that this one involves the FEA, impersonation and more of the supernatural than Don’t Look Back did. In Don’t Look Back, the main character was being herself

That being said, I do give this book 5 stars. It’s quick, satisfying, engaging and, honestly, cool. Forget mind reading and invisibility… This chick can literally become someone else! I also love the cover art; it shows you the characters exactly as they are described in the book.

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: The Symptoms of My Insanity by Mindy Raf

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Here is Goodreads’ description:

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My Synopsis
Izzy is a hypochondriac; she fears and imagines the worst of everything. And it’s hard not to between her mom’s failing health and her failing relationships with her friends. But when the worst case scenario she has always feared hits, even a hypochondriac isn’t prepared.

I love how even though this book deals with some serious issues, it is hilarious. It’s hard to put emergency and hilarious in the same sentence, but it is true.

You don’t read this book expecting aliens or an apocalypse. It is just a contemporary YA romance with a side of comedy. Mindy Raf is a stand-up comedian, which serves her well when she wrote the book. It really is funny. You can’t say that about too many books.

But here is where things get more PG-13: Izzy will not let you get through this book without knowing that she has huge boobs. It’s in every chapter. She constantly reminds you of her struggle just when you think she could tell you got the picture.

Even though you may not relate directly to Izzy, somehow you really feel like you are living her life and understand her. I found I wasn’t calling her crazy even though from the synopsis she sounds a little wacky.

I will say this book is definitely not for your middle schooler, between the medical things, all the boob talk, and some other things I won’t mention as to not spoil anything.

Why read it?

I read this during the bout of books readathon to break up all the dark books I was reading. It served its purpose well. If you want something fun and comedic to read, this is a nice choice.

Best book ever? No. Will I bring this up a lot in the future? Probably not. While it isn’t my favorite book ever, I enjoyed reading it and so I wanted to review it for you guys anyway.

P.S If you have been following me a while, you know that I post every week day and sometimes weekends. That is 5-6 posts a week! I start school this week, and since I don’t know how busy I will be, I don’t want to promise that I can still consistently post every single day. You never know; there may be weeks where I do, and others where I just post a couple times a week. I promise I will post as often as I can. 🙂

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”

Review: Waterfell by Amalie Howard

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Basic Summary/Synopsis:
Princess Protection Program meets The Little Mermaid in this YA novel. Nerissa Marin is royalty; underwater royalty. But, she hides among humans in California until she can claim her birthright. Her kingdom underwater is in deep trouble; her father was murdered in their underwater kingdom and his murderer is on the loose. But in the midst of this, Nerissa falls for a new (and human) boy named Lo. Will this be the end for Rissa and her kingdom?

Major Characters:
Nerissa Marin- underwater royalty, heir to throne, attends mortal high school pretending to be human
Speio- Nerissa’s protector
Lo Seavon- Nerissa’s love interest

Nerissa is very relatable, despite the fact that she is not human. She does a great job at blending in. Speio is usually annoyed with Nerissa, I found, but for good reason. (He is sure something will happen to her- considering the king was murdered and her mom is missing, meaning Nerissa is the heir.)  Lo is cute and never fails to surprise you.

I am going to make a slight comparison between this book and Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Both books contain the whole, “I’m not who you think I am.” scene, someone who cares for this foreign person and wants the secrets kept, and a very attractive love interest. (I.e Daemon not wanting Dee befriending people and always showing up when he knew she or Katy was in danger, Speio trying to protect Nerissa…) If you are just coming off of the Lux series, try Waterfell. I think you’ll enjoy it.

As I read I was thinking the ending would be predictable and that I knew how it would end. Yet Amalie Howard pulled out some surprises that I did not expect at all! I was shocked by the ending.

As soon as I started reading Waterfell, I knew I was in love. It is addicting. You could call it a guilty pleasure read. It hits the right notes if what you are looking to read is something fast, mysterious and fun. I can’t wait to read the sequel, Oceanborn.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Follow me @books_palettes for sneak peeks, musings, and more! My avatar image is from “Jen Loves Teaching.”