Book Review Tuesday (8/13/19)-Spare and Found Parts

Hey, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

Remember how I said in my last post that I was REALLY wowed by Other Words for Smoke (you can read my review here), and I was really excited to read some other works by Sarah Maria Griffin? Namely, Spare and Found Parts? 

Well, I got around to reading it a few days after I wrote that post, and I must say, it was incredible! 

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A richly developed, futuristic world, with lush and atmospheric writing and a chilling story, reminiscient of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. And…dare I say…even better than Other Words for Smoke. And I ADORED that one.

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Spare and Found Parts

In an isolated town in the near future, the townspeople have all been devastated by an epidemic. Now, they all bear scars–metal limbs, eyes, hands, and feet, all created by Julian Crane, the now world-renowned scientist who revolutionized the world of prosthetics.

For as long as she can remember, Nell Crane has lived in the shadow of her father. Her epidemic scars aren’t as visible as others–instead of an appendage, her heart is made of metal, ticking like a time bomb inside her chest. Her father is always too engrossed in his work to pay her any mind, and to much of the town, she’s a freak, the girl with the metal heart who’ll never live up to her father. But after Nell discovers an abandoned, artifical hand on the beach, an idea comes to her–maybe she, with the right parts, can build a companion, a friend who truly understands her and doesn’t care about her inorganic heart and her legacy. Nell is determined to make her wish come true at any cost–but what will it mean for a world that fears computers more than anything else?

 

Spare and Found Parts was a success in all respects.

With a determined and strong-willed heroine, immersive and chilling prose, and a plot that was simultaneously poignant and enchanting, Spare and Found Parts is a truly unforgettable novel. 9.5/10 on my rating scale, 4.75/5 on Goodreads, and lots of love from the bottom of my heart.

On that note, this book is seriously underrated. I mean…it’s got a 3.53 average on Goodreads. I’m not saying that 3.53 is a bad rating, per se, but Spare and Found Parts does not, by any means, deserve a rating like that. It’s a little sad. I don’t know.

 

Like Other Words for Smoke, Spare and Found Parts is a standalone. These seem to be the two major YA books that Griffin has written, and I have no idea if she’s working on/will work on anything more in that vein. Fingers crossed that she is, because this world needs more of her brilliant storytelling.

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and enjoy summer while it lasts! (I start school again tomorrow… “Hello, darkness, my old friend…”)

 

 

 

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Book Review Tuesday (8/6/19)-Other Words for Smoke

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of August 2019!

 

This one’s been on my TBR for a while…I don’t exactly remember how long, but a fairly long stretch of time, nonetheless. Anyway, I was just scouring through said Goodreads TBR while looking for somethign to check out at the library last week, and this one just happened to be available. I had virtually no expectations whatsoever (other than what came to mind from that ✨gorgeous cover✨), but Other Words for Smoke was an unforgettable, spine-chilling novel! With a perfectly-melded blend of small-town fantasy and an uncanny horror reminiscient of Edgar Allan Poe, this novel lends itself to be one of the best books of 2019.

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Other Words for Smoke

With their parent’s marriage falling into chaos, fourteen year old twins Mae and Rossa are sent to live with their estranged aunt Rita for the summer. Rita is nothing short of eccentric, and the twin’s cousin Bevan seems to have her fair share of shifty secrets. But the house itself holds the most secrets, and is home to two age-old powers–powers that require an ample amount of love, fear, and sacrifice. With Bevan slave to the more nefarious of the two, Mae and Rossa are left to discover the house’s secrets on their own. They knew that their summer wouldn’t be normal–but none of them expected anything as chilling as this.

 

 

WOW. Now THAT was a wild ride.

 

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Normally, I’m not quite one for horror, but Other Words for Smoke had the perfect balance of creepiness, whimsy, action, and intrigue. With an unpredictable cast of characters, rich, suspenseful writing, LGTBTQ+ representation, and a gripping plot that kept me reading for hours on end, this novel is a true fantasy-horror masterpiece. Also, I kind of imagined one of the characters having a voice like that of Sir Patrick Stewart, so that probably added a half-star to my rating. (Just kidding about the last part of that 😜)

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Solid 9 on my rating scale, 4.5/5 stars on Goodreads. I highly recommend this book. 🙂

 

This book is a standalone, but the author has another, more dystopian novel (called Spare and Found Parts) that came out a few years ago, but I haven’t yet read. I think it’s available on the Kindle library, so I think I’ll have to check it out soon… 😉

 

Before I go, let me just say that I’ve got a few plans for different posts coming up soonish, but they may or may not be halted by my going back to school in a little over a week…😬 Hopefully I’ll get to a few of them by the end of the summer. Stay tuned, folks.

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourselves, and keep on reading!

 

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/30/19)-Soul of Stars

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the last Book Review Tuesday of July 2019!

 

And yes, this it it.

IT’S HERE.

THE SEQUEL AND CONCLUSION TO HEART OF IRON.

Man, if Heart of Iron was mindblowing, Soul of Stars was…earth-shattering. Galaxy-shattering? That should be a word. Unhyphenated.

Anyway, Soul of Stars is not only a gripping and fast-paced romp through the vast reaches of space, it’s a beautiful and perfectly wrapped-up conclusion to a duology like no other. An absolute gem.

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If you haven’t read Heart of Iron yet, please keep in mind that there’s probably going to be some spoilers in this review. Read that first, and you can read my review of it on 8/14/18. 😉

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Soul of Stars (Heart of Iron, #2)

In the blink of an eye, Ana has gone from a misbegotten orphan to the Empress of an entire star system. But after her beloved Di becomes the puppet of the notorious HIVE AI,  she is on the run again with a bounty on her back. It seems all is lost for both her and Di–once a Metal is taken over by the HIVE, there is no way out. Her last resort is to seek out the mysterious entity known only as Starbright–the only being that has ever been able to un-HIVE a metal. Ana finds what she’s looking for–a possible way to cure Di–but quickly becomes entangled in a galactic power struggle, with the lives of everyone she’s ever held dear at stake. What will Ana’s decisions cost her–and the rest of the Dossier’s crew?

 

 

And I thought Heart of Iron was an emotional rollercoaster…

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THE  F E E L S

 

Needless to say, Soul of Stars was a stunning end to the duology, with a heady dash of Poston’s signature space adventures, impeccable chemistry, and plenty of witty banter to go around. And…alright, I’ll say it. VERY emotional. I laughed out loud, I silenty cheered for the characters (it was only silent because I was in a library…), and I either cried or got close to crying…oh, I’d say around five separate times. No spoilers, but the last one kind of had me curling up in a ball. yEESH. 😭

Soul of Stars is a beautiful end to an absolutely unforgettable series. ∞/10, I’ll cherish this for years to come.

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

 

 

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/23/19)-Descendant of the Crane

Hey, everyone, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

SO! I’ve been meaning to review this one for…almost a month now, whew. I had semi-average expectations for it, figuring that it would be more of an interim read than anything, something to tide me over. After reading a few rave reviews from another blogger and some of the Goodreads reviews, I was ultimately convinced.

And MAN…

Descendant of the Crane truly blew it out of the water! A seamless and riveting combination of fantasy and murder mystery. Waaaaaaay better than I expected it to be.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

(also, apologies for the size of the cover image, this was the best that I could find 😦  )

 

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Descendant of the Crane

Princess Hesina has never been keen to the royal life, preferring to hide in the shadows instead of meddle in political affairs. But after her father’s death, Hesina takes it upon herself to discover the cause of his demise. The medics rule it a suicide, but Hesina is determined that it was a murder. Now the Queen, she goes against everything that the royal family stands for, enlisting the help of a soothsayer to find out how her father truly died. With the help of Akira, a criminal, poisons expert, and maybe the key to discovering the truth about her father, Hesina leads a grand investigation–one that leads into the darkest depths of her kingdom’s history.

 

 

Now, as I said, my expectations for this book were faily average. But by the end, let’s just say that my last brain cells and I were all screaming.

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOA.

 

A lushly written, richly developed, genre-bending novel like no other. The plot had me clinging to the edge of my seat, and though I didn’t get too attached to many of the characters, they had near impeccable chemistry, and I found myself rooting for them in the end. Overall, a truly fantastic book!

 

The author said (in response to a question on Goodreads) that Descendant of the Crane is, in fact, a standalone, but she’s planning to write some companion novels set in the same universe. I’m personally satisfied with the decision; it’s good that she’s leaving this book alone, but I’m itching for some more action in the rich world that she’s beginning to create. 🙂

 

Thank you so much for reading! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and please take care of yourselves!

 

OH! One more thing…

[singing off-key] toDAAAAAY IS THE DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY!

That’s right, Ashley Poston’s Soul of Stars, the sequel to Heart of Iron (see 8/14/18) comes out TODAY! I recently preordered it, and it’s supposed to arrive about a week from now, so you can definitely expect a review around early August.

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Well, that’s all for today. See you next Tuesday!

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/16/19)-Wild Beauty

Hello, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

 

Before I found it at the library, I’d been wanting to read this for a short while–I feel like it was either a Goodreads recommendation or a gushing review from another blogger. Either way, I am so glad I found this book. Poetic, impactful, and as lush as the flower gardens in La Pradera. A truly unforgettable read.

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

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Wild Beauty

A strange sort of magic runs in the women in the Nomeolvides family, both a blessing and a curse. They can make flowers grow–each woman has an individual flower–with just a thought, and with this gift, their duty, for the last century, has been to tend to the gardens of the La Pradera estate. But if a Nomeolvides woman falls in love, their curse also gurantees that their partner will die.

When Estrella, one of the youngest Nomeolvides girls, finds a strange boy in the gardens, she’s shocked; now, after the garden has taken so many of their lovers, it has given one back to them…possibly. The boy has no idea who he is and where he came from, other than three letters scrawled on his sleeve: “Fel”. Estrella seeks to find out who Fel really is, but discovers that beneath the enchanting gardens of La Pradera lies a deadly secret, buried for over a century. Is the truth meant to be uncovered?

 

 

 

I haven’t read anything quite like Wild Beauty in a long time. Maybe not ever, period.

I’m serious. The writing was rich and enchanting, each and every character had a unique personality and a key role to play, the story was absolutely intriguing, pulling me along every twist and turn up until the last page. It was, for lack of better words, like nothing I’ve ever seen. Highly recommend it. Stunning.

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Wild Beauty is a standalone, and…well, it’s probably a good thing. As beautiful as it was, it’s probably good that we don’t have another, unnecessary installment to bog down the first book. Anna-Marie McLemore does have multiple other novels out, some of which I’ve been wanting to read for a considerably long time, but haven’t yet. Library, don’t fail me…

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a fantastic day, and take care of yourself! 🙂

Book Review Tuesday (7/9/19)-Summer of Salt

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to this week’s Book Review Tuesday!

 

This was (yet another) library find. I’d had it on my to-read shelf for a while, but I saw it on the shelf in the teen section of my local library, so I figured that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

Magical realism, for me, is often hit-or-miss for me. The ‘miss’ category usually falls into more middle grade books, from what I remember, but if done well, it’s absolutely spectacular. Luckily, Summer of Salt is no exception. Beautiful and atmospheric prose, combined with a plethora of characters to root for and a rich, small-town mythology made Summer of Salt a truly unique read.

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Enjoy the review!

 

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Summer of Salt

All her life, Georgina Fernweh has known nothing beyond the tiny island that she calls home. The only residents that aren’t regular are the ornithologists that flock there every summer, looking to see if Annabella, the island’s revered and supposedly three hundred year old bird, will rear her eggs.

But all that’s on Georgina’s mind are two things: her unmanifested powers, which are passed down through the females of the Fernweh family and normally appear early, and college, the first years that she’ll ever be away from the island. For her, these two things are her entire world–but that world is quickly shattered into chaos when Annabella is found dead, miles from her ordinary nesting site. With the help of Prue, the sister of a budding ornithologist, and Mary, her enigmatic twin sister, Georgina sets out to find out the killer of the island’s most well known attraction.

 

 

WOOOOOOOOOW. Now that was incredible. 

Summer of Salt boasted a distinct brand of magic–rich, intriguing lore, an unforgettable cast of determined and quirky characters, LGBTQ+ representation that felt completely natural, and a plot that had me on my toes…and close to tears in some places. Though this book is a standalone, I didn’t end the book wanting more; the ending was satisfying enough, and wrapped everything up in a way that made sense. All in all, a perfect summer read that I’d recommend to…well, pretty much everyone.

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Oh, and did I mention that…I really want Prue in my life? Like, right now? Please?

 

 

 

Thank you so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and have a wonderful summer!

 

 

Book Review Tuesday (7/2/19)-Song of the Dead

Hey, fellow bibliophiles, and welcome to the first Book Review Tuesday of July 2019!

*pulls out stopwatch* *whispers*  How much longer until I’m a human puddle of sweat?

 

*ahem* Aaaaaaaanyway, I FINALLY got around to reading the conclusion to the Reign of the Fallen series not long ago! This installment was EVEN BETTER than book one, almost a full star more so! A riveting conclusion to a fantasy series like no other.

(If you haven’t read book 1 yet, I advise that you do not read this review yet. For my review of Reign of the Fallen, see 9/18/18.)

 

Enjoy this week’s review!

 

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Song of the Dead (Reign of the Fallen, #2)

After the volley of Shade attacks, Karthia has recovered, and seeks to be better than ever before. Under the rule of Queen Valoria, the borders are opened for the first time in centuries, and necromancy is against the law. For Odessa, this means endless opportunities to explore the world beyond her homeland, but still having to hide her gift of necromancy. She sets off with Meredy to seek adventure beyond Karthia, but soon learns of a new threat to her home, and is forced to return. Will she be able to save her queendom in time–and save her relationship?

 

 

WOOOHOO!

Even though it’s sad to know that this is last of the series, Song of the Dead was a beautiful conclusion. The descriptive, gripping prose, combined with unforgettable worldbuilding and…oh, another runner-up for Fictional Couple of the Year (ODESSA AND MEREDY ARE…JUST SO CUTE OH MY GOOOOOOOD), made for a series that truly went off with a magical bang.

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With the Reign of the Fallen series finished, I’m not sure what’s next for Marsh. I’m hoping she’ll write some more, because I just ADORE her creepy brand of fantasy. The world needs more of that.

 

Thanks so much for reading this review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, take care of yourself, and hopefully beat the heat! 😉