#BookReview The Darkening by Maggie L Wood

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The Darkening was a thrilling sequel to the Divided Realms series.

I am so dishearted when I couldn’t find the third book of this series, because I was OBSESSED with this book series back in the day. I went to Borders (in the states) and bought the first two books. They were two of the first books I bought with my own money at a bookstore. Then, Borders left that mall and I thought I would never find the books again (since my local Canadian bookstores didn’t carry them, and I wasn’t aware at the time that I could order books).

The game of chess was the focus of this series, and that was so fascinating to me. There’s good and evil, light and dark, and pulls towards each direction.

The world building within this universe was fantastic, and to me it’s a definite must read.

Overall, I really want to pick up this series again but with the final book (it says it’s available online as an ebook but I’ve yet to find it. I’ll have to look a little harder!). Maggie L Wood was so talented and I really hope she writes more and has more books come out. The premise alone was unique!!

Five out of five stars.

 

Comment below your favourite YA novel!

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

Tweet me with the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #DividedRealms if you read this review!

You can find Maggie L Wood on her website: http://www.maggielwood.com/

Check out The Darkening on Amazon:

Amazon.com The Darkening

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#BookReview Stake That by Mari Mancusi

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Mari Mancusi’s 2nd novel in the Blood Coven Vampire series is an excellent read.

I fell in love with this series when I was much, much younger than I am now (aka high school era), but rereading this series has made me fall in love with Mari all over again. And with the introduction of Once Upon a Vampire into this series (kind of…it’s in the same universe, so it’s the same series, I geuss?) I had to go back and reread to get a feel of these books again (and just because I love them. I can’t help it!).

This book is full of sassy, snarky teenage angst with a splash of vampires, blood and comedy. It may be labelled YA, but it’s a great read for anyone who doesn’t want something that is going to make your brain explode. It’s an easy read with a fast yet simple plot and it’s absolutely delightful. I was hooked when I first read them, and I’m hooked reading them yet again. Mari has a great style and tone in her writing that makes it really easy to read her books, fall in love with the characters and stay interested.

I find these stories have an easy to follow plot and it’s well thought out. It doesn’t get boring since it keeps moving as a fast yet leisurely pace. They are thoroughly enjoyable at any age, and don’t require any advanced theorizing. This book follows Rayne’s story, and it’s a wonderful read and continuation of this series. It’s a definite recommendation from me!!

Keep in mind – this series is narrated by sassy, silly teenagers who over exaggerate life’s problems (like any other teenager, let’s be honest guys. I thought the world was going to end in high school too when everything didn’t go perfect!). So, you’ve been warned!! It’s not a serious adult novel, it’s a fun YA novel that adults can read and enjoy as well.

Overall, this series is fun! I really hope Mari continues on writing more books within this universe because it’s nice reading something light-hearted and sweet!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or her website! Mari Mancusi’s Website

She can also be found on Twitter! @MariMancusi

Blood Covens also has it’s own website for your viewing pleasure!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

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Here’s yet another #ThrowbackThursday book review filled with cute, vampire goodness from my teenage years!! I was so excited to find these books hiding in the back of my book shelf and I grabbed a random one! Here’s the review:

 

Alyxandra Harvey has a hit with the Drake Chronicles.

Bleeding Hearts is the fourth novel in the Drake Chronicles (one of my many vampire-based book obsessions). Each book follows one of the Drake children and their adventures and romances. Each book seems to get better compared to the last – in character development, plot and story lines and the romances. It was really nice to see Alyxandra Harvey grow with each book that came out. Knowing that this series came to an end was truly heart breaking, even if this series came to a perfect end.

This book changes point of views throughout, which can be distracting if you aren’t paying attention but I think it adds more to this novel. I liked seeing the different angles of the plot from each of the characters!

This wasn’t my favourite book in the series (in fact, it was my least favourite) but it was still an excellent addition. Everyone has their favourite character (*cough* Quinn *cough*) and Conor and Christabel just weren’t my favourite. They are still funny, fantastic and nerdy characters in this star line-up cast of characters and their story is absolutely delightful! They just don’t measure up in my eyes to some of the others.

There are many nerdy references in here, and that touched my nerdy heart. It’s always fun when you can actually understand the references – Star Wars, Firefly, etc.

Overall, this book is a recommended read from me. It’s a cute, romantic vampire novel in an absolutely adorable series that I was and am still obsessed with. Hopefully in the near future I pick up Alyxandra’s new books!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Alyxandra Harvey on Goodreads: Alyxandra Harvey on Goodreads

Or visit her website! AlyxandraHarvey.com

Or maybe, give her a shoutout on Twitter! @AlyxandraH

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith

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Time for a Throwback Thursday! Here’s a old LJ Smith classic for a Quick Book Review!!

 

 

The Forbidden Game by LJ Smith is my favourite series of books by this author.

I was heartbroken when I ran out of LJ Smith books to read – LJ Smith has been one of my favourite YA novelists in my lifetime, and it’s always hard to put her novels down. I’m addicting to her style of writing (even as an adult).

This book was definitely your typical YA series all wrapped up in one – teenage characters with teenage problems, but are the special people that have to deal with this specific problem, “The Game”. The final book in this series does tie up most of the questions with in this book, but I still wanted more! While the characters might not grow much within this series, there was definitely room for more antics and character development for this intriguing cast. Especially our villain, who was the character I liked the most (even though he was a baddy…).

Overall, this series is an engaging YA read that holds up over time (I believe it was released in the 90s and it still hits it out of the park for me!!!).

Five out of five stars.

 Enjoy this book review? Why not check out another you might love!!!! Book Review: FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S: THE SILVER EYES by SCOTT CAWTHON & KIRA BREED-WRISLEY

#BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

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Saving Me by Sadie Allen is a unique YA novel.

This story is centered around Ally, who is a depressed/suicidal hurdling high school student who gets severely injured in a race. Her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend for three years, and a boy with a lip ring has a crush on her. There is endless drama on every page that makes me believe this book is the teenage version of a soap opera.

I’m not sure how I feel about it, because I think it’s an intriguing story but I think there was just to much going on. I couldn’t figure out what the real plot of the story was. Was it for Ally to not kill herself? Was it to showcase the craziness that can be high school? There was so much high school drama that seemed so wildly unrealistic that I wasn’t sure how I felt when I finally read the last page of the book.

I did enjoy that the book moved fast and had constant action/drama. That kept me interested and I didn’t want to put the book down. I also enjoyed some of the sugary sweet romance that goes down.

The things I didn’t enjoy just hit to close to home for me – an (almost?) abusive parent, and some of the stupid decisions Ally made (but let’s be honest, everyone made stupid mistakes in high school). I also think this book was closer to an R rating than intended. It seemed like the book was aimed at a YA audience but contained some purely adult themes. And my final part was…Sterling. He felt to perfect, despite having flaws. It was kind of the hero complex that made me question him, does Ally really need a boy to save her? That’s just my own thoughts though.

Was it uplifting? In my opinion, I have no idea. It was definitely a coming of age story set in modern times. It included social media and texting as a big portion of this story. One major part of this book was how Sadie described Ally’s feelings, and I think many can relate to her dark descriptions. Everyone feels lost and alone at times, so that hits a home run.

Overall, this book is well written but I’m not sure where I stand on it. I think it’s fantastic and I liked it, but I’m stuck on the fence of whether this was a YA or adult novel. It honestly could swing either way.

Great novel! Three out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from Sadie Allen in exchange for an honest review.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

Check out Sadie Allen on Goodreads! Sadie Allen on Goodreads

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#BookReview Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was another smash hit by JK Rowling.

This sixth book in the series, and sixth year at Hogwarts for our terrific trio, expands on the already expansive universe. Voldemort is out and about, and is becoming bigger than ever. Loyalty is tested, and no one is safe.

This had been the only book in the series I hadn’t read – years ago, for whatever reason, I could not find this book at any library or bookstore around. So, I skipped it. Looking back, I really shouldn’t have because this book gives a lot of back story into Lord Voldemort and his antics. It explains quite a bit more than the movie did and helps tie some loose ends before the final book.

In short, this book is full of tragedy. There is lots of pain and loss in this book, and it really helps grow these characters. That being said, you won’t realize this fact until you read the last book (which I already have). I definitely want to re-read the final book in this series since I have not read it since the day after it was published!

Do I recommend this series? Absolutely! Each book grows just like the characters do! It starts off on the children’s reads side and inches towards the YA side with each book. There’s lots of themes, such as friendship, loyalty, love and betrayal, and it’s just overall enjoyable. JK Rowling made a truly incredible series.

Are there problems with this story? Absolutely. Some chapters probably didn’t need to be included, some scenes seemed downright silly, but it still made for a good book.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy! Book Review: The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

#BookReview Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

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Here’s another #ThrowbackThursday – a novel I read years ago, but reread and created a review for!! This is one of my favourites – Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.

 

 

Clockwork Princess is a beautiful finish to one of YA’s best series in recent years.

For years I waited anxiously for a book like Clockwork Princess – a story that ends beautifully, perfectly and without total heart break. With characters as strong as Jem, Will and Tessa, we needed a solid ending that would make all fans happy but also tie up the story just perfectly, and Cassandra Clare delivered.

This book will pull at your heartstrings and destroy you. It’s such a beautiful ending it’s hard to believe it’s all over with. The ups and downs of this series is ended just perfectly that there are no loose ends and no destroyed fans (at least, from what I’ve seen). I dare say that this book is the best book Cassandra Clare has ever written – it rivals the base Mortal Instrument series, and has one step up. This book was even better than City of Heavenly Angels, in my opinion. With such a satisfying conclusion, I have to say it deserves more than five stars. Not many books can be finished so perfectly.

Would I recommend this series? Absolutely. While it’s a YA, it definitely doesn’t feel like your typical YA story. Adults can enjoy this – there isn’t as much ooey, gooey silly teenage angst that is in most YA books. It’s a grown up YA with the odd silly scene. So it’s safe to say it’s a good read. This series can also be used as a standalone – you don’t need to read all the other series (Mortal Instruments, Dark Artifices) to understand this book at all. It is the prequel series to The Mortal Instruments, if you’re interested in reading further (they can be read out of order via the series though. TMI came out first, then this series and now The Dark Artifices). I would suggest reading the three books of this series in order though – it’s worthy.

It also has one of the most beautiful covers. I love the original cover – I saw a new one at my local book store recently and it wasn’t as beautiful, but in terms of cover art – judging the book by it’s cover it allowed for this book. With such a great cover comes such a great story.

Problems with this book/series:
Yes, there’s a love triangle. Can they be annoying? Yes. Does it work in this book? Yeah, it’s YA so it’s kind of an expected plot twist these days.
Weak characters – yeah, there are some. But personally, I find having all characters be strong can make for a boring book.
Repeat characters – Cassandra Clare uses the same characters/developments with different names and faces. It’s annoying, but as long as you aren’t just reading her books and expand your library, you don’t notice to much.
Rule Breakers – some of the “cannot be broken rules” are broken in this book. It’s kind of annoying in my eyes, but what can you do? It created the happy ending most fans wanted, so I guess we can over look that…
Tessa – FINALLY we learn what Tessa is. I’m a little disappointed it took so long because it would have been cooler to flesh out all about her throughout the series, but whatever, it works, I guess.

So, overall, this book is really on the fence for most readers – people either love it passionately to no end (ugly cry, putting the book on a pedestal and praying to it sort of deal) or hated it (rip the pages out, burn the book, demand a refund, etc). I’m on the end that enjoyed it and I definitely kept the book (Look at that cover, how can you not love the book for the cover alone?).

So, I will give it five out of five stars. It had it’s faults for sure, but it was a great read that kept me interested, was fast paced, and had an ending that I found to be good.

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