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Book Rambling: The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (ARC)

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Title: The Girl From Everywhere

Author: Heidi Heilig

Series: The Girl From Everywhere (Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Publication: February 16th, 2016

Rating: ★★★★★

 


2016 seems to be the year for time travel and ship books.  We have Truthwitch by Susan Dennard, Passenger by Alexandra Bracken, and Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor.  We also have The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig.

I absolutely loved this book.  It’s a very character driven book and Heilig’s characters are wonderfully developed.  Watching these relationships grow and develop was an amazing experience.  You have father-daughter, friends-to-lovers, and general friendships.  The development of all these relationships was flawless, and I enjoyed the journey.


“Sometimes a person has to let go of something to take hold of something else.”


Readers can tell that Heidi Heilig did a lot of research for this historical fiction novel.  The historical events, folklores, and legends were all very accurately portrayed and explained, and I learned a lot from it!  I definitely appreciate the amount of work that she put into this novel.

This is her debut novel, and it’s an amazing debut novel! She is very talented at telling the story and her sentences are beautifully crafted. I enjoyed the descriptions and the world building.


“‘Love?’ The word was bitter as hemlock. ‘It’s just another addition.'” 


The ending was okay.  I definitely enjoyed the journey more than the destination; it isn’t my favorite ending.  I thought some parts of the ending were a little convenient, and I got confused in some other places.  Overall, it tied up nicely and was more of a nice fizzle than ending with a huge bang.

It is extremely difficult to write a time travel novel, in my opinion, because it is hard to explain whether or not future actions in previous times can change history as a whole, etc.  I think Heidi Heilig did a great job explaining a lot of the technicalities of time travel.  It did get confusing at times but I feel like that is inevitable with this subgenre.


“This is paradise…This is home.” 


#WeNeedDiverseBooks YAY for diverse characters.  If you want a diverse book, this is it! Half-Chinese, Persian, African, Lesbian – you have it all. Diversity is definitely done very well in here.


Thank you NetGalley and Bonnier Publishing for this e-ARC. All opinions are solely my own.

Have you all read this? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you think you’ll pick it up when it’s out? I definitely recommend it!

Also, where can I get a pocket dragon named Swag of my own?

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Book Rambling: The Prophecy of Shadows by Michelle Madow (ARC)

Book Review

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Title: Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows

Author: Michelle Madow

Series: Elementals (Book #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

Publication: January 26th, 2016

Rating: ★★★


Abbreviated Goodreads Summary:

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. 

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.


 

Non-Spoiler Review:

This books is marketed as a cross between Percy Jackson and the Secret Circle.  I absolutely love Percy Jackson, so I was extremely happy that I was accepted to review a copy of this!

The reason that this book gets a 3 stars from me is probably because of the characters. I thought that the main protagonist, Nicole, was kind of boring.  She has a “chosen one” storyline which I don’t mind, but her as a character was just a little bland.  Also, her romance was very insta-lovey, so beware if you hate that. The insta-love doesn’t bother me too much.  The thing that made me dislike her the most was probably the fact that even through all the challenges and missions the group was trying to solve, Nicole was constantly obsessing over Blake.  For example, it’ll be like “Let’s solve this puzzle. Just kidding, I’m going to stare and think about Blake.” So, she is not my favorite female protagonist.

However, the side characters, Kate and Chris, are my favorite in this novel.  Both of them actually have depth and are more entertaining to read about than Nicole.  Also, the way the author wrote Danielle, as a typical “she’s a b-word; we hate her because she’s dating the hot guy” was a little too cliche for me.  But the side characters were fun to read about for me!

Additionally, a lot of the book was just info-dumping.  We see it with Danielle – we’re more often TOLD that she is terrible rather than shown.  With the magic system in general, we get a lot of info dumped on us rather than exploring how the magic works.  The novel wasn’t very long, so maybe a longer book would have helped with both the worldbuilding and the pacing/convenience.

Overall, I think this novel was a fun and entertaining read.  I liked the Greek mythology elements, and the plot was enjoyable (albeit a little predictable).  If you love YA fantasy and Percy Jackson, I definitely recommend giving it a shot! The different powers were really interesting to read, and I think with more character development further along in the series, I will like the characters more!


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**Thank you NetGalley and Barclay Publicity for giving me a review copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are solely my own.**

 

Book Rambling: Seven Ways We Lie (ARC)

Book Review

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Title: Seven Ways We Lie

Author: Riley Redgate

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Publication: March 8, 2016

Rating: ★★★1/2

 


Goodreads Summary:

Paloma High School is ordinary by anyone’s standards. It’s got the same cliques, the same prejudices, the same suspect cafeteria food. And like every high school, every student has something to hide—whether it’s Kat, the thespian who conceals her trust issues onstage; or Valentine, the neurotic genius who’s planted the seed of a school scandal.

When that scandal bubbles over, and rumors of a teacher-student affair surface, everyone starts hunting for someone to blame. For the unlikely allies at the heart of it all, the collision of their seven ordinary-seeming lives results in extraordinary change.

 


 

Non-Spoiler Review:

When I read the description to this book, it immediately intrigued me. I book based off of the seven deadly sins seems like it has a lot of room for discussion of very real conflicts that people experience. While Riley Redgate did a good job, and it was an engaging read, I thought that at times, everything seemed very exaggerated and overwhelming.

I enjoyed the writing – it was easy, fast paced and fun to read. I know lots of people may dislike the multiple points of view, but I think it was refreshing. At times, I got confused as to which character was speaking, but Redgate did a fantastic job differentiating the voices of the characters. As a big fantasy reader, I had no problem with the multiple points of view.

The plot was interesting enough to keep me going, and I wanted to see the characters discover the different conflicts each had and how they were going to deal with them. However, like I mentioned before, I became a little overwhelming sometimes because it felt like a hodgepodge of everything that could go wrong. On the other hand, Redgate did a great job delivering his message about how everyone has issues that they must deal with, and those issues are real and tough, but no one has the right to judge anyone for that.

Even though it was a little unbelievable, overall, I enjoyed this read! It was a refreshing contemporary read that doesn’t follow the normal YA tropes, and it wasn’t very romance centered. If you are a contemporary lover, I do recommend this!

**Thank you so much Net Galley and Amulet Books for providing me with an ARC copy. All opinions are entirely my own**

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Book Rambling: This Love of Mine by Miranda Liasson

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Title: This Love of Mine

Author: Miranda Liasson

Series: Mirror Lake (Book 2)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication: Expected – October 6th 2015

Rating: ★★★★


Thank you Netgalley and Amazon Publishing for the copy in exchange for my honest review! 

Goodreads Summary:

Bridal shop owner Meg Halloran spends her days making other women’s wedding dreams come true—and her nights dreaming of her childhood crush, hometown heartthrob Dr. Benjamin Rushford. After a lifetime of wearing her heart on her sleeve, she’s done waiting. Meg’s ready to find love, with or without him. Moving on feels right—until Ben pops an unexpected question.

To win the open ER position in Mirror Lake, Ben has to convince the board that he’s settled and ready to put down roots. His latest stroke of genius? Asking Meg, the local good girl, to be his pretend girlfriend. With her by his side, he’s a shoo-in for the job. But he’s in over his head because, as much as he tries to deny it, Meg tempts him. And if she learns the truth about a secret that has shadowed and shaped his life, will she ever be able to forgive him? 

Non-Spoiler Review:

This is actually book two of a series of companion novels following the residents of Mirror Lake and the Rushford brothers.  I have not read the first book, but I don’t think it is necessary to read them in order.

After reading so many high fantasy books, this novel was exactly what I needed: a heartwarming, fun contemporary romance story.  I loved all the characters, especially the side characters.  Both Meg and Ben are lovable with charming personalities; Gran and her obsession with British royalty and Meg’s friends all provided much needed comic relief throughout the heavier parts in the novel.   I appreciated how the characters dealt with death and tragedy, and Liasson’s portrayal of the debilitating effects of tragedy on both the young and the old was touching.  I actually shed some tears throughout the novel!

I loved Meg and Ben’s romance.  The “fake relationship turned real” trope is actually one of my favorites to read about, no matter how cliché it is.  I thought the author did this extremely well, and I loved that the character grew up as friends, so there was no insta-love going on.  It was enthralling to read how the two characters worked out all the baggage from the past in order to have a shot at love.  The plot, albeit a little predictable, was entertaining, and I was hooked from the beginning to the end. The writing was great and easy to get into.  I read this in one sitting and enjoyed every second of the novel!

If you are looking for a good, quick, entertaining romance, definitely pick this up!