State of Grace Review

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All I can say is, it’s hard reshaping everything you believe. Even when you think you’ve done it, your old ideas have this habit of popping up to make you doubt yourself.


State of Grace by Hilary Badger is a utopian novel about a girl who lives in a wonderful area with lagoons, huts and all things dotly. Dot is their creator and all one hundred creations live within this utopia world. Wren, our main character worships Dot night and day in this novel but gets doubts planted in her head by Blake as well as having visions of another life. Does she believe in Dot? Did Dot really create her and only this little village area, or is there more to life, perhaps something even more chilling that is unknown.

I give this novel a 3.5/5. The beginning part only included the words Dot and hooking up. In this novel all the characters hook up because it is dotly and it is so totally amazing. I do not know how to express how much I hated this book and then loved it right at the end. I’m not sure when I started to really admire the story line of this book but thank goodness it happened.

The main character is what would be a closed minded religious person. She only wants Dot and acts way too bubbly for my liking. She wants to hook up constantly but then her personality changes from ‘like it’s totally obvious’, to Wren actually sees the light and is not blinded by her beliefs. Wren starts having visions of another life in which she is there as Viva and continues having these memories all the way till the end of the novel. Her character grew and strengthened into a mature girl. My favorite character was this little boy named Dennis. He was found by Wren in the village but I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil it.

Sometimes it was hard for me to figure out which person was speaking because the ebook wasn’t really formatted well and it was tiny to read. Other times I blanked out because the descriptions of the environment was off. I’m a big stickler for details and this book was alright in that aspect but the buildup was definitely the high scoring point of the setup.

If you can get over how many times Dot is referenced along with dotly, it’s so obvious, totally, and hooking up I think it becomes very interesting when Dennis shows up and would recommend it only if you can oversee very annoying details that I mentioned above.

*I received this novel from Netgalley*

An Ember in the Ashes Review

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*This review will be spoiler free but I will make some general notes.*

“This life is not always what we think it will be,” Cain says. “You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir has been all over the book community with everyone raving about it. My take on it, it is worth the hype completely. My rating for it is a solid 5/5.

I was a little hesitant on buying it because every person seems to give any book good ratings these days and the synopsis is a little cheesy sounding. You have the Martials who enslaved the Scholars and Laia, our main female character is sent into Blackcliff where the martials are, to spy and get information that will help the Resistance set her brother free from prison. On the other hand, Elias Veturius (what a dreamy sounding name) is a martial and his only wish is to leave Blackcliff.

Although the plot sounded cheesy the book is not. It is composed of a dark atmosphere and filled with suspense that will make you keep reading. The author did a fantastic job at taking what could have been a disastrous romance novel and transformed it into one of the darkest reads I have laid my eyes on.

Throughout the book you switch between Laia’s POV with Elias’s POV. My favorite POV was Laia and then about 3/4 of the way I really enjoyed reading both equally. The novel is well over 400 pages but any shorter would have cut out fantastic details and descriptions. Tahir really went above and beyond on this novel with fantasy creatures like ghuls and jinn. She was able to intertwine all the characters, and believe me there are many. Nothing in this book felt rushed but everything did seem tense.

I did not have a favorite character. There were a few I felt very attached to like Laia, Helene, and Elias. All had strong personalities and each pursued what they wanted most. The Commandant is my least favorite because of her evil and uncaring attitude, especially towards her son. The Augurs sounded like they came from a Star Wars movie and honestly seemed pretty ugly and creepy.

There is one scene (WITHOUT SPOILERS) that had me pausing every few minutes just to take a deep breath. I sympathized and showed empathy towards the characters. I really put myself in their shoes and toward the end of this fantastic novel, I was driving myself mad. I wanted to read but had to stop and control myself. Other times my tears kept me from reading further. My heart broke. Skies, it broke me down so much in the rawest way possible.

If you want a light pretty romantic read, this is not for you. Although there is romance it is built up and isn’t an instant relationship. Thank the skies for that. This novel swallowed up my heart and soul. There’s no book that can compete with this rich, dark, and twisted novel. Sabaa Tahir is a mad genius and the book world owes her.

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EXCLUSIVE: Author Interview (Katie Cross)

Dear bloggers and book readers,
           I have been able to contact the author of Miss Mabel’s School for Girls and it was an absolute pleasure to talk with her. Her book was one of my favorite reads and if you have not read the review, click here. Below is an exclusive interview or questions & answers.
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1.      
With so many other novels revolving around witches, werewolves, and mystical creatures how were you able to come up with a fresh and interesting plot
?


To be honest, I hadn’t done a lot of research into other witch stories until later drafts of MMSFG. I purposefully stayed far away from Harry Potter books and movies because there was already a strong enough resemblance in some aspects (although I’m not really that huge of a HP devotee). After I started exploring books in the witchy world more, I was so happy to see that I had been able to create something unique.


2. 
Do you relate to any character the most? Do you have a favorite character?


My favorite character is probably Camille. I want to put my arms around her and just give her a hug. I relate to Bianca the most because I’m an independent free spirit just like her. But Leda was definitely the most fun to write. I love her snarky side.


3. 
What scene was your favorite to write?


The scene when Bianca’s friend Jackie uses Diviners cards to read the path of her future. That was a blast to write for some reason, and the most memorable scene for me.


4.
How many books are you planning on making for the Network series?
There will be four in the “official” Network series, and then a prequel titled Mildred’s Resistance. So technically there’s five, but only four of them will rotate around Bianca’s POV.


5. 
Is there any idea or theme you want readers to grasp or understand?


I wrote this so that girls could understand they don’t need a man to be somebody. That girls can be strong, independent, and determined and still make things happen, even when they’re scared and imperfect.


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Thank you for reading. You can catch Katie Cross and her wonderfully enchanting books at kcrosswriting.

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls Review/ Q&A by Author

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My rating for this novel: 5/5

Miss Mabel’s School for Girls by Katie Cross is about one young witch who gets accepted into Miss Mabel’s school and is racing against time to undo a curse that has been in her family for a few generations. The novel’s state of time felt timeless and the details wove a perfect picture of what was going on. The scenery was gorgeous and it did remind me in some parts of Harry Potter.

I started reading this book with low expectations in the beginning because witches and vampires in recent novels all have the same underlying and quite boring theme. This book was unlike anything I’ve read before. It was refreshing, intense, and I connected well with the main character.

Bianca, the main character is such a strong independent girl who will stop at nothing to get what she desires. Her witty attitude and quick thinking gets her in some troubling events but also helps her out of many difficult circumstances. Her character has such raw and powerful emotions that I got so involved in her mind and felt her anger, her sadness, and her joy. I wanted Bianca to succeed with all my being.

The other characters in this book all take on different personalities that I fell in love with. Bianca’s two friends, Leda and Camille had intense personalities that the author did not stray from and maintained throughout the whole novel. The teachers and classmates also had such distinct traits that you can picture certain characters getting into certain predicaments. Miss Mabel is another strong character and although she portrays the antagonist, she plays it well and really makes you fear her.

Throughout the book the chapters are not numbered but give a title to let you have a tiny peak at what’s to come. The chapters are short which might bother some people but I found myself reading more and more chapters without even realizing I finished one. There is a great deal of descriptive details and enough dialogue to make the novel come to life. The atmosphere is mysterious and probes at the mind.

I give this novel so much praise because of its originality and easy read. I haven’t come across a unique novel like this one in quite a while. While there is no romance, the mysterious environment will latch onto you and will drag you into the world Katie Cross designed so wonderfully. Thank you Katie Cross.

*I received this free copy through Netgalley and my review is completely honest.

The question and answer portion will be in a later post.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Hello to all who read this.

I am hosting a giveaway on my instagram:  the_bookette

You can enter to win a $20 voucher for book depository or amazon (whichever ships to your country). All you have to do it tag two friends on my giveaway picture, follow me, and cannot be a giveaway account. If you want an extra entry you have to repost any of my pictures with the hashtag #thebookettegiveaway

It’s pretty simple! This is a thank you for helping me reach 100 followers in such a short amount of time. I will be doing more giveaways for larger follower counts so keep in touch for the next one! Good luck!

Of Neptune Review

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“What I hope you’re taking away from the Syrena Legacy Series is this: Be proud of all your gifts and embrace them, no matter how “different” they make you feel or how much they make you stand out from the crowd.”  -Anna Banks

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Of Neptune by Anna Banks is the last installment of the fantasy Triton/Poseidon mermaid trilogy. My rating for this novel was ★★☆☆☆.In this novel, Emma and Galen are on a vacation amongst themselves and go to Neptune, which is a town filled with Half-Breeds like Emma. Mysterious men come along and a good portion of the book is with Emma interacting with Reed, while Galen is caught up somewhere. Emma and Galen will need help in getting out safely.

Anna Banks has a different format of writing when she is in Emma’s POV. I almost get annoyed the whole way through reading Emma’s POV because it sounds like a whiney brat the whole time who seems to get any guy she wants because she must be the most beautiful girl a guy has ever seen. This being said she is my least favorite character. Banks does seem to get into the mind of a teenager and her writing reflects that with random pauses or fragmented like sentences which drive me crazy. The whole plot of this novel could have been a separate book and would not have hurt this wonderful ‘trilogy’ if it was combined with the second one. The abundance of new characters and random ones appearing really did not make me feel like it was supposed to be a part of the previous two novels that I actually enjoyed reading. I was more than happy to get to the end and then the epilogue felt like it was dragging on, just like the book. I was thrilled when I finished and took a minute break and moved on with my life.

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A Break With Charity Review

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“Are ye sure, Susanna English,” he intoned in his best preaching voice, “that everything you have told me here, this seventh day of August in the year of our Lord sixteen hungred and ninety-two, is true?
“Yes, Reverend, I am sure.”

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A break with charity by Ann Rinaldi, in short was about the Salem witch trials that plagued the new world in the 1600s. I give this novel   ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆ (two stars out of five). The story felt dragged on while the characters had no real depth or connection to the reader. I found myself reading names several times without knowing who was who and there was an endless amount of names mentioned due to the witch accusations. The connection I had with the environment was amazing because Ann Rinaldi can make the book come to life with her descriptive language. Ann Rinaldi is an amazing author who never disappoints with the history aspect of it. Many parts of the novel was later told in the authors note that it was true and that surprised me. To take history and create an interesting authentic historical fiction novel deserves a round of applause. I thank Ann Rinaldi for a novel I not only pictured myself living in, but also learned from by reading it.FullSizeRender