Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

Oh look! I have another post this week. Another book review because this is a pretty short one. Anyway, I have a spoiler free review for Olivia Decoded, the sequel for the Olivia Twisted series. I don’t have many thoughts so let’s get straight into it!

28220969Olivia Decoded by Vivi Barnes

Series: Olivia Twisted (#2)
Genre: Mystery
Publication: September 6th 2016 by Entangled: Teen
Pages: 320
Source: Borrowed

This isn’t my Jack, who once looked at me like I was his world. The guy who’s occupied the better part of my mind for eight months.

This is Z, criminal hacker with a twisted agenda and an arsenal full of anger.

I’ve spent the past year trying to get my life on track. New school. New friends. New attitude. But old flames die hard, and one look at Jack—the hacker who enlisted me into his life and his hacking ring, stole my heart, and then left me—and every memory, every moment, every feeling comes rushing back. But Jack’s not the only one who’s resurfaced in my life. And if I can’t break through Z’s defenses and reach the old Jack, someone will get hurt…or worse.


PLOT

I’m really conflicted about this book because although I found myself engaged to the mystery, I was annoyed at the plot and the characters. I missed the hacking in the first book. It wasn’t great in my opinion but hacking is hardly explored in YA so it was different. The storyline in this book is creepy but it wasn’t as unnerving as I would have liked.

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Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I have FINALLY finished the Embassy Row series by Ally Carter. So, today I have a review for the finale of the series. It’s spoiler free so if you haven’t read this book yet and want to know my thoughts first, read ahead! If you haven’t read book #1 or 2, I recommend reading them first before reading this review. Just as a precaution because I don’t want to accidentally spoil you. But there aren’t any major spoilers from the previous books if you’re worried. Let’s begin!

30254923Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

Series: Embassy Row (#3)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: December 27th 2016 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 327
Source: Borrowed

The princess is dead. Long live the princess.

Centuries ago, the royal family of Adria was killed…or so everyone thought.

Now Grace Blakely knows the truth: There was one survivor, and that survivor’s blood runs through her veins. This simple fact could cause a revolution—which is why some people will stop at nothing to keep it from coming to light.

There is only one way for Grace to save herself, save her family, and save the boy she loves. She must outmaneuver her foes, cut through the web of lies that has surrounded her for years, and go back to the source of all her troubles, despite the risk.

If she wins, she will inherit a throne.

And if she loses, she will inherit the fate of all the dead princesses who came before her.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I found the concept of this series real great with the conspiracies, lost princesses and secret societies. However, the overall execution didn’t impress me even and I was disappointed after each book in the series. I believe this novel was much too short to deal with all the conflicts and ideas explored so there wasn’t enough depth and development. Perhaps I’m rating this book a bit higher than my actual feelings. I feel like it’s more of a 2.75 but I’m feeling generous. Plenty of angst, plenty of drama. Let’s get into it.

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Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I continue to share my thoughts on the Throne of Glass series so today I have a review for Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas. I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t find this book as enjoyable as their predecessors. But more of that below.

WARNING: the Goodreads synopsis has spoilers for all the previous books in the Throne of Glass series so don’t read ahead if you don’t want to get spoiled for the prequel and books #1 – 3. I recommend you reading them first them coming back so we can discuss, or if you’re unsure as to whether to read them and you want my thoughts, I have reviews:

was spoiled for this book from reading the synopsis so I don’t want you to have the same experience. There may be some minor spoilers for Queen of Shadows throughout the review depending on what you count as a spoiler. So, if you haven’t read it yet, read at your own discretion. I also have a spoiler section at the bottom of the review which will include ACTUAL plot spoiler thoughts.

I have MANY thoughts.

18006496Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass (#4)
Genre: Fantasy
Publication: September 1st 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 648
Source: Library
3 stars

The queen has returned.

Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past…

She has embraced her identity as Aelin Galathynius, Queen of Terrasen. But before she can reclaim her throne, she must fight.

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die for her. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s triumphant return.

The fourth volume in the New York Times bestselling series continues Celaena’s epic journey and builds to a passionate, agonizing crescendo that might just shatter her world.


PRE-READING THOUGHTS

  • Dude this is going to take a long time to finish
  • From the title, I’m predicting a rise to power for Celaena (I will never be able to call her Aelin)
  • Also hoping that she will showcase her powers and it’ll be absolutely brutal
  • Dreading the assumed romance that is suggested to begin soon between Aelin and Rowan

Now onto my actual reading experience…

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Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I have a spoiler free review for Ashes, book #3 of the Seeds of America trilogy. I really enjoyed the first 2 books of the series so if you want to know my thoughts on the finale, read on!

28591677Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

Series: Seeds of America (#3)
Genre: Historical fiction
Publication: October 4th 2016 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 272
Source: Borrowed
3 stars

Return to the American Revolution in this blistering conclusion to the trilogy that began with the bestselling National Book Award Finalist Chains and continued with Forge, which The New York Times called “a return not only to the colonial era but to historical accuracy.”

As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge—but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state—where bounty hunters are thick as flies.

Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom, in this grand finale to the acclaimed Seeds of America trilogy from Laurie Halse Anderson.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I have been waiting years for this series to conclude. This book didn’t captivate me like the first two, but the research is still impressive. I wasn’t a fan of the clumsy misunderstandings that took place for a lot of the first half of the book. It felt a bit predictable. I just didn’t find this book that entertaining.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I’ve got a very, very long spoilerish review for Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses. This means that the review has very minor spoilers scattered throughout and and spoiler section at the end. So if you haven’t read this book, I think it’s okay to read most of the review. Just skip the last section.

16096824A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses (#1)
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 416
Source: Borrowed

3 stars

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.


GENERAL THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed the concept of this world and different courts that Sarah J. Maas has created. However, a lot of the events were way too unrealistically easy. I wanted to enjoy it but I just couldn’t fully.

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See How They Run by Ally Carter // Book Reviews

Hey hey!

I hope ya’ll having a fascinating day. Not relevant but I’ve got a review on the sequel of the Embassy Row series, and it’s going to be spoiler free. The series had a pretty good start and an interesting introduction into this embassy row idea – it’s not thieves or spies. Or is it? Read on if you want to know my thoughts reading See How They Run.

24644814See How They Run by Ally Carter

Series: Embassy Row (#2)
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Publication: December 22nd 2015 by Scholastic Press
Pages: 336
Source: Borrowed
3 stars

Inside every secret, there’s a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions–from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace’s past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row.


REVIEW

I was expecting a step up from the last book and it pains me to say this but I wasn’t impressed. For the duration of the book, it was mainly monotonous. Major plot points and revelations interested me, but the filler scenes were sort of dull. I think the ending saved the book for me and stepped up from the other parts of the book. It was full of suspense and high tension and unpredictability. I like how it explained the “random” parts of the novel and showed how they were actually relevant. So it made sense. Huzzah!! Also murder mysteries mixed in with political intrigue! Awesome. The problem for me was the characters I liked from the previous book didn’t have enough appearance then staying appeared time, and the characters I didn’t like so much had too much time.

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Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown // Book Reviews

Helloooo

So this is by first book review and its going to be about Velvet Undercover (as you probably know from the multiple titles displayed in this post). I’ve heard no hype whatsoever around this book but I liked the premise so I read it and these are my thoughts…

18658082Velvet Undercover by Teri Brown

Genres: Historical fiction, Mystery
Publication: October 20th 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
Source: Borrowed
3 stars

Samantha Donaldson’s family has always done its duty for the British Crown. In the midst of World War I, seventeen-year-old Sam follows in their footsteps, serving her country from the homefront as a messenger for the intelligence organization MI5. After her father disappears on a diplomatic mission, she continues their studies of languages, mathematics, and complex puzzles, hoping to make him proud.

When Sam is asked to join the famed women’s spy group La Dame Blanche, she’s torn—while this could be an unbelievable adventure, how can she abandon her mother, who has already lost a husband? But when her handlers reveal shocking news, Sam realizes she can’t refuse the exciting and dangerous opportunity…


I love spy stories and historical fiction so when I saw this book I was like yes, give me now. The cover is bit misleading and doesn’t contribute to the story or attract the audience I think it wants. Anyway, onwards to the actual content. If you are looking for a mind-blowing spy thriller I don’t really recommend this novel. It is a bit more on the juvenile side and an overall short and enjoyable story that explores the complexities in defining morality. It follows an English teenage spy blackmailed, and sent to Germany during World War I on a mission, with a new identity to retrieve an asset in exchange for the discovery of more information about the disappearance of her father. I lowered the rating to 3 stars the more I thought about it because though it was an entertaining novel and  the plot intrigued most of the time, I did have some issues with the simplicity of the writing and character development.

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