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.

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An Ember in the Ashes, A Review

Reading Review, August 2015

Four years ago I read 54 books and I am hoping to get close to that number again for this year. I am currently at 37 books so 17 more books doesn’t seem like much but this time of year is a busy one.

This past month I managed to read 7 enjoyable books with my lowest rating a 3. Here’s the breakdown:

5star
Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility, audio book, 12 hrs and 43 mins

4star
Just ListenIsla and the Happily Ever AfterCinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2)

Just Listen, 384 pages

Isla and the Happily Ever After, 368 pages

Cinder, 390 pages

Scarlet, 452 pages (my longest read!)

3star

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)
Anna and the French Kiss 3, 372 pages

Lola and the Boy Next Door 3, 384 pages


There’s my month in review. I need to get focused and get my A to Z challenge back on task. I have read 14/26 authors and 15/26 titles thus far which means I have the last half of the alphabet to read.

I hope September is as successful in reading as the last month. Happy reading, all!

Reading Review, August 2015

Top Ten Tuesday, Dissecting the TBR Pile

ttt

This week’s topic by The Broke and the Bookish is about books I hope to read one day or have been buried on my TBR list because there is a lot of buzz about them in the interwebs. Basically a whole lot of YA because I’m behind and book series.

Top Ten Hyped Books I’ve Never Read

tbrFirst

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Legend by Marie Lu

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

(a reread) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

tbrLast

It is a problem many bookworms face but making this list has me realizing that no matter how many books I read there will be five to ten more that I add to my to be read list. So many books, so little time.

Top Ten Tuesday, Dissecting the TBR Pile

A Million Miles Away, A Review

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley free of charge. All opinions are my own.

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

Those Girls, A Review

*I received this book from Netgalley free of charge. All opinions are my own. 

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 was 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 about 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.

 
Those Girls, A Review

An Abundance of John Green

An Abundance of Katherines

I love John Green and I am almost done with reading all his novels. Each year I pick a new one I haven’t read yet and then get lost in the world Green created. His characters are always so witty and sarcastic. I instantly fall in love with all of them. Each book is full of quotable dialogue, touching relationships, and real issues. The novels fall into young adult fiction but everyone I know is reading Green’s work. So far AAoK is enjoyable and meeting expectations.

An Abundance of John Green