Monday, March 14, 2016

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

Title: Passenger (Passenger #1) 
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Released January 5, 2016
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 3/5

Summary

Passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever (Summary from Goodreads).

Review

I absolutely loved the first half of Passenger. I relished in the detail of the writing, which was especially beautiful when describing Etta's violin recital. I thought Bracken's writing in the beginning was a step up from The Darkest Minds. 

If you want more POC in your books, look no further. Our main male character and love interest is Nicholas Carter, an African American sailor who lives in 1776 and serves the dangerous Ironwood family. It is his dream to get away from the clutches of the Ironwoods and own his own ships. However, when Nicholas meets Etta, he finds himself drawn to her and wants to protect her. The initial relationship between him and Etta was well done and I was shipping it.

But once we got to the second half of the book, I think the relationship became forced and cheesy. For example (minor spoiler), Nicholas and Etta made out in a jungle after being attacked by a lion and a snake. Not to mention, the whole time-traveling thing is new to Etta, her mother is in danger, and she has to fight the clock to find the object her mother hid. It was a little ridiculous. Furthermore, characters that get stabbed should not be recovering in just a couple days, especially with treatments from 1699.

Other than these grievances, I thought the book was enjoyable enough and it was clear that Bracken had to do a lot of research before writing this.
Friday, March 4, 2016

Spotlight Friday (33): Thirst: Blood of my Blood by R.P. Channing


I was requested by author to host this spotlight

Title: Thirst: Blood of my Blood
Author: R.P. Channing
Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Released November 26, 2015

Summary

~ Kira Sutherland ~

After a near fatal accident (and getting cheated on by her 'boyfriend'), and beating up the lead cheerleader (with whom the boyfriend cheated...), and being labeled as having 'issues' in her school because she, uhm, sees ghosts, Kira is left with two choices:

1. Continue her 'therapy' (where she's told the ghost is a hallucination and also gets her legs ogled too often...)

Or

2. Go to Starkfield Academy, a boarding school for "Crazies and Convicts" (as the social media sites call them.)

She chooses the latter...

~ Cory Rand ~

Cory Rand has not had an easy life. His mother died in a car accident when he was twelve, and so did his mother's best friend...sort of. You see, Janice made a promise to take care of Cory just before she died, and so she lingers. Undead. A ghost that watches out for him.

Brought up in an abusive home, Cory quickly falls into a life of disreputable behavior. After his third offense (which was prompted by a girl, as usual - he has a weakness) he's left with two choices:

1. Be tried as an adult and share a cell with a guy named Bubba (he thinks...)

Or

2. Go to Starkfield Academy, which Cory is pretty sure is run by vampires. But, hey, at least he'll get an education.

He chooses the latter...

It's at Starkfield that Kira meets Cory Rand, a boy with an insatiable Rage who sees ghosts, too. As well as other things, other things from his past, things that confuse him, things like fire and witches and demons.

Things he's always ignored.


Until now (Summary from Goodreads).

Excerpt

He’s not for you,” Jack said out the blue.

“Hmm?”

This...Mike — he’s wrong for you, Miss Kira.” For all Jack’s faults (mainly, being dead), he has a good heart. Factually, probably it’s why I kept him around at first.

“You think I don’t know that?”

Then why don’t you dump him?

I braked at a stop sign. Looked left and right. “Because I’d look like an idiot. I flirted with him and showed interest, and one kiss later I can’t stand the sight of him.”

So dump him.

“It’s not that simple. Kids at school — they can be vicious. I have to let it fade slowly. If I drop the bomb on him, I’ll never hear the end of it through senior year.”

“And you care?”

Yes, I did. Forget Guantanamo, schools are rough. “You don’t understand, Jack. Maybe school was different in your day. But in mine, well, we walk through metal detectors.”

Schools weren’t too different in my day.” I noted the sadness in his voice.

“You okay?”

I’m dead.

Right. “You miss...your life?”

Jack shrugged. “I like being with you, Miss Kira. And I don’t remember much of my life. I think I’m in limbo.

“Limbo?”

Yes, like I have some unfinished business. If only I could remember...what...it is...” He scratched his head.

“Any ideas?”

Well, it can’t be love. If it were love, I’d be a vampire. That’s who teenage girls fall in love with these days.”

“A vampire? That’s just what I need — two undead beings stalking me.”

I feel I have something to do around you, Miss Kira. I don’t know what, but something. Something important.

I looked over at him. “Me?”

I was still looking at him when I missed the stop sign.

The Mack truck drove straight into us.




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March TBR

Another month here and gone! February is always such a stressful month between balancing assignments and applying for summer internships/leadership conferences. Good news (at least for me)! By the time this posts, I'll be in Disney World!! Yippee!!

Back to books. Since I was so busy, I didn't read as much as I would have liked:

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer
Earth's End by Elise Kova

TBR for March:

1. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken - This was on my TBR for February but I never got around to it.  I'm reading it now, which is very appropriate for my travels to Florida.











2. Vicious (Vicious #1) by V.E. Schwab - I admit I am a little hesitant to read this after my disappointment with Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic. However, Schwab's fans usually say this is her best book, and I did enjoy her series, The Archived. I figure I'll give it a shot. Let's hope I don't regret it.











3. Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare - So if you are a reader of YA books, you have probably read or at least heard of Clare's The Mortal Instruments series. Well, she has created another series using some of the characters from TMI. I think The Infernal Devices were her best series, so I'm hoping this series is done just as well as that one, but I'm already a little hesitant on this one because of the length of over 700 pages! I'm worried it will be useless filler, just like the last three books of The Mortal Instruments. If any TMI fans are reading this, what are your thoughts?






Also, The Winner's Kiss is coming out this month guys!!! However, since it is coming out at the very end of the month, I will include it on my TBR for next month (I'm pretty sure Lady Midnight will take up half a month to read anyway).
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