Format: Paperback

Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic James

Posted March 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

Review: The Gilded Cage by Vic JamesGilded Cage by Vic James
Series: Dark Gifts #1
Published by Del Rey Books on February 14th 2017
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.
Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.
A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.
Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?
A boy dreams of revolution.
Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.
And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.
He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I posted on twitter that I wasn’t sure if I liked this book but that I wouldn’t forget it anytime soon. That has been true so far. I just can’t get this book out of my mind.

The Gilded cage is deeply disturbing. I loved that it didn’t pull any punches. Usually dystopian worlds look pretty on the surface and it takes a while to get into the issues. Gilded Cage is horrifying right from the start. The ruling class are Equals, capable of performing fantastic feats of magic. They live a life of luxury and ease. Everyone else is known as a commoner and are forced to serve Slave Days. Slave Days are exactly what they sound like. Commoners give up 10 years of their lives as slaves. This is one aspect that really bothers me about the book. Commoners can choose when to serve their Slave Days. It’s an awful fate but forcing people to choose when it happens makes it seem worse.

The Gilded Cage also goes into the darker and more insidious aspects of a dystopian world that other books tend to shy away from. Especially in YA. Usually young adult fiction isn’t as dark as this was. I think that this book could be upsetting to read on a lot of levels. Horrible things happen off screen or before the events of the book but they are still dealt with or touched on. This is young adult because it has a young adult main character not because the content is watered down at all.

This book is going to stay with me for a long time. It really affected me. I can’t wait for book two. Still, I’m not sure I liked it. I’m not sure this is a book you like. It is a book you remember forever.

four-half-stars

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Review: American Street

Posted March 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Review: American StreetAmerican Street by Ibi Zoboi
Published by Balzer + Bray on February 14th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

On the corner of American Street and Joy Road, Fabiola Toussaint thought she would finally find une belle vie—a good life.
But after they leave Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. immigration, leaving Fabiola to navigate her loud American cousins, Chantal, Donna, and Princess; the grittiness of Detroit’s west side; a new school; and a surprising romance, all on her own.
Just as she finds her footing in this strange new world, a dangerous proposition presents itself, and Fabiola soon realizes that freedom comes at a cost. Trapped at the crossroads of an impossible choice, will she pay the price for the American dream?

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My favorite part of this book was the voice of the narrator, Fabiola. She’s a teenage immigrant from Haiti whose mother gets detained when they attempt to come into the country. Her mother sends her ahead to Detroit where her aunt and cousins are waiting for them. The story is of her journey to get her mother released and her first few months as an American. She had a very realistic, sincere feel about the way she told the story. It was admirable how she would do anything to get her mother back which ended up requiring tough decisions to be made.

I always enjoy own voices books because I feel like I’m truly able to gather bits and pieces of other people’s realities that are different than mine. The comparisons that she made between her life and Haiti and the acquisition to her life in Detroit was interesting to read because of the things I’ve read/heard about Detroit. While many differences existed between the two places, because of some of the lifestyle choices her aunt and cousins made, there were times when she may have been better off still in Haiti.  

I love when books include different words and phrases from different languages. In this particular book it really added to the story. I also really loved the elements of magical realism that tied back to the religion she and her mother practiced and felt protected themselves and their family members when they were still in Haiti and survived things like the massive earthquake and extreme poverty.

I can’t write a review and leave out her first love, Kasim. He was everything you want a teenage love to be and I think the contrast between the way he treated her as opposed to the way her cousin’s boyfriend, Dray, treated her was powerful. It’s never okay to accept an abusive relationship, no matter what else they do for you. I think this effectively portrayed the two relationships and the different choices each girl made when it came to them.

Overall, I rated this 4 stars. It was a really fantastic read and I highly recommend it!

four-stars

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Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Arc Review: Literally by Lucy Keating

Literally by Lucy Keating Published by HarperTeen on April 11th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 256 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads A girl realizes her life is being written for her in this unique, smart love story that is Stranger Than Fiction for fans of Stephanie Perkins. Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine. It turns out, Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word? The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance blurs the line between reality and fiction, and is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut Dreamology, which SLJ called, “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.” I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This was such a sweet book with a really original premise behind it. Annabelle is a seemingly normal teenager living her life trying to make it through her creative writing class. When […]

Posted March 16, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: The Ship Beyond Time

Review: The Ship Beyond Time

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig Series: The Girl from Everywhere #2 Published by Greenwillow Books on February 28th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance Pages: 464 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy. Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father? Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is […]

Posted March 9, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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ARC Review: Dreamland Burning

ARC Review: Dreamland Burning

Dreamland Burning is beautifully written with a contrast between present day and 1921 and the racial issues that plague the United States. It’s not always a “pleasant” read, but it the impact was enormous. As a white person, it’s painful to read how African Americans were treated in the not-so-long-ago past. To be black and to read this must be an entirely different level of anger and disgust. I liked the characters and how they were from all walks of life, past and present. I think those were really intelligent choices made by the author. For example, the present day teenage main character, Rowan, was a biracial girl living a considerably privileged life. Her family was wealthy, her father was white and from a powerful family, and she went to a private school with mostly white students who she fit in with well because of her finances. This made her somewhat out of touch when it came to situations that afflicted other black Americans who didn’t have the same lifestyle. To balance her out, she had an asexual black best friend who sometimes put her in her place, so to speak. Her job in a clinic was also eye opening for her. On the other hand, the teenage boy from 1921, Will Tillman, presented an entirely different perspective. His journey was obviously the more horrendous because it depicts the […]

Posted February 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

Review: Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco Series: The Bone Witch #1 Published by Sourcebooks Fire on March 7th 2017 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Pages: 400 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads When Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she learns she is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy means that she’s a bone witch, a title that makes her feared and ostracized by her community. But Tea finds solace and guidance with an older, wiser bone witch, who takes Tea and her brother to another land for training. In her new home, Tea puts all her energy into becoming an asha — one who can wield elemental magic. But dark forces are approaching quickly, and in the face of danger, Tea will have to overcome her obstacles…and make a powerful choice. Memoirs of a Geisha meets The Name of the Wind in this brilliant new fantasy series by Rin Chupeco! I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This story is told straight from the beginning with a narrator and then flash forward interludes between every chapter told from the point of view of a bard who is writing the story. Right from the beginning we know […]

Posted February 13, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment
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Review: History is All You Left Me

Review: History is All You Left Me

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera Published by Soho Teen on January 17th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, LGBT, Diverse Reads Pages: 320 Format: Paperback Buy on Amazon Goodreads When Griffin’s first love and ex-boyfriend, Theo, dies in a drowning accident, his universe implodes. Even though Theo had moved to California for college and started seeing Jackson, Griffin never doubted Theo would come back to him when the time was right. But now, the future he’s been imagining for himself has gone far off course. To make things worse, the only person who truly understands his heartache is Jackson. But no matter how much they open up to each other, Griffin’s downward spiral continues. He’s losing himself in his obsessive compulsions and destructive choices, and the secrets he’s been keeping are tearing him apart. If Griffin is ever to rebuild his future, he must first confront his history, every last heartbreaking piece in the puzzle of his life. This was my first Adam Silvera book and I have to say, I think his writing is beautiful. It’s easy to get lost within his words and the story he created. His characters are well developed and a lot like people you may know in reality. I remember thinking that I wished this book could be forced into the hands of people who don’t understand that love is love, even […]

Posted February 6, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: The Hate U Give by A

Review: The Hate U Give by A

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas Published by Balzer + Bray on February 28th 2017 Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Pages: 464 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star. I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Going into this, I want it to be known that I doubt my ability to put into words the greatness that is this book. I also want to preface this with saying that I am white and I have lived in a mostly white community growing up. My life changed in that aspect when I began teaching six years ago where I became the only white person in the […]

Posted January 23, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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Review: Diabolic by SJ Kincaid

Review: Diabolic by SJ Kincaid

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 1st 2016 Genres: Young Adult, Sci Fi Pages: 416 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Nemesis is a Diabolic. Created to protect a galactic Senator’s daughter, Sidonia. The girl who has grown up by her side and who is as much as sister as a master. There’s no one Nemesis wouldn’t kill to keep her safe. But when the power-mad Emperor summons Sidonia to the galactic court as a hostage, there is only one way for Nemesis to protect Sidonia. She must become her. Now one of the galaxy’s most dangerous weapons is masquerading in a world of corruption and Nemesis has to hide her true abilities or risk everything. As the Empire begins to fracture and rebellion looms closer, Nemesis learns that there is something stronger than her deadly force: the one thing she’s been told she doesn’t have – humanity. And, amidst all the danger, action and intrigue, her humanity might be the only thing that can save her, Sidonia and the entire Empire… I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This book is intense! There were a few times that I had to close the […]

Posted January 16, 2017 by Emily in Review / 2 Comments
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Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Review: Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson Published by Katherine Tegen Books on January 24th 2017 Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Pages: 400 Format: Paperback Source: the publisher Buy on Amazon Goodreads Mary B. Addison killed a baby. Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a church-going black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say. Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home. There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary? In this gritty and haunting debut, Tiffany D. Jackson explores the grey areas in our understanding of justice, family, and truth, and acknowledges the light and darkness […]

Posted January 10, 2017 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments
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