Tag: fiction

Review: Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis

Posted October 13, 2015 by Emily in Review / 5 Comments

Review: Cage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne DavisCage of Deceit by Jennifer Anne Davis
Published by Clean Teen Publishing on August 25. 2015
Format: ebook
Source: Free for Review, Netgalley
Buy on Amazon

Jennifer Anne Davis's best-selling True Reign series captivated readers from the very first page. Now, get ready to become entangled in the follow-up series, Reign of Secrets. In this new series, follow Allyssa, the daughter of the beloved Emperor Darmik and Empress Rema— and find out what happens after happily ever after.
Seventeen-year-old Allyssa appears to be the ideal princess of Emperion—she’s beautiful, elegant, and refined. She spends her days locked in a suffocating cage, otherwise known as royal court. But at night, Allyssa uses her secret persona—that of a vigilante—to hunt down criminals and help her people firsthand.
Unfortunately, her nightly escapades will have to wait because the citizens of Emperion may need saving from something much bigger than common criminals. War is encroaching on their country and in order to protect her people, Allyssa may have to sacrifice her heart. Forced to entertain an alliance through marriage with a handsome prince from a neighboring kingdom, she finds herself feeling even more stifled than before. To make matters worse, the prince has stuck his nosy squire, Jarvik, to watch her every move.
Jarvik is infuriating, bossy and unfortunately, the only person she can turn to when she unveils a heinous plot. Together, the unlikely pair will have to work together to stop an enemy that everyone thought was long gone, one with the power to destroy her family and the people of Emperion. Now the cage Allyssa so longed to break free from might just be the one thing she has to fight to keep intact. In order to save her kingdom, she will have to sacrifice her freedom, her heart, and maybe even her life.



This book! It was exactly what I didn’t even know that I was looking for. I had never heard of this book, or the previous series or this author so I had zero expectations going into it. That made loving it that much more exciting!

Allyssa is my kind of princess. She sneaks out of the castle at night to fight crime. Basically she’s a superhero. Plus she doesn’t take crap from anyone. She has a temper. She’s moody. She turns down disappointing suitors and lackadaisical princes left and right. She wants a man who she can trust; who is as loyal and brave as she is. Someone who is strong enough to rule next to her as the emperor to her empress.

Allyssa’s carefree days of being batman are cut short when her country is threatened with war. The only way to secure her country’s borders is for her to marry and form an alliance. Allyssa is willing to do this. However, she hasn’t given up her dreams of a loving marriage like her parents have.

There’s so much I want to say about the relationships in this book but I also don’t want to spoil anything. One of Allyssa’s suitors, the Prince, is perfect. He’s got everything going for him. He’s tall, dark and handsome; the perfect courtier. Jarvik, on the other hand, is pushy and rude. He has very strong opinions and isn’t afraid to share them; loudly if necessary. He’s also the Prince’s squire. This means he’s always around and in the way.

I saw the big reveal coming from the beginning. This story is so good though, that knowing what was going to happen didn’t matter to me a bit. In fact, I was rooting for it, because the story went exactly where I had hoped it would go!

Even more exciting, it turns out that this book is the beginning of a series that is  the companion of an already completed series! So now while I’m waiting, not so patiently, for the next Reign of Secrets book, I can read all of True Reign! Thank God there’s something to tide me over. books

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Review: The 5 Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson

Posted September 14, 2015 by Emily in Review / 2 Comments

Review: The 5 Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David HutchinsonThe Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
Published by Simon Pulse on January 20th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Death & Dying, Boys & Men, Comics & Graphic Novels, General
Pages: 336
Source: Free for Review

Andrew Brawley was supposed to die that night. His parents did, and so did his sister, but he survived.
Now he lives in the hospital. He serves food in the cafeteria, he hangs out with the nurses, and he sleeps in a forgotten supply closet. Drew blends in to near invisibility, hiding from his past, his guilt, and those who are trying to find him.
Then one night Rusty is wheeled into the ER, burned on half his body by hateful classmates. His agony calls out to Drew like a beacon, pulling them both together through all their pain and grief. In Rusty, Drew sees hope, happiness, and a future for both of them. A future outside the hospital, and away from their pasts.
But Drew knows that life is never that simple. Death roams the hospital, searching for Drew, and now Rusty. Drew lost his family, but he refuses to lose Rusty, too, so heÂ’s determined to make things right. HeÂ’s determined to bargain, and to settle his debts once and for all.
But Death is not easily placated, and DrewÂ’s life will have to get worse before there is any chance for things to get better.
A partly graphic novel.

If you can’t predict it from the title or the description, this book is about grief. I am by no means an expert on grief but I do know a little bit about it. In her book, On Death and Dying, Elizabeth Kublar-Ross names the 5 stages of grief as denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.  These stages are in no way linear. People can start at one stage, skip stages, go backwards, go forwards. Grief is a hard terrible subject because its never uniform. Grief looks different for everyone because no two people grieve the same way. Grief is personal and it takes as long as it takes. There is no rushing grief and it has to be felt.

Andrew Brawley was in a terrible accident. Death came for his sister and both of his parents but it was late in coming for him. Now he lives in the hospital where they died. He hides from death, watching her go about her work. When Rusty is admitted to the hospital, badly burned and in agony, Drew recognizes his pain instantly. Drew slowly approaches Rusty and they form a tenuous friendship born of grief and pain. However, that’s not the only thing they have in common.

Some books you love because they make you smile. Books like that are light and carefree. They are easy too read and can be devoured in minutes. Other books are more complicated. Some intense books make you feel things that you aren’t ready to or that you have been hiding from yourself. The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley is one of these books. There were times where I was afraid it would break my heart. Sometimes you read a book to enjoy it and sometimes you read a book because it makes you feel. This book was an emotional read. I cried reading through the entirety of the last 50 or so pages. For me it was also a very cathartic read. I was experiencing Andrew’s pain and grief and I was remembering my own.

The 5 Stages of Andrew Brawley was a sad and beautiful story,

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