Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Furyborn by Claire Legrand - Review


Release Day: May 22, 2018


The stunningly original, must-read fantasy of 2018 follows two fiercely independent young women, centuries apart, who hold the power to save their world...or doom it.

When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed...unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable--until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world--and of each other.

---------------------------- Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ----------------------------

I had heard so much about this book and was so happy to have my wish granted on Netgalley! This type of fantasy is right up my alley and I was excited to see if it lived up to the hype. I'm going to be honest in this review - this book was great in many ways and fell flat for me in others. The synopsis does a good job of explaining the basis of the book but my biggest question was how was it going to differ from other fantasies like it, and hopefully this review will help those of you with the same question! 

The story is told following two different women worlds apart. Rielle grew up in the royal court and is best friends (and has a secret crush) on the Crown Prince. She also has the secret of having a multitude of powers when the rest of the world is gifted with one, if any, and learns that she has a greater part to play. Eliana is living a different life years later as a killer for the tyrannical Emperor, before having to go rogue to protect her family. 

I personally found Eliana's story much more interesting than Rielle's. I think this is because of the prologue, which lays out the characters and relationships from the very first pages. The magic is really interesting - the lore takes a really interesting twists on angels, especially in a fantasy/medieval sense, and is done pretty well. I think the prologue does a good job of throwing the reader into the action and conflict right away, and showing that this will be a no holds barred type of adventure. That being said, knowing Rielle's fate made me disinterested in her parts of the story, whereas Eliana's was much more of a mystery. She seemed more complex to me, and her destiny was so up in the air that I wanted to know what was going to happen next, not only to her but to those she loves. 

The story isn't incredibly unique, in my opinion, but the writing makes up for a fairly predictable plot. I wanted to see how it was all going to unfold and how all the pieces that we are shown throughout will fit together (if at all) by the end. Fans of Throne of Glass and Red Queen will like Rielle and Eliana for being strong female characters that often give in to their flaws. While I skimmed through a lot of Rielle's parts, I was still engaged with the story as a whole, and can't wait for the next installment (like, REALLY can't wait). 

The story has a great balance of mystery, action, and romance, and the movement between the past and the present, or Rielle's narrative and Eliana's, work nicely with one another without being too dependent. Overall, I recommend this book for anyone that reads the synopsis and thinks it may interest them and enjoys fantasies like Throne of Glass and Red Queen
** I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. **
Read more about Claire and her books here: http://www.claire-legrand.com

Claire Legrand used to be a musician until she realized she couldn’t stop thinking about the stories in her head. Now she is a writer and librarian living in central New Jersey (although her heart will always live in her home state of Texas).

Happy Reading!

Jasmine

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Love Beyond Opposites by Molly E. Lee - Review

If high school has taught mathlete Jade Aaron anything, it's that nerds never get the guy.

So when rock star Lennon Pryor starts pursuing her, It's not rocket science. This doesn't add up.

I mean, sure, he's hot.

And charming.

And a god on the guitar...

But he's also the world's biggest player. Being with him would be a bigger mistake than 2+2=5.

Until graduation night, when a reckless moment leads to a reckless kiss. And now Jade's falling for the one guy destined to break her heart.

**************************** Amazon, B&N, Goodreads ****************************

Love Beyond Opposites is a cute summer romance starring two teenagers who are just trying to figure everything out  before college. The premise wasn't quite what I was expecting - a rock star and a nerd usually goes something like "Girl: He's so popular and I'm not, we'd never work, but I'm so attracting to him, what will I do? Boy: She has no idea how much I love her but I'm not good enough for her, what will I do?" Now, I'm totally for the story quoted above, but this played with those ideas and shifted them in good and bad ways. 

Lennon isn't a star yet. He's a high school senior with dreams of stardom and the talent to make it happen. Jade's a mathematical genius but would rather pursue art after graduation. Really, the story is about following your passions, both professionally and romantically. There are some shades of the classic story - Jade is convinced that Lennon doesn't like her, and Lennon has at this point told himself he wasn't good enough for her for four years. But the fact that the story is about high schoolers and takes place basically in one night gives it a fresh feel. 

There were some things that threw me off in a different way. The pacing seemed a little strange, the beginning covering multiple days and years, but the last two thirds taking place all in one night. Halfway through the night, I found myself wondering how long it had actually been and if it was possible to do all that without a time-turner. The other part of the story that I had a slight issue with was the dialogue. Some of it seemed stilted, and moments that were supposed to be funny or sharp snapbacks didn't quite hit. Save for the last thirty pages or so, I didn't find that the dialogue really moved anything along or reveal anything interesting about the characters. 

This is the 3rd book in the Grad Night series, and while I haven't read the first two, I can imagine that reading the entire series will create a more well-rounded, developed story. The other characters are fairly prevalent, and it would be interesting to see Jade and Lennon from other points of view. 

Overall, Love Beyond Opposites is a cute summer read that will fit right into post-graduation YA romance lulls. The characters are lovable, if not lacking a little depth, and the whirlwind adventure that takes place in a span of hours will keep you reading to see what will happen with Lennon and Jade's futures. 
** This book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review **
Find out more about Molly E. Lee here: https://www.mollyelee.com/about-me.html

Molly E. Lee is an author best known for her romance novels, the Grad Night series and the Love on the Edge series. She is a 1001 Dark Nights Discovery Author for 2017. Molly writes Adult and Young Adult contemporary featuring strong female heroines who are unafraid to challenge their male counterparts, yet still vulnerable enough to have love sneak up on them. In addition to being a military spouse and mother of two + one stubborn English Bulldog, Molly loves watching storms from her back porch at her Midwest home, and digging for treasures in antique stores.

Happy Reading!

Jasmine

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 29 - I Won!!

I did it! I finished Camp NaNoWriMo and a whole day early too! Still have about 20,000 words left in my project goals overall, but I'm so happy that I did it!

For Brightly She Burns

Words Written: 3, 643

Words Total (Camp): 50, 284

Words Total (Overall): 65, 201

Music: Emperor's New Clothes by Panic! At the Disco

Excerpt:

Now that I knew this place was here, I wanted to bring one of the books from The Widow’s shelves and sit in the sunshine and read all day. As much as I loved fighting, the thrill of it, the exhilaration, reading was like training for my imagination.

Happy Writing!

Jasmine 

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 28

Hey guys!

I did it! I won today (a whole day early, just like NaNoWriMo 2017)! I will post a picture of my progress bar from the site on the page for April 30th, so if you want, you can see how I did. I'll also post some tips and advice!

For Brightly She Burns

Words Written: 3,295

Words Total (Camp): 46,700

Words Total (Overall): 61,906

Music: Emperor's New Clothes by Panic! at the Disco

Excerpt:

“You don’t agree with your father.” I said plainly and Quasim’s eyes widened in surprise. He looked away, studying the darkness of his cell.

“No.” He said. “I don’t. He is weak-minded but ambitious. Devany gave him the means to gain what he wants without much work. It’s difficult. I don’t disagree with everything Devany wishes to see in the world, but I strongly disagree with the ways in which she wants to achieve them. Of course, my father is the third king to rule under Devany’s…guidance.” Qasim rolled his eyes at that word, the way she had twisted what had once been a partnership into a tyranny. He swallowed. “I didn’t expect him to stand up to her, to see her vision but gentle her hand, but a king could, theoretically. It may do no good but he could’ve. But he didn’t. And that’s what I can’t seem to forgive him for.”

Happy Writing!

Jasmine 

Friday, April 27, 2018

CampNanoWrimo Day 27

I didn't write at all today! This is how I felt the next day! 🙃🙃🙃🙃

Happy Writing! (lol)

Jasmine

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 26

For Brightly She Burns

Words Written: 875

Words Total (Camp): 43,405

Excerpt:

“Good.” He said. “It’s what makes you human.”

The way he said it made it sound as though we were the most amazing things he’d ever seen. As if I was the most amazing thing he’d ever seen. And even though being human came with being messy and complicated and making poor decisions and a mortality that terrified me, I couldn’t help the small smile that I gave him in return.

This war between the gods started a hundred years ago, but it would end with a mortal girl and a star.

Happy Writing!

Jasmine 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Camp NaNoWriMo Day 25

For Brightly She Burns

Words Written: 1,854

Words Total (Camp): 42,530

Excerpt:

“I can’t see the future,” He said and this time the glimmer in his eyes was amusement, “But the stars can. And they like to gossip.”

“About me?” I asked incredulously.

“About everything. Don’t think yourself so special.” He said with a laugh.

Happy Writing!

Jasmine