Friday, November 21, 2014

New Job

Hi everyone,

     Just thought I would give you a quick update.  I have a new job!  Which is mostly good except that it is a LOT of hours.  Long, hard, physically exhausting hours....

     What this means is, as you may have already noticed, that there is a decreases in weekly posts.  Especially various Meme, Blitzes, etc.  I  have limited time to post and I would rather deliver quality content with less filler for the time I have to give.  Some weeks I may be good completely.  Things should settle after the holidays but until then I beg you for for patience and understanding as I adjust to this new challenge.  I will do my best to be around, visiting other blogs and chatting in groups still as well, but that too is limited now.  

    In the meanwhile I hope everyone is finding fantastic books to read this Holiday season!

-Jamie  (AKA Jay Riv)

Pawn by Aimee Carter review and GIVEAWAY

Pawn (The Blackcoat Rebellion, #1) 
The Blackcoat Rebellion:  Pawn (1)
by Aimee Carter
Genre(s): Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 347
Published: Nov 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Summary:  "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."  -Taken from Goodreads

Review:  This book has me a bit torn. I immensely enjoyed the plot as it unravels and the characters were nicely done. The writing moves at a rapid pace that constantly left me wondering where things would go next. And on the flip side was an inadequately built world around them.

Kitty has grown up in a world where people take a single test that determine what kind of life you will have. A six is the best (government officials, etc), a four is average and a one gets you sent Elsewhere, never to be seen of heard from again. However there is one class above it all. The elite sevens- of which only the Hart family members are privileged enough to be. When Kitty tests out as a three and is to be separated from her boyfriend she makes a few frowned upon choices and winds up with a very strange "offer" to become a seven. Next thing she knows she is Lila Hart! To protect those she loves she is enticed to become Prime Minister Hart's pawn.

Through the early parts of the book I wanted to knock some common sense into Kitty. She is very naive and oblivious to a lot going on. She is the perfect pawn, never asking questions. I often found myself disappointed with her. On the flip side, the other characters seemed very well done. There is room for doubt as I was stuck inside Kitty's head for the duration of the book but from what I read, each of them has hidden depths and multiple sides that are periodically revealed to the reader.

The world in which Kitty lives makes no sense. How did America become ruled over by a single family? How have they remained in power? The explanation is weak and filled with holes. For some countries that have always lived in government fear, this might have worked but I don't see America ever accepting such a thing. Revolts and riots would be way out of hand and overthrown such a concept. In many ways, the government system is similar to the one used in Kiera Cass's 'Selection' series. Yet it bothers me more here with what the plot focus is. Political games is much higher in this book.

There are several twists and turns in this book. Each character has their own agenda and secret(s). Everyone. Alliances seems to alter. Some real, others false and each time you think a character is going to zig, they zag. This had be distrustful of the characters and not quite sure how things would turn out. Some twists were obvious but some of the personality ones in particular were intriguing. People's motivations especially.

Overall, the book is an enjoyable read. I just need to pretend that the setting is somewhere other than the US. It is a fast read (seems shorter than it is) and is easy to get through. I will be continuing this series. The ending left enough to continue on that my mind will not put this series at rest. So while not an overly heavy cliffhanger awaits, there is enough of an edge to leave me wanting more.

(almost 4 stars)
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.*

I am offering up 2 ebook copies of Pawn.  I will gift you the book via or B&N.  Your choice.  I will just need an email address that I can gift to.  
Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Divergent by Veronica Roth (review)

Divergent (Divergent, #1) 
Divergent (1)
by Veronica Roth
Genre(s): Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 487
Published: April 2011
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Summary:  "In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, 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 to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating 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 a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her."
Review: A very active, captivating story of young Tris. While lacking on some of the world building and original creativity, this character's narration keeps you reading through the good and the bad.

Beatrice was suppose to grow up selfless but she never quite fit in with her family. Instead was wants to live her own live, to be brave...Dauntless. When her faction test results are given it sends her spiraling into the world of the unknown, and she gets the change to change her future. But her choice leads to her to some truths that will change everyone's lives.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

One Piece Vol 21 by Eiichiro Oda

 One Piece Vol 21
by Eiichiro Oda

One Piece, Volume 21: Utopia (One Piece, #21)Genre(s): Manga, Graphic Novel
Pages: 200
Published: June 2009 (Original Japanese release 2001)
Publisher: Viz Media
Summary:    The Straw Hats are keeping the Officer Agents preoccupied while Vivi makes her way to the palace. Sanji's got his hands full with Mr. 2 Bon Clay while Zolo battles mano a mano with Mr. 1--or rather sword to sword body in this case! That leaves Nami on her own with Ms. Doublefinger--a prickly predicament with only her wits and Usopp's special weapon to depend on. Can the Straw Hats prevail against the best of the Baroque Works?!
Review:    This volume focuses on some great one-on-one battles! And what fights they are! They really put some of the favorite characters through some rigorous tests.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers (review)

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) 
His Fair Assassin: Grave Mercy (1)

by Robin LaFevers

Genre(s): Historical Fiction, Fantasy (very light), Romance
Pages: 549
Published: April 2012
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Summary:  "Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?"

Review:  I have very mixed feelings about this book. For the most part I enjoyed it but there were a couple parts where it nearly hit rock bottom. This book is a mix of history with a few new characters tossed into the mix to add some unique spice. Mostly positive thoughts on this new series so far.