Top Ten Tuesday #19: YA Fantasy Added to My TBR

toptentuesday

Hey everyone! It has been a while, hasn’t it? Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week, the topic is share your recent books added to your To-Be-Read list from a certain genre. Looking at my TBR, I’ve put a lot of fantasy books recently, so I’ll be sharing those: Continue reading

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ARC Book Review: These Ruthless Deeds by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

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Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published Date: March 2017
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Series: These Vicious Masks #2
My Source: Netgalley
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary:

England, 1883. Still recovering from a devastating loss, Evelyn is determined to use her powers to save other gifted people from those who would harm them. But when her rescue of a young telekinetic girl goes terribly wrong, Evelyn finds herself indebted to a secret society devoted to recruiting and protecting people like Evelyn and her friends.

As she follows the Society’s orders, healing the sick and embarking on perilous recruitment missions, Evelyn sees her problems disappear. Her reputation is repaired, her friends are provided for, and her parents are newly wealthy. She reunites with the dashing Mr. Kent and recovers the reclusive Mr. Braddock (who has much less to brood over now that the Society can help him to control his dangerous power). But Evelyn can’t help fearing the Society is more sinister than it appears…

My Review

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and now I have and it’s an ARC review after the release date. Better late than never, right? I’m sorry, but I was really in a book slump (life slump) these last couple of months. Hopefully things will get better, but they’ll only get better if I get started on something, right?

Anywho, the sequel to These Vicious Masks. I remember really liking the first book and calling it a “X-Men meets Pride and Prejudice.” If you want to read the full review for the first in this trilogy, follow the link riiiiight here, but as a quick review, the characters were great, the plot was engaging, the powers and how they worked were very nice. It was an overall great read. Here, I will warn that if you haven’t read the first book, I may spoil things for you. I won’t spoil anything for These Ruthless Deeds, but there is the potential of me talking about the twists and surprises from These Vicious Masks, especially one in particular.

These Ruthless Deeds shares some of the aspects of the first book, but not all. With the characters, I’m sad to say that I started to dislike Evelyn almost partway through, and I absolutely loved her before. She became a little annoying when trying to convince the others of her ideas, but without any real proof. She gets a bit repetitive and requires others to “save” her, which was the opposite of how she was in the first book. Mr. Braddock and Mr. Kent…Well, in my opinion we don’t get a lot of development on Mr. Braddock in this book, so I don’t have much to say about him. There was tons on Mr. Kent and I’m happy to say my love for him has grown tenfold. There is a lot of interactions between Mr. Kent and Evelyn, and Mr. Kent and other members of the society. He’s still witty and how he uses his ability is spectacular. He is a favorite of mine.

With the sequel came a lot of new characters, and this is where things go a little downhill for me. I feel like there were too many characters and it became a tad hard to keep track at the beginning. As you continue reading, some of those characters are dropped off and the others are focused on so we have a good core group to work with, but These Ruthless Deeds does work with a lot more characters than its predecessor. Some of the new ones I liked, for example Oliver was a good character. I wished we learned more about him and Emily, but with some many pages you can’t get to everyone.

And now for the plot: The beginning was hard. It seemed to drag and maybe it was because I was being bombarded with new characters with new powers so I was trying to remember everyone. Still, I had a really hard time and that’s one of the reasons it took me so long to get through this book. I enjoyed the plot of the first one a lot more than the one in the sequel. Things were happening but at the same time it felt like nothing was happening, and I don’t know how that…well, happened! The big climax of the story doesn’t happen until you’re 80ish% into the book and then everything explodes before you eyes.

That ending though. I saw a number of reviewers who were happy with how this ends, but I guess I’m in the minority. I felt like it was a fast and easy way to fix any plot holes they may have in the future. I also thought it was shocking how they could do something so drastic. I felt kind of disappointed because it essentially took away a lot of things I had been liking about the series. I’m almost disappointed enough to not read the last book when it releases, but maybe after some time away from These Ruthless Deeds, I’ll understand the need for the ending more.

Giving a rating for this is tough. After going back and forth on this, and knowing how much I liked the first one, I’ll say this:

2.5 STARS ~ More okay moments than struggle moments. However, I’d still recommend to those who really really like the first book.

ARC Book Review: We Own The Night (Radio Hearts #2) by Ashley Poston

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Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Published Date: June 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Series: Radio Hearts #2
My Source: ARC from netgalley
Links: Goodreads
Review Also On: Goodreads and Amazon

Goodreads Summary

“Happy midnight, my fellow Niteowls…”

As a candy store employee by day, and mysterious deejay “Niteowl” by night, eighteen-year-old Ingrid North is stuck between rock ‘n roll and a hard place. She can’t wait to get out of her tiny hometown of Steadfast, Nebraska (population three hundred and forty-seven) to chase her dreams, but small-town troubles keep getting in the way. She can’t abandon her grandmother with Alzheimer’s, or her best friend Micah–who she may or may not be in love with.

But for one hour each Saturday, she escapes all of that. On air, she isn’t timid, ugly-sweater-wearing Ingrid North. She’s the funny and daring Niteowl. Every boy’s manic pixie dream girl. Fearless. And there is one caller in particular– Dark and Brooding–whose raspy laugh and snarky humor is just sexy enough to take her mind off Micah. Not that she’s in love with Micah or anything. Cause she’s not.

As her grandmother slips further away and Micah begins dating a Mean-Girls-worthy nightmare, Ingrid runs to the mysterious Dark and Brooding as a disembodied voice to lean on, only to fall down a rabbit hole of punk rockstars, tabloid headlines, and kisses that taste like bubble tea. But the man behind the voice could be surprising in all the right, and wrong, ways.

And she just might find that her real life begins when Niteowl goes off the air.

My Review

I’ve been a bit of a book slump and MIA (as I’m sure you know), and I was having a really hard time finding a book that I wanted to read and would keep me interested from cover to cover. I finally found it in We Own the Night.

A sweet coming-of-age romance story about a girl graduating from high school who during the daylight hours is Ingrid North, a girl with three best friends with a crush on one while dealing with bullying, a mother who abandoned her, and a grandmother who is forgetting her. But at night she’s Niteowl, a sarcastic spitfire on the local radio who is starting to fall for a frequent caller nicknamed Dark and Brooding.

I enjoyed this story. I loved Ingrid. I wanted her to succeed in life and I felt connected with her in many ways. I think Ingrid and I could be really good friends. LD and Billie were great too. LD is that friend I think many girls wish they had, and Billie is a great solid character with a good backstory for his changes. Then there’s Micah, the friend Ingrid has a crush on. I’m not a huge fan of his. He can be pretty mean at times and I just can’t forgive someone who acts like that to certain people.

Niteowl’s on the air romance with Dark was cute. I really liked their conversations and I was hoping that something could come out of it.

Was this story super shocking? No. It’s predictable, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a good story to read. I like the writing format change when we, the readers, get to “listen” in on the radio show. I loved seeing the growth that Ingrid goes through during the story. And I loved her relationship with her grandmother.

If you’re looking for a nice contemporary with a quick read, I’d suggest this.

Rating: 3.5 STARS ~ A good book that has a nice YES factor to it.

I was given an advanced reader’s copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.