12 Best Book Deals for 7/11/19: A Princess in Theory, After You, Robin, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
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After You by Jojo Moyes

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

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1776 by David McCullough

Robin by Dave Itzkoff


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Another book about kids with special powers | The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

I found this book to be SUPER underwhelming. I read it because the movie was coming out and Mandy Moore is in it and it has such a high star rating on Goodreads. Honestly, I just feel like I read the book too late. If I had read it about five years ago not long after it came out, I think I would have loved it. As it is, I felt like the book really dragged and the characters weren’t super interesting to me. The author didn’t really explain anything either, but maybe that comes in the later books?

I found the romance to be cringey at best and eye-rolly at worst. It verges on insta-love and the love interest is this perfect specimen of a teenage boy. Literally, his only flaw is that he cares too much about the little guy. The main character’s motivations seemed extremely fluid and didn’t make for a very concrete character. I will say that the secondary characters of Zume and Chubs were a nice addition, but they weren’t enough to save this book.

While there were a few plot points that genuinely took me by surprise, overall this book was predictable and much, much longer than it needed to be. It took me almost an entire month to read simply because there was nothing drawing me back to it.

While the cliffhanger was surprising and, honestly, completely wrecked me, I do not plan on reading the rest of this series. Or watching the movie tbh.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: None
Sexual Content: Mild

BLOG TOUR: Meritropolis by Joel Ohman [GIVEAWAY]

MerMeritropolis (Meritropolis, #1)
by Joel Ohman
Release Date: September 8th 2014
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Goodreads|Amazon|B&N

SYNOPSIS: In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to take down the System.

The year is AE3, 3 years after the Event. Within the walls of Meritropolis, 50,000 inhabitants live in fear, ruled by the brutal System that assigns each citizen a merit score that dictates whether they live or die. Those with the highest scores thrive, while those with the lowest are subject to the most unforgiving punishment‚Äďto be thrust outside the city gates, thrown to the terrifying hybrid creatures that exist beyond.

But for one High Score, conforming to the System just isn‚Äôt an option. Seventeen-year-old Charley has a brother to avenge. And nothing‚Äďnot even a totalitarian military or dangerous science‚Äďis going to stop him.

Where humankind has pushed nature and morals to the extreme, Charley is amongst the chosen few tasked with exploring the boundaries, forcing him to look deep into his very being to discern right from wrong. But as he and his friends learn more about the frightening forces that threaten destruction both without and within the gates, Meritropolis reveals complexities they couldn’t possibly have bargained for…

REVIEW: The premise of this book was extremely promising. I like the idea of everyone getting a score to determine a person’s worth in society (not in real life, obviously, but in a fictional scenario, that seems intriguing). I felt like this book fell flat a little bit though as it didn’t really go into the system much–we didn’t really see it operating asides from people being “zeroed out”.

Charley as a main character was kind of hard for me to swallow. He was very aggressive and abrasive–I didn’t find myself connecting with him at all. Sure, he’s got this tragic backstory, and I feel bad for saying it, but I just couldn’t make myself sympathize with him. He seemed really unlikable to me and I didn’t feel like he experienced any kind of character development. I did like other characters though like Grigor and Sandy. They seemed like solid characters and I wish we’d seen more of them.

Overall, this book was just okay. The premise was so promising, but then the world just ended up being confusing (I don’t really understand the animal combinations–they just seem super random).

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Mild
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: None
Sexual Content: Mild


MeritropolisTourBanner2

Click on the picture above to be taken to the giveaway!


JoelABOUT THE AUTHOR:¬†Joel Ohman is the author of the Meritropolis series –“The Hunger¬†Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”. He¬†lives in¬†Tampa, FL with his wife Angela and their three kids. His¬†writing companion is Caesar, a slightly overweight Bull Mastiff who¬†loves to eat the tops off of¬†strawberries.

Get notified of new books here: Meritropolis.com

Website|Twitter|Facebook


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Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

This is the second book in The Reckoners series and so my review may contain spoilers if you have not read the first book.

Steelheart is gone, Newcago is free, and David is finally a Reckoner. He knows he should be enjoying life, but this would all be a lot better if Megan–otherwise known as Firefight–was there with him. Unfortunately, there are rumors that she’s killed another Reckoner in Babylon Restored (what used to be known as New York). David knows that this rumor cannot possibly be true (Megan is still good!) so he goes with Prof and Tia to Babilar to clear her name. When they arrive, they quickly learn that Regalia, the leader of Babilar, wants something with Prof. The only question is, does she want to kill him? Or have him kill her?Cover_of_Brandon_Sanderson's_book_-Firefight-

I just want to start by saying that I do not read this series¬†for the characters. They’re a little two-dimensional for me and I can’t find myself relating to¬†any of them. That being said, HOLY WORLD BUILDING. The reason that I’m keeping up with this series is because the world building is amazing. Sanderson has brilliantly constructed an alternate future (or is it supposed to be the present…?)¬†This is a world ruled by cruel beings with superpowers. The people aren’t necessarily inherently evil, but using the superpower makes you evil. Literally, that’s what happens. Now that I think about it, this may be somewhat of a commentary on the effects of power…but I won’t get into that here.

While the characters are only vaguely described and given somewhat flat personalities, the world that Sanderson has built rises off the pages. I can see what New York looks like as Babilar and the entire world is so convincing that I wonder why I haven’t heard about these things on the news. I’ve also been trying to imagine what state Provo, Utah would be in after Calamity’s rise. Probably incinerated. I think the whole city would just be gone. If world building is something that you’re into, YOU HAVE TO READ THESE BOOKS.

Okay, but enough gushing. I think you guys get the point. I did have a few more issues even though I’m more than willing to overlook them. First, David seems a little more immature than he should be for his age. If I’m going to be reading from a guy’s point of view, I’d like them to take things a little more seriously than David does and, you know, act his age. Second, there’s a lot of action. A LOT of action and at times I was confused as to what was going on. Third, there might have been too many twists. ¬†I’m a little on the fence about this one.¬†You want to keep readers on their toes, but if you’re giving them whiplash…no bueno. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good plot twist (especially one that I don’t see coming) but plot twists in these types of books are usually negative in nature and make the book feel a little hopeless. I like to have hope when I read.

Overall, a good read but maybe not one that I’d reread. I’ll definitely be looking to pick up the third book, Calamity, when it comes out Spring 2016. I think the series is looking to wrap it up in this third books, but who knows?

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Heavy
Language: None
Sexual Content: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: None

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Mare is a red. She has red blood and she’s slated to go directly into the army in a few weeks when she turns 18. The purpose of reds are to serve silvers. Those with silver blood have powers–abilities. This difference makes silvers gods and reds less than dirt. When Mare finds herself with abilities and blood just as red as ever, she’s thrust into the middle of the royal court pretending to be a silver. Engaged to the younger prince, Mare must decide whose side she’s on and what she’s willing to sacrifice to protect the ones she loves.

10212034Right off the bat I just felt like the story seemed¬†familiar. It had elements from The Hunger Games, The Selection series, and Pawn all rolled into one neat package. It’s got to be hard these days to come up with new concepts for dystopian YA featuring a strong female lead, am I right?

My first thought–besides the “this feels familiar” one–was “what’s up with Mare’s trust issues?” Maybe I’m too trusting, but it really seemed like Maven and Cal had only been nice to her at the beginning. They hadn’t really given her a reason to distrust them, besides the color of their blood, and they even showed elements of disagreeing with how their father ran the country. It made me a little exasperated with the main character. Secondary characters weren’t really helping either. They all seemed rather one-dimensional and caricature-ish. Like…okay, yeah, I’ve seen about one million books with this character. Not interesting.

I think most of my issues with this book centered around Mare. It didn’t feel like she was ¬†a very well thought-out character. First there were the trust issues I¬†mentioned (you have to trust someone!) and then there was the fact that she wasn’t sure how she felt about the rebellion. She joins up (not a spoiler) but she keeps going back and forth about whether or not she did the right thing and if she likes what they’re doing. If she hadn’t been 100% sure about joining a rebellion, she shouldn’t have done it. Mare had to know that she would become the face of the rebellion with the position she’d been placed in at court. You have to have conviction and confidence in what you’re doing if you’re going to be in that position!

Another little issue I had is the brother love triangle. Love triangles aren’t my favorite, but I especially dislike them when there are two brothers who like the same girl (I’m looking at you Jenny Han!) I mean…I’m sure it actually happens sometimes in real life, but it just seems cruel. At least one of the brothers is not going to end up with the girl and they’re just supposed to be okay with that? It’s not like they’ll never see the girl again…I mean they’re going to be in-laws. So it just seems like a really painful (and unnecessary) situation.

In the end, this book was just okay for me. Partly this is because I’ve read so many other similar books, but another part is that it only feels about 80% thought-out. The abilities–super interesting. But the rest…not so much. There was a HUGE twist at the end that, I’ll admit, I did not see coming, but before that it was just kind of predictable. I realize this review makes it sound like I really did not like the book, but that’s not true. I liked Mare’s relationship with her family and like I said earlier, the powers were really interesting to me. It just wasn’t anything that blew my socks off. Not good enough that I’ll be eagerly awaiting the next book, but good enough that I’ll read the second book eventually.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Heavy
Language: None
Sexual Content: None
Smoking/Drinking: Mild. Some drinking.

Hit by Delilah S Dawson

Patsy’s mom is in debt to Valor Savings Bank. Only Valor Savings is claiming that they paid off the United States’ debt so now they run the country. According to the fine print, Valor Savings is legally allowed to make indentured servants out of anyone with an outstanding balance on their credit card. They’re saying that Patsy has two choices to work off her mother’s debt: become a bounty hunter or die. Please choose.
hit-9781481423397_hr

Why did I start this blog? To post reviews! What have I not been doing lately? Posting reveiws! I’d just like to start this post off with an apology for not posting many reviews lately. Luckily, I have about five books that are waiting to be reviewed so…hopefully I’ll get some of those out to you this week. Now, without further ado…

Check out that cover! Not the first reason I decided to read it, but¬†I like it all the same.¬†I feel like it’s something you have to study for a little bit before you get what’s going on. But once you do, it’s absurdly cool.

First off, I thought “Patsy” was an interesting name for a main YA character. It just seems a little old-fashioned, but not in a bad way necessarily. Just…unexpected I guess.¬†Disclaimer: I’ve never had to work as a bounty hunter. However, I did feel like both Patsy and Wyatt’s reactions¬†throughout the book¬†were pretty authentic and believable. Obviously if they had it their way, they wouldn’t be killing anybody but this is the choice they made and they’re sticking to it–no matter how hard it gets.

I thought the premise for this book was really interesting and that’s why I decided to read it, but I don’t feel like it reached its full potential for a few reasons. The story got to be a tad predictable. Each kill was different, but in a routine way. I’m not sure if that makes sense, but it was kind of like each kill followed a formula. Get to house, approach person, something minor goes wrong, person chooses, Patsy leaves. In addition, I didn’t feel like the characters experienced much growth. They felt pretty one note and I had a hard time buying all the way into the romance. I just felt like Patsy and Wyatt really didn’t have a reason to like each other. Lastly, the “government conspiracy plot” is getting a little old to me. Maybe if I had read this book a few years ago, I’d have liked it better, but this is just another book where a girl has some random skill and the government tries to use her. Then she defeats the government (that part doesn’t happen in this book, but I’m pretty sure it’s a series so we’ll get there).

Overall I thought the book was alright. I’m glad I read it and I’ll probably read the sequel. According to Goodreads the sequel, Strike, is due out March 2016.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Heavy. A lot of killing, some gore.
Language: Heavy
Sexual Content: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate

Fire & Flood and Salt & Stone by Victoria Scott

Tella’s older brother is sick and none of the doctors can figure out what’s wrong with him. After being forced to move to Montana with the rest of her family, Tella receives an invitation to compete in the Brimstone Bleed–the winner gets a cure for any disease. Contenders will have to race across four different regions: jungle, desert, sea, and mountain. They will have an animal guide called a Pandora to aid and protect them. The only rule is to make it to base camp before the 14 day limit is up.

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I’ve heard some people say that these books are a cross between “The Hunger Games” and “The Amazing Race”. To them I say, “You’ve obviously never watched ‘The Amazing Race'”. Basically the only similarity to¬†“The Hunger Games” is that the race officials don’t care if people die while out on the course. But the contenders are all different ages, they have these Pandoras with them to help out, they don’t have donors or mentors, and not everybody has to die for there to be a winner. The only similarity to “The Amazing Race” is that it’s a race that changes locations.

With that rant over with…these books are just okay. It’s a really interesting concept and I especially like the detail that Tella is trying to win the cure for her OLDER brother (as opposed to the younger sibling that most dystopian novels favor). Besides that, there’s not very much that I like about Tella. She’s vain and selfish and immature…she kind of bugged me the whole time. I didn’t feel like she grew as a character and let’s be honest, who is really thinking about their glittery closet when they’re in the middle of the desert dying of dehydration??? Her whole relationship with Guy was pretty weird too. ¬†There’s a quote on page 108.

“[Guy’s] face pulls together. I realize it then–he hates me. And not in the way in which I find out later that he actually liked me the whole time.”

Except…he does end up liking her. So in retrospect, this sentence makes zero sense. I actually would have found the book much more interesting if Guy hadn’t liked her. The books had a lot of other inconsistencies as well. In the second book, Olivia refers to something that happened in the jungle leg of the race…SHE WASN’T THERE. That kind of thing just really bugs¬†me. It feels like the writer isn’t being careful.

Overall, the books were just okay. The concept of the race and the whole setup was really promising (even the whole conspiracy theory) and I absolutely LOVED all of the Pandoras. But the human characters just didn’t do it for me. I think there’ll be a third book out sometime, but I’m not sure when. I’ll probably end up reading it.

Overall Rating: 3
Violence: Heavy
Sexual Content: Mild
Language: Moderate (mostly mild, but a few scenes with brief strong language).
Smoking/Drinking: Mild in the first, None in the second.