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Friday, December 12, 2014

The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Kiss of Deception
Author: Mary E. Pearson
ISBN: 9780805099232
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Series: The Remnant Chronicles #1
Released: July 8, 2014
Page #: 489
Source: ARC from the publisher

"In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia's life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight - but she doesn't - and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom - to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive - and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself of the brink of unlocking perilous secrets - even as she finds herself falling in love."
First Lines: (quote from the galley - see final version for edits)

"Today was the day a thousand dreams would die, and a single dream would be born.
The wind knew. It was the first of June but cold gusts bit at the hilltop citadelle as fiercely as deepest winter, shaking the windows with curses and winding through drafty halls with warning whispers."
Page 3

It's possible that this book has just claimed the spot for my favorite book ever, right now. This is me... attempting to write a review without gushing. Go!

Princess Lia is about to get married to a prince she has never met before. Her family is trying to create an alliance with a nearby kingdom, so it is her duty to marry this man and move away from everything she knows. She's never been much for royal protocol, so it's not surprising that she doesn't want this life. On the day of her wedding, she runs away. With the help of her friend Pauline, Lia finds a new home and a life she had only imagined. And one thing she wants the most - the possibility of love that is not forced on her.

This book was... in a word... brilliant. I mean, seriously. I love the kickass princess who defies her duty and finds a new life for herself. I love that she is willing to do anything to get what she wants. I love how fiercely Lia protects and takes care of her friend Pauline. I love that family is still important to her - even though she has run away from them. I love her devotion to her brothers and their families. I love how she's not willing to give up - even when she's facing probable death. She's just... amazing. And I want to know everything about her!

So, yes. She's got these two guys who arrive on the same night to the tavern where she is now working. They're very different and she cannot place why they stand out so much. But they both catch her eye. They are our two dashing love interests. Unfortunately, one is an assassin and there to kill her. Then there is the prince she just avoided marrying. She finds herself torn between the two and starts to really fall for one of them.

Honestly, about halfway through the book, I got the biggest shock when I realized that I had the guys figured out all wrong. There isn't a point before then that tells you exactly who is who... just hints as you go along. You can only imagine my shock when I realized which one was which. I think I actually exclaimed out loud and startled some coworkers at lunch. :) That alone made me think this book was brilliant - it had me going down the wrong path, only to turn the tables on me. Loved that!

The whole second half is sort grueling. Things seem dire... life is horrifying... Lia is on the trek of a lifetime - and may not make it much longer. It's seriously intense. Plus, there are still people out there trying to kill her. She's now in a world she doesn't understand in a situation she doesn't know how to get out of. This book ends on a serious cliffhanger. You really don't know whether she's going to make it much longer. I'm totally sucked in by the whole thing and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book. In a word, this book is breathless.

I've already recommended this book to many, many people. It was actually recommended to me first by one of my coworkers. I can't believe I put it off as long as I did. I really think lots of people will love this story as much as I did... and I imagine the next book is going to be just as amazing. _________________________________________________
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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Out This Week (December 7-13)

There are some amazing titles coming out this week in the YA world. Take a look... 
 12.9.14 For Real by Alison Cherry
12.9.14 Top Ten Clues You're Clueless by Liz Czukas
 12.9.14 Little White Lies by Katie Dale
12.9.14 Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
 12.9.14 King Dork Approximately by Frank Portman
12.9.14 Suspicion by Alexandra Monir
12.9.14 Gathering Darkness (Falling Kingdom #3) by Morgan Rhodes
12.9.14 Zodiac by Romina Russell

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

Title: A Thousand Pieces of You
Author: Claudia Gray
ISBN: 9780062278968
Publisher: HarperCollins
Released: November 04, 2014
Series: Firebird #1
Page #: 357
Source: My own copy

"Marguerite Caine grew up surrounded by cutting-edge scientific theories, thanks to her brilliant physicist parents. Yet nothing is more astounding than her mother's latest invention - a device called the Firebird, which allows people to leap into alternate dimensions.

When Marguerite's father is murdered, all the evidence points to one person - Paul, her parents' enigmatic star student. Before the law can touch him, Paul escapes into another dimension, having committed what seems like the perfect crime. But he didn't count on Marguerite. She doesn't know if she can kill a man, but she's going to find out.

With the help of another physics student, Theo, Marguerite chases Paul through various dimensions. In each new world Marguerite leaps to, she meets another version of Paul that has her doubting his guilt and questioning her heart. Is she doomed to repeat the same betrayal?

As Marguerite races through these wildly different lives - a grand duchess in a Tsarist Russia, a club-hopping orphan in a futuristic London, a refugee from worldwide flooding on a station in the heart of the ocean - she is swept into an epic love affair as dangerous as it is irresistible."
First Lines:

"My hand shakes as I brace myself against the brick wall. Rain falls cold and sharp against my skin, from a sky I've never seen before. It's hard to catch my breath, to get any sense of where I am. All I know is that the Firebird worked."
Page 1

Dimension jumping to find your dad's murderer? Could you get anything more intense??

Marguerite's parents are scientists. Physicists, to be exact. She's always lived in a home with big thinkers... students of life... and some actual students of her parents. Her mother has found a way to allow a person to jump dimensions, but it's been used for evil. Marguerite's father was just murdered and the man responsible has stolen one of the dimension jumping devices (a Firebird) and he's lost to them now. She teams up with one of her parent's students set out to see if they can find him and bring him to justice.

Everything about this book blew my mind. In the best possible way. The whole concept of alternate dimensions that play out every other possible decision you've made (and everyone else in the world), is just completely mind blowing. There are dimensions where you didn't forgive that one friend and it changed the course of things. There are dimensions where your parents didn't meet - you can't visit those, you don't exist. There are dimensions where your ancestor didn't make it to America, so you're welcome to visit their lives in Russia. I mean, ANYTHING! It's crazy and the possibilities are endless. I think that's what makes this idea really cool for a book - they could literally go anywhere.

In that vein, this book is set in so many places, it was probably really fun to write. An extremely tech savvy London. An extremely backwards Russia. A legit water world. And even one dimension that was so close to her own, Marguerite had some trouble identifying the differences. Can you imagine all of those things happening simultaneously and all you need is one little device to visit them all? It doesn't hurt that her parents are brilliant and they have the ability to open up these possibilities for her.

But it's not just about jumping around to see what's happening. She's searching for the man who murdered her father. A man she trusted. A man her parents trusted. A man that she becomes less and less convinced is guilty. In each new world, they have to find each other to figure things out. There's a larger tech organization that is involved in this whole scandal as well, but how deeply? As soon as one mystery is figured out, another one pops up. This book definitely kept me on my toes.

I'm not sure if this is going to become a series. This book wrapped up nicely and everything was figured out. No real cliffhangers here - which I highly appreciate. But it makes me wonder if there will be more about the Firebird. More about the possibilities. I've seen a few places that this is listed as #1, so I am hoping for more. I honestly think this is the best thing that has been written by Claudia Gray. I'm definitely up for another installment if there is going to be one. I'm highly recommending this one as it is.
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