Friday, December 19, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich



Rite of Rejection by Sarah Negovetich


http://www.sarahnegovetich.com/p/author.htmlStraight-laced, sixteen-year-old Rebecca can’t wait for her Acceptance. A fancy ball, eligible bachelors, and her debut as an official member of society. Instead, the Machine rejects Rebecca. Labeled as a future criminal, she’s shipped off to a life sentence in a lawless penal colony.
A life behind barbed wire fences with the world’s most dangerous people terrifies Rebecca. She reluctantly joins a band of misfit teens in a risky escape plan, complete with an accidental fiancĂ© she’s almost certain she can learn to love.
But freedom comes with a price. To escape a doomed future and prove her innocence Rebecca must embrace the criminal within.
Available now at Amazon, B&N, Kobo & iTunes


Review:


The Good


The concept of this story is fantastic. In the beginning, I was wondering how it would really feel to go to a ball with dance cards and attempt to meet your future mate, or be assigned someone at a certain age if you couldn't find one. It reminds me a bit of Mulan. For the modern woman, that is mind-boggling enough, but then trying to imagine what life would be like if you were stripped away from your family and thrown into a prison for crimes you've yet committed, is definitely something that had me contemplating how I would feel in the same situation. 

Becca as a main character in this one makes sense to me. She's grown up in this world that molds women to be a wife and she's quite mild-mannered and follows the rules. She grows as a character the way that you would expect and is really the one that you come to know and can connect with the most as a reader. Do you get frustrated with her at times? Sure, but I get frustrated with myself for my own choices sometimes too.

The writing doesn't gloss over hard issues and circumstances and parts of it were hard to read, but that's why it felt more real. 

I loved that everything was not as it seemed. When an author can surprise me in any way, it's great.


The Bad


I was left wanting more information. I also really wanted a more in-depth look at the world and The Cardinal.

I love secondary characters in stories, and Rite of Rejection didn't have those well cultivated sidekicks that I enjoy so much.

Also, as a mother, I had the HARDEST time accepting that these parents just let the government steal their children away from them without wanting to rise up and do something about it. You don't mess with my child! However, this is a dystopian (I've had this problem with other reads before) and I have to remind myself that the way the characters work and the world they live in is supposed to be different than today's.


The Romance


There is romance. At one point it had me clenching my teeth because I thought I had a love-rectangle on my hands. It starts with very tiny things that I noticed in the writing hinting at different characters that build up, but things ended up being handled there nicely.


Conclusion


A very enjoyable story. I'm writing this immediately after finishing so I'm not sure how I feel about that ending. I also appreciate that Negovetich does surprise me. I would read a follow-up book. Recommended.



#RiteOfRejection Reader Survival Pack

Prize pack includes:

Chapter 17 tissues (because that's when you'll need them), a jumbo sized chocolate bar (a hot commodity inside the PIT), an orange scented candle (courtesy of Rebecca's fondest memory from home, a dandelion pen (as featured on the cover), hand-crafted Molly bag (these are used extensively by the main characters), and a $10 Amazon gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the Author


Sarah Negovetich knows you don't know how to pronounce her name and she's okay with that.

Her first love is Young Adult novels, because at seventeen the world is your oyster. Only oysters are slimy and more than a little salty; it's accurate if not exactly motivational. We should come up with a better cliché.

Sarah divides her time between writing YA books that her husband won’t read and working with amazing authors as an agent at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Her life’s goal is to be only a mildly embarrassing mom when her kids hit their teens.

You can learn more about Sarah and her books at www.SarahNegovetich.com or follow her antics on Twitter @SarahNego.
 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [45]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

    Best Minerva McGonagall line


Oh I just love her! One of the very first things that comes to mind is the hilarious comment she made in the movie after performing Piertotum Locomotor and she says, "I always wanted to use that spell." I thought it was brilliant that they brought out a little of her child-like adventurous side.



I also really enjoy the conversation she has with Wood:

"Potter, this is Oliver Wood. Wood – I've found you a Seeker."
Wood's expression changed from puzzlement to delight.
"Are you serious, Professor?"
"Absolutely," said Professor McGonagall crisply. "The boy's a natural. I've never seen anything like it. Was that your first time on a broomstick, Potter?"
Harry nodded silently…
"He caught that thing in his hand after a fifty-foot dive… Didn't even scratch himself…"

That's the first we saw of her not being the demanding, strictly-by-the-rules teacher. She completely ignores the fact that Harry just broke school rules and instead revels in the fact that she found an awesome Seeker for the house Quidditch team. I love this look into her character as a Quidditch fan.

Another of my favorites is when she shows Umbridge who's boss:

"False hope?" repeated Professor McGonagall, still refusing to look round at Professor Umbridge. "He has achieved high marks in all his Defence Against the Dark Arts tests –"
"I'm terribly sorry to have to contradict you, Minerva, but as you will see from my not, Harry has been achieving very poor results in his classes with me –"
"I should have made my meaning plainer," said Professor McGonagall, turning at last to look at Umbridge directly in the eyes. "He has achieved high marks in all Defence Against the Dark Arts tests set by a competent teacher."

Which McGonagall line is your favorite?


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Review: Divergent Series by Veronica Roth



Divergent (Goodreads summary)

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her. 

Insurgent (Goodreads Summary)

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Allegiant (Goodreads Summary)

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Told from a riveting dual perspective, Allegiant, by #1 New York Times best-selling author Veronica Roth, brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion while revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions of readers in Divergent and Insurgent


"Peter would probably throw a party if I stopped breathing."

"Well," he says, "I would only go if there was cake.”


Divergent is a series following the story of Tris. After war plagued the world, there was a group that broke into 5 factions that embody all things virtuous.  Candor values honesty, Abnegation honor selflessness, Dauntless are brave, Amity believe in peace and harmony, and the Erudite seek knowledge.  When children turn 16, they get to choose which faction they will live their lives by.   After learning a big deadly secret about herself during her aptitude test, she now has a big decision to make.  On Tris’ choosing day, her choice will forever change the course of her life.   She finds herself struggling to figure who she is, and whether to follow what others want or expect of her.    Her world is changing.  There are a lot of behind the scenes deals and secrets being made.  With the looming war, what side will Tris choose to side with?

I am breaking this review down a little differently.  I am reviewing it as a series as a whole instead of individual books.  As such I have to be a little vague so I do not give away any plot points.   However, I will have a short review on each book.

GREATNESS ALL AROUND


This series as a whole is a very strong well written series (with the exception of book 3- we will stick a pin in that and come back).  I read the 3 main books and the 4th book that is a compilation of short stories.    I must say from page one I was HOOKED.  I couldn’t put the books down.    The story was different, fresh, and fast paced.   Beatrice struggles with who she was raised to be, and who she feels she is deep down inside.   You can see her natural transformation from Beatrice into Tris.  She is a very strong lead character, but still weak and vulnerable enough to be believable and relatable.  She teams up with Four, a strong Dautless leader.  I loved loved loved them as a team.  They are both strong characters, but they have a weakness when it comes to each other.  The story about these different factions is unique.  It seems to be a good system at first, but people will be people.  Anytime there is someone in power, there are always secrets and power hungry people.   So it is no surprise that war is inevitable.   This series will appeal to everyone.  There is love, comedy, action, and even sadness.  It is a roller coaster of a ride.  And I love roller coasters.  A lot of people hated the way the series ended.  I however enjoyed it (it’s the one thing that saved the last book for me). I love authors that aren’t afraid to take risks and do the unexpected.

The first book was good but definitely the set up for all the non-stop action in book 2.  Insurgent was my absolute favorite in the series.  It was back to back-to-back action.   I read it in a matter of a few hours.   Allegiant was not my favorite, but it was still a good read.   Four is a collection of short stories that mostly follow Four’s story before he met Tris.


“Sometimes crying or laughing are the only options left, and laughing feels better right now.” 

OH THERE WILL BE FAILURES


With all the greatness in this series what is its flaws?  Well, I would say none until I got to book 3.  It was VERY hard to get into.  The story line kinda fell flat after such an explosive story in the previous book.  Then it was told from Tris’ point of view in some chapters and Four's in others.  That is not a problem if the author gives each character a unique voice.  That was just not the case with this one.  I constantly had to flip back to the first of the chapter to see whose point of view I was reading from.  It was a slow moving story toward the end.  I was so expecting the same greatness from the first 2 books.


 “Politeness is deception in pretty packaging.”

OVERALL


I love love love this series.   First new series I have started in a while that I just couldn’t put down.  It started out with as a flaming hot light.  It does kinda fizzle in the last one and then picks right back up toward the end.  The movie does not do the book justice.  This series will appeal to all ages and all genres.

“I feel like someone breathed new air into my lungs. I am not Abnegation. I am not Dauntless. 
I am Divergent.”  


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Cover Scramble [98]


Let's have some fun! I am going to post covers on here every Sunday that are scrambled up graphically, making it hard to tell what cover it is. I would like your guesses on what cover you think I've posted. I won't answer you until I'm posting the next one to let you know if you are right, allowing others to guess as well. Some will be hard, and others may be easy. Let me know in the comments if you'd like some more hints and I'll offer some more if no one guesses it correctly.


I'm changing up the format a little bit! I am going to be pulling covers off the Most Popular Page on Goodreads.

















Friday, December 12, 2014

Review: My Delicate Destruction (Wolfegang #1) by Jillian Ashe

Magic Strikes (Kate Daniels #3) by Ilona Andrews
Publisher: March 14th 2014 - (first published October 11th 2013)
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Format: Kindle novella
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

My name is Katerina Anderson. In 2016, a drug called Hope was created. Administered during suspended animation, the drug was supposed to cure the cancer my twin brother and I had. When an earthquake leveled Los Angeles, we were presumed dead.

Forgotten, we slept.

The day I woke up, I realized everything had changed. My brother was missing, and everyone else I knew was dead. That drug and all its false promises were the beginning of my delicate destruction.


“He's awake.”


The Good


This is a novella setting up the characters and the world. I knew that going in so I also knew that it would be a short read to wet my appetite for the next full-length book in the series. Ashe sets up the characters of Katerina and Kris who are twins in their teenage bubble of friends and hobbies. The writing is delivered in a way that all the important information is provided, and not a lot of unneccessary detail. You can tell where the story is going just by reading the blurb, but I was surprised at everything that happened before the big life-changing moment.

There is a lot of room for potential in this series. Kat gets thrust ahead to the year 2518 due to what happens in this novella, and while I'm given a glimpse of what things are like in that year, I'm very excited to further explore what's going on around her in this new environment.


The Bad


Obviously it's very short, but I already knew that. I have the second one to dive into now so that's not a problem. I'm a very open-minded person so how technology and the 'how's' and 'why's' are handled in books have never bothered me. I've never had an issue with how it's done because it's all up to the author's imagination...futuristic sci-fi worlds are the construct of the one writing since no one can truly tell them that they are wrong. If you are a big stickler for how it's all done in a sci-fi book, I honestly can't tell you whether you'd be ok with it or not since I don't dive deep into those areas.


The Romance


There actually is a bit of romance in My Delicate Destruction. Kat has an on and off again boyfriend that she's really enamored with.  It makes for a few bittersweet moments that tug at the heart a little bit.


Conclusion


Short but good introduction into the Wolfegang Series. It leaves me thrilled about all the room this series has to play with and grow. Recommended for those who enjoy YA, don't mind novellas, and like a good sci-fi read now and then.




Excerpts

"What year is it?" he asked. 
The men shared a look before answering, "2510." 
They were in so much trouble. "Five hundred years," he muttered under his breath.

"We've tried this before, Kevin," I reminded him.
"I know," he said, putting an arm around my waist and pulling me closer.
"And it didn't work out." I tried to remember why I was bringing this up, but his body was making it hard to think.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Harry Potter Moment of the Week [44]


This is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts.The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! She is picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free! All she asks is to link back to her blog :). There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

   Favorite Dragon Species




Hahaha! So is it crazy that my favorite dragon species all stems from the way Barty Crouch says its name? I just have so much fun hearing him exclaim over the Chinese Fireball :D

From Harry Potter Wikia :

"The Fireball is scarlet and smooth scaled with a fringe of golden spikes around its snub-snouted face and extremely protuberant eyes. Its name is derived from the mushroom-shaped flame that comes from its nostrils when angered, along with the large mushroom-shaped flame it shoots from its mouth. The Fireball weighs between two and four tons. The Fireball is aggressive but, unlike other dragons, it is more tolerant of its own kind, and will sometimes consent to sharing its territory with up to two other dragons."

What is your favorite dragon species?


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: The Mainframe (The New Agenda #3) by Simone Pond


Published: November 25th 2014 by Ktown Waters
Genre: dystopia
Format: ebook
Source: provided for honest review
Goodreads Summary

Book three picks up in the year 2345, seventeen years after the disappearance of former city center leader, Chief Morray. There has been peace among the West Coast regions for years, but in Ojai Village there is very little peace between Ava and her sixteen-year old daughter Grace. Both have different ideas about what it takes to maintain independence. Ava spends hours inside the mainframe searching for Morray, while Grace focuses on the art of combat. Grace’s dream is to get accepted into the Silicon Valley Academy and become a soldier like her father General Joseph Strader. During tryouts for the academy Grace comes across some digital footprints inside the mainframe, convincing Ava that Morray has returned to seek revenge and reclaim control. When Ava goes missing, Grace assembles a motley crew of cadets to go on a search and rescue mission up north in Seattle to save her mother and take down Morray. Grace soon learns that independence comes at a price.

Buy The Mainframe (The New Agenda #3) by Simone Pond Today at Amazon

"Ready for what, Ava? You've spent all these years preparing for Morray's return, and what has that done for you? You've locked yourself in another prison, and you've been holding your daughter hostage."


The Good


So having enjoyed the first two books in the series I was looking forward to this one. Ava is still hunting for Morray and we get to know her daughter now 16 years old and determined to get away from her over protective mother. I liked seeing how city center and surrounding villages have integrated into each other. I also enjoy how each book provided enough information that you wouldn't be lost if you accidentally read them out of order.

The Bad


I feel I have more questions now after having read the 3rd book then I had answered by reading it. Like I have no idea why they wouldn't have searched Morray's hideout in the sixteen years they've been looking for him.


The Romance


Ava and Joseph are still together. Grace, their daughter, experiences her first crush. And then gets to experience having that crush be around constantly creating awkward situations.

Conclusion


If you liked the first two books in the series or enjoy a strong dystopian environment with a creepy villain then I highly recommend this series. The strong heroine out to prove herself and protect the ones she loves doesn't hurt either. While Grace is a bit of a whiney teen in the beginning, watching her grow into her own really makes this part of the series.




Excerpts

Grace pried herself away. "When were you going to tell me? On the train?
"I wanted to tell you, but I couldn't find the right time. And I didn't want to distract you from tryouts."
"You're ruining everything for me!" Grace yelled.
"My going to the academy has nothing to do with you."
"Can't I have just one thing to myself without you hovering over me?"


"We're not breaking any rules if nobody knows about it,"


"Congrats on team leader, “she said, trying to keep it professional.
"I'm surprised you didn't request a team change," he joked.
"That was an option?" she blurted, without thinking.
His smile faded.

Buy The Mainframe (The New Agenda #3) by Simone Pond Today at Amazon


About Simone Pond:



Though I love writing about the future, I live in current day Los Angeles with my husband and our Boston Terrier. Check out my dystopian fiction series, which includes: The City Center, The New Agenda and The Mainframe.



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