Monday, 26 December 2016

Review: Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

by Erin Summerill
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: December 27th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

When I first came across Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill, my first thoughts before learning more about Britta and the plot were that of the name itself, and my growing curiosity in regards to it's backstory. My thoughts after reading the synopsis, additionally, completely hooked in me into adding Erin Summerill's first book in the Clash of Kingdoms series to my TBR list. I couldn't wait to step into the shoes of the young bounty hunter, get a feel for this new world Erin had created, and to journey along with Britta through her highs and lows.

Britta was an excellent female lead, one I greatly admired and found slightly familiar to Katniss (The Hunger Games) and Celaena (Throne of Glass). Being a high fantasy young adult title, Britta featured many of the, and I hate to say, 'cliched' personality traits I've come to know from several successful fantasy series', but Britta still, in my case, seemed to shine right through the pages into her own unique being. As a young girl who has lost her father, a legendary bounty hunter, to a mysterious killer, and who is also left to her own devices in the Ever Woods, I found myself being drawn and sympathetic towards her, not something I've always experienced with fantasy characters. Ever the Hunted, as a whole and plot-wise, served to be quite an entertaining and imaginative read, albeit a bit cliche in some aspects. I enjoyed the mystery and the chase behind it all and can say with absolute certainty that I will be staying tuned for the second in the Clash of Kingdoms series.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill, overall, was a highly entertaining YA fantasy with a promising start to a brand new series. I positively recommend the title to any reader with a hankering for a good fantasy and a need for a new world to explore. Erin Summerill will not disappoint!

4 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited without the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Review: Fire in You by J. Lynn

by J. Lynn
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 28th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
Jillian Lima’s whole world was destroyed in a span of a few hours. The same night her childhood love, Brock ‘the Beast’ Mitchell, broke her heart, her life was irrevocably altered by the hand of a stranger with a gun. It takes six years to slowly glue together the shattered pieces of her life, but Jillian is finally ready to stop existing in a past full of pain and regret. She takes a job at her father’s martial arts Academy and she’s going out on her first date since a failed relationship that was more yuck than yum. Jillian is determined to start living.

She just never expected Brock to be a part of her life again. But he’s firmly back in her life before she knows it, and not only is he older, he’s impossibly more handsome, more teasing and more everything. And when he sees Jillian, he’s no longer capable of thinking of her as the little girl who was his shadow growing up or the daughter of the man who gave him a second chance at life. He sees the woman who’d always been there for him, the one person who believed in him no matter what.

Brock knows she’s the one he should’ve made his, and what begins as a tentative friendship quickly turns to red-hot chemistry that sparks a flame that burns brighter than lust. Falling for Brock again risks more than her heart, because when the past sorrow-filled and guilt-ridden past resurfaces, and a web of lies threatens to rip them apart, the fallout could lay waste to everything they’ve fought to build together, and destroy the dreams of those they care most about.

I've been a Jennifer L. Armentrout (J. Lynn) fan since the moment I popped open an ARC of her first ever title, Half Blood. I fell head over heels for her style of writing, her imaginative characters, and the immense drama she brought to life in each and every unique world she created. When the first in her Wait for You series arrived, I was instantly sold! I immediately fell for Cam and Avery and adored their story to pieces. Now in book 6 of the series, Fire in You finally gives readers the tale of Brock and Jillian, two characters we've been lucky to meet in previous titles, but have always wondered about.

"I loved you when I was eight. I loved you when I was twelve. I loved you when I was twenty, and I... I love you now."

What can I say about Brock and Jillian? Hmmm....Well I loved them! I'd have to be crazy not to fall for the duo. Jillian, almost immediately, resonated with me. I could identify with her insecurities in addition to her strong will power. She had a powerful and traumatic past, but I absolutely adored her independence, reliability, and overall willingness to also be on board to help her family and others. Brock, in addition, wasn't the kind of character I had initially assumed he'd be. He was hard to like at first, but as Fire in You progressed, I started to see him as one of the best male leads in the Wait for You series.

Overall, Fire in You was an excellent addition to Jennifer's Wait for You series. Highly recommended for contemporary, romance, and new adult readers, you'll certainly fall just as hard for this likable duo.

4 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Review: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

by Trevor Noah
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 15th, 2016
Purchase: [Amazon] [Chapters/Indigo]
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love

I've been a huge fan of Trevor Noah since his taking over of the Daily Show. The now 32 year old instantly captured my attention with his wit, humor, and his incredible and personable way with people. It was expected that I'd be on board with his first book, Born a Crime, the moment Penguin Random House of Canada announced it at one of their book lover meets at their HQ. What I didn't know, however, or expect rather, was how emotionally moving the series of personal essays would truly be, nor how life changing the experience would become.

“We tell people to follow their dreams, but you can only dream of what you can imagine, and, depending on where you come from, your imagination can be quite limited.”

Trevor Noah's Born a Crime follows the path and tale of a young man born in South Africa, one of whom who's mere existence was a criminal act. Being born to a white Swiss Father and a black mother, something that was punishable by imprisonment, Trevor found himself living in hiding for most of his early life, put under strict rules in order not to be discovered. In this time, we begin to get to know Trevor's young point of view during this trying time, his ups, downs, and even his mischievous side. It was a powerful and moving roller coaster of events, not only about a young boy trying to understand why his existence was so punishable by the law, but also about a mother who would do absolutely anything to protect her son, but also her irrevocable and un-moving unconditional love. It was a positively inspiring and empowering title and I wholeheartedly recommend it to all who not only watch The Daily Show, but to those who inspire to not only change the world but challenge racism and sexism around the world.

5 / 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Fresh on the Shelf - December 2016 Book Releases + Giveaway

Happy December, Cupcakes!

Anyone else's Christmas wishlist FILLED with books? Forget everything else, I feel like I'm constantly eager for more and more titles, especially when it's time for Christmas! It's fair to say that A LOT of this month's upcoming releases will be on my wishlist, including the Red Queen and The Selection coloring books, not that I needed more coloring books.

So what's on your wishlist for Christmas? Anything you're particularly eager for? Be sure to let me know in the comment section below! Also, don't forget to bookmark or possibly even share (wink wink) this month's Fresh on the Shelf post. 

December 2016 Book Releases

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerhill
Crystal Storm by Morgan Rhodes
Black Moon by Romina Russell
Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
Spindle by E.K. Johnston
The Secret of a Heart Note by Stacey Lee
Spin the Sky by Jill MacKenzie
The Secret Life of a Witch by Jessica Sorensen

Rules of the Game by James J. Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton
Mind Games by Heather W. Petty
The Odds of Loving Grover Cleveland by Rebekah Crane
The Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill
The Raging Light by Estelle Laure
What's Broken Between Us by Alexis Bass
Alterations by Stephanie Scott
Iceling by Sasha Stephenson

Giveaway - (International)

Giveaway is for one book from the above December 2016 releases to be awarded to one reader. Open to anyone who can receive shipments from The Book Depository. I am not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged books received. Please fill in entries accordingly for a valid entry. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Reading!