An Ember in the Ashes, A Review

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)
Title: An Ember in the Ashes
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Publication: April 2015 by Razorbill
Format: eBook (borrowed)
Rating: 4/5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads:

Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

I knew this book had a lot of buzz surrounding it. For weeks I have seen updates on various social media outlets raving about this book. I finally decided to pick it up and see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t aware of the premise of the book before I began reading it. I only knew that I should love it. So I dove right in.

While I was reading I found myself curious where the story would go next. The beginning started out slow but the story quickly sunk its claws into me. I wanted to finish the book in one sitting but didn’t need to finish it. Any free time I had was spent with my nose in this book. It was an enjoyable read and I’ll admit I have a bit of a book hangover after reading this.

My ultimate impression of An Ember in the Ashes was favorable. It was worth the time and set up a great opening for the future book(s). Give it a try at least, let me know what you think.

An Ember in the Ashes, A Review

Top Ten Tuesday, mergers and acquisitions

tttThis week sneaked up on me (extremely short weekend) and I cannot believe Tuesday is upon us again. This week’s topic seemed doable and didn’t require much scouring of my book piles or Goodreads.

Last Ten Books That Came Into My Possession

eBooks from Netgalley
Lair of Dreams (The Diviners, #2)Awake
Winner from different giveaways
Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You're Taking, The Sleep You're Missing, The Sex You're Not Having, and What's Really Making You CrazyOur Souls at NightMiss Emily
Bookstore or thrift store purchase
The Jane Austen Book ClubJust ListenThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-TimeWe'll Always Have Summer (Summer, #3)Yes Please

I am itching to read quite a few of these, but the eBooks are higher up on “my queue” since they come with a review deadline.

Where did your latest book acquisitions originate?

Check out the creator of Top Ten Tuesday, The Broke and the Bookish, for all your bookish needs.

Top Ten Tuesday, mergers and acquisitions

A Million Miles Away, A Review

A Million Miles Away
Title: A Million Miles Away
Author: Lara Avery
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publication: Poppy, 2015
Format: eBook
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

I was surprised by this book, I liked it. I knew little and just started reading one afternoon by the next day I was done. It was a refreshing read, quick and light. I think it helped that the setting was in the Midwest where I am from; it felt like I was reading about someone I knew.

The main character grew with the story, which was a change from what I had been reading. I’m a big believer in the right book at the right time (which is why I read 4-5 books at a time). This novel was at the right time for me. I recommend the purchase or borrowing it. It’s great for a weekend read, on the plane or beach.

Synopsis

From Goodreads (highlight text to read spoilers):

When high school senior Kelsey‘s identical twin sister, Michelle, dies in a car crash, Kelsey is left without her other half. The only person who doesn’t know about the tragedy is Michelle’s boyfriend, Peter, recently deployed to Afghanistan. But when Kelsey finally connects with Peter online, she can’t bear to tell him the truth. Active duty has taken its toll, and Peter, thinking that Kelsey is Michelle, says that seeing her is the one thing keeping him alive. Caught up in the moment, Kelsey has no choice: She lets Peter believe that she is her sister.

As Kelsey keeps up the act, she crosses the line from pretend to real. Soon, Kelsey can’t deny that she’s falling, hard, for the one boy she shouldn’t want.

A Million Miles Away, A Review

Luckiest Girl Alive, A Review

Luckiest Girl AliveTitle: Luckiest Girl Alive

Author: Jessica Knoll

Genre: Fiction, Mystery

Publication: May 12, 2015 by Simon & Schuster

Format: eBook

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

HER PERFECT LIFE
IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

I don’t even remember when I picked this up or why I wanted to read it. I knew little about this book before diving in. After reading some reviews when I finished the book, I learned it has been compared to Gone Girl which I enjoyed reading earlier this year. This is no Gone Girl and I’m glad I didn’t expect much from this novel beforehand.

At 30 percent I expected to be somewhat interested but it wasn’t until more of the puzzle was complete did this book actually demand to be finished. This is a problem with some mystery books. The readers need enough breadcrumbs sprinkled through the book to dangle us along. Gone Girl, in my opinion, was able to do this–Knoll didn’t execute Luckiest Girl Alive in this aspect.

I hate when I don’t enjoy a book and writing a review is even more difficult. This novel was okay, just not for me. If the synopsis was interesting to you I would recommend giving it a try, but maybe borrow this book from the library or a friend.

Luckiest Girl Alive, A Review

Those Girls, A Review

Those Girls
Title:

Those Girls

Author:

Lauren Saft

Genre:

Young Adult / Contemporary Fiction

Publication:

June 2015 Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Format:

e-book from Netgalley*

Rating:

3 out of 5 stars

Junior year, the suburbs of Philadelphia. Alex, Mollie and Veronica are those girls: they’re the best of friends and the party girls of the school. But how well does everybody know them–and really, how well do they know one another? Alex is secretly in love with the boy next door and has joined a band–without telling anyone. Mollie suffers from a popular (and possibly sociopathic) boyfriend, as well as a serious mean streak. And Veronica just wants to be loved–literally, figuratively, physically….she’s not particular. Will this be the year that bonds them forever….or tears them apart for good?

Lauren Saft masterfully conveys what goes on in the mind of a teenage girl, and her debut novel is raw, honest, hilarious, and thought-provoking, with a healthy dose of heart.

from Goodreads

I read through this pretty quickly, it was an easy read. My curiosity was piqued early on about what would actually happen by the end. I think you either like/tolerate this book or dislike it, there’s not much gray area. This is not a warm, sappy, heartfelt tale and I enjoyed that about this novel.

It has been decades since I could call myself a teenager but the author was able to pull me back into the world of high school and the angst that comes with that territory. I grew up in the Midwest so the problems facing the characters I didn’t necessarily identify with but I know in reality these girls exist.

As much as I hate POV switches in a narrative it really worked in this book. I liked the writing style of the author and the interesting take on female friendships especially the triad relationship. After reading this book I wanted to call my best friend to tell her how much I appreciated her. Those Girls is Mean Girls on crack. The book spans the entire school year and is broken into 6 parts. I wish it were organized better. It didn’t need the extra help in chronology. Overall, it was a read that kept my interest. I wasn’t totally invested in the characters but I was curious of the whole picture. Those Girls is like life, a bit rough around the edges.

I recommend it if you’re currently suffering from a book hangover and need something to shock your system so you can move on.


*I received this book from Netgalley for an honest opinion. 
Those Girls, A Review