Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released.

Review: Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Sea Witch (Sea Witch, #1)

Everyone knows what happens in the end. A mermaid, a prince, a true love’s kiss. But before that young siren’s tale, there were three friends. One feared, one royal, and one already dead.

Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.

A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.

But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.

This is a book of two parts and it makes it such a hard book to review and rate, because I both loved it but also thought it was quite 'meh' at times.

My main issue with this book was the pacing - this isn't an action packed book. This book focuses on building relationships between the main characters - Nik, Evie and Annemette (Anne in the past bits) and revealing the secrets bit by bit, which I must admit did mean that at times I lost the will to continue reading because it was so slow. Not a lot happens until the end and even then the book doesn't hit you hard.

But I did really enjoy the relationships between the characters, and the writing flowed so beautifully in places that it became a pleasure to read even when the pacing was atrocious. I really enjoyed the characters - Nik especially was just cute

Overall, Sea Witch was an okay read, with poor pacing but characters and writing that made an attempt to redeem it. 

Book released  21st July 2018 by Katherine Tegan
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released.

Review: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation (Dread Nation, #1)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

I don't know why I requested this book - I hate zombies! I guess I was probably swayed by all of the black girl kicking zombie butt action. I got that. I got that and so much more.

The great thing about going into a book with no idea what to expect is that it is so easy to be impressed and that is what Dread Nation did for me. We get kick ass characters - Jane and Katherine - but we also get narration that feels authentic, we get atmospheric horror and we also get that whole southern gothic historical feel and it all just hit the bullseye for me. 

It took me a little while to get into this book, so much that I put it down one day and didn't pick it back up for a week, still though when I eventually got into it I was into it and the pacing stayed up from that point on.

This book isn't just superficial though. There are racial undertones that in this day and age must be commented on. Look, I'm a white women, I'm not sure how much I am allowed to speak about representation for a whole-ass culture and race that I am not part of. I will say though that I loved what Ireland created just in the main character. Jane kicked booty, she was strong, stubborn and flawed and it made her so much more real. Even in an alternative history book with zombies, a realistic character makes it so much better. I also think that the lack of a humongous romantic subplot definitely made the characters stand out on their own.

There are some parts that missed the mark a little for me. Mainly that there are references to real events from the American civil war etc which I am not knowledgable in. Still, that's not exactly the author or the book's problem, mainly mine.

Overall, Dread Nation was a really fun book to read, but at the same time it was important culturally and socially. 

Book released  3rd April 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

Read This Week:

Among the Beasts & Briars  These Vengeful Hearts You Were Never Here

Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston - Review Here
These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin
You Were Never Here by Kathleen Peacock

Currently Reading:

Beautiful Wild

Beautiful Wild by Anna Godberson

Up Next:

This week I plan to read the following:

Soulswift Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy, #1)

Soulswift by Megan Bannen
Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao

Let me know your thoughts and link to your post below!

Review: The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World, #1)

Generations of twin goddesses have long ruled Aeon. But seventeen years ago, one sister’s betrayal defied an ancient prophecy and split their world in two. The planet ceased to spin, and a Great Abyss now divides two realms: one cloaked in perpetual night, the other scorched by an unrelenting sun.

While one sister rules Aranth—a frozen city surrounded by a storm-wracked sea —her twin inhabits the sand-locked Golden City. Each goddess has raised a daughter, and each keeps her own secrets about her sister’s betrayal.

But when shadowy forces begin to call their daughters, Odessa and Haidee, back to the site of the Breaking, the two young goddesses —along with a powerful healer from Aranth, and a mouthy desert scavenger —set out on separate journeys across treacherous wastelands, desperate to heal their broken world. No matter the sacrifice it demands.

I have a bit of a bugbear about books written from lots of POV's, it has to be done really really well otherwise my attention span just doesn't connect and I forget who is narrating each particular chapter and it all blends in together and I just get from the book what I guest I'm meant to get from it. I class it as sort of 50% my own fault and 50% the author's. In this case, I really did try because I loved the world building and I wanted to love the story and characters - I didn't want to come away feeling unfulfilled but unfortunately I sort of did.

Firstly, let me tell you what I really enjoyed about this book. As I said above, the world building was fantastic. I would say that this book has one of the best fleshed out settings in current YA fantasy because it incorporates mythology and science and magic and I found it so rich. Despite what I'm going to say below, the author's voice was so rich and strong and the writing style was so good I would love to read more from her - I've avoided her previous novels as I struggle with horror sometimes.

That being said, my main issue is as stated above. The changing narration threw me, and I didn't feel like each character had their own voice. As a result I got bored. This is a long book at nearly 500 pages and it felt a lot longer to me. I struggled to get through it and I never connected well with any of the characters, ergo I never really connected with the plot or the story.

This is one of those books which I feel guilty for not loving, because it had so much potential and it was so well thought out, I just really struggled with the narrative and since that is what drives a story, it detracted so much from all of those good point.

I won't be continuing this series, but I will definitely be reading Chupeco's previous works and any future releases not in this story.

Book released  15th October 2019 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review