Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More than the Tattooed Mormon: A Review

Goodreads Description:

Al Fox Carraway has spent the last four years inspiring the world with her story of conversion, redemption, and finding faith. As a blogger, social media personality, and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. This moving biography and up-close account of her life and membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (sometimes called the "LDS" or "Mormon" church) will show you what it means to truly trust in the Lord.

"Don't go, Al. You won't fit in."

Being baptized and following the Lord has made Al's life harder than it ever was before. She endured criticism from friends and family for becoming a Mormon. She faced harsh judgments from Church members for her appearance. She gave up everything and felt more alone than she ever had in her life. All because she chose God.

Now she shares an up-close look at how trusting God has led her to places she never expected. As a blogger, YouTuber, and award-winning public speaker, her message has reached millions. Sharing her love of the Savior, Al goes beyond her own conversion and encourages readers to choose God above anything else. This uplifting book inspires readers to build a true relationship with the Lord that will bring them real, lasting happiness.


My Review:

I love what Al Carraway has to say in this book. She is such an amazing example of someone who will do the right thing despite her family disowning her.

Carraway has faced intense challenges in her life. She has been judged hard core by people around her because she simply doesn't fit the stereotype.

Her example of being kind to those who are awful to her makes me want to improve myself. Al's heart is so huge. She loves easily, and cares so deeply.

I was actually really surprised to learn that she hates being called, "The Tattooed Mormon." I didn't follow her YouTube videos or blog like a lot of people did, but that's what I've always known her as. What she said, was that it define her for her past, not who she was today. She said it was like calling someone who was sober "The Used-To-Be Alcoholic." I loved this statement. Man, she's awesome. May we never define people by their past, but rather the person you know they really are.

I don't know what else to say other than Al has inspired me to be a better person and to love better. She's incredible and I want to be like her when I grow up.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Heart of Betrayal: A Review (The Remnant Chronicles #2)

Goodreads Description:

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia's life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar's interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There's Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country... and her own destiny.

My Review:

At this point, if you haven't read the first book, there will be spoilers.

Kaden has taken Lia to Venda the Barbaric country.

Or rather, where the barbaric people of vendan's elites live. The people there are fine, but the Komizar is crazy. He's a tyrant and is willing to let his people die to do his bidding.

Yet, he's really charismatic. He's a good leader in the sense, his people love him, despite his insanity.

Lia comes to befriend the Vendan peoples. She lives among them as the Komizar uses her as leverage and tries to convince her to use her gift for him. While Lia navigates the Komizar and befriending the people, she begins to discover more about her gift and Venda's past. The history Lia begins to uncover changes the circumstances and her life starts to dance on a precarious edge.

Rafe and Kaden are still at odds with each other, and their rival is rather humorous to me. I love Rafe and his loyalty to not only his country, but saving Lia.

We also learn more about Lia's gift and I find it rather interesting. It's not magic, it's more...like an emphasis of intuition. I'm not sure how to describe it, but I really like it.

I really enjoy this series. I love the characters and the world. I couldn't stop listening to this book. The narrators did great!

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Kiss of Deception: A Review (The Remnant Chronicles #1)

Goodreads Descriotion:

A princess must find her place in a reborn world.

She flees on her wedding day.

She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor's secret collection.

She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own father.

She is Princess Lia, seventeen, First Daughter of the House of Morrighan.

The Kingdom of Morrighan is steeped in tradition and the stories of a bygone world, but some traditions Lia can't abide. Like having to marry someone she's never met to secure a political alliance.

Fed up and ready for a new life, Lia flees to a distant village on the morning of her wedding. She settles in among the common folk, intrigued when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deceptions swirl and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—secrets that may unravel her world—even as she feels herself falling in love.

My Review:

When I first started blogging, this book was HUGE on the blogsophere.

But, I blog about the books I want to read. When I'm done with college, I will get more into doing professional reviews.

Yet, I finally have gotten to this series and I'm really sad I haven't read it before.

Lia was awesome. I want to be her. She's strong willed--which is something female leads lack. The book starts with her running away from home so she doesn't have to be sold of into marriage. She takes her best friend, Pauline (who is the sweetest thing on the planet) and they flee to a little town out of the main city.

Lia becomes a waitress at the cities best inn. The people LOVE her.

And then two handsome strangers show up and start to vie for her attention. We are kept in the dark as to who is who. One of them is an assassin, and one is the prince of Morrighan. But who is who?

It was such a fun book to read. There's a festival that happens and we get to see Rafe and Kaden wrestle--hehe.

And then everything changes and life become far more dangerous for Lia.

Who is the one threatening her?

And what exactly is this gift? What advantage does it give her and why does everyone want it?

I loved how this book threw me in for a loop. It was incredible! The story was well written and the world building drew me in immediately.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Court of Mist and Fury: A Review (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

Goodreads Description:

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

My Review:

I changed my mind.

Tamlin is a MEGA TOOL.

Rhys however, is the best.

Never thought my mind would change so drastically. Yet, when Tamlin starts becoming overbearing and controlling, I wanted to punch him.

The things he did to Feyra after all she endured...Oh, if I was Rhys, I would kill Tamlin.

Anyways, here we see how Rhys is FAR different than the picture Maas painted in the first book. His character is so intricate, so full of history, and power. I just...I want to be able to create characters like Maas does.

My favorite aspect of this book was the comradee among Rhys and his crew. You can tell they love each other despite the fact they don't ever say it. They have been through horrible things together, through the war and Amarantha. If I were to be in this book, I'd want to be a part of Rhys's inner circle.

Feyre and Rhys are quite the couple. They build each other up, and challenge each other to be their best. They hold each other up when things get rough. They are far more functional than Tamlin and Rhys were.

The story definitely took a turn I wasn't expecting. Feyra has involved her sisters and things are only going to get worse.

Once again, this book had far too many sex scenes in it. Honestly, they had nothing to do with the plot line and I skipped them. And guess what, I didn't miss a thing.

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

After You: A Review (Me Before You #2)

Goodreads Description:

“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future...

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

My Review:


My heart!

This book hurt my heart more than the first book. Will Traynor was so selfish! He destroyed Lou's life. DESTROYED IT!

She is a complete mess at the beginning of this book. Physically and mentally. She can't handle life. She is stuck in a ruminating state and can't find anything to be happy about. She wastes her nights drinking herself to sleep and watching TV. She doesn't know how to socialize anymore or have real relationships.

Lou has cracked.

And yet, Sam has come to save the day. In more ways than one. Ah! I love Sam!

Sam has comes in and teaches Lou how to be a normal human being again. He teaches her that it's okay to move on from the death of someone you loved more than life. He taught her what it was like to live again.

Oh Sam, you are a lifesaver.

I also appreciate how Lou's Mom stops being an idiot. Her statement at the end of Me Before You ticked me off. Thankfully, Lou is welcomed back and she begins to realize the importance of family.

I won't give away any spoilers, but I will say this--

The ending is so much better in this book than the first!

4.5 out of 5!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Illuminae: A Review (The Illuminae Files #1)

Goodreads Description:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

My Review:

All right, so this book is hard to get used to at first. This series takes place in the future and the story is told from various point of views. The surveillance guy is perhaps my favorite, but let me explain a little more.

So Kady and Ezra are two characters who had to escape the destruction/overtaking of their illegal home planet. We see their story through their journal entries, their communication through their futuristic version of Instant Messaging, and recorded "phone" calls.

Like I said, it is hard to get used to, but once I started reading, I was hooked. I had to know was BiTech was doing and why they were attacking this planet and the survivors. I needed to know what their motivation was for trying to kill all witnesses.

This book was also fast paced despite it's length. There was never a dull moment. Then again, with Kady there is never a dull moment. She is a the best computer hacker that ever existed. And I know she will be the reason for BiTech's downfall.

I won't reveal too much, but the plague absolutely terrified me. Chemical warfare is absolutely horrifying.

If you enjoy espionage and intrigue, cool futuristic technology, and a super computer that seems to have a crush on you, this is the series to read! I'm so excited for the second book!

And something I find hilarious about this series, is that the story "documents" that are turned in to the overseer have been censored. All the curse words are literally blacked out! Haha. I found that awesome.

5 out of 5!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Court of Thorns and Roses: A Review (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

Goodreads Descriotion:

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.
My Review:


Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite authors. The beautiful way she creates worlds and the cultures within them, the depth of her characters, the beauty of their pasts (bad or good), their talents. She knows how to write a compelling story that draws you in and keeps you stuck.

But I'm really disappointed at the turns she's been taking in her books. I've been a fan of Throne of Glass for a long time, and her sex scenes in there are tame and usually fade to black...

A Court of Thorns and Roses is listed a YA novel, but if I had teenagers, I WOULD NOT let them read this series. I even had to put it away for a while and decide if I could continue listening to it.

Her sex scenes are graphic and descriptive, and honestly, I don't think you need that to make a story good. Sex scenes don't move a story forward, they just attract readers who want a steamy scene.

I read Maas's books for her stories. However, in this book I finally just started skipping the sex scenes.

And guess what! I didn't miss a thing.

This shouldn't be listed as a YA novel.

Now that my rant is over, I will have to say I fell in love with the story. Feyre isn't the strongest female lead out there, but she's got her head on straight. She will do anything to save her sisters and dad, even when they don't do anything to help her.

Tamlin was the beast in this Beauty and the Beast story. Man, I fell in love with him instantly. I loved the culture of the Fae world. It entranced and horrified me.

The trails Feyra must go through as this book progesses gets scarier and scarier. She gets stronger and learns how to kick butt even though she's only human among Fae thrity times stronger than her.

This book was hard to put down (story wise, I did mention I put it away for a while because of the intense sex scenes I decided to ignore).

I love the characters in this book. I need the second one.

3 out of 5!