Review: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

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Title: Daughter of Deep Silence by Carrie Ryan

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IBooks

Publication Date: May 26, 2015

Genre: YA Thriller

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis: In the wake of the devastating destruction of the luxury yacht Persephone, just three souls remain to tell its story—and two of them are lying. Only Frances Mace knows the terrifying truth, and she’ll stop at nothing to avenge the murders of everyone she held dear. Even if it means taking down the boy she loves and possibly losing herself in the process.

Sharp and incisive, Daughter of Deep Silence by bestselling author Carrie Ryan is a deliciously smart revenge thriller that examines perceptions of identity, love, and the lengths to which one girl is willing to go when she thinks she has nothing to lose.


 

The blurb had me. I’ve been dying to read this book since I first learned of it, after all it was marketed as a Revenge type plot, and that show used to be my jam. YA thrillers really excite me and when you add a romantic element in you can pretty much guarantee it’ll be something I’ll read. This book definitely kept my attention, even if it veered off into silly land every now and again. Let’s break it down.

What I liked: The whole concept is very interesting. After a tragedy, Frances Mace assumes the identity of a girl who became her friend on a family vacation gone terribly wrong. This is an interesting enough concept, but as Ryan begins to explore the psychological toll the split identity has on Frances, I found myself drawn further into a world colored in shades of Grey. New pseudo-Frances is not an easy character to like, but she’s also difficult for the reader to write off. Her motives are pure but she’s so complicated that she’s willing to kill innocent people in her search for justice. More than once I found myself contemplating what lengths I would go to should someone harm those I love. Ryan does not shy away from effects, both psychological and physical, that the slaughter aboard the Persephone has on Frances and frankly that exploration kept me constantly engaged, page after page.

What I didn’t like: There were a lot of cliches. A lot. Does not necessarily make this a bad book, but certain parts were difficult to enjoy. For example, Frances very easily gives into the affects of her first love Grey, absolving him of guilt and wrong doing, and in the end Ryan casts him in the role of White Knight. I would have been find if Frances cut him off at the knees in her quest for answers. Speaking of the answers…huh. I mean if I want to get existential here I could wax poetic about Ryan examining how sometimes the greatest tragedies occur because of human sin, but really I wanted a greater reason. Frankly, I did not understand the whole ending, maybe that was just me.

Overall, if you are a fan of Revenge plots, romantic tension, and general turmoil, you’ll love this book. It’s a strong piece that examines some very poignant ideas 3.5/5

Release Day and Giveaway: The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons

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Earlier this week I posted my review of Heather Lyons “The Forgotten Mountain” and I’m very excited to be part of the release day launch. The Collector’s Society series is currently my favorite adult series. Filled with magical mysticism, steamy romance, and kick-ass ladies, this is one book you’ll struggle to put down.

 

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Excerpt:

The van door behind us slides shut. A click signals Marianne’s adherence to my wishes, and then we three descend upon the front door, the crunch of dead leaves and twigs beneath our feet cutting through the uneasy silence the gloom sunrise has brought. In a surprising show of gentlemanly manners, the A.D. moves to open the door. When the handle does not depress, a half smile curves his lips. “It’s locked. But no worries. I can have it picked open in no time.”

“There is no need.”

Darkish-blonde brows scrunch together. “But—”

“Stand to the side, please.”

When he fails to move at my thinly veiled order, Mary not so gently yanks our companion away.

The door before us is thick. The handle is ornate. It is a beautiful door, no doubt chosen specifically to adorn a building as fine as Bücherei. It takes me three strong, measured swings of my war hammer against the handle and its surrounding area to break it apart and permanently scar its beauty. Picking a lock is kind, respectful even. A picked lock can be relocked. I do not wish this door to close behind me. I do not wish to be respectful of Bücherei.

The time for genteel manners is gone.

The A.D. is in danger of catching flies with his mouth as he ogles the door’s remnants. For someone who professes to be so clever, he certainly underestimates ladies far too often.

Stale darkness, oppressive and opaque all at once, looms before us. I am unafraid, though. I am not even taken aback. I believe in the impossible, after all. I have seen, lived the impossible.

I step past the wreckage into the house.

 

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About THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN:

After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.

 

Don’t miss the first two books in this series…

The Collectors' Society front cover

THE COLLECTORS’ SOCIETY!

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THE HIDDEN LIBRARY

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The Forgotten Mountain - Available Now

 

 

Author PhotoAbout Heather Lyons:

Heather Lyons writes epic, heartfelt love stories and has always had a thing for words. In addition to writing, she’s also been an archaeologist and a teacher. She and her husband and children live in sunny Southern California and are currently working their way through every cupcakery she can find.

 

 

 

 

 

Website ** Author Goodreads ** Twitter ** Facebook ** THE FORGOTTEN MOUNTAIN Goodreads

 

 

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Review: The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons

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Title: The Forgotten Mountain (The Collector’s Society Book #3) by Heather Lyons

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

Publication Date: June 25, 2015

Synopsis: After years spent in Wonderland, Alice Reeve learned the impossible was quite possible after all. She thought she left such fantastical realities behind when she finally returned to England.

Now Alice has become a member of the clandestine Collectors’ Society, and the impossible has found her again in the form of an elusive villain set on erasing entire worlds. As she and the rest of the Society race to bring this mysterious murderer to justice, the fight becomes painfully personal.

Lives are being lost. Loved ones are shattered or irrevocably altered. Each step closer Alice gets to the shadowy man she hunts, the more secrets she unravels, only to reveal chilling truths. If she wants to win this war and save millions of lives, Alice must once more embrace the impossible and make the unimaginable, imaginable.

Sometimes, the rabbit hole leads to terrifying places.


 

“The Collector’s Society,” is without a doubt my favorite adult series. The concept is completely original, it’s fast-paced, and the romance between Alice and Finn is red-hot. I have been anxiously awaiting “The Forgotten Mountain,” the third book in the series, especially considering how the last book ended. There are so many things that I enjoyed about this book, it was an incredible addition to the series. Lyons continues to write to enrapture her audience. Let’s break down

What I Liked: Alice continues to be the most butt kicking female character I have ever read. In “The Forgotten Mountain,” she truly shines as a female protagonist. More than in the other two books, we begin to see Alice truly give into her madness and it is glorious. Her ruthlessness is brilliant, yet terrifying. Alice is the type of character who will do anything for the people she loves, yet does not allow her love for them to weaken her. What I continue to love about her character is that she’s not some sort of hardened warrior who cannot show an ounce of femininity because that would make her weak. Oh no, Alice is not a female character trying to be “male” she’s 100% female proving that girls kick ass. While Alice continues to be my favorite part of this series, I  continuously find myself drawn to the new worlds Lyons creates. In “The Forgotten Mountain,” our characters travel to the land of Grimm fairy tales, and I have to say, more than any other world, this one was the best. Lyons really has room to play and subvert within the world of The Grimm’s and the readers is taken on a roller coaster of a ride. Anything that can happen does happen and all that you think you know you better leave behind.

What I didn’t like: It took me a few chapters to really get into the book. Sure the beginning has action, but I feel like it was setting the characters to go onto this very big journey and that it served more as a way for the readers to get breadcrumbs into the larger story. Considering where the second book “The Hidden Library,” left off, I thought we would have slightly more action. Outside of this, I was happy to see Finn in the book, but super confused by his whole situation. Is he alive for good? Could he go evil? Must him and Alice stay together for ever and every and ever? Too many questions. Also, it ends in a cliffhanger and everyone knows my feelings on that nonsense. 

Overall, “The Forgotten Mountain,” is a wonderful escape from every day life. Filled with action, adventure, and a sexy romance, you’ll be hard pressed to put the book down. 5/5 

Random Ramblings: Finding Time To Read aka I’m in a Slump

shinythingsThis meme perfectly describes my life right now, except not really. This Summer was supposed to be a relaxing Summer where I could focus on my own personal goals and not my students (not that I don’t love them but by God I spend a lot of time with kids). Needless to say, in typical me fashion that totally went out the window. I’m teaching five classes next year, four different grades, continuing tutoring this Summer, and trying to work on some solo projects. What was supposed to be a relaxing Summer filled with books and sleep is not turning out that way. When I do get time to read I’m finding it really difficult to pick up a book/kindle/etc, which doesn’t really fly since I have this blog and I have ARCs and a Goodreads goal. Sometimes it takes me a whole week plus to finish one book, which is crazy for me. During the school year, aka the height of my having no time, I still manage to average 2-3 books a week. This has happened before, I’m in a slump.

I hate slumps. Hate, Hate, Hate. It makes something I love doing feel like a chore, and I have enough of those. Reading should be fun. It should fill me with so much joy and inspiration that I just want to actually go exercise. Lately, I’d rather run 10 miles than read, which sucks because I have so, so, so many books to read. Good ones.

The only good thing to come out of this slump is that I’m focused on my own writing. Taking classes, getting a critique partner–not hiding my MS like its some sort of dirty secret. I’m excited! But I need out of my slump.

So I send it to you readers: Have you been in a slump? Have any awesome-sauce book suggestions to help me outta said slump? Should I just wait it out? Hit me with it in the comment sections.

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books on My TBR List

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Summer is a time to run through my TBR list. Work is on the slower side and vacations are a perfect time to grab a great book I have been dying to read. Between my Kindle purchases, library, and bookstore addictions, making this list was incredibly easy. 


1. Inspire by Cora Carmack: I bought this one months and months ago after reading amazing reviews, but I’ve been in an intense YA thing lately and haven’t been in the mood for romance. Good news, Summer time is Romance reading time. 

2. Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: I have had this one since it’s release but I’m too nervous to read it.

3. The Forgotten Mountain by Heather Lyons: This one has me really excited and I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy!

4. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: Sabaa Tahir came to my favorite bookstore and I was lucky enough to snag a signed copy of her book. Now, I need the time to savor and enjoy the read.

5. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen: Got this one on sale and I should probably read it before the movie comes out.

6. The Maze Runner Series by James Dashner: I started this one last Summer and I really need to finish it. Nothing I hate more than not reading something completely.

7. The Sword of Truth Series by Terry Goodkind: Another series I started forever ago and desperately need to finish. I’m going to need at least an extra month of Summer for this one.

8. The Orphan Queen by Jodie Meadows: This has been on my shelf since forever and a day. Yes, the reviews have been amazing, but I am too nervous.

9. Fall With Me (Wait for You) by Jennifer L. Armentrout: This should be the Summer of romance, JLA always pens a good one.

10. Significance by Shelly Crane: I have this as an arc and I’m excited to read it.

That’s my list. Anyone have any suggestions for me? 

Review: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

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Title: Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks

Publication date: October 14, 2014

Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis: Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.


 

“Trust Me, I’m Lying,” by Mary Elizabeth Summer, has been on my TBR list since last year. I love YA novels with a crime mystery elements and the description on this one seemed to be right up my alley. I mean a female con-artist, a mysterious disappearance, and a little romance–heck yes! My excitement was uncontrollable, so when I finally got my hands on this, I read it in under a day. While, it had its strong aspects there were certain areas that fell flat for me.

What I liked: Julep was a wonderful female character. She reminded me of Veronica Mars, with the snark and over-the-top smarts. Her ability to spin a tale is what kept me reading. Frankly, I wanted to see how all her schemes would blow up in her face, because you can’t build the kind of empire she did without it crashing on your head. All the drama was incredible. Usually, I don’t like endings, they have a tendency to let me down; however, I adored the ending of this book. Not only does the author do a wonderful job of wrapping up the remaining stories, but not everyone gets a happy ending. The ending is realistic enough to be satisfying but also retains the kind of whimsy associated with this kind of off the wall story.

What I didn’t like: There is a major death that I have a major issue with. Nothing about this character’s death felt necessary to me, in fact, it felt like a shock factor method. Nothing I hate more than getting emotionally involved with a characters, only for them to get a bullet to the head. Aside from that I didn’t have any major issues with this book, it just felt really boring at times. I was expecting a faster pace, more action, and more clues to uncover. Instead, there’s one mystery that only gets marginally explained, the bad guy is just a bad guy, and the betrayal appeared very surface level.

Overall, this was a decent enough book but I felt it was mostly hyped up. 2.5/5

Throwback Thursday: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

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Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

Genre: YA Fantasy

Buy Links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks

Rating: 3/5

Synopsis:Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.  Most of the chosen do.


I will be honesty. I never heard of this book until I went to NOVA Teen Book Festival and heard Rachel Hawkins talking about how much she loved it. Given that I am obsessed with Rachel Hawkins and her awesomeness, I decided to grab it. It took me months and months to start the book, since I suspected it was something I was going to be majorly into. I adore Fantasy novels. I love feeling like I’m in this new world I have to discover, yet one that strangely feels like my own. There’s just something about a good Fantasy novel that makes me want to change my name and join the cosplay scene. So, needless to say, I was excited. With that said, about half way in, my excitement diminished. This may get me burned at the stake but the book is FINE. Just FINE. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, enjoyed it well enough. Let me break it down here. 

What I liked: I enjoyed the fact that the main character was quite different than the blushing roses we generally see in YA fiction. She also wasn’t the hardened warrior we sometimes get in Fantasy. Elisa is the type of character who is aware of her flaws. Despite being this type of holy figure, she’s deeply flawed and quite naive. The way she views herself was realistic, especially since she was a young woman struggling with her weight and an obsession with using food as a comfort mechanism. I appreciated the realism in which Carson drew her. Yes, she is a member of royalty, she’s even a kind of Madonna figure, but she’s also a young girl struggling with the idea of her self worth trapped in a marriage with a man she doesn’t trust and yearning for affection. Elisa is not a wilting flower, but she’s also not a hardened warrior. I appreciated her intellect, but like how Carson foiled that with the fact that Elisa has little experience with war. Many of Elisa’s plot’s fail. There is nothing I hate more in a Fantasy novel than when the main character has all the answers and everything goes there way and realism is thrown out of the window. Yes, Elisa is smart and capable. She’s also naive. All her experience comes from books and the fact that she often miscalculates the cost of war is what makes this book enthralling.

What I didn’t like: There is a lot of religion in this book. Totally fine with me. I actually began to imagine the scene as something out of Medieval Spain. That being said, I constantly felt myself grasping for explanations. While there is religion there is also a lot of mysticism. At times I felt like Carson used religion to explain away some wholes in the plot. If I read “It is the will of God,” one more time, I was going to throw the book across the room. In a story so dependent on the intricacies of magic and religion, it felt like Carson glossed over one by shoving the other in your face. Don’t even get me started on the confusion of the ending. I’m hoping that one gets explained at some point.

Overall, I enjoyed the characters of this book. Elisa is a wonderful heroine, but I feel like her journey is detracted from by Carson who relies on religion to plug any questions. I’m going to read the next two books in the series out of sheer curiosity, but I was really hoping for something more from this one.                                                      3/5