Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Queen of the Tearling: A review

My Rating:

 An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.

Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom's haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

My Review: 
The story overall was great. The plot is good, I like the idea of it. The world is getting there. 
The only problem I really have is Kelsea. The main character should be a great example of the author's expertise. Kelsea should be a strong young woman making tough decisions about her new kingdom. At best, Kelsea is.... flimsy. She rules her kingdom just fine. Her morals are great. But some of the thoughts that pass through her head make me want to throw my phone off a cliff. Sometimes she's stern, then she's vain, then she's serious, then she's crazy and delusional. Also, she has no idea what her jewels are doing for her and doesn't want to take advantage of it. Nobody else asks about it either. They don't mention anything about them. She just let's them do what they do. Control that power! Take over the new world!
I know a lot of people have problems with how the world is built; it is a story in the future, but it's more or less renaissance-esque. After a great pilgrimage, in which a lot of modern technology is "lost", not even heroin made it over. But the Red Queen somehow has cannons that fire gunpowder? I don't know. I liked it, but I didn't like it. 
Mace is my favorite character. Definitely. He is strong, mysterious, and has morals solid as gold. I'm glad he's not leaving. He needs to stay and make Kelsea stronger. 

So yeah, I will be reading the second book in this series, The Invasion of The Tearling. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly: A Review

The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.

And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.

Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it's clear that Minnow knows something—but she's not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.

My Rating:

My Thoughts:
This book gripped me from the very beginning. I've always been interested in religious cults and how they function, ever since I first hear about the Westboro Baptist church horror stories. So the plot for this book seemed so interesting! And it was. I loved reading how Minnow went through this story and found out who she is and what she believes in. I found out afterwards that there is a story this book is based off of and I'd love to read that some time soon. 

So this guy named Kevin calls himself the Prophet, and her family follows him into the woods to start an entire new life. At first Minnow wholeheartedly believes him. He knows all the answers and talks to god and knows what's best for the village. Then later on, Minnow starts questioning everything he says, and realizes that it may not be what he says it is. She wants to know what the real world is. One night she is told she will be married to the prophet, and so she decides to run away. That night she meets her love interest, but is ultimately found, brought back to her village, and as punishment, her hands are cut off. 

That in itself is an amazing feature of this book; the main character has no hands to do anything with! While in juvi, she casually makes jokes about it, which lets you into her head a bit better. After that night, her entire personality starts to shift and change. It keeps on developing in juvi as well. She questions everything and tries to find out what she believes in. 

Probably the only thing I didn't like about this book was the ending. Through the entire book you are leading up to her 18th birthday, because on that day they will decide if she is free, or if she's going to real jail. You don't ever find out.  Another thing that wasn't really tied up well was the love interest. You are pretty much led to believe he is out there in the wild, and he's going to starve to death, alone. What kind of a romance is that? I understand the reason behind Minnow falling out of love with him, but come on. I enjoyed that character and wanted much much more for him than that. What a cop out. 

Other than those two things, this book was great and I recommend it to everyone!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thoughts on books I'm currently reading

Queen of the Tearling:

Things are kind of moving slowly, and I find myself skipping paragraphs at a time just to move the story along. Where's the action? The only character I care about is Kelsea, nobody else. 

The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly:

I love it and I love Minnow even though she killed the prophet and she's going to be in jail a long time but will they find out? She's at her breaking point emotionally right now (I'm about Halfway through) and it's getting pretty intense. I had to stop myself from reading the whole thing last night.

The Knife of Never Letting Go:

Ummm..... It's a great idea, but what is going to happen? The language is a little hard to get used to. I'm going to keep reading eventually, but it doesn't grip me right now. :/

Friday, September 18, 2015

Books I've Read So Far This Year!!

Here are all of (well, most of) the books that I've read this year! I've only started book blogging about two months ago, so this isn't a complete list because I've forgotten some of the books I read at the beginning of the year. But yeah, here you go!


Books I'm currently reading!!

Before I get started on this though, I need to let you guys know that I just finished The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and it was great! That ending was such a twist. I can't wait to start reading the second book of the series.

Right now I'm currently reading Queen of The Tearling by Erika Johansen. it is a bit slow, but so is Outlander, and I love that book to pieces. It's about Kelsea, a girl who's just turned nineteen, and is brought back to the kingdom to be Queen. Kelsea's mother has died ten years before, and her uncle has been regent. The government has been crucially slanted for the rich. I'm not that far into it so far, but I am very interested in what Kelsea ends up doing.

I'm also reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. It's very odd to me that all their thoughts are heard at all times. I am very excited to see where this book goes, but the use of language is a bit hindering, because the main character is poorly educated. I just have to get used to it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Book Spotlight!! - Spinner by Michael J Bowler

Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.

In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.

They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.

The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed. 

The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty. 

If he survives…

If you would like to know more about this book, there is a blog tour currently running! 

About the Author

Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner. 

He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. 

He acted as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II.” 

He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook. 

He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. 

He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.

He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner.His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

* Spinner won Honorable Mention in Young Adult Books of 2015 from the San Francisco Book Festival.

Social Media Links:
FB: michaeljbowlerauthor

Buy link:

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Book Review: The Martian

Here's my video review for The Martian! I played around with the editing, and it's so fun.