Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – February 20, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

To Best The Boys

From Goodreads:

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Bookish Features

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I decided to post the first five books based upon actual length. However, the last five novels are books that felt like they took me forever to finish.

1. Batman and the Justice League Vol. 1, Shiori Teshirogi

2. The 30-Day Prayer Challenge for Women, Nicole O’Dell

3. The Raging Ones, Krista Ritchie, Becca Ritchie

4. War of the Staffs, Steve Stephenson, K.M. Tedrick

5.  La La Lovely: The Art of Finding Beauty in the Everyday, Trina McNeilly

6. Okayest Mom: When God’s Plan of Adoption Doubled My Family, Natalie Gwyn

7. The Unforgotten, Laura Powell

8. King’s Blood, Jill Williamson

9. AA-10025: Memoirs of an Anti-Apostle, Marie Carre

10. The Girl King, Mimi Yu

Book Reviews

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi

Outrun the Wind

Title: Outrun the Wind
Author: Elizabeth Tammi
Rating: ★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Huntresses of Artemis must obey two rules: never disobey the goddess, and never fall in love. After being rescued from a harrowing life as an Oracle of Delphi, Kahina is glad to be a part of the Hunt; living among a group of female warriors gives her a chance to reclaim her strength, even while her prophetic powers linger. But when a routine mission goes awry, Kahina breaks the first rule in order to save the legendary huntress Atalanta.

To earn back Artemis’s favor, Kahina must complete a dangerous task in the kingdom of Arkadia— where the king’s daughter is revealed to be none other than Atalanta. Still reeling from her disastrous quest and her father’s insistence on marriage, Atalanta isn’t sure what to make of Kahina. As her connection to Atalanta deepens, Kahina finds herself in danger of breaking Artemis’ second rule.

She helps Atalanta devise a dangerous game to avoid marriage, and word spreads throughout Greece, attracting suitors willing to tempt fate to go up against Atalanta in a race for her hand. But when the men responsible for both the girls’ dark pasts arrive, the game turns deadly.

Robin Hood meets Wonder Woman. The story starts out with a bang. Artemis is mad and sends one of her monsters to destroy a kingdom, however, when one of her own huntresses gets in the way, new hope arises out of a country almost forgotten. Atalanta is your typical teenager in some ways: a little cocky, ignorant to her own faults, and insecure at the same time. But, also a monster butt-kicking legend…at least to those who don’t know the truth.

The trees tremble, and it is not from the wind.

I clench my fists so my fingers don’t follow the trees’ example, and reach behind my back, pulling out an arrow and nocking it in a motion so practiced that I don’t need to take my eyes off of the treeline. Sunlight glimmers like a jewel through the shifting leaves.

“It’s here,” Meleager says, his voice solid and unafraid.

As we all know, fame can blind us. People who once were nothing to us suddenly gain interest. And in the limelight of being accepted by those we have always wished, we don’t always see the truth behind the sudden attention. This is exactly what happens to Atalanta.

The story came in hot, but then the middle took a complete 180. All of the action I was relishing turned into love. And while love it nice to have around, it is also nice to have action during the same time, and that didn’t happen for me. There was some disconnect. Almost like an aside from the action. Not only that, but, like always, the author always makes the characters pick the person I don’t want them to. Why can’t they ever pick the super nice ones (Wahh!)?!

crying

If not for the little love aside, I really enjoyed the novel. The action scenes were great and there is so much potential for either a series or other novels based in the same universe.

It’s impossible for us both, I realize. She can’t outrace the world. I can’t stay, and I can’t bear to leave her. We can’t outrun the wind.

Bookish Features

First Lines Friday – February 13, 2018

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

Jude lifted the heavy practice sword, moving into the first stance – readiness.

Get used to the weight, Madoc has told her. You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring. The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.

It will hurt. Pain makes you strong.


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Wicked King

Title: The Wicked King
Author: Holly Black
Rating: ★★★★

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself that strong.

Jude has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were biddable. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her, even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a faerie world.

Book Reviews

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Great Divorce

Title: The Great Divorce
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: ★★★★

C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. An extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment, Lewis’s revolutionary idea in the The Great Divorce is that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis’ The Great Divorce will change the way we think about good and evil.

C.S. Lewis: the man behind the glorious Chronicles of Narnia. Our narrator arrives in Hell and is waiting in line to board the bus. While waiting, he hears multiple conversations between people. Summarizing that the “divorce” between good and evil is up to each and every person, he explains this through the imagery of taking a bus from Hell to the edge of Heaven. People are preventing their own way to Heaven by keeping the distant things from the past present in their minds. Pretty much each chapter tells the story of a different person in Hell and their excuses, grudges, and vices keeping them from reaching their eternal happiness.

I doubt if he knew clearly what he meant. But you and I must be clear. There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him. And the higher and mightier it is in the natural order, the more demoniac it will be if it rebels. It’s not out of bad mice or bad fleas you make demons, but out of bad archangels. The false religion of lust is baser than the false religion of mother-love or patriotism or art: but lust is less likely to be made into a religion.

I absolutely love that a Christian lesson is taught through a fantasy tale. This makes for an easy read, and it is relatable to everyone, not just Christians. Human flaw is depicted through many struggles we all face. But in the light of reality, we must remove the negative aspects of our life in order to obtain true happiness.

“The demand of the loveless and the self-imprisoned that they should be allowed to blackmail the universe: that till they consent to be happy (on their own terms) no one else shall taste joy: that theirs should be the final power; that Hell should be able to veto Heaven”

Bookish Features

Waiting on Wednesday – February 13, 2019

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Warrior of the Wild

From Goodreads:

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying.

Book Reviews

Consumed (Firefighters, #1) by J.R. Ward

ConsumedTitle: Consumed (Firefighters, #1)
Author: J.R. Ward
Rating: ★★★★★

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Ann Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm . . .

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This story comes in hot! I was literally thinking, “Dang! All of this action and I’m not even a quarter of the way through yet!” I was a little skeptical because I thought the story may be a little cliche, but it definitely exceeded my expectations.

What I loved about this novel was that the relationships were realistic…it didn’t have the fairytale ending where there isn’t a fight and things turn out happily ever after. There were real issues and real people going through the struggles that both you and I go through in our normal lives. 

What surprised me probably the most was that I didn’t expect the ending! And it leads us to anticipate the next installment of the series. 

Despite the characters’ imperfections, I loved them and found them interesting. But most importantly, wanting to know more. Considering one of our main characters is female, this surprised me. 

I’m more than ready for the next novel in this series! Let me at it!