The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Waiting on Wednesday #38: Oceanborn by Amalie Howard July 9, 2014

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Waiting on Wednesday” is a weekly event hosted by Jill at the Breaking The Spine. It showcases upcoming releases we’re anticipating!

 

 My pick of the week is:

Oceanborn (The Aquarathi #2)

 By: Amalie Howard

 Coming: 29 July 2014

 Publisher: Harlequin Teen

 

 Summary:
The coronation is over.

But the battle has just begun.

Nerissa Marin has won her crown. But can she keep it? Already, her ties to the human realm are driving a wedge between Nerissa and her people. When word arrives that her part-human prince consort, Lo, has been poisoned, she makes the difficult choice to leave Waterfell and return landside. As the royal courts debate her decision, even more disturbing rumors surface: a plot is rising against her, led by someone she least expects.

On land, Nerissa learns another shocking truth: Lo does not remember who she is. As her choice to try to save him threatens her hold on her crown, changing loyalties and uncertainty test her courage in ways she could never have imagined. Nerissa will have one last chance to prove herself as a queen …and save the undersea kingdom she loves.

 

Why I’m excited:

 OMG I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS BOOK!!!!!! I absolutely adore Amalie. She’s so sweet and wonderful. I discovered her during the 2013 Fall YASH and I’ve never looked back. I won her giveaway for a signed ARC of Waterfell. I read it. I LOVED IT! I raved about it. I still rave about it. OH MAN. Rissa is a great character and don’t even get me started on Lo. BTW. Dibs. DIBS DIBS DIBS. Lo is MINE. *glares* Anyway. I’m so excited to see where the action picks up. OMG I NEED IT NOOOOOOOOW. It’s even worse knowing I have a copy heading my way from Amalie. The wait is excruciating. I just read Seamonster over the holiday weekend and adored it as well. Keep an eye out for my review and a giveaway coming up in the next few weeks. (: Reading it only made it worse. I MUST KNOW MORE!!!

 

Why I need you to be excited:

 Sea aliens. Drama. HOT GUYS. Yes. Guys. Well. Guy cause Lo is off limits cause he is MINE. IT’S GONNA BE AWESOME! I could go on and on about why you need to read this book. But I won’t. Just do yourself a favour and order Waterfell and Oceanborn. Just do it. DO IT. I NEED YOU TO GET PUMPED UP FOR THE AWESOMENESS!!!! *flails everywhere* THREE MORE WEEEEEEEEKS!!!

 

*Review* Insurgent by Veronica Roth April 13, 2014

Rating:5 stars
Pub date:1 May 2012
Publisher:HarperCollins, Katherine Tegen Books
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Format:e-book, audiobook, borrowed via library
Status:Book two of the Divergent trilogy

Summary:

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.


Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

My thoughts:

By waiting so long to read Divergent, it meant waiting even longer to read Insurgent and that was a grievous mistake. The action that was building gets ramped up even higher in Insurgent. Terrible things happened at the end of Divergent and sacrifices were made that tore Tris’s world to shreds. In Insurgent, she’s left to deal with the fallout and try to figure out how to move forward.

One of my favourite things about Insurgent is that we get a better look at/interaction with other factions. It helps with the world building and bring further understanding to why things are happening the way they are.

Along with a better look at the factions, there are massive layers of guilt, grief, reflection, and betrayal woven into each intricate part. The betrayals come from all over and you won’t be prepared for them. Due to events, there is a lot of reflection. Tris questions if she’s made the right choices along the way. It helps further her character development because it helps her mature, but it also leaves her rife with guilt. The guilt also tore her apart and I think it made her grieve more than she had to grieve. My heart ached so bad for her grief and the grief of other characters.

There to help hold her together and stand by her is Four. Four is also dealing with a lot of issues after the events of Divergent. We also get to learn more about his seemingly good guy dad who was abusive to Four and Four’s mother. A shocking discovery is that not only is his mother alive, but a leader of the Factionless. It was nice to see the Factionless, but the conditions of their station is appalling. It’s not at all surprising that the Factionless want to better themselves.

The action builds until it explodes at the end with an expected (for me, it was one of two theories I had right off the bat in Divergent) revelation. I was happy to see that I was right about one of two theories I’ve had. We’ll have to wait until Allegiant to see if I’m right about the second. I’m glad I was a bit late to the party on reading, because that cliffhanger was a doozie! I enjoyed Insurgent more than I enjoyed Divergent and I’m looking forward to continuing my binge with Allegiant. Veronica did a great job of continuing the world building she started in Divergent. She also did a great job of continuing character development of the characters we met in Divergent and introducing us to more characters in Insurgent. This is still a world I wouldn’t want to live in, but she makes believable characters that are easy to relate to. I still highly recommend this series and hope that I’m one of the people who actually likes Allegiant and don’t end up disappointed!

 

 

About the author

Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

 

*Review* Divergent by Veronica Roth April 7, 2014

Rating:4 stars
Pub date:25 April 2011
Publisher:HarperCollins, Katherine Tegen Books
Genre:Young Adult Fiction, Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Format:paperback, movie-tie in edition, borrowed via library
Status:Book one of the Divergent trilogy

Summary:

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue–Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is–she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.


During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are–and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

My thoughts:

Why did I not listen to Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) and read Divergent sooner?! Why did I wait until it was next to impossible to avoid previews and potential spoilers?! Miraculously, I have avoided Allegiant spoilers of any kind. I also have avoided all Divergent talk of any kind. I’m very happy it lived up to the hype that’s been buzzing like crazy. Maybe that’s why I’ve been putting it off in case I was one of *those* people who didn’t like it. Whatever the reason, I’ve finally read it.

 

From theget go of Veronica’s debut I’ve been intrigued by the world our leading lady, Beatrice lives in. It’s obviously vastly different from ours. Her world is divided into five factions: Dauntless (brave), Erudite (intellectual), Amity (kind), Candor (honest), and Abnegation (selfless service). Beatrice was born and raised in Abnegation but doesn’t feel like she fits in. At the age of 16, everyone goes through an aptitude test. Something happens with Beatrice’s results and it leaves her with a lot to contemplate. Choosing Day arrives and she decides to leave Abnegation for Dauntless. Her brother Caleb also chooses to leave Abnegation. He chooses Erudite. This one choice will now make or break Beatrice.

Divergent could have gone in so many directions. Veronica did a great job of leaving you thinking what if? while blowing your mind with Beatrice’s (Tris) path of choice.

 

I definitely don’t think I could make it through the Dauntless initiation. Tris definitely has me there. The Dauntless are not to be taken lightly. I think they’re all slightly crazy. I would like to explore their compound though! I’m very glad I didn’t have to choose the single path that would define the rest of my life at 16. I’ve learned so much since then. If I had to stick to what I wanted at 16, I would be in law school right now. I also would most definitely not be living where I am now. I would be in Europe for sure. I wouldn’t be married and I certainly wouldn’t have kids. Everything I wanted changed so much my first year and a half in college!

 

Veronica does a great job with character development. In first person, we get to see inside of Tris’s head as she grows. She’s a person you can easily relate to, though I don’t envy her life. We also meet Four who is an interesting character. I’m very happy there is chemistry rather quickly between them, but not of the insta-love variety.

 

Veronica also created strong secondary characters. Tris mostly interacts with the other transfer initiates to Dauntless, but we do get to see her interact with a wide variety of people from various backgrounds. I’m excited to see their roles grow in the series.

 

Veronica’s world building was great too. I’ve only seen Chicago from the air, so I can’t do a genuine comparison, but she creates a fantastic dystopian, run down Chicago. She gives incredibly detailed descriptions of the areas of Chicago Tris explores.

 

The length may seem daunting (haha, see what I did there?) for those who aren’t used to longer reads, but this doesn’t read like it’s as long as it is. It pulls you in and propels you all the way through. It covers all the emotional bases and covers them well. I laughed. I cried. I wanted to yell. I wanted to throttle a few necks. This was a fantastic read that leaves you wanting more, so it might be a smart move to have Insurgent on hand. If you enjoyed The Hunger Games, give Divergent a try! I’m not big on the if you liked X, try X deal, but I do think this will pull in The Hunger Games fans!

 

 

About the author

Veronica Roth is from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011) and INSURGENT (May 2012). The third and final book in The Divergent Trilogy, ALLEGIANT, will come out on October 22, 2013. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)

 

*Review* Hourglass by Myra McEntire October 13, 2013

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 14 June 2011
Publisher: Egmont USA
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Format:e-book, via library
Status: Book one of the Hourglass series

Summary:

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may also change her past.

Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should’ve happened?

This was recommended to me by the lovely Jodi Meadows on Twitter. I’ve been itching to get my hands on it ever since. I decided I wanted some for fun books to read at the library and checked this out from my library’s e-book loaning system. This book was so addicting! I loved it! I also loved that it takes place down in middle Tennessee. That area holds a special place in my heart just like east Tennessee. I’ve been toying around with a time travel idea for a novel for ages, but haven’t had any experience with published ones to see how it could go. After reading Hourglass, I fully intend on fleshing out that idea!

I absolutely loved Em. Right from the beginning I admired her. She has a quiet strength that makes her frequently underestimated. She’s also extremely determined. Love that in a strong female protagonist! A girl who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to figure out things is a good friend of mine! And the sass! Oh she’s got that sassy Southern girl down pat!

“Aren’t you just a knight in shining armor? … Wherever do you keep your horse? And who scoops up the crap it leaves behind?”

Michael. I was uncertain of Michael the whole time. He seemed too perfect. I kept feeling like he had something up his sleeve to make him skeevy. Thankfully, that wasn’t the case! How he was so willing to – AH! Can’t spoil it. *swoon*

I mean how can you not love this?:

“I love you – broken in pieces, whole, however. No matter what the future brings, no matter what was in the past.”

Kaleb. Oh. Kaleb. I love him. He’s so adorable and lost. He just needs a good cuddle!

Love this part!: “Hey, bro, do you think you can put Shorty back on her chain?”
I stepped forward with my hands on my hips, only slightly intimidated to find Kaleb almost eye level with me when he was seated and I was standing.
“First of all, no one is the boss of me but me. Secondly, if you ever reference my ‘chain’ again, I will kick your ass.” I jabbed him hard in the chest with my finger. Possibly breaking it. “And thirdly, don’t call me Shorty.”
Kaleb sat silently for a second, his eyes wide as he looked at Michael. “Where did you get her? Can you get me one?”
I blew out a loud, frustrated sigh and dropped down beside Michael, who didn’t even try to hide his smile. “You should probably apologize to Emerson.”
“I am sorry.” Kaleb grinned at me. “Sorry I didn’t meet you first.”

Time travel. This aspect was so beautifully done! Seeing rips was fantastic. I’ve had dreams through the years similar to this and with all the traveling I’ve done this is something that can work beautifully or disastrously! Myra did a perfect job! I love how they cautiously deal with time travel and that the characters are very aware of the consequences that could come from screwing with the time continuum. I’m one of those strange people who would NOT go back and change anything in my past given the chance. Nope. I’m a firm believer in the past happens for a reason to shape your future and if that’s screwed up, duh! It would screw up your future. Yes, I still ponder the what ifs, but I wouldn’t actually act on them. I really admire Em’s ability to throw that to the wind when necessary thought!

Oh the romance. The feels! The kissing. *swoon*

“No matter what your reality looks like, you’re the girl I’m in love with today, and the same girl I’ll be in love with tomorrow and all the days after that. Not just because of who you are, but because of who you were.
It’s all part of your story, Em. And I want to be a part of your story, too.” *instant butterflies!*

Did I mention cold shower worthy?

“He bent down burying his face in my neck. I reached back to grab onto the iron bars behind me to hold myself up. My jacket slipped off my shoulders. I was pretty sure I was on fire and at that moment I would have sworn that bursting into flame was a glorious way to go.”

I mean, whoa. This book is the full package. Action, intrigue, romance? What more do you need? Go get this NOW! Or… you know… my birthday is at the end of the month. You can get it for me!

Recommended for: Time travel enthusiasts, those who love swoon worthy boys and a kickass heroine!

Not recommended for: Mushy romance haters, those who dislike time travel.

 

 
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