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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Tour: Alchemy's Daughter by Mary A. Osborne

Welcome to my stop on the Alchemy's Daughter Blog Tour
hosted by Italy Book Tours.

Displaying Alchemy's Daughter by Mary A. Osborne.jpgAlchemy's Daughter 
by Mary A. Osborne
Release Date: May 15th, 2015

Santina Pietra is seventeen and in medieval San Gimignano, daughters of merchants are expected to marry. But Santina cares only for Calandrino, a brilliant young scholar who is preoccupied with his ancient alchemical texts.

Soon Santina meets Trotula, the village midwife, who might or might not be a strega, or witch. Trotula challenges her to forget Calandrino and become the woman she is meant to be. Some say she is a victim of the midwife’s spell, but Santina is determined to follow in Trotula’s footsteps even as calamities strike.

The setting is 14th century Italy, yet in Santina contemporary readers will discover a strong-minded young woman whose search for meaning echoes their own. Alchemy’s Daughter is the author’s second novel.

Cindy's Review:
Alchemy's Daughter follows a young girl, Santina, who has many dreams, which defy her father's pre-destined fate for her. First, she becomes infatuated with a tutor, who teaches her about alchemy and allow her to watch experiments of turning things to gold. Her father, an alchemist himself, did not mind her interest in this subject. But when her father discovered the budding romance between Santina and Calandrino, everything started to go wrong. Calandrino fled the city and left Santina all alone.

That's when Santina made a decision to talk to Trotula, a midwife of the town. Even though Trotula help save lives and deliver babies, townsmen still think of her as a witch who practices witchcraft. Maybe don't trust her, yet they need her to deliver children. Going against her father's wishes, she moved in with Trotula and learned many skills to being a midwife's apprentice. Although Santina is inpatient, she spent a quiet few years learning the skills of midwifery. Surprisingly, C-section was experimented with, although everyone else thought it as stregoneria (witchcraft). 

A few years later, trouble comes to Santina and Trotula when they allegedly delivered an illegitimate grandson of a rich man. He brought trouble upon them and accused Trotula of being a witch for killing his son. Soon, another disaster awaited Santina, when her father finally forced to get married to Toddeo, someone who turns out to be very nasty about Santina's opinions of alchemy and midwife skills. 

This young adult novel follows Santina, growing up from a teenager to a young women, becoming wiser with the expertise she learns throughout the years. If you're looking for a bright, inspiring character, here is one for you! Taking place in the 14th century, in Italy, Osborne takes you into the world of medieval time period and what life was like then. 

The Rating: (1-10): 7~

Author Bio: 
Displaying Mary A. Osborne.jpg Mary A. Osborne is the multiple award-winning author of Alchemy's Daughter and Nonna’s Book of Mysteries. A graduate of Rush University and Knox College, where she was mentored in the Creative Writing Program, Ms. Osborne is a registered nurse and holds degrees in chemistry and nursing. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as Hektoen International, Newcity, and the Ms. Osborne lives in Chicago.

Author Website: http://maryaosborne/

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Blog Tour: Exile (Guy Erma and the Son of Empire #3) by Sally Ann Melia

Welcome to my stop on the Exile Blog Tour
hosted by iRead Book Tours.
You can find the tour schedule HERE.

Displaying Exile.jpgExile (Guy Erma and the Son of Empire #3)
by Sally Ann Melia
Release Date: June 14th, 2015

 Synopsis: 13-year-old Teodor has found a way to escape from kidnap, how long before he is safely home?

13-year-old Guy Erma has run away from everything he has even known and no longer knows what the future holds.

They escaped through dark tunnels and back alleys but they also discovered a hidden terror that now threatens their entire planet.

Two boys as different as two boys might be. Their adventure has forged an unexpected friendship, but do they really trust each other?

Dare they share their darkest, deepest secrets?

Cindy's Review:
Exile picks up right after Hunter ends. Exile reveals the anticipated escape of Teodor and Guy Erma from the Dome. Along with solving some unanswered questions, Exile also pulled the empire and characters back together and solved the overall conflict of the series: the kidnap of Prince Teodor. But of course, there's a catch. Now there's another source of problem and Prince Teodor and with Guy Erma this time, are on a spaceship heading towards another planet. And there's a plague spreading wildly in Freyne 2. 

Prince Teodor is acting more grown up in Exile. Readers watch Teodor developing into a better character along the way. He put his authority to use and I'm very proud of him, but I feel like he is a bit young for his citizens to actually listened to him. Yes, he has his large cats as bodyguards, but the age 13 is still definitely a youngster and a kid can only be so wise. If Teodor was at least 15, I feel he would be portrayed as more mature, and more believable taking on his duties. 

One thing that left me still in the dust are the villains. I know Chart Segat is definitely a bad guy, but how about the others? And all those times when I was questioning if Chart Segat was really a bad guy. Plus, in the beginning, those letters showing us some sinister secret that's been going on. I'm still so confused. Who is the real antagonist here? There are so many possibilities!

I thought book #3 was going to be the final installment of the series, but it seems like there would be more novels coming out. 

Although the Guy Erma and the Son of Empire series is for the younger readers, I think older readers who enjoy adventure in a fantasy world will like this book. This series does seem to blast a lot of information in your face and I just get so confused at who these new characters are or what is happening or how the empire system works and all that, but that's what the glossary is for at the back. There is a characters/pronoun page explaining in detail of what every character is. That helped clear some confusion, but I feel like it could have been written in a less confusing way. For instance, the POV changes like every few paragraphs or pages and the only clue I have to the new POV are the separation of the paragraphs and a new voice telling their side of the story. I think this review was rather all over the place, so I can't really say it's easy to write something perfectly and easily understandable. 

Overall, though, Exile was a fun read for those younger ones. Those who seek for adventures and wild imaginations, here's a series for you~

The Rating: (1-10): 7~

Author Bio:
Sally Ann Melia The author was born in Wallasey, England, in 1964, and moved to the South of France when she was eleven. She spent her teenage years living in the cosmopolitan city state of Monaco and became immersed in its many languages and cultures. An English girl in a French school, for three hours each week she would sit at the back of the class as her colleagues learnt English. To pass the time, she wrote stories. This led to a lifetime of writing novels, scripts, stories and articles.

In her working life, Sally writes marketing communications and manages large international websites.

In 2010, Sally joined the Hogs Back Writers, a club located on the outskirts of Guildford, and she set about turning an old manuscript into this novel: Guy Erma and the Son of Empire. Sally currently lives in Farnham, and she is married with two children.

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Saturday, July 11, 2015

Jubilant July Releases~

The new releases posts are back once more! :)
Let's see what great books are coming out this month!

Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird, #2)Go Set a Watchman (To Kill a Mockingbird #2)
by Harper Lee
Release Date: July 14th, 2015

Thoughts: If you guys haven't heard about the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, well here's the heads up! I can't believe things like finding a lost manuscript from the 1950s can happen. And it did! So now, we can know how Scout grew up to be and what she did to do her part in the community. :) 

The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2)
by Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 7th, 2015

Thoughts: To everyone who has read The Kiss of Deception, I'm pretty sure you all would know already that the much anticipated sequel is out! And I absolutely cannot wait to read it! So I'll just be right back after reading. :) 

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks #whoeverknows)
by Miranda Kenneally
Release Date: July 7th, 2015

Thoughts: I've been seeing this book floating around some blogs lately, although I haven't read the reviews yet. I started this series with Catching Jordan, which I really enjoyed. But I feel like this series dried out as it moves on the next couple. They just didn't have the same intense chemistry and suspense to me as the first one. Maybe I'll check this one out because the synopsis seemed pretty intersting.

Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, #6)Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from Shadowhunter Academy #6)
by Cassandra Clare and Robin Wasserman
Release Date: July 21st, 2015

Thoughts: I had no idea there was a Tales from Shadowhunter Academy series going on. Although I did enjoy The Mortal Instruments and loved the Infernal Devices even more, I haven't been keeping up with Cassie Clare's companion series, even though I did read The Bane Chronicles. Because who can resist Magnus Bane?

by Robin Benway
Release Date: July 16th, 2015

Thoughts: This one is also one of those books I've hearing and seeing a lot about lately. I read the synopsis, seems utterly charming and fun to read, but the reviews only seem to be so-so. I'll consider it, but I'm not 100% committed to read it yet. If I do, I'll be sure to post a review~

The House of the Stone (The Lone City, #1.5) The House of Stone (The Lone City #1.5)
by Amy Ewing
Release Date: July 7th, 2015

Thoughts: For those who have read The Jewel and cannot wait for the sequel to come out in October, here's a novella to thrust you back into the world of The Jewel by giving you Raven's POV and a darker side with more information on the plot of The Jewel. Enjoy!

Alive (The Generations Trilogy, #1)Alive (The Generations Trilogy #1)
by Scott Sigler
Release Date: July 14th, 2015

Thoughts: I have never seen this book or heard of this series but it seems to be garnering a whole lot of attention. I read the synopsis and learned absolutely nothing. All I see are the words MYSTERY and SUSPENSE written over and over again. Sounds similar to The Maze Runner idea, but probably not the same.  

Well, here's all the books that I could find that interests me.
Are there any missing?
Comment down below if I missed one of your anticipated reads for July!
 Happy Reading~

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Book Review: The Book of Ivy by Amy Engel

The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy, #1)The Book of Ivy (The Book of Ivy #1)
by Amy Engel
Release Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Paperback, 282 pages
Genre: YA Dystopia
Get a Copy:
      Amazon | B&N 

Goodreads Summary:  After a brutal nuclear war, the United States was left decimated. A small group of survivors eventually banded together, but only after more conflict over which family would govern the new nation. The Westfalls lost. Fifty years later, peace and control are maintained by marrying the daughters of the losing side to the sons of the winning group in a yearly ritual.

This year, it is my turn.

My name is Ivy Westfall, and my mission is simple: to kill the president’s son—my soon-to-be husband—and restore the Westfall family to power.

But Bishop Lattimer is either a very skilled actor or he’s not the cruel, heartless boy my family warned me to expect. He might even be the one person in this world who truly understands me. But there is no escape from my fate. I am the only one who can restore the Westfall legacy.

Because Bishop must die. And I must be the one to kill him…

Cindy's Review: 
At a Glance/The Cover: 
I was introduced The Book of Ivy through a lot of blog promo posts because of the blog tour. The synopsis just snatched my attention and wouldn't let me forget about it. I wanted to read it SO MUCH. The reviews were pretty good, but I knew that plot is something I personally would read and like. So I made the ultimate decision to pre-order The Book of Ivy on Amazon. Let me tell you, I totally did not regret it.   

The Characters/My Opinion:
Ivy Westfall - Ivy proved to be a person that has a heart. Not cold, like her sister, Callie. But Bishop can practically melt anyone's cold heart. According to Bishop, Ivy is easy to read, so I kind of relate that statement to the title: The Book of Ivy. Although, Ivy isn't that kickass heroine that's strong enough to have her own stubborn opinion, she does end up kicking up some courage and made some I mean A LOT of sacrifices for something she feels is right. 

Bishop Lattimer - He seems so perfect that he isn't even a real person. Can someone actually be that nice? Now that I think about, Bishop doesn't really have that strong of a personality besides being super genuine and kind. But when you're reading the book, you forget all about that. He's literally the best person ever. How could anyone hate him? Maybe if he had some humor or another quality that showed his personality though.....that might have made Bishop stand out even more. 

I have been on a dystopia hiatus because I got tired of how similar all the plots were and how the characters practically do the same thing and tell the same story. But The Book Ivy was such a suspenseful one, I couldn't resist.  I read the synopsis and just had to pre-order it on Amazon. It's like that perfect dystopia novel that I would enjoy. Of course, a lot of other books kind of has this kind of plot. I can totally compare The Book of Ivy to Delirium by Lauren Oliver.  

Overall Thoughts: 
If you're tired of dystopian YA novels, well, I recommend that you read The Book of Ivy anyways. It was a good book to get only a little dose of those dystopian stories considering it was only 200 pages or so. Okay. Maybe that's long, but it definitely felt really short. Unfortunately, that cliffhanger's got me thinking about the next and final book in the series, The Revolution of Ivy, coming out in November. I really wish Ivy and Bishop the best! :) 

The Rating: (1-10): 10~

Happy Reading~