ya lit

The Isle of the Lost by Melissa De La Cruz

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Book Description:

Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.

But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?

Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.

Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.

Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.

Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.

Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.

Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.

My Rating:  5/5

Hands down.  If you’re a Once Upon A Time TV Series/Disney nut/magical geek like myself, then definitely grab this book (as if you already needed convincing after you’ve SEEN THAT BEAUTIFUL BOOK JACKET – what the heck is that?!).  I had originally intended on grabbing another book that day, but the cover of this book drew me in and once I read that jacket and found out it was about some of Disney’s best evil villain’s children – what?! SUPER DUPER SOLD!  Definitely a younger read, but it’s fun.

I absolutely love the idea of this book!  Not only are there the 4 main characters mentioned above, but there’s random “guest” appearances throughout the story and every time they introduced another, I would just “EEEEEE!!” with excitement!  This was definitely a fun blast-to-the-past read for me.

**Fun Fact:  I found SO many errors from spelling to grammar to extra words.. doesn’t take away from the book but it’ll make you giggle.  See if you can spot them!

Happy Reading! xo

This Raging Light by Estelle Laure

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Book Description:

Can the best thing happen at the worst time?
Her dad went crazy. Her mom left town. She has bills to pay and a little sister to look after. Now is not the time for level-headed seventeen-year-old Lucille to fall in love. But love—messy, inconvenient love—is what she’s about to experience when she falls for Digby Jones, her best friend’s brother. With blazing longing that builds to a fever pitch, Estelle Laure’s soulful debut will keep readers hooked and hoping until the very last page.

My Rating: 5/5

**I would like to start off by saying that I received This Raging Light by Estelle Laure for free via HMH Books in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways/work materials do not impact my reviews.**

I received this ARC from work and boy am I glad I decided to snag this one!  This Raging Light is emotional, raw and so inspiring!  I could not put it down!  If I weren’t getting slammed at work, I would have finished it the first day I picked it up.  Still, it only took me a few days and what a great few days it was.

When I first picked up this book, I really was expecting a dark, depressing ride through a story of 2 girls abandoned by their parents.  After I finished the first chapter, I was put in my place and found that this book was going to have it’s fun moments as well.  Even with the unfortunate circumstances that these girls have dabbled in to so far, I’ve still managed to giggle and relate.  At this point, I was only going in to the book with little curiosity.  After the first chapter ended, I needed to find my way to the end of the story.

I think Estelle Laure does a fantastic job with mapping out the relationships between Lucille and Eden – Lucille and Digby – Lucille and Wren… she made them real.  A real best friend shuts down for unknown reasons at inconvenient times.  A real crush who’s involved in another relationship will give out mixed signals, will be confusing as all hell, will not be what you need them to be WHEN you need them to be.  A real sister-to-sister fighting for survival will do all that they can for each other but will also come with peeves and hardships.  I don’t want to read about the super awesome bff who’s always happy and is always there for you even when there’s a gun to her head or the crush that drops everything the very second the girl hes crushed on finally shows interest.  Save that for the fairy tales.

I will be watching this author for more books in the future (so please write more :] )

If you want a real book full of struggles, break downs, conflicting emotions, good day one minute – bad day the next, if you want a book that focuses on REAL relationships whether is be with family or friends or love interests, get your hands on this book when it comes out on December 22, 2015!

Happy Reading! xo

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J. K. Rowling

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Book Description:

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a Wizarding classic, first came to Muggle readers’ attention in the book known as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now, thanks to Hermione Granger’s new translation from the ancient runes, we present this stunning edition with an introduction, notes, and illustrations by J. K. Rowling, and extensive commentary by Albus Dumbledore. Never before have Muggles been privy to these richly imaginative tales: “The Wizard and the Hopping Pot,” “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” “The Warlock’s Hairy Heart,” “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump,” and of course, “The Tale of the Three Brothers.” But not only are they the equal of fairy tales we now know and love, reading them gives new insight into the world of Harry Potter.

My Rating:  5/5

If you’re a Harry Potter fan and have not read this yet, what are you waiting for?  This book is such a cute play on fairy tales having involved the wizarding world, I believe both fans of Harry Potter and fans of fantasy/magic alike can enjoy this!

My favorite tale in particular would probably have to be “Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump” because it was cleverly done and I was so happy for her at the end of the tale!

Being able to get an educational POV from Dumbledore is like a dream come true!  It made me feel like I was getting a glimpse of what it would be like to sit in on a lecture at Hogwarts, how cool is that?  And when you throw the queen J.K. Rowling in the mix giving her opinions as well, you might as well convince me pigs fly too because I’m getting lost and I’m believing!

Not only was this book wonderful to read, it was beautiful to look at with adorable illustrations inside and out.  Grab this book for the Harry Potter fan in your life or even the fantasy/magic loving friend that could enjoy a good fairy tale or two :]

Happy Reading!  xo

2015 November Bookhaul

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I literally bought 0 books this month and somehow I still acquired a decent amount.  Unfortunately, most of them were ebooks which sucks because I really dislike reading ebooks (although I’m still grateful) so it’s gonna be hard getting through some of them and I might end up pushing them to the side for a bit for that reason alone 😦

On to the books! I’ll have a list below of each book pictured, where I got them, paperback or hardcover, special editions and how much my total purchase at each place was! If you have any more questions – or comments – about this months haul, please feel free to leave/ask them below 😀 Happy reading!

Total Books: 10
Total Spent: $0

Thanks to LibraryThing & The People Hosting The Giveaways FREE
1.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1 & 2 by Antara Mann; ebook
2.)  The Brazen Blade by Billy Wong; ebook
3.)  Flames of Auriel (Not Shown) by Erin Bedford; ebook
4.)  World of Shawn by Jordan M Ehrlich; ebook
5.)  The Wish Thief by CD Verhoff; ebook

Thanks to the author FREE
1.)  Mystical by Michael Weekly; ebook

Physical BooksFREE
1.)  Ashley Bell by Dean Koontz; paperback; thanks to Random House
2.)  After Alice by Gregory Maguire; signed hardcover; thanks to Shelf Awareness
3.)  Happy Cooking by Giada De Laurentiis; hardcover; thanks to Crown Publishing
4.)  The Truth by Jeffery W. Johnston; paperback; thanks to Sourcebooks

+5 Romance Novels – these won’t be included in the total. I get these from work but I do not keep them, instead, I pass them on to my momma to read because she loves romance novels – and I do not… *shudder*

2015 November Wrap Up

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Total Books = 4
Average Rating = 4

Uuuuuberrrrr slow month for reading.  Between the holidays and work and other lifey things there just wasn’t as much time as I normally have to devote to this wonderful world *le sigh*

With that being said, here’s my sad, little finished reads for the month of November:

1.)  Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 5/5
2.)  Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – 4/5
3.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1 by Antara Mann – 5/5
4.)  The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 2 by Antara Mann – 3/5

Hope you guys who celebrate had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1&2 By Antara Mann

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*I’m combining my reviews for Episodes 1 & 2 because Episode 1 was so short, it would be silly to make it stand on it’s own*

Book Description Ep. 1:

A genie’s life is full of wishes – the wishes of those who own him, that is.

When his owner, the powerful yet ugly witch Ezemelda, is called to celebrate the coming-of-age of King Nruk’s daughter, her prophesy of the princess’ future goes against everything Nruk desires. Promising a special spell to reverse the curse on the princess and change her future, but won’t cost him a cent, Ezemelda has more than the future of the kingdom in mind.

What’s the cost of signing a contract with a witch?
And, what does it mean for the genie of the lamp?

Book Description Ep. 2:

Ever since the witch Ezemalda and the Genie escaped him, the Dark Prince has plotted his revenge. Now it comes in the guise of the mortal countess Sybil van Dyk. After selling her soul to the the Dark Prince, she seeks to reverse her enchantment at the magic workshop of the Genie and the witch. As they work to set the countess free, the Genie and Ezemalda embark on a new adventure in their battle with the Dark Side, not suspecting what signing a contract with the Dark Prince on new moon portends.

**I would like to start off by saying I received both copies of The Witch’s Kiss Ep. 1&2 for free via a LibraryThing member giveaway in exchange for a review.  Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest.  That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

My Rating Ep. 1:  5/5

This novella was crazy fun and fast read (only 25 pages)!  It reminded me so much of old fairy tales having involved creatures from witches, dwarves, goblins, genies and more to involving concepts such as dark and light – so many ingredients make for a fantastic recipe!

But with that being said, it had a nuisance that I can’t ignore: the main character’s name –  Ezemalda.  This reminds me way too much of Ezmerelda so every time I read Ezemalda, I had to correct myself because I always read it as Ezmerelda.  Ezemalda sticks to the tongue.  Too much work for a main character’s name.

Other than that, very entertaining – was excited to read the next episode!

My Rating Ep. 2:  3/5

This book started with promise and completely lost it’s way which really bummed me out.  I will not be continuing on to the third episode at all.

Let’s start off on a good note, as always:

I adored the repository!  I wish I could find books in a bookstore by calling out keywords and having books just fly to me.. that would be glooorious ❤

The little drunk owl, I’m dying  – so funny

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This episode had a nice twist to it though, involving the moon clause.  Nooooo!  I felt so bad haha but I won’t ruin it for any one who’s interested in reading this.

And that’s about it for the pleasantries.  Here’s where we start the decline to the depths of book hell:

The details – they weren’t much.  I really wish there were more as far as drawing out the environments for the readers!  I totally bet this author could construct gorgeous landscapes and creatures if she just took a little more time to describe things instead of throwing us from one room to the next without any transition or mere description such as “cellar” or “bedroom.”  The reader’s aren’t given much to envision so good luck and start getting creative guys!

Another HUGE irk in mah birk is the Harry Potter like reference.  If you’ve read this you KNOW what I’m talking about.  The “You-Know-Who” that people are too afraid to say and the one person who sees that as giving him power so refuses to use “You-Know-Who…”  come on now…

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But we’re still not at the point where I’m ready to throw in the towel.  At this point, I was still very interested in continuing on to the 3rd episode.  The thing that completely made me throw in the towel and make me feel like I wasted my time on yet another poorly written ARC/Giveaway was the sexual ending.  DAFUQ DID THAT COME FROM?!  Now, I’m no prude by any means but 1.) this came out of absolutely frickin no where and 2.) rape is just crossing the line for me.

But gaiz, the 3rd book doesn’t redeem itself by any means.  I read the synopsis, because up until this weird turn of events, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but the 3rd book is all about some passionate love making and the genie becoming a hardcore rapist… that’s where I end this train.  It’s one thing to be sexual but I picked a fantasy book not a fetish romance… I don’t want anything to do with rape, thanks.

And just so you don’t think I’ve completely lost it, here’s the synopsis from Goodreads for Episode 3:

NEVER BEFORE HAS PASSION BEEN MORE DANGEROUS.

Furious that once again the Genie and the witch Ezemalda escaped his clutches, the Dark Prince enlists the help of Lilith, the dark queen of sexual magic in his quest for revenge. Tricking them with a drink, Lilith bewitches Ezemalda and the Genie with obsessive sexual dreams. The Dark Queen’s plan backfires when Ezemalda comes up with an antidote, but she will not be stopped and implants a dangerous idea in all the kingdom’s subjects. With everyone around them now convinced that the Genie commits terrible acts against women, even rapes them, he and Ezemalda have to find a new way to stand against the dark forces and clear their names.

**DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME WITH THESE NOVELLAS/STORIES/BOOKS**

Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl **WARNING: One or Two Slight Spoilers Ahead**

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Book Description:

Ethan Wate thought he was getting used to the strange, impossible events happening in Gatlin, his small Southern town. But now that Ethan and Lena have returned home from the Great Barrier, strange and impossible have taken on new meanings. Swarms of locusts, record-breaking heat, and devastating storms ravage Gatlin as Ethan and Lena struggle to understand the impact of Lena’s Claiming. Even Lena’s family of powerful Supernaturals is affected — and their abilities begin to dangerously misfire. As time passes, one question becomes clear: What — or who — will need to be sacrificed to save Gatlin?

For Ethan, the chaos is a frightening but welcome distraction. He’s being haunted in his dreams again, but this time it’s not Lena — and the mysterious figure is following him out of his dreams and into his everyday life. Worse, Ethan is gradually losing pieces of himself — forgetting names, phone numbers, even memories. He doesn’t know why, and he’s afraid to ask.

Sometimes there’s no going back. And this time there won’t be a happy ending.

My Rating: 5/5

I love these books so much *sobs* THAT ENDING HURT MY HEART SO BAD! Especially because I wasn’t prepared for the book to end – MEANING – there was so much additional content in the back that I forgot about, I assumed all of that was still bewk. It wasn’t. So when it ended in the fashion that it did, I was completely and totally in utter shock. I threw my book down and yelled toward my unsuspecting husby, “THAT’S HOW IT ENDS?! THAT’S IT?!” ..I probably looked like a maniac because I was also crying. I immediately grabbed the final book, I have to know what happens next, how it all ends. At the same time, I don’t want this to end. This is hands down a top favorite of mine, I’m adoring this series with everything I have! My ARCs and Giveaways are just gonna have to wait.

Now the reason I’m not giving this book a 5/5 is because once again, it started slow (if you’re confused – see the bottom of the post). And WHERE WAS MY LENA?! She was practically non existent for awhile and I need Lena.. I love Ethan but I kind of love Lena more. And Lena WITH Ethan is just, agh, perfection ❤ So I really wouldn’t give this a 4.5, more so a 4.8 but that’s just getting a little too technical..

But one thing in the beginning that made me LAWL – “Linkubus” oh my goodness bahaha so seely!

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AND DIS QUOTE:

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I love Ridley, I can’t wait to grab Dangerous Creatures!!

I will forewarn: This book in particular brings a lot of heartbreak with it.

For example, Pg.140 – the library has burnt down. Nuuuuu! I felt as attached to this place as Ethan had. Ugh, WHY?!

But I loved getting to get a glimpsed into Seraphine’s life prior to becoming Seraphine. How hard this has to be on Lena to see that there once was good in Seraphine’s heart that seemed to have never existed. I couldn’t imagine what that would be like after your mother has already tried to kill you…

But things do lighten up. It’s not all sorrow. On pg. 198 where everyone’s gathered at the table in Ravenwood and Liv comes in to play and Lena and Ethan are Kelting and Ethan gets confused between Kelting and real talking and blurts out loud, hahaha totally something I would do, how awkward XD

AND I LIVE FOR THESE:

They finally discuss “The Caster Chronicles” – we get the reference and learn what this is all about! Yahoo!

We also find out what’s going on with Ethan because he definitely hasn’t been all ‘there.’ YUS! I love how it’s tied in to the first book (his soul split in half when he died on the Sixteenth Moon – the other half was left behind in the Otherworld). Brilliant! I couldn’t figure this part out..

Pg: 383 – There’s always SO many good pieces to quote in these books, but especially in this one:

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I’m really happy what they ended up doing with Ridley! I was nervous at first, but it all worked out for me in the end. I won’t give this away, but for what I had to endure, I’m glad this happened :]

So the more I reflect on this, the easier it is to talk about and the more I realize I’m a complete idiot for not giving it a 5/5, so by the time I have finished writing this, my rating has changed.

Thank you once again ladies for writing an amazing book that stole my heart ❤