Tuesday, August 9, 2016

[Book Review] Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

Author: Sophie Jordan 
Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Young Adults
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Released: February 9, 2016 
Publisher: HarperTeen 
Targeted Audience: Teens
How I Heard About It: Die hard Sophie Jordan fan. 

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.
But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.
With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Happy six month anniversary Reign of Shadows!

I should start off by saying that even though I am barely reviewing the book now, I didn’t just read it. It’s been months. In fact, I read it when it first came out and destroyed the book in three days. I mean that in a good way. Once I got my hands on the book, I only put it down when I absolutely had to.

Because Sophie Jordan is a local Houston author, I’m able to go to several of her book signings. While she was promoting her Uninvited Series, she talked about another future project. Reign of Shadows was that series. Without giving too much away, she spoke about writing Luna and the challenges in writing someone who wasn’t your normal protagonist.
I had to applaud Sophie Jordan’s talent in writing that very important aspect of the book and character. I went in thinking this was the book she was talking about. By page 10, I wasn’t so convinced it was because she had done such a good job of being subtle about such a big thing. So, even though I was sort of expecting it, by the time the big twist was reveal, and that’s about 40 pages into the book, there was still some shock to it. 

While reading a book, there are a number of things I look for; storyline, character development, relationships, plot twist. There was a perfect combination of all of those in this book. 

Before I read the book, I saw a bunch of reviews comparing it to the story of Rapunzel & the Disney move, Tangled. While I saw some similarities, I felt like it was a story of it it’s own. I’ve been a fan of Sophie Jordan’s for many years and always find myself loving her writing. She did a great job of writing this story.  

Character Development:
I hate books that don’t have character development. I feel that the main characters should be changed in some way or another by the obstacles they face in the book. That happened exactly to Luna and Fowler. They aren’t the same people at the end of the book that they were at the beginning of the book.

There was two types of relationships that played an important role in Reign of Shadows. First the relationship that Luna has with the two people who took care of her for all those years. They obviously care about her beyond the wall of duty. Again, without spoiling anything, I really hope we somehow get to see some more of that in book two. 
Then there’s the relationship between Luna and Fowler. Both for their own reasons are very untrusting of the other for a good part of the book. That was the aspect of their relationship that had my attention. I was waiting for that moment when they would both acknowledge that they need and want the other person there. If that moment happens or not, you’ll have to read for yourself. 

Plot Twist: 
There was a big reveal at the end that I did not see coming at all. In fact my sister was in the next room and asked if everything was okay. To which I answered, “The book!” Luckily, she’s a bookworm herself and completely understood. Looking back, there were many signs leading up to this big reveal. As someone who reads a lot, I should have picked up on them, but I didn’t. So, GOOD JOB, SOPHIE JORDAN! Another great book! 


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

[Book Review] The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

The Choice 
Author: Nicholas Sparks 
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, 
Pages: 272 (Hardcover)
Released: September 24, 2007 
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing 
Targeted Audience: Women 
How I Heard About It: Nicholas Sparks novel turned movie that has Tom Welling in it. Of course, I’m going to read it.

Summary (from Goodreads): 
Travis Parker has everything a man could want: a good job, loyal friends, even a waterfront home in small-town North Carolina. In full pursuit of the good life -- boating, swimming, and regular barbecues with his good-natured buddies -- he holds the vague conviction that a serious relationship with a woman would only cramp his style. That is, until Gabby Holland moves in next door. Despite his attempts to be neighborly, the appealing redhead seems to have a chip on her shoulder about him...and the presence of her longtime boyfriend doesn't help. Despite himself, Travis can't stop trying to ingratiate himself with his new neighbor, and his persistent efforts lead them both to the doorstep of a journey that neither could have foreseen. Spanning the eventful years of young love, marriage and family, The Choice ultimately confronts us with the most heartwrenching question of all: how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive? 

In honor of The Choice DVD release today, I’m doing a book review for the first time in almost two years. Hopefully this is the first of many because I’ve missed blogging a lot. 

One of the main reasons I picked up the book was because I knew Tom Welling was going to be in the movie adaptation. I’ve read a handful of Nicholas Sparks books so I knew enough about the way he tells a story to know I was going to enjoy the book. 

The book caught my attention right away. I love when a book starts off at one point and then the rest of the book is a lead up to figure out how the characters got to that point.

I had a little trouble at first believing the romance because a big portion of the book takes place in such a short time, but that’s more of a personal preference. I tend to like the slow burn, but this novel brought up a great point in showing how fast falling in love with someone could be. 

As for the characters themselves, the strong characters are what sold the book for me. Nicholas Sparks did a very good job of creating different characters with different personalities that bounced around nicely with each other. From Travis’s relationship with his sister to the relationship he has with 

From puppies to bantering relationships, I could not put this book down! A nice quick read if you’re looking for a book that will make you feel good (and cry depending on how easy that comes). 

How It Compares To The Movie: There was so many differences between the book and the movie, but I didn’t find myself minding them. Tom Welling’s character was way more important in the movie than he was in the book. A win in my opinion. There was an added storyline with Travis’s dad that was not in the book and I really enjoyed in the movie. 



Thursday, June 5, 2014

[Book Review] The Fault In Our Stars by John Green

Summary (from Goodreads): Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Author: John Green

Edition: Hardcover

Pages: 318

Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary

Published: January 10, 2012 by Dutton Books

Reading Level: Teens

If you are from the age of 14-25 or just a reader aware of popular books, you’ve heard of The Fault In Our Stars at least once in the last two and a half years. With the movie coming out soon, the hype has increased in the last year. For the past couple of years with more and more books becoming movies, I’ve learned that I don’t really care for the really famous books. Maybe it has to do with everyone trying to tell me I’m going to love the book. So, rebel in me of course has to disagree. 
With that being said, I did like The Fault In Our Stars. However, I didn’t fall in love with it like everyone told me I would. It wasn’t the worst book I’ve ever read, far from it, in fact, but it wasn’t a personal favorite. 

Plot: The plot is very unique. To start with, the book doesn’t have one character with cancer where the rest of the characters deal with it, but several characters who are living with cancer and their families dealing with it. What I really liked about that was that each of the character dealt with it in their own way. 
Another big part of the plot was Hazel’s love for Peter Van Houten. That’s kind of the part where I lost interest. While it does play a part in the love story later on, I felt like there was a lot of it in the beginning that kind of bored me.   

Characters: I really liked Hazel personality. She thinks outside of what life will be like if she dies and I tend to do that to. In a way, even though I didn’t really care for Augustus, I liked who she became with her relationship with him.   
I didn’t fall in love with Augustus the way I’ve fallen in love with other male fictional characters. Maybe it was because I read (or rather went back and forth between reading and listening to the audiobook on Youtube) the book in only a couple of days. I didn’t grow attached to him. 

Relationships: I really loved Hazel and Augustus’s relationship with their friend. They are silly together. They get each other. It works.
I also really love the relationship between Hazel and her family and Augustus with his family along with the families relationships with each other. 

Romance: If you’re a fan of romance, you’re going to love that aspect of the book. It’s heavily displayed throughout the entire book. Rather, it is the foundation of basically every storyline in the book. 
The romance is where I feel a lot of people love this story. It’s the reason why there is so much hype surrounded around the book (and now the movie). Even though the characters are going through a very rough time, the romance between Augustus and Hazel kept this as a feel good read.  


Movie Trailer:

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