Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Review: Pawn by Amiee Carter

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1)Synopsis:
YOU CAN BE A VII. IF YOU GIVE UP EVERYTHING.


For Kitty Doe, it seems like an easy choice. She can either spend her life as a III in misery, looked down upon by the higher ranks and forced to leave the people she loves, or she can become a VII and join the most powerful family in the country.


If she says yes, Kitty will be Masked—surgically transformed into Lila Hart, the Prime Minister's niece, who died under mysterious circumstances. As a member of the Hart family, she will be famous. She will be adored. And for the first time, she will matter.


There's only one catch. She must also stop the rebellion that Lila secretly fostered, the same one that got her killed …and one Kitty believes in. Faced with threats, conspiracies and a life that's not her own, she must decide which path to choose—and learn how to become more than a pawn in a twisted game she's only beginning to understand.


My Review: 

   Wow! That was so much fun to read. It was surprisingly original as well, I mean, with all the dystopias out there you'd think that there would be a small possibility for a new original story but here we are, and Amiee Carter sure didn't disappoint! And I actually read this book in one day, possibly if I am right in about 3 hours in total - Hey! I had the time ;) But here is the thing, I hate starting a series which all of its books aren't all released yet. It's a hella torture and I don't fancy it. Nonetheless, here I am, agonizing over when will the sequel be out and how will the story go and blah blah. So it's not as fun, waiting that is and I reckon that a lot of you would agree.

   Onto the story! So it starts out fairly normal, you know, like we'd expect from a dystopia where people are suffering and under the mercy of the government and all that. People were ranked and the higher their rank was, the better life they'd get. But everything literally changes when Kitty agrees to this something. and that is when the story really starts. And I liked how we got a taste of both, being one of the higher ranks as well as being one of lower, suffering ones which the author did brilliantly! However, this ranking thing highly reminds me of The Selection which surprised me for some reason, actually its because I read the Selection after Pawn and found this idea in both although The Selection was out first, yeah so you get the point.

   The world-building was really good in a lot of aspects but we don't get as much as we need from it to get fully immersed in it and it was also the slightest bit odd. I am looking forward for more of everything in this story; the world-building, the love story - possibly a love triangle which I am excited to see how that will turn out to be and hoping it won't be a cheesy one - so yeah, everything. And although there wasn't really much of a cliffhanger, it ended peacefully to an extent and that I appreciated.





   The plot was intriguing. A bit twisted. A bit complicated. A bit bloody but without that much blood. It was thrilling to say the least. The sudden turn of events was not something that I expected. A lot of characters were there, I felt but I handled quite well keeping up so it wasn't confusing. All of the characters were well-written and I liked Kitty - although I despised the name - but unfortunately she didn't stand out enough as I wished she'd be, she was a normal heroine, one that I read hundred times before. She didn't have that much of a unique voice. However, there was this particularly this one character ( Kenox ) whom I felt we were a bit distant from. I wish we got more of him because he was a noteworthy character in the story and played a huge role but guess we won't get that until later, in the sequel. Perhaps some altering chapters between him and Kitty? Too much, maybe but we'll see.

   Overall, Pawn was a refreshing read for all those fellow dystopia lovers out there. As it was an enjoyable and thrilling read for all. It was a story about sacrifice, decisions, love, loyalty, and greed. A creative plot with heartfelt characters written exquisitely by Amiee Carter. So if dystopias were your cup of tea, the I'd whole-heartedly recommend this book for you!

Title: Pawn
Author: Amiee Carter
Series: The Blackcoat Rebellion #1
Source: NetGalley ( For Review )
Published: November 26th 2013 by Harlequin Teen
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5 

"Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with an e-copy"

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes" -- Marcel Proust
xoxo, Mariam

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Book Review: Forgotten by Cat Patrick

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Synopsis:
Each night at precisely 4:33 am, while sixteen-year-old London Lane is asleep, her memory of that day is erased. In the morning, all she can "remember" are events from her future. London is used to relying on reminder notes and a trusted friend to get through the day, but things get complicated when a new boy at school enters the picture. Luke Henry is not someone you'd easily forget, yet try as she might, London can't find him in her memories of things to come.


When London starts experiencing disturbing flashbacks, or flash-forwards, as the case may be, she realizes it's time to learn about the past she keeps forgetting-before it destroys her future.











My Review:

   That was such a good book! Like seriously, I didn't expect it to be that good but yeah, it was. And the reason why is basically because it was fun as well as interesting and the characters were definitely a major factor in how this story turned out to be. The concept of this book I found at first a bit odd yet intriguing but then I grew to being familiar with it throughout the story and I really liked it to the say the least!

What I Liked:
  • The love story. IT WAS THE SWEETEST! Together they were just spellbinding and individually they were also so lovable. Luke was like the perfect boyfriend and London had this attractiveness to her character and I loved them both.
  • The characters in general were all well-crafted and I salute Cat for that. They were lovable as well authentic and they greatly added to the story.
  • The plot itself was really fun. One where you can sit and read while having a good time and that is what you'd want from a story, right?!
  • The twist! Oh yeah, there was one and a unique one too and boy! did it not make this story as awesome as it was. Because basically what it was that London had a messed up memory where she lives her life day by day and her memories are the future... or what she thought it all was. And as it odd as it may seem, it kinda sounds differently or less odd when you read it.
What I Didn't Like: 
  • We didn't get much of a detailed ending as to how things ended which I usually don't mind but in this book it was kind of a bummer, just not as satisfying.
   Overall, I really did enjoy reading this book. A nice storyline with an engagingly sweet love story. The twist on this book was new as well as witty in the sense that it went well with the plot. The writing style was smooth and easy to follow. Moreover, the whole story just kind of lingered in my mind even after finishing it, guess I was sad that it ended. So, I do recommend this book for all of you contemporary novel readers out there ;)

Title: Forgotten
Author: Cat patrick
Series: Stand-alone
Source: Owned
Published: June 7th 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5  

Yay! So as promised I posted a review, school is still not in full force yet so I had quite some time to read and write the review :)
xoxo, Mariam

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Book Review: Archetype by M.D. Waters

Synopsis:
نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪archetype book‬‏Introducing a breathtakingly inventive futuristic suspense novel about one woman who rebels against everything she is told to believe.

Emma wakes in a hospital, with no memory of what came before. Her husband, Declan, a powerful, seductive man, provides her with new memories, but her dreams contradict his stories, showing her a past life she can’t believe possible: memories of war, of a camp where girls are trained to be wives, of love for another man. Something inside her tells her not to speak of this, but she does not know why. She only knows she is at war with herself.



Suppressing those dreams during daylight hours, Emma lets Declan mold her into a happily married woman and begins to fall in love with him. But the day Noah stands before her, the line between her reality and dreams shatters.

In a future where women are a rare commodity, Emma fights for freedom but is held captive by the love of two men—one her husband, the other her worst enemy. If only she could remember which is which. . . .

The first novel in a two-part series, Archetype heralds the arrival of a truly memorable character—and the talented author who created her.


My Review: 

   That was hella good! I was superbly impressed with this story, for I didn't expect it to be that good. But, it was and it exceeded my expectations and I am happy to say I loved this book. The closest book I can compare this book with is The Host, they are still completely different stories but I can see that those who enjoyed the Host can enjoy Archetype as well. Furthermore, the premise of this book was you'd call a thriller, I was hooked from page one.

   The plot, Phew! That is just another thing. I was honestly never bored, always at the edge of my seat, for the story was just packed with incidents, twists and turns. The story as a whole was just enjoyable and thrilling I would say. There were some scenes in this story that would just get my heart to squeeze a bit. I thought it was really good and full of incidents, an actual story. The author just did a fantastic job putting it all together. The author's writing was what you'd call sophisticated with a nice and wide range of vocabulary but still easy to follow. 

   The characters, I liked the characters, especially Emma and shockingly, Declan, I mean he was still a sweet-heart. I think the characters were well-written, not the best but good and they contributed a big part in making this story as good as it was.  I am also looking forward to knowing more of Noah in the sequel but I can say that I'll love him.


   As for the romantic aspect in this story, I would say that it is yet to blossom in the sequel. We could see snippets of a love story, I don't know what else to call it but it fitted the story and went well with the plot. And the ending was a brilliant, kinda complicated one and I didn't see it coming but I loved despite it being a cliffhanger but now, I just can't wait to read the next book. 


   I liked the idea behind the book, it was thoughtful in my opinion, it kinda reflects a couple of things we have in real world. And although part of the main idea was a bit too science-fictiony for me but I didn't mind it too much, it was still interesting and very well-executed. And what was even more twisty was that Emma fell in love with two but not in the sense that would come to one's mind, it wasn't as cheesy as I made it sound but you'll have to read the book to get what I am talking about, enough to say that it added to the story some heat. 

   Overall, this book guys was an amazing, heartfelt story with a main idea that we do not see very often. I was unexpectedly happy with what I found in this book, from the characters to the story to the writing, the author definitely did pull it off all together astoundingly. I had a fun time reading it. So if you are looking for a good fantasy/scientific fiction/dystopian novel with a bit of romance and an entertaining and intriguing storyline, then I'd say to definitely give this book a try.


Title: Archetype
Author: M.D. Waters
Series: Archetype #1
Source: Review Copy
Release Date: February 6th 2014 by Dutton Adult
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 4/5

*Thanks to Dutton Books for providing me with a review e-copy*

Happy Reading!
xoxo, Mariam

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Book Review: Shift by Em Bailey

12654775Synopsis:
Olive Corbett is not crazy. Not anymore.

She obediently takes her meds and stays under the radar at school. After “the incident,” Olive just wants to avoid any more trouble, so she knows the smartest thing is to stay clear of the new girl who is rumored to have quite the creepy past.

But there’s no avoiding Miranda Vaile. As mousy Miranda edges her way into the popular group, right up to the side of queen bee Katie – and pushes the others right out – only Olive seems to notice that something strange is going on. Something almost . . . parasitic. Either Olive is losing her grip on reality, or Miranda Vaile is stealing Katie’s life.

But who would ever believe crazy Olive, the girl who has a habit of letting her imagination run away with her? And what if Olive is the next target?

A chilling psychological thriller that tears through themes of identity, loss, and toxic friendship, Shift will leave readers guessing until the final pages.


My Review: 

   Woah! That was peculiar! No really, this book was quite different from probably anything that I have read before. I mean, aside from the intensity as well as the unusualness of this book, I would say that this book was pretty good. The first few chapters were somewhat boring or not as eventful as the rest of the book, it started out fairly normal, nothing out of the real world and then BOOM! well, not boom because it kinda came out gradually but enough to say guys that there is a paranormal twist on this story which I'll be telling you what I thought of it later on in the review ;)

   So first of all, I really liked the story from Olive's - the protagonist - point of view, it was definitely something and the author's writing style was also a smooth one and I found it easy to follow. In addition that she was capable of writing her characters pretty well, like she profoundly created them while perfectly sticking to the specific theme of each character. 

   The concept which this story was built on, imitation, was actually portrayed in a way that intrigued me, it was a bit weird as well as spooky but still original. So the paranormal aspect of this story was a blast to read and took the story to a whole another level, that's for sure. However, there were also some moments in this book where I was SO close to giving up on finishing the story, I guess because the story frustrated me at some parts that I didn't want to complete reading but I am glad I did because it was good.

   Overall, it was a good book with a unique idea. I can say that the chance of coming across a story with a similar idea is a really low one. It was a story about imitation, death, friendship, love, family, finding safety, strength and hope. So I'd say to read it just for a change of scenery, away from all the vampires, werewolves and whatnot. That, and the fact that it was fun. I mean, this book can definitely still be a hit or a miss but I would say that if you are a fan of paranormal novels then go ahead and give this book a try.


Title: Shift
Author: Em Bailey
Series: Stand-alone
Source: Owned
PublishedMay 22nd 2012 by EgmontUSA
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Rating: 3/5  

"Imitation is the highest form of flattery." Charles Caleb Colton
xoxo, Mariam

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Book Review: Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Maybe Someday (Maybe, #1)
Synopsis: 


At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.

Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can't take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

A passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance, Maybe Someday will immerse readers in Sydney’s tumultuous world from the very first page.


Review:


No words is enough to describe how compelling and heartfelt this story was! I mean, Colleen Hoover, ma'am, you're off the hook. This story, this plot, these characters, this romance, phew!

However, this story had something, something that is surprising but at the same time gave the story the "unique" flavored romance that it had but unfortunately I'll have to keep it a secret so that I wouldn't ruin it for you, but enough to say that it will make sit back a moment for it settle in. And I believe that this twist was what the first thing that made me fall in love with the love story.

Second came the story-line itself which hooked me up whichI thought was well-thought, sweet and exciting and the "music" theme that the author adopted in this story really added to the story as well, giving it a backbone..

Third was the characters, mostly the two main characters though, they were just authentic and admirable, they weren't perfect in every aspect, but still, I just loved them and they made the story as awesome as it was and that was enough for me.

And lastly, the writing and the author herself, perfect as always. Colleen Hoover's writing have never failed me, not then and definitely not now. It just served the story well and she knew how to get this story going, her writing was simply smooth as in easy to follow.

However, the ending was a bit way too traditional and not much of a "special " closing to such a unique love story but other than that I loved it.

So overall, for all romantics out there and anyone who is interested in a good, heartfelt love story then I recommend Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, not only was it exciting but also well-written and simply sweet.

Rating: 5/5

...Mariam

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Blog Tour: The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki

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Synopsis:
A historical A riveting historical novel about Peggy Shippen Arnold, the cunning wife of Benedict Arnold and mastermind behind America’s most infamous act of treason.

Everyone knows Benedict Arnold—the infamous Revolutionary War General who betrayed America and fled to the British as history’s most notorious turncoat. Many know Arnold’s co-conspirator, Major John André, who was apprehended with Arnold’s documents in his boots and hanged at the orders of General George Washington. But few know of the integral third character in the plot; a charming and cunning young woman, who not only contributed to the betrayal but orchestrated it.



Socialite Peggy Shippen is half Benedict Arnold’s age when she seduces the war hero during his stint as Military Commander of Philadelphia. Blinded by his young bride’s beauty and wit, Arnold does not realize that she harbors a secret: loyalty to the British. Nor does he know that she hides a past romance with the handsome British spy John André. Peggy watches as her husband, crippled from battle wounds and in debt from years of service to the colonies, grows ever more disillusioned with his hero, Washington, and the American cause. Together with her former lover and her disaffected husband, Peggy hatches the plot to deliver West Point to the British and, in exchange, win fame and fortune for herself and Arnold.



Told from the perspective of Peggy’s maid, whose faith in the new nation inspires her to intervene in her mistress’s affairs even when it could cost her everything, The Traitor’s Wife brings these infamous figures to life, illuminating the sordid details and the love triangle that nearly destroyed the American fight for freedom.



Guest Post:

How are Clara and Peggy similar? How are they different? Which one is the “main character” of The Traitor’s Wife?

I think Clara’s ongoing struggle throughout the course of the novel is to become the leading lady of her own life. As an employer Peggy Shippen Arnold is demanding, difficult, and she casts a very large shadow. Clara has to learn, ultimately, to stand up to this overbearing figure before she can take the reins of her own future.

 It was fun to explore the ways in which these two women, with their different resources and perspectives, would have navigated the events into which they were thrust. In some ways, Clara and Peggy are similar. They are the same age. They resemble one another physically. Look how easy it is for Clara to masquerade as Peggy’s sister once she has the right hairdo and the right dress. Both of their fates are inextricably tied to the fate of not only the Arnold family, but also the new country.


 And yet, they occupy completely different worlds. Clara begins the novel as a naïve, friendless servant who has never known anyone so sophisticated and worldly and charming. Clara has never worn fancy dresses, or entertained gentlemen suitors, or even slept in her own bed. That is why, at first, Clara is so enamored of Peggy Shippen. Clara’s new mistress is a popular, witty, fashionable force who has all of Philadelphia society at her feet, and Peggy not only wants Clara to work for her, but she seems to want Clara as a friend. Clara is, in her own way, just as seduced by Peggy as many of the other characters in the novel are. Given the social and economic disparities between the two of them, it’s clear why Clara becomes pretty much entirely dependent on Peggy.

 But just as Clara is reliant on her mistress, so too is Peggy dependent on Clara. She invites Clara out with her; she asks for Clara on her wedding day; she moves Clara with her to set up her new home. You see time and again that when Peggy is in a particularly tough spot, it’s Clara for whom she asks. But then, as Peggy’s luck worsens, it’s Clara who suffers. It’s the classic case of venting one’s anger on the person nearest, the person trusted so implicitly that one takes his or her presence entirely for granted. That’s why, even after everything devolves with the plot to turn over West Point, Peggy reacts so violently to the idea of Clara leaving her employ. She can’t fathom the possibility of Clara not always being there. 

Ultimately, I would say that Clara is the leading lady of The Traitor’s Wife, even though, at times throughout the story, she seems like little more than a pawn. A supporting character in Peggy and Benedict Arnold’s plots. But Clara does grow into herself by the end. She sees the life she wants – a life of independence, a life with Caleb, and a life far away from Peggy. Clara does what is necessary to achieve that life. But not without her biggest challenge yet – outsmarting the indomitable Peggy Shippen Arnold.


Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


:
About Allison Pataki

ALLISON PATAKI grew up in upstate New York, in the same neighborhood where Benedict and Peggy Arnold once lived. Allison attended Yale University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor's Degree in English. While at Yale, Allison received Distinction in the Major from the English department and served as a campus reporter and news anchor for the student-run campus television program, YTV News.
The daughter of former New York State Governor George E. Pataki, Allison was inspired to write The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America based on the rich Revolutionary War history of her hometown in New York State’s Hudson Highlands.
Allison spent several years writing for television and digital news outlets prior to transitioning to fiction. The Traitor’s Wife: A Novel of Benedict Arnold and the Plan to Betray America is Allison’s first novel.
Allison lives in Chicago with her husband.


Hope you guys enjoyed! And thank you Allison Pataki for writing us this fantastic guest post!
 And don't forget to enter the amazing GIVEAWAY for the chance of winning a Kindle Paperwhite (International) 



Happy Reading!

xoxo, Mariam
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