My Top 5 Favorite Books

6. Splintered by A.G. Howard

Title: Splintered 
Series: Splintered Series Book 1
Author: A.G.Howard 
Publisher: Amulet Books

Synopsis:
Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.

When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own. 

I know it says ‘my top five favorite books’ but I thought I would add an extra because this is a good book to read. If you are a fan of Alice in Wonderland then you need to go to the bookstore and get this book. The author of this book put a magical spin on one of my favorite classical books. I love how while you are reading the book bits and pieces from the original Alice in Wonderland and even Through the Looking Glass come up. Another thing that really captured my attention to this book was the cover. I love how this cover is so beautiful and really does embody what the book is about.

5. Gates of Thread and Stone by Lori M. Lee

Title: Gates of Thread and Stone

Series: Gates of Thread and Stone Series Book 1

Author: Lori M. Lee

Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing 

Synopsis:
In a city of walls and secrets, where only one man is supposed to possess magic, seventeen-year-old Kai struggles to keep hidden her own secret—she can manipulate the threads of time. When Kai was eight, she was found by Reev on the riverbank, and her “brother” has taken care of her ever since. Kai doesn’t know where her ability comes from—or where shecame from. All that matters is that she and Reev stay together, and maybe one day move out of the freight container they call home, away from the metal walls of the Labyrinth. Kai’s only friend is Avan, the shopkeeper’s son with the scandalous reputation that both frightens and intrigues her.

Then Reev disappears. When keeping silent and safe means losing him forever, Kai vows to do whatever it takes to find him. She will leave the only home she’s ever known and risk getting caught up in a revolution centuries in the making. But to save Reev, Kai must unravel the threads of her past and face shocking truths about her brother, her friendship with Avan, and her unique power.
If you are looking for a book that has a few twists and turns then you need to pick this book up. The author weaves together a story of adventure and magic. The headstrong Kai was what really attracted me to this book. I love it when the main characters are headstrong and know what they want, but what I really enjoyed the most was that she could weave time. The magic, to me, was what made this book. The world that the author created was unique and her creativity in creating the world of this book was delightful. I am very excited to read the second book to this series!

4. Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Title: Stung

Series: Stung Series Book 1
Author: Bethany Wiggins 
Publisher: Walker and Company 

Synopsis:
There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.


Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

Stung was given to me by one of my friends and it was all she could talk about. One day when I had nothing to do, I decided to give this book a try and see how it went. Needless to say, I pulled an all nighter to finish it and I do not regret the lack of sleep. This book blew my mind away and I can not wait to read the second one! This book follows a girl by the name of Fiona and when she wakes up everything has changed. Nothing is how she remembers it and even weirder she has a tattoo on her right hand. She later learns that this tattoo is a symbol of people who have turned into mindless beasts. However, Fiona is the complete opposite, she is still sane and confused as to where her family is. If you are looking for something different but that will pull your attention then I really suggest that you pick this book up. From the moment I read the first sentence all the way to the very last word this book constantly kept me motivated to read it.

3. The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection
Series: The Selection Series Book 1
Author: Kiera Cass 
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing 

Synopsis:
For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn’t want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.


Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she’s made for herself—and realizes that the life she’s always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
 

Oh The Selection. This was a great book and I truly loved the creativity that the author showed when she was writing this book. The series that this author has created is wonderful. I remember reading the second book to this series, The Elite, and I literally had to put the book down because I was getting so mad at the characters in the book, but for me if I get mad at a character that means the author did a extraordinary job making the characters real. I was a little hesitant about picking up the third book because I was still upset with how things went in the second book with the characters, but once I got over myself, I picked there third book up and all I will say is you will be glad you did. The fourth book to the series, The Heir,  just recently came out and as soon as I heard about it I went to the store and picked it up. This book talks about America’s daughter and the Selection that she goes through in order to help her country.

2. The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Curse

Series: The Winner’s Trilogy Series Book 1

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Square Fish 

Synopsis:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love… 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

I know, I know, I probably have worn people out with all posts that I have put about this book, but this book is worth it! This book is beautifully written and wonderfully constructed. Reading this book I can definitely tell that a lot of work and a lot of thought went in to how the plot would develop.

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games  
Series: The Hunger Games Series Book 1

Author: Suzanne Collins 

Publisher: Scholastic 

Synopsis:
Winning will make you famous. 
Losing means certain death.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.


When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
 
My #1 favorite book! No one will ever be able to change my mind on this one. This book is so well written and the character development in the entire trilogy is amazing. If you haven’t had a chance to pick this book up, you are missing out. This is a great book about survival and overcoming obstacles. I know the movies are already out but please do not just watch the movies and forget about reading the books. This book is so much better and it gives you a wonderful experience when you read it. The visuals that were used are above anything that I have ever read and when  I was reading this book I really did feel like I was in the arena fighting for my life.

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June 2015 Book Haul


Books, books, and more books! Here are the books that I have gotten for myself this month and upcoming reviews that you can look forward too. First up is The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

Title: The Wrath and the Dawn 
Series: Wrath and the Dawn Series Book 1

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Synopsis:
The Wrath & The Dawn is a lush retelling of 1001 Nights. It follows Shahrzad as she seeks revenge for the murder of her best friend by The Monster King of Khorasan, Khalid.

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.



After reading the synopsis of this book I knew that I had to get it. I have started this book and so far it is very interesting. So far the details and the way the author has created her world is beyond what I could ever imagine. There is some magic in the book but I am not sure how the magic is created in the world. Hopefully the book will later explain it.

The next book that I will added to my reading list is A Court of Thorn and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. Just to let you all know I am obsessed with the tale of Beauty and the Beast and when I saw this book I had to add it to my bookshelf!

 


Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses 
Series: Court of Thorns and Roses Series Book 1

Author: Sarah J. Maas 

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Synopsis:
A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.


As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!

The cover alone grabbed my attention and by having this story be a retelling of Beauty and the Best, all in all, this book is a win. I can’t wait to read this book and its even a trilogy!

Another book that I went ahead and got was The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski. This is the second book to the Winner’s Curse trilogy. I have been waiting for this book! The first book, The Winner’s Curse, was amazing and if you haven’t read it yet I have no idea what you are waiting for.

Title: The Winner’s Crime 
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy Series Book 1

Author: Marie Rutkoski

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Synopsis:
Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

I hope this book is either as good or better than the first. I have very high expectations for this author since her first book was beautiful.

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is a book that I hear a lot of people talking about and every time I seem to go into the book store it is in my face telling me to buy it. So I broke down and got the book.

Title: An Ember in the Ashes 
Series: An Ember in the Ashes Series Book 1
Author: Sabaa Tahir 
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group

Synopsis:

Laia is a slave. 

 

Elias is a soldier. 

 

Neither is free.
 

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.”

I was told that this book is like “The Hunger Games” which is another reason why I went and got the book. I am very curious to see how this book is and how the plot plays out.
Overall, this seems like an interesting book haul! I will be posting reviews as I finish the books so stay tuned!

Review of The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Title: The Winner’s Curse
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy Series Book 1
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Square Fish

Synopsis:
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love… 


As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart. 


Rating: I am giving this book a 5 out of 5 Stars. First, let me start off by saying “WOW”. This book went beyond my expectations. I originally picked this book up because the cover caught my attention. However, as I started reading this book it was clear that this was a very well thought out world and characters. This is a story about a girl named Kestrel and she is a general’s daughter in an empire that loves war and conquering other territories. She then is at an auction and buys a slave by the name of Arin, who she finds a companion in, and something even more. The fact that this book showed the internal struggles of not only Kestrel but Arin as well helped to make the book that much better. The slow developing romance was also what made this amazing. I liked the fact that the two characters were able to get to know each other as well as develop a friendship even with the situation that it was. Without giving too much away, this is a great book and if you get the chance you should definitely add this to your must read list.  I enjoyed the overall experience of the book and the character development. A very well written book that you can’t put down the moment you start. If you are looking for something that is a dystopian, has fantasy, and romance book then this is one you should be reading.