February 2013 Recap

Nicole Read

Ashley Read

Nicole's Favorite 

Ashley's Favorite 

Nicole's Challenge 

Debut Author Challenge

2013 Sequel Challenge

Contemporary Challenge

100 Book Challenge

Ashley's Challenge 

Debut Author Challenge

Paranormal Reading Challenge

Dystopia Reading Challenge


Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Title: Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1)
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: December 11, 2012
Pages: 412, Hardcover

Summary from Goodreads:
In a land where magic has been forgotten but peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest is simmering. Three kingdoms grapple for power—brutally transforming their subjects' lives in the process. Amidst betrayals, bargains, and battles, four young people find their fates forever intertwined:

Cleo: A princess raised in luxury must embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of a magic long thought extinct.

Jonas: Enraged at injustice, a rebel lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country impoverished—and finds himself the leader of a people's revolution centuries in the making.

Lucia: A girl adopted at birth into a royal family discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Magnus: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, a firstborn son begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword. . . .

The only outcome that's certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?


You know what I love to see in fantasy books - death of characters (without trying to sound morbid). Yes it is heartbreaking when someone we've grown fond of is killed off but tis is life. If anyone has read George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series you know by now that  no one is safe! But my the betrayal his books are good! Now, I am not saying Falling Kingdoms is on the same level as A Song of Ice and Fire, just that Morgan Rhodes is not afraid to kill off a few characters, which in my opinion, makes the fantasy feel more real and powerful.

I may be a total sucker for fantasy but I LOVED THIS BOOK. First, the characters are really strong. I honestly felt for all them, which let me tell you, made me feel awfully conflicted since they all have contrasting motives. If I had to choose, Cleo would probably be my favorite. She's headstrong, brave, and something fierce. Jonas is so loyal it could cost him his life. He spends the first half of the book blinded by rage but slowly starts to see what is right. Magnus - holy crap! Magnus is the most complex character - I don't even know how to sum him up. On one page he can make you so angry you're seeing red and the next page you want to give him a hug and and do whatever you can to fill that huge hole inside of him. Lucia is selfless and forgiving but has a lot of inner strength. I think Lucia gets the least attention but she plays a fascinating part and I am excited to see her character develop.  Perhaps the BEST thing about the characters - they have all done both good and bad. No one is blameless. 

In this story, you get your typical greedy kings, oppressed people, war, revenge, love, duty - but you also get a really interesting story of magic. The magic is a motivator for a lot of what happens in this book. It's not a large element though yet because very few are capable of the gift but it was steadily built up throughout the book and will likely play a bigger part in the rest of the series. I'm looking forward to seeing the it's use and limits and the lengths that people will go to control it. 

My only small piece of criticism I have is the insta-love between Cleo and Theon BUT it is so small a detail that it does not distract from the book even if you are an avid insta-love hater.

This book had everything a good fantasy book needs. It was very character-driven but the character's were complex and interesting and I really enjoyed how Morgan Rhodes weaved their stories together. The ending was perfectly executed and the set-up for the next book left me wanting more. If you like fantasy books, I definitely recommend picking this one up.


I'm Waiting On In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine to shine a spotlight on upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating!

This week I chose...

Title: In the Shadow of Blackbirds
Author: Cat Winters
Release Date: April 2, 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?

Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds

The cover, the summary, the raving reviews of those who were lucky enough to read it early - let's just say I already pre-ordered my copy.

What are you waiting on?

Top Ten Tuesday (7) - Feb 26th


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is "Top Ten Authors That I'd Put On My Auto-Buy List (basically an auto-buy list is no questions asked..you love this author so much that no matter what they wrote next you'd buy regardless of genre or subject matter)"  

Ashley's Top Five:

Molly Harper
Cassandra Clare
Maggie Stiefvater
Veronica Rossi
Marie Lu

Nicole's Top Five:

Richelle Mead
Melina Marchetta
Kristin Cashore
Kendare Blake
Gayle Forman

What author's do you love? 

Hysteria by Megan Miranda

Title: Hysteria
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: February 5,2013
Pages: 336 Hardcover
Rating: 2.5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:
Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again.

"Reid slept on while the words seared themselves into my brain. Psychological. Hallucinations. Hysteria"

So I was pretty excited to start Hysteria, the summary sounded pretty creepy and even the cover looked cool. The book was a little bit of a letdown for me. The story starts with Mallory being sent off to a boarding school for a ‘new start;’ her dad was able to pull strings at his old high school, Monroe. Mallory is forced to her new start because she killed her ex-boyfriend; even though it was self-defense the whole event and Brian continue to haunt her dreams. Upon arriving to Monroe, Mallory reconnects with Reid, her father’s best friend’s son. Reid is there for Mallory as she spirals down further into hysteria. Mallory has to figure out why  Brian’s presence continues to follow her before her hysteria drives her crazy and she goes to jail for another murder.

The Good: Friendship, Mallory and Colleen have a powerful friendship that withstands all the drama thrown at Mallory. Colleen never has any doubt in Mallory and is always on her side trying to help. I also like Reid; he wouldn't give up on Mallory and tried to make her transition to Monroe smoother.

The Meh: The ending, Miranda did a good job of resolving the loose ends and explaining the reasons for certain events. Hysteria was a very quick read. Her parents irritated me bit, while they do love her they do not seem to always be on her side.

The Bad: The constant boom boom boom that haunted Mallory’s mind got a bit old. I usually enjoy alternating narrators/time frames but I was not a fan of the back and forth between current Mallory and her past memories. I felt like the story lacked something; Megan’s hysteria was not super believable. The hand-print on her back that got more intense every night, the bloody hand-prints  and the cliche mean girls who gave her a hard time all seemed to lack some originality.

Overall, Hysteria was a 2.5 star read. While it was a quick read I felt the plot lack some substance and actual thrill. Might be a good read if you really enjoy psychological thrillers that focus more on what can happen to a person  (the psychology) than focusing on the eerie/thriller aspects and plot of the book.

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