Feature & Follow Friday [#52]

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Its a way to get out there and meet new bloggers and discover new blogs. :)

Q. What books would you give to newbies in your favorite genre?

My favorite genre happens to be dystopian, so if I were to choose some dystopian books for newbies I would choose:
I have all my follow options easy to find along the right side of my blog. There's GFC (preferred), Google +, Email and Bloglovin' along with Twitter and Facebook as well! Many options! :)

Review: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne

Savage Drift (Monument 14, #3)
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Pages: 320
Source: Hardcover/Library

It's over.

Dean, Alex, and the other survivors of the Monument 14 have escaped the disaster zone and made it to the safety of a Canadian refugee camp. Some of the kids have been reunited with their families, and everyone is making tentative plans for the future. And then, Niko learns that his lost love, Josie, has survived!

Or is it?

For Josie, separated from the group and presumed dead, life has gone from bad to worse. Trapped in a terrible prison camp with other exposed O’s and traumatized by her experiences, she has given up all hope of rescue. Meanwhile, scared by the government’s unusual interest in her pregnancy, Astrid—along with her two protectors, Dean and Jake—joins Niko on his desperate quest to be reunited with Josie.

In Monument 14: Savage Drift, the stunningly fierce conclusion to the Monument 14 trilogy, author Emmy Laybourne ups the stakes even higher for a group of kids who have continually survived the unthinkable. Can they do so one last time?

Review: Overall, I felt like Savage Drift was a satisfying end to the series! I enjoyed it more overall than the second book. I feel like for the most part it wrapped up the story nicely, though I do have a few small complaints.

I really enjoyed the dual POV’s again (it works well in this series), but this time from Dean and Josie’s POV’s. We got to see what was happening to Josie in the infected O’s internment camp and we got to see what was happening with Dean and others from the group who got rescued and taken to a refugee camp in Canada. It was interesting to see the differences with how people were treated between the two camps. Josie and the other type O’s in the internment camp were literally treated like animals just because of their blood type. Whereas up in Canada Dean and everyone else were treated like actual human beings no matter what blood type they had, even if they were O’s. I was also pretty excited that we got to see more of Mario in this book since he stayed with Josie in the camp even though he didn't have to. It was nice seeing him trying to help people and protect them while he still could. He was such a nice guy!

I was very curious as to why the government wanted to do so much testing on exposed O’s and especially pregnant type O’s. Especially to the point where they were actually drugging some people to take them and do tests on them. I mean I kind of get why they would want to test pregnant O’s, so that way they could see the effects of the blood and compounds on the baby, but what did they want to find out in the other O’s?

Many things happened in this book that I didn't see coming. Finding a random toddler to have to look out for, Jake just up and leaving, Astrid having the baby really early, etc. I didn't see these things happening like they did so it definitely made for an interesting story. Overall, I definitely felt like the group finally learned to be less trusting of just everyone they came across and to actually evaluate them as a threat first of all. Definitely an improvement over the second book. I was also happy overall with the endings for most characters. Josie and Niko finally got to be back together, many people were reunited with family and Astrid and Dean became parents to a little boy that just seemed to make them over the moon happy.

My only complaint with this book is that some of the endings seemed unrealistic. Like Sahalia’s dad being at the farm when Dean, Astrid, Josie and Niko showed up. I’m just not sure that would be realistic for him to just be there waiting after everything. I also didn't think Dean and Alex finding their parents and having them show up literally out of the blue as well was realistic. It’s like these things were kind of thrown in there, however unrealistic it was, just to try and end the book on a good note. Other than that, I don’t really have any complaints.

4 Stars!

Waiting On Wednesday [#105]

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating.

The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1)
Author: Jodi Meadows
Expected Publication: March 10, 2015

Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others

Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.

Very excited for this book! I loved Jodi's Newsoul series (Incarnate, Asunder & Infinite) so I'm hoping that I'll enjoy this new series as well since I quite enjoy her writing! :)

What are you waiting on this week?

New Releases October 28 - November 3

Author: Ally Condie
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Can you hear Atlantia breathing?

For as long as she can remember, Rio has dreamt of the sand and sky Above—of life beyond her underwater city of Atlantia. But in a single moment, all her plans for the future are thwarted when her twin sister, Bay, makes an unexpected decision, stranding Rio Below. Alone, ripped away from the last person who knew Rio’s true self—and the powerful siren voice she has long hidden—she has nothing left to lose.

Guided by a dangerous and unlikely mentor, Rio formulates a plan that leads to increasingly treacherous questions about her mother’s death, her own destiny, and the complex system constructed to govern the divide between land and sea. Her life and her city depend on Rio to listen to the voices of the past and to speak long-hidden truths.

Talon (Talon #1)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they're positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon's newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey: and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember's bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him: and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Waterfall (Teardrop #2)
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Delacorte
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Eureka’s tears have flooded the earth, and now Atlantis is rising, bringing with it its evil king, Atlas. Eureka is the only one who can stop him, but first she must learn how to fight. She travels across the ocean with Cat, her family, and Ander, the gorgeous and mysterious Seedbearer who promises to help her find Solon, an enigmatic lost Seedbearer who knows how to defeat Atlas.

Once on land, Eureka is taunted by gossipwitches, a group of displaced Atlantean sorceresses, and ambushed by locals struggling to survive amid the destruction her tears have wrought. And she feels no closer to facing Atlas or saving the world when Solon lets slip that love is Ander’s weakness, and that any affection he feels toward her makes him age faster.

Trying to make sense of the dark world her sorrow has created, Eureka receives startling insight from an enchanted pond. Her bewildering reflection reveals a soul-crushing secret: if she’s strong enough, Eureka can draw on this knowledge to defeat Atlas—unless her broken heart is just what he needs to fuel his rising kingdom...

In Waterfall, Eureka has the chance to save the world. But she’ll have to give up everything—even love.

In The Afterlight (The Darkest Minds #3)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Disney - Hyperion
Publication Date: October 28, 2014

Ruby can't look back. Fractured by an unbearable loss, she and the kids who survived the government's attack on Los Angeles travel north to regroup. With them is a prisoner: Clancy Gray, son of the president, and one of the few people Ruby has encountered with abilities like hers. Only Ruby has any power over him, and just one slip could lead to Clancy wreaking havoc on their minds. 

They are armed only with a volatile secret: proof of a government conspiracy to cover up the real cause of IAAN, the disease that has killed most of America's children and left Ruby and others like her with powers the government will kill to keep contained. But internal strife may destroy their only chance to free the "rehabilitation camps" housing thousands of other Psi kids.

Meanwhile, reunited with Liam, the boy she would-and did-sacrifice everything for to keep alive, Ruby must face the painful repercussions of having tampered with his memories of her. She turns to Cole, his older brother, to provide the intense training she knows she will need to take down Gray and the government. But Cole has demons of his own, and one fatal mistake may be the spark that sets the world on fire.

Other New Releases This Week:
Earth & Sky (Earth & Sky #1) by Megan Crewe (10/28/14) [Skyscape]
Compulsion (The Heirs of Watson Island #1) by Martina Boone (10/28/14) [Simon Pulse]
Catalyst (Insignia #3) by S.J. Kincaid (10/28/14) [Katherine Tegen]
Eternal (Shadow Falls: After Dark #2) by C.C. Hunter (10/28/14) [St. Martin's Griffin]
Diamonds In The Rough (The Secret Diamond Sisters #2) by Michelle Madow (10/28/14) [Harlequin Teen]

Stacking The Shelves [#65]

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as a way to share all the books we got during the week!

So as many of you know or figured out, I took a break from blogging for a while. I've had a lot going on in my life over the past year. Me and my boyfriend moved into a new apartment a few months ago, school started back up again (which has required a lot of focus) and a number of other things have happened that have required my attention. But as of lately I've started reading a few books again and have been slowly deciding to get back into blogging. I don't know how often I'll be posting a review, but I'm aiming for at least one a week since I've been finishing at least one book a week. 

Anyways, since I haven't blogged in a while, I have a lot of books to show that I've acquired over the past few months. 

Not Pictured (Won With The Books)
  • Fallen World Shirt
  • Fallen World Water Bottle
  • Fallen World Hand Sanitizer
  • Bookplates
  • Bookmarks
  • Fallen World Notebook

Bought and Got Signed At the Tucson Festival of Books (In March):

Bought Cont:
Received For Review:
Thanks Simon & Schuster for the book! I totally wasn't even expecting this in the mail. So imagine my surprise when my mom called me and told me I received a package from Simon & Schuster. 

Library Cont:
Bought For Kindle (Not Pictured):
Weekly Recap:

Cover Reveals:

Review: Sky On Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Sky On Fire (Monument 14, #2)
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: May 28, 2013
Pages: 212
Source: Hardcover/Own

Trapped in a superstore by a series of escalating disasters, including a monster hailstorm and terrifying chemical weapons spill, brothers Dean and Alex learned how to survive and worked together with twelve other kids to build a refuge from the chaos. But then strangers appeared, destroying their fragile peace, and bringing both fresh disaster and a glimmer of hope.

Knowing that the chemical weapons saturating the air outside will turn him into a bloodthirsty rage monster, Dean decides to stay in the safety of the store with Astrid and some of the younger kids. But their sanctuary has already been breached once. . . .

Meanwhile, Alex, determined to find their parents, heads out into the darkness and devastation with Niko and some others in a recently repaired school bus. If they can get to Denver International Airport, they might be evacuated to safety. But the outside world is even worse than they expected. . . .

Review: I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. If you read my review of the first book, “Monument 14”, then you know I absolutely loved that book! This book however I feel suffered a little from second book syndrome. Overall, I did enjoy the story in “Sky On Fire”, just not as much as I thought I would.

What I did like: I really enjoyed the two POV’s of Dean and Alex. Since half the story was taking place in the store, and half on the road, I felt like it was very important that we had these two POV’s so that way we kept up with both groups without missing huge chunks. I also liked that we got to see relationships and friendships grow throughout the story. Dean and Astrid had the biggest growth in their relationship seeing as they went from just silently liking each other to actually being together by the end of the book. I liked seeing those two grow closer. We did however see other relationships either come to light that were happening before that no one knew about, or see new ones form between people. Overall, I really enjoyed the fact that all these people thought of each other as family. Even though they all wanted to find their actual families and be reunited with them, they all felt like a family to each other as well. It was good to see everyone be bonded like that. Another thing I liked was finding out what was happening outside the store with the group that left. They learned a lot as to what some of the other effects of the chemicals were on everything besides people and their blood types.

What I didn't like: I felt like most of the things that were happening in this book were way too predictable. People trying to get into the store, people trying to take the bus, encountering bad people etc. None of these things surprised me because you kind of already could feel that it was going to happen. If people see a moving vehicle of course they are going to try and take it. If people were seeing the kids leaving the store or found out about it, of course they were going to try and get into it to get supplies. Also, these kids were way to trusting. You’d think after having someone come in to the store and do bad things in the first book, they would have learned not to trust people right away. But yet both groups did, and ironically, they trusted the same group of people that screwed the other over. I just don’t get why they were so trusting even though they knew bad things were happening. Also, I didn't really like Jake’s reappearance into the story. He just disappeared in the first book when they sent him out then just shows back up at the store days later and acts like nothing happened. Not a fan!

At least by the end of the book we find out why it is titled “Sky On Fire.” Overall, this book wasn't bad, but it wasn't the best sequel I've read either.

3 1/2 Stars!

Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

Three (Article 5, #3)
Author: Kristen Simmons
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: February 11, 2014
Pages: 384
Source: Hardcover/Library

Ember Miller and Chase Jennings are ready to stop running. After weeks spent in hiding as two of the Bureau of Reformation’s most wanted criminals, they have finally arrived at the safe house, where they hope to live a safe and quiet existence.

And all that’s left is smoking ruins.

Devastated by the demolition of their last hope, Ember and Chase follow the only thing left to them—tracks leading away from the wreckage. The only sign that there may have been survivors.

With their high profile, they know they can’t stay out in the open for long. They take shelter in the wilderness and amidst the ruins of abandoned cities as they follow the tracks down the coast, eventually finding refugees from the destroyed safe house. Among them is someone from Chase’s past—someone he never thought he’d see again.

Banding together, they search for a place to hide, aiming for a settlement a few of them have heard about…a settlement that is rumored to house the nebulous organization known as Three. The very group that has provided Ember with a tiny ray of hope ever since she was first forced on the run.

Three is responsible for the huge network of underground safe houses and resistance groups across the country. And they may offer Ember her only chance at telling the world her story.

At fighting back.

Review: Out of all three books in this series, “Three” has got to be my absolute favorite! I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book! I felt that this was a very satisfying ending to the series, despite the intense heartbreak of so many people dying. I loved that “Three” picked up right where “Breaking Point” left off.

I loved how much action was packed into this book! There never seemed to be a dull moment. From the moment Chase and Ember set out following the tracks left by the group from the safe house up until the very end after Three’s attack against the FBR there was always something going on. Chase, Ember and the group encounter many other groups throughout their journey, almost all of which were hostile toward them until they found out who they were. Every time they came across a group of people my heart started beating faster because I knew there was going to be some fighting before someone realized who they were. If there wasn't action in the way of fighting, there was action in the way of planning. Someone somewhere was always coming up with a plan for attack or to get somewhere or do something important. “Three” definitely was more satisfying in terms of getting away from the focus on romance that was in the first book.

I also enjoyed the character growth in this book. Chase and Ember definitely grew in terms of their relationship in this book, without the book being focused on it. It was very satisfying to see Chase stop trying to protect Ember all the time and look at her more as an equal in terms of fighting and helping further the cause of the resistance. It was also satisfying seeing Ember really come into her own in this book. She went from a girl trying to stay under the radar in the first book to a girl who put herself in the spotlight to help Three gain more support against the FBR. She also was willing to do whatever necessary to fight for what she believed in, and even more so to fight for those she loved. In terms of character growth, I definitely feel like Ember grew the most throughout all three books. I also loved seeing Sean and Rebecca’s relationship grow, and Rebecca become a little more independent even though she had her handicap to deal with. And in terms of friendship, I definitely felt like these four grew a lot as friends to each other throughout this book.

I also liked having a few new characters introduced as well. I enjoyed Jesse (Chase’s uncle) and Dr. DeWitt being introduced. They definitely added intrigue into the story. They were two characters I never felt like I completely trusted (and there was good reason for that explained throughout the book), but overall, I trusted them more than I didn't due to being associated with Three. One person I still didn't trust overall was Tucker. He acted like he was all about the resistance, but we find out he still has his FBR ties and was involved in some of the resistance houses being found. I really wanted to trust him after “Breaking Point”, but I always knew in the back of my head he was still a problem for the resistance. There were a few characters in “Three” however, that I did not expect at all to see again after the events of “Breaking Point.” 

In the end, I was satisfied with how everything ended. I was sad over many of the deaths that occurred in the final chapters, but was overall pretty happy with the attack that Three launched crippling the FBR.

5 Stars!