Thursday, May 18, 2017

Book Review: Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter

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Last Stand by Rachel E. Carter
For the past couple of months I've been reading and reviewing Rachel E. Carter’s The Black Mage series and I've got to thank her for sending all four books and the Non-Heir novella to me for free because this has become my favorite YA Fantasy series.

Last Stand, the last book of the Black Mage series, is about Ryiah and her fight against herself, the Crown, and almost everyone in the Kingdom of Jerar. War is impending and Ryiah has chosen her side but not everyone she loves is beside her.

From the moment the book starts, we find Ryiah marrying Darren, the prince of Jerar, but her life in the palace will be nothing like a fairytale. People closest to her have been killed as the rebels rise and Ryiah has a plan to save the kingdom but it involves betraying the most powerful mage in the kingdom, her husband. Ryiah battles her own mind to save the kingdom or throw the cause away and confess her betrayal. But when the truth comes out, she and Darren are on opposite sides and there is no choice but for one or both of them to go down. A sacrifice must be made, someone will die and Ryiah has always been the one who was too reckless.

Heartbreaking, beautiful, gut-wrenching, romantic, adventurous and horrifying are words I’d say fit this book. Last Stand was a beautiful conclusion to a fantastic series! Rachel E. Carter is so talented and I can’t wait to read more of her work in the future!


Recommended age:
14+


On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
Last Stand made me cry at least twice. So much pain and heartache litters this story and I felt it all with the characters. Each character was believable and I think that made it even easier to slip into the emotions they were feeling.
8/10

Violence:
There is a lot of fighting, gore, and torture.
9/10

Sexual content:
Ryiah and Darren are now married in this book. They sleep together, but nothing is too detailed once they finally have sex.
6/10

Crude language:
Minimal.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
This book deals with depression a lot and I think it does a good job at conveying it without going into too much triggering detail. Lying is a theme throughout Last Stand.

Overall:
Overall this was probably the most emotional instalment of the series. The characters go through absolute Hell and its heartbreaking but it made for a beautiful story! The Black Mage series will forever be one of my favorites now.  I loved how realistic the characters are and how Rachel made me feel like I was a part of the story too.
10/10

Xoxo
- Sarah

Monday, April 24, 2017

Book Review: Candidate by Rachel E. Carter


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Candidate by Rachel E. Carter

Okay, I want to keep this short and sweet because I don’t want to spoil anything!

BUT THIS WAS MY FAVORITE SO FAR! Oh my goodness! The drama, stakes and action are absolutely sky high in Candidate! This, the third book focuses on Ryiah and her training, and journey as she reaches for her dream of becoming THE Black Mage. Ryiah works so hard and is facing new heartaches, promising promotions and so many new experiences, including being a part of Jerar’s royal family!  Ryiah has been so focused on her personal goals and Darren though that she almost misses the worst thing happening right under her nose, the start of a rebellion. The enemy lurks and draws closer to overthrowing the kingdom of Jerar, but only when tragedy strikes does she get a closer look and starts to see that there are more than two sides to the war which is about to break out.

This book is full of action, which is why I loved it so much. Rachel has a true talent for writing fighting scenes that are believable and are at the same, easy to follow along with. She continued to make me feel as if I were right there with Ryiah in the arena fighting with my magic! The training and competition for becoming the Black Mage is so interesting, entertaining and, although it feels a bit reminiscent of The Hunger Games, it stands on it’s on. Which is another thing I am really impressed with. Rachel is in a HUGELY popular genre and somehow manages to outshine the other fantasy//dystopian stories for me. I may have to petition her for an interview! ;)

Recommended age:
13+



On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
So many feels! This book seemed to be way more emotional than the first two. There were several times where I was gasping and shouting at the book. LOL! I was happy and very sad at a lot of things and that doesn’t happen often with me while reading!
9/10

Violence:
There is a ton of good classic battle-style fighting! If you're into it like myself you'll appreciate the realistic feel. If you're not keen on fighting and realistic fighting and gore then this book isn't for you.
9/10

Sexual content:
Talk of potions for preventing pregnancy are present in a scene where Ryiah and Darren are making out, but nothing further.
4/10

Crude language:
Very mild.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
Like I said, a ton of violence. Blood, death and fighting.

Overall:
Over all I loved this book! It’s the best book I've read in a while and I can’t wait to read book 4!
10/10

Xoxo

- Sarah

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Book Review: Apprentice by Rachel E. Carter

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Apprentice by Rachel E. Carter

(Non-spoilery review)

“She survived a trial year at the Academy of Magic, but that was the easy part…

Now sixteen-year-old Ryiah is an apprentice of Combat, her school’s most notorious faction. When she finishes, she will be a war mage, but in order to do so, she has to survive four years traveling across Jerar, training with a master she hates, her old nemesis, Priscilla, and Prince Darren, her sometimes-rival sometimes… more?

Ry’s new apprenticeship is nothing like what she prepared for. War is on the horizon and her lessons aren’t just for practice anymore.

It’s time to fight.” – Goodreads.com

Apprentice (book 2 of the Black Mage series) continues to follow Ryiah through her time at the academy, over a four year span, training to be a Black Mage. This book is absolutely phenomenal for a second book in a series! It was fast paced and the characters, except Prince Darren, were all very consistent, personality-wise, which I love. Ryiah is relatable and still determined to get what she wants. Rachel writes in a way which makes the reader feel like they are right there with Ryiah, Ella and the gang, at their school and fighting alongside them. I really loved the new characters and loved getting to see new sides of ones from book one! The mock battles were def one of my favorite parts. I am absolutely stoked for book 3, Candidate, and book 4, Last Stand…….omg that title though terrifies me.


BUT I NEED MORE IAN.




Recommended age:
13+


On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
I have become invested in these characters. I felt for and with them as they went through a lot of struggles, shockers and happy times.
7/10

Violence:
There is a lot of fighting and death. A few scenes are bloody and slightly gory.
6/10

Sexual content:
There are a few kisses.
3/10

Crude language:
Very little to none.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
One character in particular lies a lot. They're hot then cold and just not very nice in my opinion. I personally wouldn’t be so quick to forget that type of betrayal over and over and I think it is too easily looked over and goes unpunished because of the motives explained for this bad behavior. Also for Ryiah being written as such a strong, brave character, she is too quick to fall for whoever is showing her the most attention at the time.

Overall:
Overall I think this book was great! There were times I was a bit taken back by choices made and I think some motives for certain actions were weak but as a whole book I enjoyed it. It was face paced and I never lost interest. I hope to get to book 3 soon!
8.5/10

Xoxo

- Sarah

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: First Year by Rachel E. Carter


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First Year by Rachel E. Carter

First off I want to say a huge thanks to Rachel for sending me this book for free!
On to the review!
Okay, so I have had my eye on this book for a while. I remember reading about it a couple of years ago and wanting to read it at the time but for some dumb reason I didn't. A month or so ago I saw on the wonderful world of bookstagram that Rachel was giving copies away for reviews and I was like “YAASSSS! Totally getting on that train.” If you know what I mean. Anyway, I loved it a lot and although it was a plot that I feel has been done a thousand times, this story will stick out to me against the others. I loved the characters, I thought Rachel did a good job describing them and their personalities, along with their looks.

First year is about Ryiah and her journey to becoming a Black Mage of Combat, who are country’s most fierce warriors. Only one thing is missing, the magic required to even go to the academy where she and her twin brother will train to become Mages. When Ryiah finally gets her magic it’s only through injury.  Ryial fights to stay afloat at her new school and has more to prove than anyone there. The odds are stacked against her and her friends as one of the kingdoms Princes loathes her and casts stones at every opportunity. Ryiah has the choice to back out or press on and hope that maybe just maybe, she can learn to control the magic inside her without killing herself.

That’s probably a poor description of the story BUT I don’t want to give too much away. I honestly loved this book. I thought it was cute and entertaining and I found myself rooting for Ryiah and feeling sorry for her loses. I think the world building could have been better and I would have LOVED a look into her brother’s life at the academy or her friend Ruth, both of which had different majors than combat. I really liked how realistic and relatable Ryiah and her friends were. She is extremely hard working even though she knows she isn't as good as the others at both school and wielding her magic. I think Ryiah is a good example to young girls and she seems like a total baddie!



Recommended age:
12+



On to the ratings!

Stars:
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
I didn't get emotional while reading//listening to First Year but I did really hate having to stop reading and looked forward to every time I got in my car to start the book reading to me again. I went over my lunch break time a couple of times because of reading this book! So is day I had MY feelings wrapped up in the story. I did hurt for Ryiah when she was embarrassed or hurt by the actions of others, also I loved the sibling interaction with her and her brothers.
5/10

Violence:
The story is about fighting. Fighting physically and mentally. I would have loved to see more mental struggle with her but there was just more physical violence. Nothing too graphic but there was a lot of talk about crushed bones, blood and just combat in general.
6/10

Sexual content:
Very little of this happening. There was one kiss which wasn’t graphic but the character talks about not having control over their body. Lol. Natural though.
2/10

Crude language:
Not much crude language at all. One of the things I liked about this book. Clean enough for young readers and felt mature without the profanities.
2/10

Other elements/comments:
Bullying, some rule breaking.

Overall:
I just really enjoyed the book and luckily there are like 4 others for me to indulge myself with! Again thanks to the author for sending me the ebook!
9/10

Xoxo

- Sarah

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Book Review: Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider


Extraordinary Means by Robyn Schneider

This book was one of the types that make you think about life and the purpose of everything after it’s over.

Extraordinary Means is about Lane and Sadie, two teens who, having previously met at camp as kids, find themselves at the same sanatorium for Tuberculous, Latham House. Lane sees Sadie’s group of friends there and immediately wants to be their friend but he doesn’t plan on being there long. He has plans for his future and as soon as he gets better, he’s gone from Latham House. Latham House isn't his future, Stanford is. All Lane wants it to keep his grades up and not fall behind in school, but once he gets to know Sadie and her group of friends, that changes. Lane begins to start living in the now as Sadie does, she doesn’t seem to mind that she may not have a future and that makes her embrace the present.

Unavoidably, Lane and Sadie fall in love and with the promise of a new drug to cure them of the awful disease, the chance of a future together comes into view, but TB looms and the possibility that any of them could be taken by TB before they get the drug is always an option.

I’ve never read a John Green book, but I assume this is a lot like one. I liked it a lot, I thought it was realistic and the characters were diverse and likeable. To be totally honest, I bought the book because of the cover. I thought it was super cute and I was drawn to it. But the inside was just as good!

Recommended age:
15+



On to the ratings!

Stars: 0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
I found myself wanting them all to live and to be happy. I went into this book knowing characters would die. It’s basically on the cover “Life goes on, until it doesn’t.” I’d really like to know what happened to the ones left in the end though. Did they keep in touch?
5/10

Violence:
There wasn’t much violence at all. One kid hits another, and one person slams another into a tree.  The effect TB has on these kids though, is violent and to think that this happens to people, has happened to people, is just sad.
3/10

Sexual content:
Sex is implied, several kisses.
3/10

Crude language:
There is a ton of crude language. Every “curse” word is used multiple times. Including the F-word, GD and all minor profanities.
10/10
Other elements/comments:
God is mentioned once or twice, implying that one character may have been religious. One character is caught masturbating to gay porn. (lol.)

Overall:
Overall I liked the story. I thought it was thought provoking and just cute, although sad. Again I’d love to know what happened after the story more.
7/10

Xoxo

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Book Review: Nil by Lynne Matson



Nil by Lynne Matson

I met Lynne at a small book signing in Charleston, SC last year. She was super nice and I thought Nil seemed right up my alley. So, I got Nil, Lynne signed it and it’s been on my shelf unread for a year. #rude right? But recently Nil went on sale in the google playstore so I bought a second, digital, copy!
Nil, in my opinion is a perfect mix between Survivor, The Maze Runner and a little dash of Swiss Family Robinson. Nil is an island where teens get randomly transported to from all over the world through “gates” Gates are shimmering portals which travel along the Earth in patterns, dropping people and animals in Nil. Gates are also you're only ticket off of the island and catching one isn't easy. Nil makes life hard. She is host to lions, bear, boars, and all sorts of other dangerous entities. Oh, and once you land on Nil, you’d better start counting days because if you don’t catch an outbound gate back off of Nil within one year, you die.

Nil focuses around Charley and Thad. Two totally hot teens with promising futures who struggle with finding meaning in life and with why they are on Nil. Thad is the first person Charley meets on Nil, after waking up alone, naked and spending an awful twelve days on the mysterious island. She and Thad click right away and he knows a lot more about the island than she does. They quickly fall for one another and make a great team but Charley learns that Thad is running out of time and they have to figure out a way to beat Nil at her own game.

I freaking loved this book! I had been wanting to read another dystopian book and although there was no corrupt government involved, Nil did the trick for me. Lynne is such a talented writer. Her world building was great and her characters were very realistic!

Recommended age:
15+


On to the ratings!

Stars..
0 = None 10 = Tons


THE FEELS:
This book was full of feels. The happy and sad kind. Thad and Charley are the cutest couple. I found myself routing for them and hoping nothing would come between them. There were a couple of other couples on Nil as well who I wanted happy endings as well. There were several deaths which was sad, knowing they never made it home was disappointing and who am I kidding I love a good death in a book!
7/10

Violence:
There as one moment that stuck out to me as violent, when an animal attacked one of the teens and it got petty bloody.
4/10

Sexual content:
Charley and Thad kiss a lot and talk about going further but the potential consequences held them back from taking the next step, they ultimately decide not to have sex until they can get back home, if they get back home.
4/10

Crude language:
Minor profanities were used throughout. There was one kid in particular who dropped at least five f-bombs and others replayed him with the same.
7.5/10

Other elements/comments:
The mention of bare breasts is made several times as a lot of the kids arrive to Nil totally nude.

Overall:
Overall I really loved this book. I was so overdue for a book with good dystopian vibes and this totally settled that. There are two other books after this one which leaves a crap load of room for more Nil, Charley and Thad!
8/10

Xoxo
- Sarah

Friday, June 17, 2016

Something Extra Special! Book Review: The Keplar Project by Sarah Jones


Hey all! Today I have something EXTRA special for you! Its a book review of MY book, The Keplar Project reviewed by my lovely friend Bridget from over at bridgetreadsbooks.wordpress.com!! 

A couple of months ago I asked Bridget if she would beta read for me and give me her opinion on my book and when she said yes I was so stoked! Bridget has been so so helpful on my writing journey and is the very first blogger to review my book! So! In celebration I am re-posting her sweet review below!


Be sure to go check out Bridget's blog and her insta!

The Keplar Project: More than a review




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Note: This cover is not final and is subject to change.

Title: The Keplar Project
Author: Sarah Jones
Publish Date/Publisher: N/A
Format: Manuscript /sent via author/
Genre: YA
Before you read my review, make sure to check out Sarah on all of her social media!



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Note: This synopsis is not final and is subject to change.

How far are you willing to go to protect the ones you love?
For Sariah Kent, the ends of the Earth are just the beginning.
The Commander is cruel, he has made the Republic of Prospect a living Hell and now he wants more. More power, more land, a planet of his own to dictate. But in order to do that he needs lab rats, human ones, to test out the most promising planet his scientists know of, to see if this planet is survivable… and who better to do that than criminals?
When Sariah Kent and her two best friends are caught for vandalizing the Commander’s home there is a price to pay. She knows that her options are few and that a public hanging at the Gallows awaits her. Sariah isn’t one to beg or put up a fight and has accepted her fate but when the Commander proposes an ultimatum the three friends are faced with a problem bigger, worse, than the Gallows. The Commander tells Sariah and her friends they can either live on death row for five years, or take the place of the citizens who were chosen to participate in an experiment, the Keplar Project. A project which involves banishment to the foreign planet, Keplar-518e. When Sariah sees her little sister’s name on the list of citizens chosen to participate, she and her friends have to make a choice. Choose to have the extra five years, or go in the place of their family members to a planet where they may die in minutes.
FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS! (Star Icon Images not uploading.)
I was so excited when I started beta reading The Keplar Project (TKP). The whole idea of new planets and adventure really appealed to me. Although I was a beta for TKP, I still connected to the story as a reader.
I read TKP a total of three times and each time only made me love the story more.
All of the characters were so unique, each bringing something to the story, whether it was a small joke, a big smile, or an evil laugh, TKP was erupting with liveliness. The multiple POVs really kept the plot moving fast and were always such a great insight on the characters.
Sarah’s writing was smooth and never left me confused. The plot line was so detailed and well thought out, really making the story speak. Each scene was perfectly formed into a beautiful world that I couldn’t get enough of. I often found myself getting lost in the beautiful words of The Keplar Project.
The Keplar Project by Sarah Jones has such great potential and I cannot wait to hear of its future success!
THE CHARACTERS AND MY THOUGHTS
While searching Sarah’s blog for every detail I could find about The Keplar Project, I came across character descriptions for some of the main characters. So below, you will find a description of some of the characters (all descriptions from Sarah’s blog,) pictures from Google based off Sarah’s description, and my thoughts on those characters!


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Sariah Kent



Sarah’s Description:
“Dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. Medium height. She is the type of girl who rolls with the punches. Some might say she is a leader type, others might say she is reckless. Crime: Vandalism…and a few other things..oops!”
My thoughts:
Sariah was such a strong-willed main character who was determined right from the start. She never left me bored, always keeping the story entertaining and open. Sariah was good to others and never wavered in personality. Although she could use some more character development, she was nearly a “perfect” main heroine.


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Taaria Kent


Sarah’s Description:
“Dirty blonde hair and brown eyes. She is a Keplar Project sibling. Little sister to Sariah. Her personality is spunky and ambitious. She loves her older sisters more than anything!”
My thoughts:
Taaria was such a loving character towards her family. She was very determined (much like her sister) and very open. I would love to know more about Taaria, and feel more of her voice would be great in the plot.

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Nixon McCoy

Sarah’s Description:
“Black hair which curls at the tips and Jensen Ackles green eyes! Mysterious personality. Observant. Crime: unknown. (of course I know what it is! lololol)”
My thoughts:
Nixon (Nix) may sound like the generic “broken inside” character, but he was the opposite. He was mysterious, yet open. Observant, yet ignorant. Quiet, yet loud. You get to know so much about him through a couple chapters.


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Luke Cramer

Sarah’s Description:
“Tall, Brown hair and eyes. Snarky personality. Some would call him the class clown, others would say he is a pest. Crime: Contempt and Disorderly Conduct.”
My thoughts:
Luke was amazing. He was funny, keeping the plot light-hearted. Almost as mysterious and Nixon, he left me thinking on his ordeal and his thoughts.
WHAT? A SONG?
So, as above I mentioned I basically stalked Sarah’s blog. Well, I found that she wrote a song for one of Sariah’s older sisters, Seera. Seera’s song is absolutely beautiful and I can’t get enough of it, so let’s enjoy it together!!
“Seera’s Song (Written by me, so ya can’t listen because it’s not an audible thing.)”
All my sister’s
With all their bright lights
All my sister’s
They’re shining so bright
All my sister’s
With all their brown eyes
The space ship takes flight
Away into the night
We’re on our way now
We’re on our way now
My head is on your shoulder
We’re growing much older
And when we get there I’ll be 23
All my sister’s
With all their bright lights
All my sister’s
They’re shining so bright
All my sister’s
With all their brown eyes
we will reunite.
Five out of five stars to The Keplar Project by Sarah Jones!
Drawing (3)

Thank you for reading and sharing in the excitement with me!
CAN WE JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO DROOL OVER BRIDGET'S MODEL FOR LUKE? MKAY.
xoxo, Sarah!