Written By: Mercedes Lackey

Published By: Disney-Hyperion

Read: August 8-9, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.

Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.

With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

When I received Hunter from NetGalley I looked through some of the reviews on Goodreads and they made me so nervous to read it. There were some good reviews here and there but most of them were at best mediocre. Now here I am writing my review and I am torn. I am giving this book a three out of five simply because my feelings on it are so mixed.

I actually really enjoyed the story. I thought that it was a fun new take on the often over played Dystopian genre. When the Diseray occurred, which is their apocalyptic event that changed the world, it opened up our world to creatures from the Otherside. The Othersiders are based on pretty much every mythological creature that you can think of. I thought this was really fun and it leaves endless possibilities for the rest of the series. At times it was a little overwhelming trying to keep track of all of the different characters and creatures but overall I really liked the story. I will definitely read the rest of the series.

As much as I enjoyed the story, the writing was very mediocre. The descriptions were lacking and at times repetitive. There were a few times when the poor word choice really detracted from the story. I think that I would have rated this book higher if there were some small improvements on the writing.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book With Magic

Recommended for Fans of: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: Enclave

We Were Liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars

Written By: E. Lockhart

Published By: Delacorte Press

Read: July 27-August 1, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

We Were Liars is one of those books that has been majorly hyped. Every review that I’ve read just made me even more intrigued. All of the reviews said that the twist was everything but refused to tell me anything! My amazing secret sister sent me a copy and I was so excited to read it. I was not disappointed!

The story primarily focused on Cadence Sinclair Eastman with the rest of the Sinclair family as supporting characters. Each year the rich and beautiful Sinclair family spend their summers on their private island. Life on Beechwood starts and stops with summer. Real life never bleeds into summer and life on the island never follows them home. At the end of summer fifteen Cadence is found barely clothed and soaked to the bone on the beach. She has no memory of what happened and suffers from severe migraines as a result of that night. When nobody is willing to give her any answers Cadence must struggle to find the truth on her own.

E. Lockhart was able to write a wonderful story that kept me guessing until the very end. I was anxious and edge throughout the entire book. The story was so much more than just the mystery revolving around that night, it was also about the turmoil and power struggle of a wealthy family. The cast of characters were funny and often times dark. The author wrote a story that was so well rounded. It had everything you can ask for and more.

I hate to say it, but I can’t tell you more or I would ruin the book! (I know, I am such a cliche.) The twist really is everything. 

2015 Reading Challenge-A Book That A Friend Recommended

Recommended for Fans of: Fiction, Mystery, Romance and Young Adult

Suggested to Read Next: Gone Girl

Water for Elephants

water for elephantsWater for Elephants

Written By: Sara Gruen

Published By: Algonquin Books

Read: July 25-26, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future.

By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love.

In an America made colourless by prohibition and the Depression, the circus is a refuge of sequins and sensuality. But behind the glamour lies a darker world, where both animals and men are dispensable. Where falling in love is the most dangerous act of all…

I read this book as part of #TBRTakedown as a book that has been on my TBR for more than one year. I will keep my review short since this book has been out for many years, and has already been read and reviewed many times.

Jacob is a man who has lost everything in the span of a week. When he accidentally joins a circus he will find so much more than he bargained for. The love of a forbidden woman, an unlikely group of friends and an entire cast of circus animals that he yearns to protect. Every character is so unique and well thought out. I loved every character!

This book was such a fascinating read, I enjoyed every single page. It was beautifully written and heartbreaking at every turn. I flew through it and I highly recommend it!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Book That Became A Movie

Recommended for Fans of: Fiction, Historical Fiction, and Romance

Suggested to Read Next: The Help

New Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Pure InsanityNew Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Pure Insanity

Written By: Sean Ryan

Art By: Jeremy Roberts, Tom Derenick and Various Others

Published By: DC Comics

Read: July 20-21, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Goodreads Synopsis

Setting the world’s most dangerous super-criminals against the most insidious threats to national security: that’s the idea behind the elite black-ops unit officially designated as Task Force X. It’s perfect…on paper.

But the real world rarely goes according to plan. Threats evolve. Teammates turn on each other. Blood and betrayals flow like rivers. And that’s why Task Force X is better known as the Suicide Squad.

Vic Sage aims to change the equation. Replacing Amanda Waller as the puppet-master of Suicide Squad’s motley crew, he’s introducing wild cards like Deathstroke and the Joker’s Daughter to whip the existing team-Deadshot, Harley Quinn, and Black Manta-into shape. But the world’s deadliest assassin and the Clown Princess of Crime have ideas of their own…and no explosive implants to keep them in line.

Can this new Suicide Squad survive-or will it implode before it even begins?

Collects issues #1-8

Let me start by saying that this is the first graphic novel that I have ever read. I needed to read a graphic novel as part of the reading challenge that I am participating in. I am a fan of the DC Universe, as well as the Marvel Universe, so when I saw this graphic novel on NetGalley it seemed as good a choice as any. I had to download a compatible program to my computer to be able to read it and it was sort of a pain to read since the program didn’t offer dual page view. Besides the less than ideal reading conditions I really enjoyed it reading it!

I didn’t know a lot about the characters or story line when I first started New Suicide Squad Vol. 1. In fact, I didn’t really know what to expect since I had never read a graphic novel before. This volume consisted eight issues. There were two separate missions consisting of four issues each with an ongoing story line throughout all eight issues.

I found that reading a graphic novel is pretty much identical to reading any other book but with the addition of artwork. I loved the art! Not only did it add to the ongoing written story but it told a story all by itself. If you were to take away all of the written words the art would still be able to tell an amazing story. There was amazing attention to detail to both the art and the layout. I loved the style and everything about it was bold. The Joker’s Daughter was my favorite piece of art in the entire volume. She was dark and creepy and so incredibly well drawn.

Obviously the story is just as important as the art and I was not disappointed! There was a large cast of characters with Mrs. Waller, Vic Sage, Black Manta, Harley Quinn and Deadshot appearing in all eight issues and many other characters appearing in one of the two missions within the volume. My favorite character was either Joker’s Daughter or Harley Quinn. They were both balancing on the line of sanity and I loved their relationship throughout the first four issues. I also really enjoyed the struggle for power between Mrs. Waller and Vic Sage.

As far as the plot goes I thought that it was wonderful. It was well thought out and flowed flawlessly from issue to issue. It was packed with action from the first page to the last. A task force consisting of villains is such a fun idea and I think that it was executed perfectly. I enjoyed every minute of my first graphic novel and I plan on reading more in the future. I think that the highest complement that I can give The New Suicide Squad Vol. 1 is that it has converted me to a lover of graphic novels. I highly recommend it!

2015 Reading Challenge- A Graphic Novel

Recommended for Fans of: Graphic Novels and Fantasy

Suggested to Read Next: Justice League, Vol. 1: Origin



Written By: Marie Lu

Published By: Putnam Juvenile

Read: July 11-14, 2015

Rating: ♥♥♥

You can buy this book here.

Goodreads Synopsis

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

I have mixed feelings about Champion and the Legend series as a whole. In the never ending list of Dystopian novels these just sort of get lost somewhere in the middle. It was a good series, but it wasn’t amazing. The characters were well developed but I don’t feel attached to them. The author did a good job of world building but it didn’t feel new or unique. My final thoughts on the series are meh, it’s okay.

As far as Champion goes, it was a quick read. It was fast paced and laced with quite a bit of action. There was a lot going on with planning and strategy of the war. There were some new developments with the virus that also added to the plot. Everything seemed to lead right up to the end of the book which unfortunately felt anti-climatic. The ending seemed a bit rushed and as if she glazed right over all of the action. I was not a fan of the ending of the book. I was so disappointed with the direction that she took it. I was stunned! I kept thinking “Why are you doing this to me Marie?? You cruel, cruel woman.”. (Don’t worry she made up for it a little in the Epilogue.)

Reading this series won’t make your life any better or any worse. It is just another Dystopian series that falls in the middle of the pack. Marie Lu is a talented writer and I do plan to read her next series with the hope that it is a little more original and exciting.

2015 Reading Challenge- A Trilogy

Recommended for Fans of: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fantasy and Science Fiction

Suggested to Read Next: The Young Elites