Monday, August 31, 2015

Mini Review! (#1)

Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog! Today, I'm going to be doing something new. Since my last review, I have read quite a lot of books and right now I don't have enough to time to post a full review that I will be proud of. I just started my junior year in high school, but I am going to try my hardest to post at least twice a week.

Since reading Deliverance, I've read 7 more novels and one novella. However, I won't be talking about Cell Phone Swap since I'm going to include that in my second Wattpad review post. I am also planning on doing a series review of The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins, so I'm not going to mention those as well.

The first book I read was The Beginning of Never by O.E. Boroni. I did a full review of this book, so if you want to check out just click the link above! Overall, I liked the book, but I didn't love it. There were some problems I had with the book, but the second book in the trilogy was so much better. If you're hesitant to pick this up or didn't like the first book, I would still recommend the series to you guys. It isn't perfect, but the second book was such a vast improvement to the first.

After reading The Beginning of Never,I wanted to read something that I knew I was going to love no matter what. I recently just read Maybe Someday (Check out my fangirl review here!) and I was itching to pick up Maybe Not, which is a novella focused on two side characters from the original novel, Warren and Bridgette. It was so cute and funny and I could not get enough of it! If Colleen Hoover just suddenly released a full length novel of them, I would buy it in a heartbeat. I didn't love it as much as I loved Maybe Someday, but I loved it nonetheless and gave it 4.6 stars. Definitely check it out if you liked either Warren or Bridgette in Maybe Someday or want to read something of Hoover's that's lighter than what she normally puts out.

Once I finished Maybe Not, I felt the need to finish a series. So I picked up Opposition, final book in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, and was sucked into a black hole of reading. Anything that Armentrout puts out is super addicting and fast paced. I could not put Oppositon down for the life of me! It is by far my favorite of all five books. The Lux series isn't my favorite, but Opposition heightened my view of the series by far. I gave this book around 4 stars. If you're looking for a series that you won't be able to put down that features sassy humans and aliens, then this is the one for you. Don't be intimidated by the length of the series - it's super fun and quick!

After the amazing read that was Opposition, I decided to pick up the sequel to The Beginning of Never. I was a bit hesitant reading it's sequel because I was a bit disappointed with the first one. The Way to Never, however, blew me away. There is a significant time jump between the two books, but it was done so well! I really liked The Way to Never in comparison to the first. Though I still had some issues with the novel, they were minor compared to the first one. The ending of this book killed me! I am dying for the next and final book! If you didn't like the first book but are a bit curious to see what happens, then I would still say to pick this one up.

I picked up Sweet Evil and Sweet Peril as well by Wendy Higgins, but I'll be doing a full series review soon! Afterwards, I read a book for school that I am pretty sure was a form of slow torture. Next, I read a book on Wattpad which I will also be reviewing!

Have you read any of these books above? What book have you read recently that blew your mind?

Thanks for stopping by!

~Genni from Ready, Set, Read!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Top YA Paranormal Books I've Read So Far This Year!

As a predominately young adult fiction reader for three years now, you see trends in certain genres that seem to repeat. To say that there are a lot of paranormal young adult novels out there that seem redudant is true. The books down below are the ones that truly stood out to me this year. Though I have been disappointed by some, there were several that truly stood out this year.

1.) The Taking by Kimberly Derting

The Taking was the first book I read this year. I remember really liking this just because I could understand Kyra and her frustrations. Kyra wakes up and realizes that five years have passed, but she hasn't aged. The plot was really interesting to me and a lot was revealed throughout the novel. Though I really loved the book when I read it, the more I think about it the more my opinions are lessened. I will probably read the next book this year, but I am really hesitant about it.

2.) Unearthly Trilogy by Cynthia Hand

When I found out Cynthia Hand was coming to a bookstore near me to promote The Last Time we Say Goodbye, I decided to marathon her Unearthly Trilogy. I didn't have any high expectations, but I was blown away by this trilogy! Not only was the story captivating, I loved all the characters. There is even a love triangle *gasp!* but it was really well done. If you're hesitant to pick up the Unearthly Trilogy because it has angels in it, please don't. All three novels are so much deeper than just the mythology, and they truly touched me.

3.) The Queen of Zombie Hearts by Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter's White Rabbit Chronicles is nothing but fun! When I read the first book, Alice in Zombieland, I was blown away! I stayed up so late reading the first book and I had the same experience with the second novel and this one. Since this novel was supposed to be the conclusion, The Queen of Zombie Hearts tied up all loose ends. When I found out there is a fourth and final novel to the series, I was so happy! From what I know, it's going to follow a character who had a not so happy ending, and I couldn't be more excited. This series is fun, fast paced, and sexy. The characters are amazingly written, and I have major squad envy from them. If you're looking for a series that's wrapping up later this year (September 29!) that will keep you on your toes and has zombies in it, this is the one for you!

4.) Alienated and Invaded by Melissa Landers

Alienated and Invaded is such a fun series. The first novel, Alienated, focuses on a student exchange program between Earth and a new planet. When Cara is chosen, she's looking forward to the opportunities she'll receive; she has practically a free pass to any college she chooses, and her blog is about to skyrocket. What she doesn't expect is that Aelyx, the alien that is going to be living with her, is more that what meets the eye. The plot unfolds from there and it truly becomes a great story that I couldn't put down. Though I didn't love these two books, I really enjoyed them and would give them a 4.25 star rating. There was some controversy over whether or not there would be a third book, and info was just released about how there actually is going to be a third book and I cannot wait!

5.) Hover by Melissa West

Hover by Melissa West is the second installment in Melissa West's series. I have the third and final book waiting patiently on my Nook, and I can't wait for the chance to read it. The first novel, Gravity, follows our main protagonist, Ari, when she makes the one mistake no one should: she opens her eyes and finds out the identity of an alien. Needless to say, she's surprised to see its her one rival at school, Jackson Locke. The story takes off from there and Hover blew my mind. I'm excited to see how the story will end!

6.) Reboot by Amy Tintera

Reboot is the first in a duology by Amy Tintera that's all about zombies. These zombies though aren't your normal "eat brains no thought" zombies though; the protagonist is actually one of them! Wren Connolly was dead for 178 minutes, and then she woke up. The longer you're dead, the more strong you become and the less emotional you are. Wren, the perfect solider, is done taking orders when she starts training Callum Reyes, who was only dead for 22 minutes, and who makes her start feeling more alive than she's ever felt.

7.) Opposition by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Opposition is the final book to Jennifer L. Armentrout's Lux series. This was such an epic conclusion and was by far my favorite of the series. The series became better each book and I was truly astounded by this one! The Lux series is sassy, fun, and downright addictive. If you're just starting off with the YA paranormal genre, this is the series to start with!

Have you read any of these books listed above? What's one of you're favorite YA paranormal books of this year?

Thanks for stopping by!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Deliverance by C.J. Redwine

Delivarance, the final book in the Defiance trilogy, was everything I wanted.

Deliverance was a non-stop read that I couldn't put down. The conclusion to the series picks up right where Defiance left off and never slowed down. Not only was the story and world intricate, but also interesting. With Rachel and Logan separated, the reader saw both sides of the fight and knew parts of the plot that Logan or Rachel might not have known. The dual perspective that C.J. Redwine introduced in the first book really came into play here and made the book so much better.

When you look at the each title of these books, they truly represent what will happen in the novel. The first book centers around a two defiant teenagers against the government of the city state the live in, Baalboden. Deception featured an extreme betrayal that even I didn't see coming, and the conclusion definitely delivered. Not only did it deliver justice, but an amazing story as well. If I look at how much I enjoyed each book, I can truly say that they got better as the story continued. Each novel gets darker and much more complex.

One of the aspects I truly appreciated about this series is the world building; it's done so well. With each book, more of the world is introduced. Defiance, the first novel, only centered around one of the several city-states and explored only a small percent of the world outside of it. By the end of the series, the reader has been taken on a journey where Logan and Rachel have been to a majority of the city states and have ventured through the Wastelands as well. To say that I have a better grasp on the universe within these books is an understatement.

Not only is the world building something to look forward to in this series, but so are the characters. Logan, Rachel, Willow, Adam, and everyone else are so well developed. Both Rachel and Logan grow so much as characters and truly become stronger, better people by the end of the series. I love the dynamic not only between the two leads, but all of the characters; they're like a family. Even the antagonists in this trilogy have a backstory and motivations for what they believe in. The one thing I didn't like about the  conclusion is that one of Rachel and Logan's enemies were overcome to easily and not the way I wanted it so happen either. The final battle is another story. As the climax of the story, it was so well done and is one of the best final battle scenes I have read.

To say I recommend this series would not accurately show how much I like this trilogy. If you are just getting into fantasy like I am, this is a really great trilogy to start with. I'm definitely going to be reading more of what C.J. Redwine writes. Her writing style is another reason that I liked this series as much as I did. Though I didn't love this series, I am recommending it. All three books are fast reads that kept me on my toes and rooting for the characters.

With that, I give this book

4.3 out of 5 Stars!

I give the series as a whole 4.2 Stars!

Thanks for stopping by! Have you guys read this series or one of the books? Comment down below!

Happy Reading!

~Genni from Ready, Set, Read!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My Auto-Buy Authors

Hey guys and welcome back to my blog! Today I'm going to be participating in the weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish ! My goal is to do these every Tuesday and today's topic is our auto-buy authors. If you don't know what auto-buy author is, it means that a person will buy an author's books for no other reason then that the author wrote them. Since I don't buy books that often  because I don't have the money, a lot of these are going to be auto-read authors.
These are in no particular order!

Colleen Hoover (left)

I have loved every single Hoover book I've read and I'm highly anticipating November 9, which is coming out *sigh* November 10 this year. Though I haven't read all of her books, I do own all of them except Never, Never and it's counterpart. Hoover has yet to disappoint me and she has definitely become one of my favorite authors throughout this year.

Beth Revis (right) 

I started reading Revis a really long time ago, when I just was getting back into reading, which is one of the reasons I still read her novels today. Her Across the Universe trilogy holds a special place in my heart and I've bought every single one of her books to date. Though I haven't read The Body Electric yet, it stares at me while sitting on its shelf and I'm eagerly anticipating the day I do sit down and read it.

Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter literally killed me with her first three books in the White Rabbit Chronicles. When  I heard that a fourth book was going to be released, I was overjoyed! Though I haven't read any of her stuff outside of young adult, I'm probably going to look into it once I'm a bit older. Or when I get the chance! Her writing is so addicting and fun and once I start one of her books, I can't put it down. I remember reading Alice in Zombieland, the first in the White Rabbit Chronicles on my computer because my Nook died until four in the morning! Talk about a captivating read!

Jenny Han

Jenny Han is one of my all time favorite authors! I picked up the Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy on a whim and is truly the series that got me reading again. Han is such a great author and if I were to get a Barnes & Noble gift card right now, I would buy the rest of the books I don't own yet. No matter what she puts out, I'm going to read it.

Jennifer L. Armentrout

Armentrout is one of those authors that I never thought I would love. I just recently finished Opposition, the concluding novel in the Lux series (review coming soon!) and I'm so looking forward to reading more of her books! I've also read Frigid and Scorched by her as well and I know no matter what genre she writes in, I'm going to want it.

Lisa Schroeder

Lisa Schroeder is an author that I absolutely love. She writes most of her novels in verse, and I can't get enough of them. Though I haven't read all of her books just because my library doesn't have them, I've never been disappointed by her. I can't count the times I have read I Heart You, You Haunt Me and Chasing Brooklyn. They are so good and are definitely two of my favorite books of all time.

Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is the type of author that pulls on your heart strings and never lets go. Though I've only read two of her books, I love them to pieces and hopefully, I'm going to be able to pick up Second Chance Summer really soon. I truly love Since You've Been Gone, and even after a year of having read it, I still think back to the book whenever my mind is just wandering.

Tahereh Mafi

Tahereh Mafi is amazing. Not only does she write amazing novels, she is so funny! I'm so excited for the TV adaption of the Shatter Me series and I'm going to be reading anything she ever puts out. The Shatter Me trilogy is one of my favorite dystopian series I have ever read and I love Mafi's writing style. Not only is it poetic and mesmerizing, it's filled to the brim with emotions.

Marissa Meyer

Marissa Meyer is such an amazing author. I can't get enough of the Lunar Chronicles. I just saw that she is coming relatively near me for the release of Winter, and I'm stopping myself from running to Barnes and Noble right now and buying her books. I only own Cinder, but her series is one of my favorites and I might die out of happiness when I read Winter later this year.

Veronica Rossi

Last but certainly not least is author Veronica Rossi. Her Under the Never Sky trilogy is near perfection and I can't wait to read some of her other novels. Her characters are so real and believable and her writing truly makes you care for
them. Whatever Rossi writes, I read.

Hope you guys liked my list! Do we have any authors in common? Happy Reading!

~Genni from Ready, Set , Read!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Book Review: The Beginning of Never by O.E. Boroni

The Beginning of Never was fun, yet infuriating. 

As the debut novel of author O.E. Boroni, I wasn't sure what to expect when I signed up to read and review this on one of the goodreads groups I am a member of. The novel itself had average ratings, and the premise did pull me in. All I knew was that it was about two people falling in love at a boarding school and that the book had a stunning cover. As a reader, I would recommend more knowing what this book isn't. 

For some reason, I had it in my head that there would be a paranormal aspect to the story and I was anticipating that reveal the whole entire book, and it never came. The Beginning of Never is marketed as "Twilight meets Eleanor and Park," Don't let that mislead you. This novel is purely contemporary and the Twilight comparisons are made because out male lead is secretive and guarded. The plot is actually about 15 year old Nora and her upcoming year at a boarding school in the UK that she has been attending for three years and the chaos that ensues when she meets Nathan, a 19 year old boy (man?) that she can't help but think about no matter how much she hates him. 

Though the book had me hooked, I couldn't help but want more. To me, Nora was extremely childish and selfish. She never really thought of other people until the second half of the book and was very "woe is me." Not only that, but her character development seemed really rushed to me. Though I love how she has matured, and she's definitely become a better person and character to read about, it seemed so quick. Right once she starts befriending Nathan she's the person who all of a sudden starts caring about things she didn't even think twice about before. The other thing that bothered me a bit is that characters would be introduced once or twice, and then would never be mentioned again, or for an extremely long time. For instance, Nora's best friend is supposed to be this girl, Carlie who lives back in the United States. However, she is only mentioned twice and then Nora seemingly forgets about her. She's never mentioned ever again in the novel, and I felt like I was told that Carlie was her best friend than shown. The same thing happened with Nora's only other friend before she met Nathan, Kate. Kate is in a couple scenes in the beginning and then she isn't mentioned for a long portion of the book until the very end. I felt like these characters weren't really needed in the novel, unfortunately.

Needless to say, there were some really great moments in the novel. Boroni does a great job of making the settings believable, and I could picture them in my head while reading about it. Another thing I appreciated was how slow-building the romance was. Yes, the attraction was there from the get go, but they didn't act on until they really knew and respected each other. I'm interested to see their dynamic in the next book, which is set thirteen years later. (Not a spoiler, it's in the synopsis. Don't kill me...please.) There were also some secondary characters that I'm really hoping to see in The Way to Never, the sequel. I definitely think I'll enjoy the second book in the series more than this, because Nora herself will be more mature now that she's in her late twenties. Even though I didn't realize it at the time that I was reading the book, I've become invested in these characters and I'm so excited to see where the next novel will take them.

The plot held onto me and never let me go. If you're looking for a whirlwind contemporary that has a great, slow romance, this is the one for you. Though there are some faults with the novel, it is definitely one that kept me entertained. Also, just look at that cover. Soooo prettyy!! I'll for sure be reading the sequel!

With that, I give this book
3 out of 5 Stars!

Have you been ever mislead by reading the synopsis? What are some great contemporaries that haven't received the spotlight they deserve? Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again!

- Genni from Ready, Set, Read!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Book Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday was a dream come true!

This novel has definitely solidified Hoover as one of my favorite authors. Her stories are compelling, addictive, and soul-searching. The way Hoover writes is mesmerizing. Right from the start of the novel I felt so  connected to Sydney and Ridge. 

I think the best way to go into Hoover's novel is to not know much at all. All you need to know before reading Maybe Someday is that it follows two young adults, Ridge and Sydney, and what happens after Sydney moves in with him and two other people after she finds out her boyfriend cheats on her. Maybe Someday did so many things to my heart. It kept breaking it and putting it back together again time and time again. I was so anxious to see how the novel was going to end! I couldn't put down Maybe Someday  until I finished. 

Not only is the story captivating, but so are the songs that go along with the story. Throughout the book, Ridge and Sydney both write songs for a band named Sounds of Cedar. Not only are the lyrics in the novel itself, but there is actually music to go along with it. These songs are amazing. It's really cool to decipher the lyrics and actually know what the song is about instead of trying to figure it out. You should definitely check out the website here! The next time I get a gift card to amazon, I am buying the CD to this book. The songs are to die for and they hold so much emotion; they're so much better than what I expected when I just read the lyrics. One of my favorite quotes from the book is from the titular song, Maybe Someday that says, "For her I bend, for you I break." When I read that, my heart did things I didn't even know that they can do.  

Needless to say, I loved practically everything about the book! The pacing was just the way I like it, the characters developed so much, and the ending was spectacular. Ridge, Sydney, and even Maggie are some of my favorite characters to date and they all grew so much. In the novel when Ridge accepts that he has feelings for two completely different girls and how his heart was split in two, I felt the same way. Ridge himself is seriously my dream guy. He's so romantic and thoughtful. Not only his he a great friend, he's just an overall great person who puts so many people before himself. There were so many scenes where I completely loved the dynamic of each relationship. Throughout the story, the characters grow so much and I found it amazing how authentic the story was! There are definitely some life lessons that can be taken out of this novel.

The twists in this book are priceless. There is something revealed only about 50 to 75 pages in that I was blown away about. I never saw it coming, and it added a lot more depth and intrigue into the novel. Once I read that, I was so much more excited to see how things would work out. The plot is filled with non-stop action that left me breathless. There are so many reveals and heated moments that I never wanted to put this book down. The dynamics between Ridge and Sydney were amazing; there are so many scenes where they are so close to crossing the line from friendship into something more, and it kept me on my toes the whole entire time. Let me just say this: the scene with the pen at Sydney's new apartment killed me. You'll understand if you have read the book, and if you haven't, you have so much to look forward to.

I'm pretty much speechless over this book. There's is nothing that really irritated me, expect for how much Sydney cried. That one tiny thing is all I can complain about, and the rest is perfection. Maybe Someday is by far the most up-beat, fun, and happy novels out of the ones I have read by Colleen Hoover. There are devastating reveals, but this work is definitely the lightest out of all of them. This book did so many things to my emotions and I loved it so pieces. Even if you haven't liked Colleen's other works, you must check this one out. Seriously, I'm fangirling so hard on this book right now because it is a masterpiece. I adore it!

Overall, this novel was amazing! I see why people recommend Maybe Someday as the first Colleen Hoover book to read, but I'm happy that I read some others before I picked this one up. The music aspect was amazing and really drew me into the story. I loved the plot and the idea that you could be in love with two people at the same time. I think if I were to compare this to the rest of Hoovers books, this would be my favorite with Hopeless and Confess tied for second and Slammed coming in last. I've loved all of Hoover'a works before and she has definitely become an auto buy and auto read author of mine!! This novel was near perfect for me and solidified Hoover has one of my favorite authors. A must read for anyone who is a fan or young adult or new adult!! 

With that, I give this book
4.9 out of 5 Stars!

P.S. Sorry for such the ranty "I love this book so much OMG" type of review I did. I don't think I can actually put together a review capable of explaining how much I loved this book and I kind of just wrote anything that came to mind. Haha!

What's your favorite Colleen Hoover book? Or new adult novel for that matter? Thanks for stopping by and hope you will again!

- Genni from Ready, Set, Read!

Wattpad Reviews! (Part 1)

Just over a week ago, I discovered an app that made me stop everything and read hours straight. This app is Wattpad, and I couldn't put down the stories that I picked up. Wattpad is an app that has free novels that are unpublished. Since August 2, I have read four novels so far. I'm going to be doing these Wattpad reviews periodically after I've read a number of them on the app. Let's get started!

The first novel I read, Boot Camp, has actually been my favorite so far.  The book follows a teenage girl, Whitney, and her time spent at a fitness camp in order to feel more confident about herself. Over time, she develops feelings for her personal trainer, Axel, who is closed off and secretive. The reason that I enjoyed this as much as I did was because Whitney developed so much as a character. In the exposition, she was a teenage girl who wasn't happy with her life and had extremely low self esteem. At the end, Whitney is so much more confident in herself and has straightened out her life. I did get annoyed at times about how the only thing holding Axel and Whitney were themselves. There were also times where the pacing was all over the place, but it was easy to overlook. Overall, I did have a great time reading Boot Camp, and its apparent since I read this in less than 24 hours! I'm definitely recommending this novel to anyone who is looking for a light contemporary. It's an authentic summer read, and I really enjoyed it. I give this one 3.75 Stars! 

After Boot Camp, I picked up Forever and Always, Olive. This novel has the classic good girl meets bad boy young adult trope. I have a weakness for these stories, and it will be evident in the next two books I mention as well. Olive is sent to her aunt's house after her parents are fed up with her partying ways. For her junior year, she must live with her aunt and cousin. Olive is dared to ask bad boy Maddox to homecoming, and the novel takes off from there. Just like Boot Camp, I ate up this novel; I couldn't put it down! Though it was cliche, it was such a quick read. If you're looking for a light read, I would recommend this. Don't be too critical, though! Forever and Always, Olive does have its faults. Once again, I was frustrated at how long it took for the two characters to be together, and it seemed as if the author didn't have the story planned when she wrote it. I do like how she interacted with readers and based her story off what they wanted, but it seemed as if she herself didn't really know how the story would end. I did like this one, but it was just okay for me. Yes, it was interesting and I couldn't put it down, but I did get really agitated with the story since it seemed dragged out to me. My favorite aspect of the novel were the characters. All of them had a good back story and really grew, and I appreciated that. The characters, both major and minor, felt authentic and real and I couldn't  help but root for them as the story progressed. With that, I give this novel 3 Stars! 

The third and fourth books I read on Wattpad were once again good girl falls for bad boy novels. Unfortunately, I did not like these as much. In Despicable Arrogance, Audrey is forced to work with the one boy she truly hates, Grayson Carter. Though the story was compelling, I couldn't connect with Audrey at all. Her voice was juvenile and not at all how I would think in her situation. I loved the build up of her and Grayson, but there were times when she got so jealous over the littlest thing. If a girl even looked at Grayson the wrong way, Audrey wanted to slap her. I found that really unprecedented since her and Grayson did not have any relationship or friendship for that matter until the about a third of the way through the book. Though it was a quick read, I just got really annoyed at Audrey and wished she was more mature. The fourth and final novel I read was Playing Hard to Get. This novel follows Jessica and the consequences that ensue when her family takes in bad boy Matt into their house until he gets back onto his feet. My main issue is that the book was so short and the characters never seemed full fledged at all. The characters never really got a good backbone nor back story. For that reason, I couldn't connect with the characters like I wanted to. In fact, I liked reading about the secondary characters more than the primary ones. I give Despicable Arrogance 2.5 Stars  and Playing Hard to Get 2 Stars. They weren't bad per say, but I would not recommend them to you either. They were quick reads, and I could see why people loved their stories.

Hope you guys liked this! I'm going to take a break from Wattpad stories for now. When I open the app up again, I'm going to try to look for more versatile stories that aren't just about bad boys. Tell me if you've read any of these before! I definitely recommend Boot Camp for you guys if you're interested in the app at all but don't know what to read. There are also some novels that have actually been published, such as My Life with the Walter Boys. The novel is still up on the app, but I'm assuming some changes have been made between the published and unpublished version.

Thanks for checking out my blog!! You can also find me on goodreads here! Comment down below on what your favorite Wattpad read is and I'll add it to my library.

Hope you have a good day and happy reading!
  - Genni from Ready, Set,  Read!

Monday, August 3, 2015

July Wrap Up!

Last month I read a total of 9 books! Even though I didn't read as much as last month, I think this was a pretty good number considering that I had a full four days I didn't have any time reading and both my sister and my birthday's happened!

1.) Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

Rating: 4.2 Stars
Off the Page was such a great book! I didn't love it and I didn't like it as much as the first book, but I still definitely recommend it. It's a light, quick read and has a great conclusion. There could be room for another novel, but I don't think there is going to be one.You can find my review here

2.) Angelfall by Susan Ee

Rating: 4.9 Stars
Angelfall was near perfect. The novel started off with a bang and never slowed down. I was biting my nails to see what happened next and I am very highly anticipating reading the next two books. Unfortunately, my library hasn't gotten the third book, so I'm waiting to read the second until they do. Though there are angels in the plot, in fact it's the main plot line, it's not the stereotypical angel book. The plot is dark and gritty, and if you're looking for a read that isn't light and fluffy, than this is the one for you! You can find my review here!

3.) A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: 4.3 Stars
As the first in the new series by the popular Sarah J. Maas, this book blew up and got so much buzz in June and July. Though it was not my favorite novel this month, I did really enjoy the read. The plot was a bit slow at first, but delves into a much more interesting world as the book progresses. You can find my review here!

4.) Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 4 Stars
Fairest is just what I needed to hold me over to the concluding novel of the Lunar Chronicles that comes out later this year. It wasn't as mind blowing as the other books in the series, but the story was captivating and I loved going back into the world. I would recommend reading the other books before reading this. Though it is a prequel, you would get more out of it by reading by publication date. You can find my review here!

5.) Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 3.75 Stars
As the second book in the Lux series, I can't tell you much about this novel without spoiling much of the first. That being said, Onyx was a non-stop thrill ride I could not put down! It's not the best written, but the story is enrapturing and I couldn't help but immediately pick up the third novel in the five part series. You can find my review here!

6.) Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 3.75 Stars
I had the same exact feelings I had for Opal as I did for Onyx. There were times I did get annoyed with the plot, but I could never put it down. I've gotten attached to the characters themselves and I'm excited to see how their story ends. I didn't write a review of this, just because I had the same exact feelings of Opal and I did Onyx.

7.) Deception by C.J. Redwine

Rating: 4.2 Stars
Deception was great! It took me awhile to get used to the world again because it had been almost a year since I read the first book, Defiance. The novel ended on such a cliffhanger and I'm looking forward to reading the concluding novel later this year when I have time. You can find my review here

8.) Scorched by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: 3 Stars
I was a bit disappointed with Scorched. I loved the companion novel, and I had such high hopes for this one. Though the book was intriguing, I just couldn't love it. You can find my review here

9.) The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

Rating: 4.5 Stars
I was blown away with The Book of Ivy! I had such low expectations and this book was everything I had wanted and more! I am definitely picking up the sequel and conclusion, The Revolution of Ivy, as soon as possible! You can find my review here!

 All in all, I had a really good reading month in June. So far I've already read two books in July and am close to finishing my third. How did your reading month go? Thanks for visiting!

Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy was an engrossing and refreshing read that I didn't want to put down.

As the debut book of author Amy Engel and the first in a duology, I had nothing to compare this to. What I got was much higher than any of my expectations. The Book of Ivy follows Ivy Westfall and her soon-to-be marriage to the President's son, Bishop Lattimer. The twist is that Ivy has a mission to kill Bishop in a plan set by her father so that he could regain control of their nation. As Ivy and Bishop spend more time together, Ivy finds it harder and harder to go on with the plan. The novel ends on a major cliffhanger and I cannot wait for the next book, The Revolution of Ivy, to come out later this year in November!

This novel is told in first person point of view from Ivy's perspective. As the first ever book I've listened to and not read, it took a while getting used to being in Ivy's head. At first, I found Ivy to be immature, naive, and a bit daft. She never realized the whole entire time that she is being manipulated by people when it was so obvious to me as a reader. Throughout the book, we learn more about Ivy's childhood, and I completely understood why Ivy was the way she is. Ivy herself as a character is a headstrong protagonist that fights for what she believes in and is not afraid to express what she feels. In fact, she's pretty easy to read and never really hides anything, and that is why I found it so astounding that she could hide her father's masterplan the whole entire time she lived with Bishop. This itself showed major depth to her character and insight into her loyalty to the people she loves. I thought it was extremely inspiring to see a girl hide something so well when she is basically an open book with her emotions. The way Ivy and Bishop's relationship as standoff-ish strangers evolved to being each other's confidants was done really well. The dynamic between them was believable, and I loved how Ivy's view on Bishop changed as she slowly realizes that her father isn't the perfect man she always thought of him to be.

With the way the novel ended, to say I'm excited for the next novel is an understatement. As mentioned before, the series is only a duology, which I find to be quite refreshing. I know as a reader I won't have to go through three books, one most likely an anticipation builder to reach the happy ending I wan
t. I have a vague guess of what is going to happen, but the second book can end in so many ways. The plot itself  does not follow the run of the mill dystopian trope. Sure, there is a morally shady government controlling an area, but there is not an opposing force that could end all struggles. In fact, each side has their pros and cons, and neither is that good of a solution. There is also no torture in these novels against innocents. The antagonist of the novel isn't even that evil to begin with, Ivy was just raised to believe he was. Yes, criminals are thrown out of their sanctioned space and into the wild, but some are deserving. The only processes that truly need help is the weeding out of those who are deemed horrible enough to be cast out or not, and the equality between males and females.

This brings up another underlying theme that was refreshing to read. In almost all dystopians, equality is addressed. In Shatter Me, there is a divide between the life of citizens and those with powers, Hunger Games with the factions, and Matched  with the cast outs of society.The list goes on and on. However, I have never read a dystopian novel that still includes problems that we have today. In Divergent,  no one says, "A girl can't choose Duantless! She's weak!"In the Maze Runner, a corporate group has no qualms about putting girls in the same grueling, torturous events as they did for boys. However, in The Book of Ivy,  women have no say about what they want in life. Their one goal is to get married and have children as soon as possible. If they are not chosen to be wed, they are deemed a failure in the eye of society. The women in this futuristic world face the same problems we see all over the world today. I appreciated how the issue was still so prevalent in the novel and was brought up in a way that was not overbearing. Yes, Ivy can be considered a feminist because she wants equality for both sexes, but it wasn't her one personality trait that made her a rebel. This dystopian novel has a corrupt world that not only I could imagine happening, but actually happen within seventy years, and not 200 like all the others.

The writing itself in The Book of Ivy was fantastic. There are some wonderful quotes that I just had to re-listen to because they were so beautiful. I will definitely be reading any of Engel's works just to be immersed in her writing style again. The characters were fleshed out and complex, even the secondary ones. Bishop's parents have a whole entire backstory we haven't fully delved into yet, and each character has so much depth. The plot is quick paced and never slows down. It starts with a bang, and only gets more intense from there.

If you're looking for a series that has virtually no commitment with a breakneck pace and believable characters, then this is the novel to you. My only two complaints are that Ivy can be hard to relate to at first, and that I had an inkling of the twist at the end. I didn't know how it was going to happen, but I had a feeling of what. Pick this up if you're looking for a dystopian novel that doesn't seem like a carbon copy of the one's everyone and their mother has read.

4.5 out of 5 Stars!

Want to know more? Check out the goodreads page here!