Tuesday, December 29, 2015

TTT: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of Early 2016 (That I Haven't Read)

I've seen this meme on a lot of blogs and decided to join in. This meme was created by The Broke and Bookish. Every Tuesday there is a new topic that involves a list of ten books. 

This Week's Topic: Top Ten Most Anticipated Books For the First Half of 2016 (That I Haven't Read)

1) Ivory and Bone by Julie Eshbaugh

2) Beyond the Red by Ava Jae

3) Bookishly Every After by Isabel Bandeira

4) The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele

5) A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

6) Ruined by Amy Tintera

7) Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

8) The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

9) Summer of Supernovas by Darcy Woods

10) The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

Are any of these books on your list? Which ones? =)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie ARC Review

E-ARC, 288 pages
Published by Flux
Publication Date: February 8th, 2016
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.

There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she's not about to stop.

I really enjoyed The Abyss Surrounds Us, and would love to see more of its captivating world! The history, living conditions, and even the food chains were all explained perfectly, so that I really know and understand the backstory. Pirates and sea monsters instantly had me interested in this book, which managed to be unique, and simultaneously so well-written that it was easy to imagine.

While reading, I was constantly struggling with who to root for, and even Cassandrathe main charactermade plenty of difficult and complicated decisions. However this only made the book even more intriguing, and added to the characters’ realism. In life, people aren't ever all good or bad, and this book portrayed that perfectly. All of the characters were multi-dimensional with their own problems and issues, but they also had struggles and moral dilemmas to deal with.

Also, if you’re looking for girl power, this book has PLENTY of it! There were so many strong girls who didn’t need rescuing and fought for themselvesI loved it! I am glad I read this book, and I really recommend it—especially for anyone interested in amazingly well-rounded characters, strong female leads, action, pirates and floating cities. And come on, who doesn't like that?!

1) I loved the world introduced in The Abyss Surrounds Us. I know so much about it, because the science, history, and politics were all well explained. I meansea monsters, pirates, and huge turtles...how often do you see that?

2) This entire book had me confused about who to root for, which is awesome! Even the protagonist Cassandra is forced to make difficult choices that I sometimes disagreed with, but in the end it only made the book better.

3) Hello, GIRL POWER! There were so many fierce girls in this story, it was so refreshing to see!

4) The characters were all realistic, because I could love them one minute and them be terribly frustrated and annoyed with them the next. 

1) Even though some of what I learned about the world was interesting, some things I felt were unnecessary. As interesting as the food chains of the NeoPacific are, too many details like these occasionally got in the way of the plot for me.

“Welcome back to the land of the living,” Varma says, grinning extra wide as I slide onto the bench next to Swift. The guy probably gets kicked out of funerals for looking too pleased with himself.”

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Brittany's Book-Themed Chats! #BBTC

The What: Welcome to our new feature: Brittany's Book-Themed Chats! We're going to be hosting Twitter chats centered around a specific book in order to promote it. All chats will be spoiler-free and author approved. All of the questions will somehow be plot and/or character related. Throughout the chat, we will release select quotes to get you even more excited about reading each book. Finally, we'll often have giveaways for the chat participants featuring ARCs, pre-orders, published books, or swag!


The Where: All of these chats will be held on Twitter. Everyone is welcome to join, whether you've read the particular book or not! However if you have read the book, please be mindful of what you say to avoid spoilers. The hashtag for all of our chats will be #BBTC 


The Why: They're fun! And we're huge book pushers here, so if we read a book and love it, we want everyone else to read it too! What better way to get you excited about a book than a Book-Themed Twitter Chat?


The How: The only books that we want to promote are the ones that we absolutely love, so therefore we will not host chats for books that we haven't read. However, there are so many books and so little time. We haven't read them all! So if you would like to be considered for #BBTC, send us an e-mail (brittanysbookrambles@hotmail.com) about arranging to get the book in our hands! To see what upcoming #BBTC chats we'll be hosting, click on the BBTC tab on the toolbar above.


If you're an author or publisher and would like to schedule a book-themed chat (doesn't necessarily have to fall under #BBTC since that requires us to read the book prior to scheduling) feel free to contact us via e-mail at brittanysbookrambles@hotmail.com


Upcoming #BBTC:

Past #BBTC:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto ARC Review

Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
Format: Paperback ARC
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pub. Date: Feburary 2nd, 2016
Pre-order it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |
The two-bit town of Rogue City is a lawless place, full of dark magic and saloon brawls, monsters and six-shooters. But it’s perfect for seventeen-year-old Westie, the notorious adopted daughter of local inventor Nigel Butler.

Westie was only a child when she lost her arm and her family to cannibals on the wagon trail. Nine years later, Westie may seem fearsome with her foul-mouthed tough exterior and the powerful mechanical arm built for her by Nigel, but the memory of her past still haunts her. She’s determined to make the killers pay for their crimes—and there’s nothing to stop her except her own reckless ways.

But Westie’s search ceases when a wealthy family comes to town looking to invest in Nigel’s latest invention, a machine that can harvest magic from gold—which Rogue City desperately needs as the magic wards that surround the city start to fail. There’s only one problem: the investors look exactly like the family who murdered Westie’s kin. With the help of Nigel’s handsome but scarred young assistant, Alistair, Westie sets out to prove their guilt. But if she’s not careful, her desire for revenge could cost her the family she has now.

This thrilling novel is a remarkable tale of danger and discovery, from debut author Michelle Modesto.

The premise of Revenge and the Wild is really interesting but just missed the mark for me. I enjoyed Modesto's writing style, but her plot and character development were all over the place. There was so much going on, from different types of creatures to inconsequential side-plots, that I was pushing myself through large chunks of this book. To me, this is a case of the author trying to accomplish too many different types of elements in one book. I was not emotionally invested in the characters or their relationships, though there were aspects of the main plot that I found intriguing. However, there was just was too much to wade through to get to those bits. My favorite character was Costin, a sexy vampire, and I would have loved if he was more present in the book. 

1) I really love Costin. He's sexy and funny, and he definitely should have been in the book more. It's been a while since I last fell in love with a vampire.

2) There is a really cool twist to the plot at the end of the novel. Honestly, up until that point I thought that I had it all figured out, but I totally got sucker punched! It was awesome and I couldn't figure out how I didn't see it coming.

3) Michelle Modesto is extremely skilled at writing very gruesome scenes. I was pretty grossed out during some of the sections and at times, I had to put the book down to let the shuddering pass. You clearly need a stronger stomach than mine to get through those parts haha.

4) Westie is an independent woman, and she takes her life into her own hands. No matter how dangerous, she doesn't just sit around and wait for things to happen. She finds the information she needs and makes plans, whether her friends support her or not. Westie goes after what she thinks is the right thing to do, no matter what the cost.

1) There was just so much going on in this book. It's in a Western type setting with steampunk aspects that also incorporates parts involving The Gold Rush. Then you've got zombies (a.k.a. the Undying), cannibals, vampires, elves, and dwarfs. For me, it just doesn't all mesh well together because it's too much. Although I have seen this many different elements in combination work before (in Lord of The Rings or in Studio Ghibli movies), it's not an easy feat to accomplish.

2a) I didn't feel the chemistry between the main couple. There aren't enough scenes of the two of them together, so you don't get to see them falling in love. This is also because their relationship begins (and also falls apart) before the book even starts. So when the two of them finally fix their mess, I didn't feel anything since their connection was something I was told about rather than something I felt from watching it develop.

2b) The relationships and the characters in this book are pretty flat. The reader is told a lot information so that things would make sense plot-wise, but it being told to me didn't make me feel anything except detached.

3) There are long sections of the book where I was bored because it didn't seem like much was happening. Although Westie spends her time investigating the people she suspects killed her family, I wasn't immersed into the plot. I was just going through the motions and taking in the information but for the most part, I wasn't emotionally invested.

4) The Native Americans seemed like they should have been vital to the plot (since they were the "magical ones") but they were mostly in the background. I wanted more information about them, their society, and their powers.

"What's the point of being disgustingly wealthy if you can't brag about all the little people you've helped along the way?"
"I look stupid."

He studied her dress without argument.

"Your face is pretty," he said.
"I said no funny business." While her mechanical hand squeezed his neck, her flesh hand caressed his cheek. Though she still had some of her wits, it was a losing battle. There was no telling how long she could keep resisting him. If she had to take a guess, she was at the end of the countdown.

He choked out a laugh, barely able to get words through her stranglehold. "You said to keep my hands to myself. You didn't say anything about my lips."