Sunday, 11 October 2015

Weekly Recap for October 10, 2015

I'm finally back into reading, and it feels like coming home.  It's depressing to look at someone and say "I love to read" when you aren't reading.  It feels wrong, even if the statement is true.  I do love to read, I always have, I just sort of...stopped.  Thankfully, that haunting hiatus is over and I have some catching up to do on my TBR list :)

This week I read/listened to...


Since I'm going to have plenty more books for review, I'm working on a schedule to have some consistency.  Not quite sure what it will be like, but it'll most likely have two reviews a week, along with a couple of memes :)  I'll add a page once I actually nail something down!

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Review: Defy by Sara B. Larson


*Just a warning if you're thinking of picking up this book; it has a lot of mention of sexual assault.  While the assaults are not actually depicted, there is a scene when Alexa travels through the house, and you see the aftermath, which was a little too much for me.*

Title: Defy
Author: Sara B. Larson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Genre:YA, Fantasy
Release Date: January 7, 2014
Blurb: Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard and friend Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?


Defy was one of those books that the cover always drew me in, but the synopsis was never enough to make me buy it.  I've never been a fan of the "girl disguised as a boy" thing, or a fan of love triangles, which the synopsis states very clearly.  But as a fantasy lover, I decided to give it a shot.

I'm glad I did!  While there were quite a few moments I had to stop my eyes from rolling, Defy was still a good book.  The story is interesting the entire way through, and Alexa was one of those heroines that always got back up, even if she didn't want to, and she always took action in the face of danger (which is the true definition of bravery if you ask me!).  As predictably as the love triangle went, and the development of romance between the characters, in the end Defy really did focus on the main issue at hand: overthrowing a kingdom.

The world that was built could have been stronger.  While many descriptions were given, they tended to focus on the same few descriptors (like the heat of the jungle, the sunshine vs. shadows).  It got a little tiring hearing about how sweaty everyone was.  However the descriptions given for characters was plentiful, and they came to life right off the page!

Fans of The Hunger Games should definitely check out this book.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Review: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

After being away from books for a while, I finally got back into one, although I didn't have my nose stuck in it.  No, due to work obligations I can't sit and read for as long as I like anymore...but I can listen.  Normally I avoid audio books simply because most are more expensive, but since my new job is sitting at a desk all day inputting numbers I was losing my mind listening to just music.  SO, I reactivated my audible account and started off with Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen, and I was not disappointed!

Title: Stolen Songbird
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Publisher: Strang Chemisty
Genre:YA, Fantasy
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Blurb: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the mountain. When Cécile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she realises that the trolls are relying on her to break the curse.

Cécile has only one thing on her mind: escape. But the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time…

But the more time she spends with the trolls, the more she understands their plight. There is a rebellion brewing. And she just might be the one the trolls were looking for...


While I found the narration started out weirdly monotone, after the first chapter it got much better. The voices  were easily distinguishable and there was never any question between what was dialogue and what the characters were thinking.  I liked that there were two narrators to separate when the POV switched between male and female, as well.
The main character, Cecile, was pretty good, too.  She was strong and didn't take everything lying down after being kidnapped, but I found she did fall in love pretty quickly (and while there were a few weeks that passed, that's not much when the guy is being a jerk!).  Still, I liked her, and I found that she was a smart, relatively level-headed lady put through much hardship.  
What I loved most about this book was the world-building.  It didn't seem like anything was forgotten, and I found I could image everything very clearly.  Nothing was left out, even from the places you didn't actually go to!  There was a rich history built within inner and outer dialogue, and before I knew it I was engulfed in Trollus and the surrounding world.
On the negative aspects, I can't really say what the major thing that bothered me was, because it's really just a matter of me not liking the main characters choices.  Some of the moves she makes I was sitting in my chair thinking, "Really?  THAT'S what you do?" I can't complain about it.  

Overall I enjoyed this story beginning to end, and look forward to finding out what happens next!  There was so much mystery set up in the first one!  Also, if you're in the US or Canada, there's a giveaway open on Goodreads for a copy of this book!