Book Review: Delirium

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Title: Delirium
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: February 7th 2012
Genre: Fantasy | YA

 

synopsis
Delirium is about a world where love his been outlawed and cured. The cure happens at 18 and everything from then on is easier, happier, or so says the government. Lena has never questioned the cure or the sickness that is love. She knows that the cure didn’t work on her mother and that is, or was, her only fear. But then she meets someone new, a boy, who makes her rethink everything in her life. Her eyes are open now and things are not as simple as she once believed them to be.

review
Delirium, while not the best book I have ever read, made me really think about my own world and the things I take as truth. This story can be compared to our own lives in some ways that it’s scary. Lena’s world has been run by loveless people and the world is a loveless place. At 18 everything is decided for her, from who she will marry, to where she work, how many kids she will have, and where she will live. She has no choice in the matter of her life. Even the girl she has known most of her life, her best friend, will never be as close to her as she is now.

This is an amazing book because of the fear I got from reading it. Not just the fear, but the sadness. There are people living without love, doing the same thing over and over again and not caring. They want this bland life because it is easier than feeling anything other than content. But it makes you wonder if they even feel content, deep down they have to feel some kind of sadness for what they have lost.

I do like the way love is pinned as a disease and how well the author explained why it was a problem. When I first started reading it all I could think was how stupid the concept was, but the more I thought about love and the effect it has on our bodies, it actually made sense. I found myself at one point thinking how I wouldn’t mind having a procedure to remove love from my brain, but as I continued reading the story I realized how much love is needed in the world. These people don’t just lose love for the opposite sex, they don’t just lose the need to be with someone, they lose the need and love for family and children. That is no life to live.

By the end of the book my heart was racing for Lena to get out and away from this crazy world. I wanted her to save all of the poor souls who had been corrupted. With that being said, I can still see the draw of a life that is chosen for you. Not having to make your own big life decisions could be such a stress free way to live, but is it really worth it.

I like a book that puts me into deep thought, and this book did just that. It made me question my own reality.

rating3starsI enjoyed it, but I may not finish the series and one read through was enough.

Book Review: Ensnared

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Title: Ensnared
Author: A.G. Howard
Publisher: Amulet Books
Published: January 6th 2015
Genre: Genre: Fantasy | YA | Retelling

 

 

synopsis
Ensnared is the final book in the Splintered trilogy by A.G. Howard. In the final installment, Alyssa travels into the looking-glass world, where everything is distorted and backwards from Wonderland, to save her human Knight and her Wonderland King.

review
I honestly hated most of this book. I had to force myself to finish reading it. The first book was so magical and fun and probably should have ended there. The second book was okay, but really unnecessary. Then this last book was just boring and stretched out.

I was okay with the love triangle until we reach this last book. Then it gets really annoying. For me, it annoyed me that she was so stuck on Morpheus when Jeb had sacrificed so much for her. Morpheus just pulled at her until she did what he wanted her to do the whole time.

There wasn’t much about this book that I liked. I thought the ending would make me happy, as I had already read the last chapter before I read even the second book. I couldn’t help myself, it was sitting on the shelf at the library so I picked up the last book and read the last chapter. Had I stopped then and there I would have been okay with this trilogy. But reading the last book put a bitter taste in my mouth.

rating2starsI would suggest the first book, but stop there.

Book Review: This Savage Song

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Title: This Savage Song
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Published: July 5th, 2016
Genre: Fantasy | YA | Paranormal

synopsis
This Savage Song is about a world where monsters are real. August Flynn is a monster who tries to be human, but is constantly reminded by his brother that he is nothing but a monster. He wants to be like his father, good and kind, and human. Kate Harker wants nothing more than to be recognized by her father, but to do that she has to prove that she is as ruthless as he is.

August and Kate end up at the same school together and life is never the same again.

review
I put off reading this book for a little while, mainly because of the hype. Most books with a lot of hype around them tend to fall flat for me. I have heard a lot of amazing things about Victoria Schwab’s writing and I broke down and read This Savage Song. I am so glad that I did because this is one of the best books I have read in a long time.

What I liked about this book is that the world is so different from our own. Monsters are created by crimes of a human and I love that concept so much. The idea that a monster created by evil and this monsters strength is determined by the severity of the crime is a genius idea! What I don’t like about the idea is the fact that the humans of this story didn’t take into consideration, or didn’t seem to fear, the monsters they created by their crimes. On one side of the city you have a man who lets the monsters run free and makes humans pay for protection. He probably pays some humans to do evil things just to create new monsters. On the other side, one little notion of evil and someone is sent to take care of the trouble. I just feel like in a world like this humans would be a little more wary about their crimes when something far more worse can come of those crimes.

One thing that I did love about this story is that there was no underlying love story. Kate and August end up on the run together, but they do not fall in love. Kate can’t help August if his monster side takes over. August does resist his monster side more when Kate is around, but that is because he is more human than any human. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone. I love that we can have a YA novel without some instant love story. Kate and August were friends at the end, both headed in new directions in their life.

In the end, I enjoyed reading this story. I love that the ending was a well rounded ending, but left me super excited about the next book. I was so excited about the next book that I almost cried when I realized it wasn’t out yet. Can we please hurry and get the next book?

rating5starsI would re-read this again before reading the next book.


Have you read this book? What were your thoughts?

Book Review: How To Hang a Witch

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RATING

5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Adriana Mather
Release Date: July 26th 2016
Series: How to Hang a Witch
Genre: Fantasy | YA | Paranormal
Pages: 368
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Buy it : Amazon

First Thoughts: When I first found this book I instantly fell in love with the book. The cover is fantastic and the title…I am pretty much sold when it comes to witches. After reading the blurb for the book I knew I had to give this a read. The Salem Witch Trials is probably my favorite thing to check out when it comes to history.

Review: Samantha Mather’s has moved to Salem, Massachusetts with her stepmother. Her father has been in a coma for 4 months and the medical bills have forced them to sell their home in New York and move into her fathers family home that was left to him when Samantha’s grandmother died. 

Sam quickly finds out that Salem is not going to be a friendly place for her. Her ancestors had a big part in the Salem witch trials and they still hold a grudge. Things quickly spiral out of control as threats are thrown through her window and even a ghost decides to make his dislike of her known.

What I found great about this book is that there is actual history mixed in with the entertainment. It made me want to research the Salem witch trials more, just to see what all from the book was inspired by true stories of the Salem events.

Samantha Mather is such a fantastic lead character. She is stubborn and she stays that way through the entire book. She is strong to a fault. She doesn’t want anyone to know what she is dealing with, which causes more stress and doubts then it actually helps. I felt like I could really connect to who Samantha was, being the new girl that no one liked. I could feel the emotions of being so alone and not being able to trust anyone.

Of course, there is a little romance in the story, but not to the point where it overcomes or BECOMES the plot of the story. The story, in the end, is about a girl figuring out her history and trying to make right the things that had gone wrong so many years ago. The quote “The sin of the father” comes to mind, paying for sins (or wrongs) done by those before you. 

The End: WARNING! Their are spoilers in this section. Please skip to the “Final Thoughts” section if you do not want to read spoilers.

I loved the relationship between Sam and Jaxon. I thought it was cute and it was great that Sam had a friend even when things were troublesome. 

But….I loved Elijah. I wanted Elijah to some how find a way to become human again and finish out a life that was ended too soon. Maybe Jaxon would have been with Sam the whole time had she told him what was really going on, but Elijah was there, through everything. It could also be that Elijah basically hated Sam at the beginning and then fell in love with her. I don’t know, but I may have weeped a little when Elijah said goodbye.

Final Thoughts: I have read a few reviews written about this book and I realize that it’s not for everyone. I thought it was an amazing book. It was fast paced and full of action. Although, if you are not a fan of history, then maybe this book is not for you. The beginning of the book could possibly be a little slow, but I was hooked from the first chapter. There are so many questions hovering around Sam and her strange life, and everything is answered in the end. 

I would suggest this to friends, at least to give it a chance. There is a lot of hype around it at the moment, but I think the story was well worth the time. 

Book Review: The Bad Beginning

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Rating

5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Lemony Snicket
Release Date: September 30th 1999
Series: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Genre: YA | Middle Grade | Children | Fiction
Pages: 176
Publisher: Scholastic
Buy it : Amazon

First Line: If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book.

Read the Blurb at Goodreads

Review

Violet, Klaus, and Sunny had loving parents at one point. Until a fire destroyed their beautiful home along with their wonderful parents. Now, they have become the responsibility of a distant relative, Count Olaf. From the moment the children were put into his custody, life has been a complete opposite of what the Baudelaire children once had. Now they are forced to do chores, cook, and they are forced to live in a small bedroom with one rickety bed.

Things only get worse at the children find out what Klaus is really after and the plans he has to obtain his goal.

I have watched the Series of Unfortunate Events movie and I loved it. But it has been a while since I have seen it, so I don’t know what has changed from the books to the movies. I am actually grateful for this. The first book was such a fantastic, but sad story. At moments I wanted to reach into the book and pull these poor kids out of the mess they had found themselves in. There are all kinds of warnings in the book that it’s not a happy story, and it is far from a happy story. There are moments where the children have a second of happiness but something always comes to take that away from them.

What I loved most about this book is how the children stay together through it all and try so hard to comfort one another. Their parents have been ripped away from them, as well as the only life they have ever known, but they still have one another. It’s wonderful to read a story about siblings who actually get along and don’t let the stress of a horrible situation break them apart. They never seem to lose hope and while it is a sad book, the message is beautiful.

I can’t wait to start reading the next book.

Aside from the story itself, I want to say how beautiful the book itself is. From the gorgeous cover art, to the wonderful illustrations throughout the book. It has been a while since I have read a book with illustrations in the book, and it brings the magic to a new level when reading as an adult.

Book Review: The Star-Touched Queen

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Rating

5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Roshani Chokshi
Release Date: April 26th, 2016
Series: The Star-Touched Queen
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Romance
Pages: 342
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griggin
Buy it : Amazon

First Line

Staring at the sky in Bharata was like exchanging a secret.

Read the Blurb at Goodreads

 

Cover

This cover is so gorgeous. The colors are warm and bright and dark all at the same time. And I love the border around the book. It actually gave it a steampunk feel. Just enough mystery and just enough beauty to draw in a reader from the cover alone!

Review

This book was a last minute decision. I hadn’t realized that the book I wanted to get on audible wasn’t even released yet. This was suggested and I just jumped on it. I had heard so many great reviews but I wasn’t really convinced that it was going to be a great book. The blurb on this book just does not do it justice.

Maya is a princesses, but she is not in line for the throne, she is just another daughter for the king to sale off. Except, she may actually be her father’s favorite daughter. She was also born with a cursed horoscope that promises death and destruction when she marries. Despite all of that, the king is forced to make Maya marry, but she finds herself in a different kind of arrangement than she had in mind.

You know that song with the lyrics “found love in a hopeless place.” I feel like that should have been the tagline for this story.

The writing was so beautiful. The imagery is something to be desired. Roshani has really woven a wonderful story of mystery, love, and magic. There is no instant love in this story. At least not for Maya. Amar, the king that wisks her away may have fallen in love with Maya instantly, but there is so much more to his story.

This was such a great listen. I wanted to speed up the book so I could find out what happened next, but I was pacing myself so I would have something to listen to all month. I finished it about two weeks before the end of the month, but I would read this book again and again. The story was fresh and not something that reminded me of 50 million other books in the YA world. There was romance, mystery, suspense, and…MAGIC. I seriously love magic. I also love the idea of different worlds. Who wouldn’t want to be taken away to a whole new world with a king who will cherish and love you for all of eternity?

I want to read this book, instead of listening to it. I feel like there is more to see by reading it, things that I may have missed while driving home and trying to avoid a wreck on the road. Also, there is a different connection to a book that you have read with your own eyes. The voices are different, the atmosphere is different. I can’t wait to get a copy of this book for my own personal collection.

This book could easily be a standalone, but I noticed on Goodreads that there is a second book due out next year.  Though, reading the description it seems that Maya and Amar will be taking a back seat to a new lead character. While it still in the same world, there is an ending to the first book and a new story for the second. I can’t wait to read it.

Did you read this book? What did you think about it?

A little bit of a extra!! The first chapter of the next book! 

Click it!–>Read it at EW! <–Click it!

Book Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Daugher of Smoke and Bone

RATING

3 Nerd Girl Rating(Is it refreshing to know I don’t rate EVERY book at 5 stars?)

Author: Laini Taylor
Release Date: September 27th 2011
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone
Genre: Fantasy | YA
Pages: 418
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Buy it : Amazon

 

First Line: Walking to School over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonictions about the day.

Read the Blurb at Goodreads

Cover

The cover is gorgeous and promises wonderful things.

Review

 Karou was raised by monsters. She is all she knows as family. Brimstone, the head of this family, makes wishes and sends Karou out to collect teeth. What the teeth are for, she has yet to find out. Her life is full of questions and secrets. But that all soon changes when angels show up,  marking the doors Karou has used all her life to get to Brimstones Shop. Without warning, Karou is cast out and all the doors are destroyed. She begins her quest to find her family and figure out the truth about who she is and what is going on.

Okay, this book started out fantastic. I loved the idea of a human girl being raised by monsters. I was in love with the book almost from the very beginning. And even though Brimstone is such a tough character, I knew there was something more and loving with him. Though there is not much character development with him, he is still my favorite character.

I think I lost interest in the story at the end. I promise, no spoilers other than, Karou does figure out who she is and what she has to do with everything that has happened recently.

I felt like the story was promising for something amazing. I was intrigued from the start, but then it just kind of fell flat towards the end. I can’t really explain it. At the end I instantly opened the next book, but only a few chapters in I was bored again. There are just too many slow and bland parts in between the other parts.

Spoilers

Okay…a few spoilers here. (HIDE) (Just scroll to conclusion to skip spoilers)

One thing I didn’t really understand is the fight that Akiva had with his ‘siblings’. (I’m too lazy to look up their names.) Akiva has fallen in love with this creature that they have been fighting, and they want to kill him or fight him because of it…yet they would throw themselves in front of the enemy to save one another? It doesn’t make sense. They have covered for Akiva before because he disappeared. Why couldn’t they cover for him again, or even say he had died in battle or something? I doesn’t make sense that they would kill or die for him, yet they wouldn’t allow him to love what they consider a monster/enemy.

There is also the ending that really ticked me off. Karou has seen her past life. She knows who she is now and everything that has gone on with her and Akiva. She knows why Akiva has a sudden hatred for the monsters he had grown to…appreciate(?) but when she finds out that in his rage (caused by her death!) he has killed all of the chimera. I get it…he killed her people, but in the end, wasn’t it because of her, for her?

Spoilers over

 

Conclusion:

I had high hopes for this book. I had heard so many fantastic things about it and a few people were just so in love with this book. I thought I would fall in love with it too, but I didn’t. In all honesty, I am probably going to trade this entire series for credits at my local book store, or keep it only for the gorgeous covers. Who knows.

The concept is fantastic. The whole wish making thing, the battle between the angels and chimera, and the human girl being raised by monsters. I loved the idea, but the story fell a little flat for me. Maybe the love story messed it up for me…I don’t know, I just don’t think I will be finishing this series. It feels like it would be a waste of my reading time to even try. Then again, I could get super curious later on and come back to it. But as it stands right now, this series will be moved off my TBR list and to the bottom shelf where I put the books I don’t really like. Sorry, to those of you who loved it. Maybe you could share with me what you loved and I could try to understand?

Book Review: Yellow Brick War

Yellow Brick War

Rating5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Danielle Paige
Release Date: March 15th 2016
Series: Dorothy Must Die
Genre: YA | Retellings
Pages: 270
Publisher: HarperCollins
Buy it : Amazon

First Line:

The Witches were waiting. (This has got to be the most boring first line ever. Lucky it’s a second book in a series. Quick question for writers out there… If it’s the second or third (or so on) book in a series, does the first line matter as much?)

Read the Blurb at Goodreads

 

Cover:

For the series, I love that all the books match. The covers are grungy, beautiful, and eye catching.

Review:

 To be clear, I honestly thought this was the last book in the series. I just started reading the series this year and for some reason I thought it was just a trilogy. After reading the last page and getting angry that I was wrong, I found out on Goodreads that there is another book. It was a bittersweet moment. I wanted to know the ending, but I have enjoyed the story so much I am glad there is another book to wait on. Of course…I hate waiting on books!!

This book starts off with Amy and the witches back in Kansas. A quick brawl with Dorothy ends when Dorothy finds just enough magic to send herself back to Oz, leaving Amy, the Wicked witches, and Nox, stuck in Kansas. The dull lifeless place “where dreams go to die.”

Suddenly Nox is part of the Wicked and Amy is forced to go back to school to find the original magic shoes that brought Dorothy back to Kansas the first time. On top of it all, she also finds that, while she can finally admit she has feelings for Nox, because of his new status as the Wicked, he cannot have a relationship with her, not matter how he really feels.

This book was so frustrating. Not in a bad way, but in a way where I couldn’t stop reading in hopes of finding something good happening. And by good, I mean Amy and Nox finally admitting to one another that they were in love and finding some way to be together. Not that I really had any real hopes that it would happen.

I can’t help it, I am a sucker for romance!

Another thing that I found frustrating is how she is towards her mother. I understand that her mom was a completely different person before Amy was swept away to Oz. And let’s all be honest, if our home town was as dead as Amy’s, we wouldn’t even give it a second thought to stay. What bothered me is that Amy didn’t even give her mom a chance to redeem herself. I felt like it was a bunch of hogwash that she claimed she didn’t want to get close so it wouldn’t hurt her mother when she went back to Oz. Obviously, it’s going to kill her mother again, because her baby has disappeared once again.

But whatever. That was probably the only things that really bothered me about the story.

I thought this book was really fantastic. I loved every minute of it, even the parts that bothered me were enjoyable. Some answers were revealed and the story brings you that much closer to coming to a conclusion.

The ending was a little confusing. And the addition of a new character, I’m curious to see what happens in the next book. Hopefully with the next book the story will end and I can have some semblance of a happy ending. Please let me have a happy ending!

This is slowly becoming one of my favorite series I have ever read. I have always loved the Wizard of Oz story and seeing it in a new light has only made me love it more. Then again, maybe I just like the idea of being picked up by a tornado and land in a new and magical world.

Book Review: Ice Like Fire

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Rating
5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Sara Raasch
Release Date: October 13th 2015
Series: Snow Like Ashes
Genre: High Fantasy | YA
Pages: 479
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Buy it : Amazon

 

First Line:

Five Enemies. Five dented helmets sit lopsided over five equally dented breastplates; five black suns shine, scratched yet distinct, on the silver metal.

Read the Blurb at Goodreads

Cover:

I don’t have much to say about the cover. It’s beautiful and it really catches the eye.

Review

Meira has taken her place as Winters Queen. While the Winterians celebrate their new found freedom, Meira worries about keeping her people free. She fears that Angra was not defeated, but she also worries about Cordell’s presence in Winter. She feels the ever growing fear that the Winterians have not seen their last battle and she isn’t sure what she is supposed to do next. All she can do is keep her people busy, rebuilding their home and looking for the magic chasm that the King of Cordell demands be found.

Meira and Theron, go on a quest to find the keys to open the newly found chasm and both have their own reasons for looking for the keys. Meira wants to destroy all magic but Theron wants everyone to have magic.

As they start on their journey, Meira discovers that nothing is what she thought it was, and there is deception underfoot.

This book was just as wonderful as the first. It was fast paced, filled with action, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Meira and all that she has been through.

I love that we get a new perspective in the story, falling into the mind of Mather. Mather gives us a new look into the world that Meira doesn’t see. I felt like seeing things from Mather’s perspective we got a deeper idea as to what was going on. I was able to see the things going on that Meira had no clue about. I feel like if Meira had known what was going on she would have figured things out a little sooner.

The beginning of this book moved quickly into things, but gave a glimpse of what life for Winter could have been if Angra had not enslaved them all those years ago. It was a glimpse of a happy life, but Meira didn’t fall for it, which makes me love her character even more. At first she seemed like a whiney teenager, wanting to be the hero of the story. Now she is seeing the errors of her ways, but finding that who she had been was exactly what Winter needed. She becomes the queen of Winter and is suddenly having to care more about the people who look to her for guidance then she cares about herself. It’s a wonderful transition from who she was in the first book.

I love that Meira struggles to find a balance between being the queen her kingdom needs and the wild and reckless girl she used to be.

As for Mather, he is a bit of a jerk at the beginning, but in the end he finds himself again. Of course, he was once told he was a king, and now he suddenly has a mother a father and no crown. But what makes Mather so wonderful is he is not mad that he is not a king, and he does not envy Meira for her position. He only wishes it was still his burden to carry, because it is a heavy burden and he hates that it has fallen to the girl he has loved for so long.

Overall, this has become a beautiful story and I can’t wait to see where the next book takes me.

Book Review: The Wicked Will Rise

THe Wicked Will Rise by Danielle PaigeRating5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Danielle Paige
Release Date: March 31st 2015
Series: Dorothy Must Die
Genre: Fantasy | YA | Retelling
Pages: 29
Publisher: HarperCollins
Buy it : Amazon

First Line:

The Emerald City was burning.

Read Blurb at Goodreads

Cover

I absolutely love the covers of this entire series. What I love even more is that if you remove the dust cover from these books, the naked cover is just as awesome, if not just a little more so.

 

Review

Amy has been swept away by wingless flying monkey’s that can now fly with paper wings. What? Nothing is impossible in Oz.

Amy has failed her mission. Her mission was to kill Dorothy for the Wicked so that Oz could become the beautiful place it once was. But Amy failed. Not only did she fail, but she doesn’t know where any of the Wicked are and she has Oz’s broken Queen, Ozma, tagging along with her as she escapes the burning city.

Now Dorothy is sent on a mission to figure out how to fix Ozma, reunite the Wicked, figure out how to kill Dorothy, and try to decide who she can actually trust in Oz. Though, as far as she has seen, no one in this place is trust worthy.

I have always loved the Wizard of Oz and the magical world that Dorothy finds herself in. What I hate about this book is that it has taken a beautiful story and turned it into something dark and sour. But we wouldn’t have stories without something dark and sour, now would we.

I will admit, I still struggle with the idea of Dorothy being a bad guy and I keep hoping Amy comes across something that proves Dorothy was corrupted by something she had no control over and instead of killing Dorothy, she just has to save her.

Of course we don’t get that in this book. *sigh* This book is just more destruction of Oz. We learn of new places, and wonderful places saved from Dorothy’s darkness, only to see it all go up in flames as her reign of terror spreads.

In all honesty, Danielle Paige is a brilliant story teller and I have loved everything about this book. What is amazing about this book is that I thought it was going in a totally different direction then where it actually ended up going. I love a story that keeps me from figuring out the ending. Even as one of “those readers” That will read the last few pages of any book before reading the rest, I still didn’t see what was coming! That alone convinces me to rate this book 5 stars.

The beginning picked up right where the first book ended and I love that. Sometimes I hate when a next book in a series starts months or even years after the first one ended. But this one literally picks up the exact moment that the first one ended. You are thrown right back into the middle of the war within Oz and there is no resting.

The ending was just as amazing as the rest of the book. An ending that satisfies the reader, yet has you coming back for more. Where would I be without the next book? Possibly curled up in the floor crying about how much I need the next book. Or maybe trying to find a way to stalker the author or the publisher and convince them that I need an advanced copy or I would go mental. (I will keep this in mind when I finish the third book.)

Overall, this is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. Possibly my favorite series I have read this year and It will go on my special shelf of favorites…as soon as I get a new shelf that can house all my favorite series books.

I think this whole series deserves the time it takes to read and I am so sorry I let the negative reviews hold me back this long!