BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: Like Candy by Debra Doxer

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Like Candy Blog Tour. I received a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

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Title: Like Candy
Author: Debra Doxer
Series: (Candy, #1)
Publication date: July 28th 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Young Adult

Synopsis:

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.
Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.
Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.
Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.
Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.
And Now For My Review!
Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5
      I enjoyed Like Candy a lot more than I thought I would.
Why?
      Because It was so incredibly easy to fall into the story! When I started reading it, I only meant to read a chapter or two to get a feel for what I’d be reading the next day (because it was late and I needed sleep but I wanted to know anyway) and instead I’ve suddenly read six chapters and I don’t want to stop! (I did anyway, but I definitely didn’t want to.) And then I picked it back up the next morning and proceeded to finish it. Just like that. It’s because the writing flowed well the story hooked me easily.
      It was full of mystery, suspense, twists, and the likes. The mystery was who kept breaking into their home (even though they had an alarm set up and a locks), who wanted to hurt Candy and her father (because her father’s job is… sketchy), and who wanted to hurt Candy to get to her father (because of his job)? And then it turned to who is Jonah really? Because he’s obviously a pretty secretive person when it comes to himself, so why wouldn’t he be hiding something? Which brought the thought, who else is lying or hiding something? The suspense was trying to figure out who the person wanting to harm them was, what they would do next, and why exactly did they want to hurt Candy’s father. The twist was at the very end. Jonah’s secret, what he hid, wasn’t so shocking; the fact that people wanted to hurt her father also wasn’t shocking (because really, he kills people for a living. Who wouldn’t want to get revenge on him for killing their father or brother?); and the man’s identity (the one who wanted to hurt them) wasn’t so shocking either (because we hear of him, but are never introduced to him which inspires the question: why? And he’s good with computers, so who else could it be?). But it’s the fact that while her father was being chocked, she decided to do something her father never wanted her to do. And I won’t say what because it’s pretty much a spoiler, but her father was both disappointed and defeated in that moment.
      Like Candy also has a connectable female lead. Candy. And she is strong in the sense that while with her father she may at times back down, she always has a plan to try and get him to see her point of view, and other times she fights him until she no longer can. With others, the ones who betray her, back stab her, purposely try to hurt her, or just want to mess with her, she never lets them get the better of her without getting back at them. She always gets her revenge. She’s insecure in a way where at times she really does wonder if anyone can really love her. When she’s having a bad day or just feels like crap, she wears revealing clothes because at least no one will think she’s as miserable as she is if she looks good. Also, she’ll get attention, even if it isn’t the good kind. She’s kind because she feels bad for the kind boys who try to get with Parker or Lea and end up dismissed or hurt, she cares about her father even when he’s being nothing but cold and distanced from her, always worried about whether or not he’s in trouble, and she cares deeply about Theo and worries about him because of his chemo withering him away. She’s thoughtful in a way that while at times she may not always see it at first from other’s eyes, by the end she sees what they mean and puts herself in their shoes. She always ends up understanding or seeing why they might think or feel in that way. She’s also very eager for acceptance. She wants to please her father, to have him love her in an affectionate way although she knows he’s not like that. It’s rare to get a hug from him, and she feels alone because of that. If she is having a bad and just needs a hug, she can’t count on her father to comfort her. In fact, at times he tells her she’s being unreasonable or childish. She’s mischievous too, though, always quick to think up a plan for revenge. Her pranks are ones she thinks of quickly and can still pull off perfectly. She’s that determined not to let others get away with doing wrong by her.
      In this book, there’s a romance all girls yearn for. We all want that guy in our life who looks at us like we’re his world, the guy who’ll research places all night long just to find the perfect place to take us, the kind of guy who is a gentleman but also has a devious side to keep us on our toes, a guy who is nervous but confident, thoughtful, and always seems to know our thoughts and what’s best for us. We want the kind of guy we can connect with on a deeper level who will love us for who we are, even if we try to hide ourselves. And that’s what Jonah and Candy are, what they have. They get each other on a lever beyond one I can comprehend, and they just work. And while I hate that he lied to her and was at times pretty rude, I don’t want to see them apart. That’s how well the author wrote them; the author made us love them, rendering it almost completely impossible to hate them or think, I hope they ruin each other. I love it.
      The only things about this book I don’t like? The cliff hanger (obviously, because this book isn’t even published yet(or, it wasn’t when I read the book and wrote this review), so now I have to wait longer for the next!), and the utter importance for her to follow in her father’s footsteps. I get that she wants his love and acceptance, but to eagerly want to kill people? Even if you think they’re bad guys? Candy has a heart, a big, good heart. But her need to be like her father might ruin her. I don’t think she can kill someone in cold blood and then not regret it or relive it ever other moment after. And I don’t want her to have to.
      Overall, I really love Like Candy and so I recommend this to everyone. But mainly lovers of mystery and romance.
 Debra

AUTHOR BIO:
Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.

THE TOUR STOPS

August 3rd
Book Snacks
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REVIEW: The Season of Lightning by Kate Avery Ellison

*I received a free ebook copy of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

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Title: The Season of Lightning
Author: Kate Avery Ellison
Publication date: February 20th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads || Amazon || B&N


Synopsis:
Emma meets Robin Hood in this antebellum-esque historical fantasy set in the same fantasy world as A Gift of Poison.

Verity Elysius is the only daughter of a famous retired general and rich plantation owner. She lives in an insulated world of wealth and privilege, where she spends her time riding her horse, sassing her lady’s companion, and being tormented by the family’s handsome but irritating nobleman friend, Lord Roth. But when a mysterious, masked vigilante called the Hawk begins stirring up trouble and freeing silvras, the oppressed lower class, Verity’s world is turned upside down as she is challenged about everything she knows about her world and her place in it.

Format: Ebook
Rating: 4.5/5

      The Season of Lightning is a fantasy book akin to that of a historical romance type of novel, with the romance at the end (though there isn’t much romance, to be honest). The fantasy part doesn’t mean the book is infused with magic and spells and witches, rather, it’s the world itself with the different places and types of people (Tyyros, Silvra ext.). It feels so much like a historical book though due to the vibe the world gives off, reminding us of the 1800s with the way people speak and dress and how the world works. It made for a more interesting story, seeing as how Verity is a rich girl whom is supposed to be a proper young lady. But it isn’t just about a rich girl’s life, or how one with such money lived in those times. It’s about a rich girl with an improper attitude slowly realizing the world around her and the horrors within it. It’s about a young lady seeing the wrongs and wanting to right them, but not knowing how. It’s about freeing the lower class who are beaten and starved so the rich don’t have to do their work. It’s about growing and maturing and trying to do the right thing.

      Which is why I’ll start off with Verity’s character. Verity is a noblewoman, rich and young,and stuck in a time where women are seen as nothing but pretty objects to brighten a room, where they’re seen as weak beings only concerned with parties and dresses and gossip. Verity is anything but dress obsessed and empty headed. In fact, she has a quick brain and a sharp tongue which drove her father mad, and tended to get her in trouble. She admits to liking parties, yes, but that’s definitely not all she thinks about. Instead, she likes to ride her horse, run around bare-foot, she wants to play cards with her father and the other men. Basically, she’s a lady doing things men do, and because of that she is improper. Also, she has a fire in her, a fierceness which is most definitely to be improper since it allows her to talk back and defend herself. It gives her strength and that makes her a character more lovable and likable. I also really enjoyed how Verity matured in this novel. Whenever she was faced with something unpleasant (like a man hating on her Silvra friend, Trilly, soldiers with guns threatening them, the Hawk), she doesn’t turn away. Instead, she learns from it and the more she learns from situations she gets herself in, the more she grows and matures. I think she grew the most in the camp and in Tasglorn though, which I loved reading about.

      The reason for her growth however, all started when a mysterious person they called The Hawk, began to attack various rich plantations and free the Silvras and Tyyros (who are slaves, no matter how one might look at it). That is when Verity realizes the lives of the lower class, realizes the wrongs being done to them and begins to want to help and do all she can to make things right. And while I liked the Hawk for freeing the slaves and giving them a better life and his commitment to his cause, I wasn’t so fond of the way he went about achieving his goals. He was fueled by revenge and liked to burn down crops and home even though he didn’t need to. He wasn’t robbing the rich to feed the poor as Robin Hood did; he was taking down the rich and freeing the oppressed.

      I liked Lord Roth from the beginning. He came across as sweet, intelligent, and charming, though he adored making fun of Verity for obvious reasons. He had his own way about things and while at times I wasn’t so fond of him for treating Verity like a child and being fairly rude, he was an overall great character. He grew as well, like Verity did, though not as much. He stopped treating her like a child and she saw and remembered the good things about him, the things he did so she didn’t have such a hard time. It was rather obvious how it would end between them, though I wish the romance was more developed because there really wasn’t much of it.

      Which brings me to the world building! The world was very well-developed, feeling as real as our own as we got to see inner workings of politics as well as the outcome of chaos. We got to see how Verity’s world suffered and worked through the loss of money and crops and workers. We got to see the different worlds, the different workings of the different people and places (though not so much their politics, but their groups near Verity). It was a fantastic world and the author did a great job of describing it and making it feel real.

      The writing was also very good. We got to see the world through Verity, so there were no big info-dumps, and we got to see the world change through her eyes. I was so invested and immersed in this book that I didn’t want to put it down. It was just so easy to fall into and so hard to get out! And while it wasn’t exactly fast-paced (which I have no problems with), it was so riveting that I can hardly complain!

     Overall, everything about this book is great. And while I would’ve loved to see the romance be more developed, there’s not much to complain about. I would definitely recommend this for any of you who find in interestign or love fantasy and historical books.

~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW/EXCERPT: Scar of the Downers by Scott Keen

*I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours Scar of the Downers Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.

**This is also posted on Coffee & All Things Random.

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Title: Scar of the Downers
Author: Scott Keen
Publication date: February 27th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult


Synopsis:

Branded on the slaves in the Northern Reaches beyond Ungstah, the scar marks each one as a Downer. It is who they are. There is no escaping this world. Still, strange things are stirring.

Two foreigners ride through the Northern Reaches on a secret mission. An unknown cloaked figure wanders the streets of the dark city of Ungstah. What they want no one can be sure, but it all centers around a Downer named Crik.

Crik, too scared to seek freedom, spends his days working in his master’s store, avoiding the spirit-eating Ash Kings, and scavenging food for himself and his best friend, Jak. Until he steals from the wrong person. When Jak is sold to satisfy the debt, Crik burns down his master’s house and is sentenced to death.

To survive, Crik and his friends must leave behind their life of slavery to do what no other Downer has ever done before – escape from the city of Ungstah

An Excerpt:

Crik smiled. “I brought something for you.” He pulled out the torn piece of bread and handed it to her.

“Where did you get it?”

“A simple thank you is all I need,” said Crik. She gazed at him, and it felt as if he knew what she was thinking. “I’m careful. I’ve lived this long.”


“I didn’t say anything,” said Tinker. “But since you mentioned it. Thank you. You’re such a nice Downer . . . and that’s saying a lot. Some of them are crueler than their masters.”

Tinker took a bite of the bread and chewed slowly.

“Is it good?” Crik asked.

Tinker nodded. “It’s fresher than the ones Morta serves to her customers. I hope you didn’t go through a lot of trouble getting it.”

Crik thought about it and just said, “Not too much.” Then he picked a crumb out of her dirty, matted hair, which she brushed behind her ear.

“You had something in your hair,” said Crik, slightly embarrassed.

“Just one thing?” said Tinker.

“That I could see in the dark.”


They laughed. They always did when they met. All the grime on their skin, tears in their clothes, and lice in their hair disappeared when they were with each other. Crik didn’t feel like a Downer with Tinker. He felt like a young man; he felt brave, as if he could conquer the city. With her he wasn’t afraid of Kilvar, of the rats, the Ashes, or even the Gaunt King himself. The dangers of the city and the world melted away when they were together.

Getting up, Crik walked to the ledge of the roof and looked eastward into the darkness, past the torches and walls. He searched for the words to say, his gaze burrowing into the wall of night. Crik’s voice was quiet when he spoke.

“I heard something yesterday when I was in Briars and Thickets.”

“You went in there?” Tinker got up and crossed to him.

“That’s not the point.” Crik looked at her. “Some men were talking. I listened to their conversation. They spoke of something . . . something called the Avarah.”

Tinker’s brow furrowed, and her face turned serious. “The Avarah?”

“Yeah. You work in an inn. Have you heard people speak of them? Do you know anything about what they are?”

“I haven’t heard a lot,” said Tinker. “What I have heard isn’t very good. But they’re mainly just in stories. No one believes that they’re real. Why?”

“What were the stories about them like?”


Tinker grew quiet again as if she were deep in thought. “I’ve heard they were some kind of powerful being who used to live here long ago. But for some reason they don’t anymore. I guess the people in Ungstah killed them or something. Why? Why do you ask?”

“One man said they’ve returned.”

“Returned?” Tinker gave a little laugh. “I don’t think they’re even real. He was probably crazy. A lot of strange people come through the city.”

“That’s the thing,” said Crik. “This man is the Captain of the City’s Watch.”

Tinker crossed her arms. “Why do you ask me all these questions?”

“I was hoping that if the Avarah have returned . . . I was hoping they were good.”

“Be careful,” said Tinker, grabbing hold of his hand.

“Careful of what?”


“Hope can be dangerous thing for a Downer.”


“Hope is all I have.”


And now, on to my review!
Format: Ebook
4/5 stars

Scar of the Downers is an interesting new fantasy book. It is full of survival, strength, growth, trust, and the fight for freedom. It involves the Downers being treated like slaves, barely ever being fed and always having to do as their master asks. They are treated so poorly and cruelly, but then they have help and suddenly everything is looking brighter. It’s about friendship and trust and it’s a tale written to make scared characters a little braver, a littler more trusting, and a lot more loving.

What I Like:

  • The World-Building || The world building was well done, in my opinion. I mainly enjoyed the description of the evil lurking within the land and the cursed King, how Ungstah is described as darker than other cities so much so that travelers can feel the change once they’re close enough. It made for a much more scary type of vibe, and really helped the mystery grow where the King and his Guards are involved.
  • The Action || I love action, period, but I especially loved it in this book because of the magical elements. Aniel has this sword, right? And so, it can turn into water and end the lives of the Ash Kings, and it can also turn into fire. How cool is that?!
  • The Characters || Well, most of them. I enjoyed reading about Crik (he’s probably my favourite), Jak (or maybe he is), Tinker, Chaser, Aniel (she’s wicked cool), Talorc, Edem, and Gabril. I wasn’t so much a fan of Kilvar, Bhoor, and the other cruel Downer owners. I know they have to be cruel in order for the story to work as it does and I can understand that, I just don’t like them because if they were real I’d want to punch them in the face so bad. Overall though, the characters were great and I enjoyed the different voices us readers got to hear as we read. The visual we got was much richer because of that.
  • The Writing || It flowed well, and despite the filler-like vibe I felt most of the time, it was still a very enjoyable read because the writing really lured me in.

What I don’t like:

There’s not much; It’s mainly the pace. Throughout most of the book, I felt like it was all  a large filler. Not much seems to happen. I kept reading and all I got was that they were treated poorly (they were always hungry, thirsty, and dirty, always scouring the streets for whatever they could find), they needed to get money so Jak wouldn’t be sold (because their owner has a dept he needs payed but refuses to part with the silver he gained from killing a man, and so they stole from a house down a street), they aren’t that fond of some of the other Downers (Slink especially, since he always seems to sneak on them when they’re walking down the street), the Ash Kings almost killed them multiple times (since they were out on the streets during curfew trying to get food and money), and their owner is a cruel, cruel man. And yet, as you should realize, most of it happens in the same streets over and over again. It worked well with the story, but made the pace more slow and akin to that of a filler chapter.

I also didn’t like how quickly Slink changed. At first he’s this annoying, slightly creepy Downer that Crik and Jak weren’t fond of, as he was always sneaking up on them and even stole food from them once. Then suddenly when Aniel saves him he’s all nice and supportive and gets along with the others real well. I think there should have been more time taken to develop his change. Other than that though, I really enjoyed reading Scar of the Downers.

So, overall, Scar of the Downers was a very enjoyable read, despite the slow/filler-like pacing. I would recommend this to you lovers of action and fantasy.


ScottAUTHOR BIO:
Scott grew up in Black River, NY, the youngest of three children. While in law school, he realized he didn’t want to be a lawyer. So he did the practical thing – he became a writer. Now, many years later with an MFA in script and screenwriting, he is married with four daughters, two of whom he homeschools.
Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS

June 22nd
Kara the Redhead >> Review
Suzy Turner, YA Author  >> Guest post
Padme’s Library >> Excerpt

June 23rd
Mom With A Kindle >> Interview
Dowie’s Place >> Review
Mythical Books >> Guest post

June 24th
ConvergenceBookReviews >> Review
We Do Write >> Interview
Authors You Want to Read >> Excerpt
Just Us Book Blog >> Top 10 List

June 25th
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile >> Guest post
Coffee & All Things Random >> Review [me]
A British Bookworm’s Blog >> Excerpt

June 26th
Classy Cat Books >> Review
Brooke Blogs >> Top 10 List
Crazy Beautiful Reviews >> Excerpt
Fandemonium Network >> Interview

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~Sage<3

BLOG TOUR/REVIEW: An Absence of Light by Meradeth Houston

 *I’m posting this as part of the XpressoBookTours An Absence of Light Blog Tour. I recieved a free ebook copy of this in order to do so.AnAbsenseOfLightTourBanner
AbsenceOfLight~
Title: An Absence of Light
Author: Meradeth Houston
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: October 31st 2014
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction, Young Adult
 Goodreads || Amazon || B&N

Synopsis:

Leah’s always seen the shadow creatures. She thought she was immune to their evil—until now.

She’s walked into a massacre, stolen a BMW, and is running from the law for a crime she didn’t commit. Nineteen-year-old Leah’s life just went from mildly abnormal to totally crazy at lightning speed. But no one will believe that the shadow creatures are framing her for the murder, because she’s the only one that can see them. At least that’s what she thought.

When Leah stumbled across a group who share her ability, she discovers they have something she doesn’t: a way to fight back. When the group offers to teach her how to kill the shadow creatures, Leah jumps at the chance. But something is brewing with the creatures. They’re tracking down the hunters like there’s no tomorrow. Leah suspects that maybe there won’t be, and it’s up to her to make sure tomorrow comes. Because she’ll do anything to stop the shadows, including risking her life—and the life of the one she loves—to keep the world from being lost to darkness forever.


And now, on to my review!
Format: Ebook
4/5 stars
      An Absence of Light is a book full of action, growth, bravery, romance, and perhaps even horror. I honestly didn’t find it scary, however if I were to deal with something like that in real life, then yeah, I’d be pretty terrified. We follow Leah in the beginning after the tragic death of her family, and then she runs away and stumbles upon a man who can also see the shadows. It all begins unraveling from there, learning more of her special abilities, of the shadows, and of how to possibly solve the problems the shadows’ mere presence create. In the midst, there’s romance, action, and a whole lot of twists.
What I Liked:
  • The writing. It was easy to follow and get immersed in the story line. I had only planned on reading a chapter, maybe two, and then I ended up finishing it so… That speaks for itself. d: But it also flowed well, and the interactions between the characters were often slightly amusing. Though sometimes it felt a little too unrealistic.
  • The abilities of the shadows. I enjoyed the twists and the new information Adam, Manuel, and Lee kept discovering. Some felt a little like they were thrown in, but nevertheless the twists kept me on my toes and I was surprised more then once. I especially love the way the shadows are explained. Their description just makes you imagine this creepy, slimy, black thing with no particular shape that can easily blend in and mess with you. It’s a little scary, right?
  • The characters. I enjoyed how they each portray their own way of protection, how they all seem to bond so well. They are each strong and determined, having lost so much to the shadows. I was rooting for them throughout the book and with each moment they felt hopeless I felt even more hope that they’d get through it. I loved the emotions because of that.
  • I like how not all of the shadows are bad. I won’t go into further detail though, as this is already partially a spoiler (sorry).
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What I Didn’t Like:
  • The ending (I won’t go into further details because of spoilers) seemed far too quick. Possibly rushed. My heart wanted to break, but with how quickly it happened, I didn’t really feel anything…
  • The specific relationship that is formed happened so suddenly. I get that they’re afraid that they’ll die and so they want to make sure they know how they feel, but to just climb into bed and be all touchy-feely after so long of going back and forth between friends and enemies? I feel like we should get more of them slowly leading up to that point, because before that we pretty much only have protective instincts and seemingly not any real emotion.
  • Adam’s sister’s condition, how she got like that, isn’t explained and I feel like it should be further explored. Perhaps then we could feel a deeper terror and be able to immerse ourselves deeper in the story?
  • Considering Amy had been possessed for so long, you’d think they would have noticed others as well. But instead, they all show up once they realize what Amy is. That, well, it just makes it seem as if it was thrown in there as a second thought. I think we should’ve seen more like Amy beforehand, and then when they realize what she is they can piece it together based on what they saw before, instead of there suddenly being groups of them after Amy is discovered.

Overall, I enjoyed reading An Absence of Light and I would recommend it for you fans of horror, sci-fi, and romance. Oh, and action!


MeradethHoustonAUTHOR BIO:

Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:

-She’s a Northern California girl. And now is braving the cold winters in Montana.
-When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
-She’s also an anthropology professor and loves getting people interested in studying humans.
-If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.

Author links:

THE TOUR STOPS:

June 8th
The Bookish Angel
Girls With Books
Abby J Reed
Lindea on Books & Writing
I Feel the Need, the Need to Read

June 9th
Twisted Book Junkie
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June 10th
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June 11th
Adventures in Bookland
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June 12th
Movies, Shows & Books
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Author Tracker: YA and Adult Books
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June 13th
Head in the Clouds, Heart in the Books
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~Sage<3

REVIEW: Broken Lies by Claire Vale

*I received the ebook version of this from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Broken Lies

Author: Claire Vale

Series: (Broken #1)

Publication Date: March 10th, 2015

Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult

Format: Ebook

4/5 stars


Synopsis:
Scientists predicted it would take seventy years for the Arctic Shelf to completely melt. In the end, it took less than five. We lost thirty percent of our land to the oceans and a big chunk of our structure to panic and anarchy.

The Melt crippled us.

But it was the Arctic Virus at the bottom of The Melt, trapped for millennia in the darkest depths of ice strata, that broke us. The real flood was the Living Corpses. A population of billions turned to soulless, rabid shells within months. That’s what washed away the human race as we know it.

Born into a post-apocalyptic world, Lake has grown up in the last city standing. Governed by what used to be the Queen’s Cold Stream  Guard, vaccinated against the threat, life in Windsor City is both harsh and fair. The rules are designed to strengthen the city and ensure survival.

Lake’s future is planned out with opportunities and unfair advantages and then there’s Ash—her best friend and hopefully more. Things could be worse, considering she’s living past the end of days. And, sometimes, she could definitely do with being a better person, which was what drafting into the Guard for two years of service was supposed to be about.

But she has no idea what she’s signed up for. The city is more vulnerable than she’d ever imagined, on its knees at the mercy of a megalomaniac organisation, and she’s just been chosen to pay the price.

Broken Lies is full of strength, bravery, survival, growth, deceit, friendship (there’s some seriously strong bonds), and even a dash of romance (perhaps a little too much for my taste, the way it was written, but even so it wasn’t so bad). We mainly follow a group of four friends, also considered as two couples: Lake and Ash, and Ava and Ralley. All four are very important characters, and then add Thomas to spice things up a little, and suddenly you have more humour, a love triangle, and growth in a certain character.

To be honest, the love triangle was a little… eh. It didn’t really work for me. I mean, Ash is a great guy and all, but he felt more like best friend material. The way he was always making Lake feel as if she should be better as a person, as if she didn’t deserve him, as if she should be stronger and take certain things more seriously because he wants her too, just didn’t make me want to root for him as a romantic interest. He was better playing her friend, always concerned and supportive and just being there. He hurt her, too. Which honestly, I think was pretty unnecessary in the way it panned out, as yeah okay sure, it broke them up, but it was never really explained. And from all we know of Ash up to that point, he would never do something like that, and so instead it felt like something thrown in just so there’d be a huge distance between them. Either way, I definitely prefer the other love interest. He’s by far a better choice. Lake herself says that being with him makes her feel as if maybe it’s okay to be herself. And that’s what she needs, what would make her happier in the long run.

But anyway, the overall plot and content was very enjoyable. I loved the action (during actual fights and even the training), the world-building, the survival training course, and the characters. I enjoyed the zombie-like aspect, the -as they call them- LCs, or Living Corpses if you like. They proved to be very dangerous and I believe they play a rather large part. That being said, though, I must admit that I feel like the book focused more on the relationships of the couples and the troubles between them, than on the surviving and the threats (the LCs and many more) and how they could possibly fix their problems. The romance part of the book seemed to take the lead, with everything else a lingering shadow of what should be more pronounced. That’s another reason why the love triangle really didn’t work for me. I still enjoyed the book, though, as the training and the survival and the attacks were all very intriguing and engaging.

At the end, however, a certain twist was revealed and all I could think was: Hunger Games. It’s different, yes, but it still is very similar and so I’m not entirely sure about the next book. I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, as I really want to see who Lake ends up with (if it’s who I’m hoping then things are about to get a whole lot better), if Ava and Ralley get back together, and if the three boys (Ash, Ralley, and Thomas) will really go through with what they’re being forced to, or if they will find some way out. I’m already thinking it’ll be full of action, and loss, and romance that’ll actually work. I’m pretty excited, actually. Out of all the ways it can go, which path will the author take? But I’m still hesitant, because what if it resembles the Hunger Games too much?

But yes, overall I really enjoyed reading Broken Lies. If you’re a fan of dystopia, action, romance, and maybe even zombies, then I suggest giving this book a try!

~Sage<3