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September 28, 2016

Review: Metaltown by Kirsten Simmons

Metaltown

Author:Kirsten Simmons
Release Date:9/20/16
Page Count: 384
I picked up an ARC at Book Expo America in no way does this influence my review.
Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)

The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.
Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.
In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.



Cover: 4.5/5
I love the gears around the factory, everything is well placed and has meaning to the novel. I do wish there was a bit more color to it but other than that adore it.

Characters: 4.5/5
Ty is the badass girl you pick for an apocalyptic team. She loves Collin and her desire to protect him is tangible. She is quick to fight and judge people because of the world she has grown up in.
Each chapter brought more perspective to Ty`s life. Her drive to be independent is inspiring.

Collin never seemed attractive to me. I guess his leadership qualities were his best assets but even those weren't as strong as they could have been. He does rally everyone together for a common cause though. I think I would have liked Ty or Lena as the centre of the plot more than Collin.

Lena is the brainiac girl born in a mans world. She gets knocked down but is always able to pick herself up. She is lucky to have a little inside support but not enough that she can carry herself confidently. Lena doesn't rely on Collin as a crutch and for that I am so glad. I do wish Lena and Ty hit it off better.

Plot: 5/5
Mobster-type society with tons of political corruption....no this is modern day (hehehe). hold labor laws are a huge problem but finally the teens are fighting back. Each person has nothing left to lose except each other so Ty,Collin and Lena band together to fight against The Bossman.
I enjoyed all the rallying cries and fight scenes throughout the novel. The slum life seemed to be predominant throughout the life and I loved how it wasn't all sugar coated.

Overall Thoughts: 4.5/5
This was almost a five star for me but the ending threw me a little with how fast it came. The entire concept of fighting against society was well done and the characters were relatable in their fierceness. I would highly surest devouring this book as soon as you can.

TTFN,
Ashley

September 24, 2016

Brian Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows


Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published On: 9/29/15
Page Count:465

Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone...
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Kaz's crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don't kill each other first




Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5
This was the first book I read in this world, though I knew going in that there were others in the same setting with some of the same cast. Now that I’ve finished it, I definitely feel the need to go find any other books that are tied in and read those as well. Six of Crows was excellent, after a somewhat slow start it kept me hooked all the way through. The characters were interesting and well developed, the story interesting and action packed. I can’t wait to continue the story in the next book.

Cover: 4/5
The cover fit the book pretty well. I liked the colors and the grittiness of the mixture, the pictures were good and I enjoyed the blending of buildings into the crow’s feathers. The font was a good choice as well, and fit the style.

Characters: 5/5
I loved the characters in this book. There are too many to do full descriptions on here, but here are some of my favorites.
Kaz: As close to a ‘main character’ as you can get, though this story revolves around several integral people. Kaz is a conflicted guy, in the same 5 minutes he can be a completely self serving, cold, manipulative jerk, and a fiercely loyal companion trying to help his friends. Often you can’t tell if one is just a mask for the other. I found myself re-reading lines and going back a page or two to make sure I read every piece of dialogue so I could get to know Kaz better. You do get to learn some things about his past, but he is always a bit of an enigma.
Wraith (Inej): Kaz’s trusted rogue / assassin / thief / eavesdropper / anything that requires being quiet and invisible. Wraith, like everyone in this book has a very interesting past that shaped her into who she is. Her skills are amazing but getting to know her character when she isn’t doing her job was just as interesting to read about. You can see her go through several changes throughout the story, and try to figure out just how she feels about Kaz as she watches his actions around their other companions.

Plot: 4/5
The story started off a little bit slow for me, but that didn’t last long. There were a lot of characters and even the city of Ketterdam itself to learn about, and very quickly the story picks up its pace and really starts to roll along as all of the planning turns into action. After the first few chapters I was hooked, and couldn’t put it down over the next day or two. It was interesting to see how a very intricate heist full of very real danger was managed in a fantasy setting with swords, sorcery, and an amazing cast.

Quotes:
“Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.
"You're all horrible," said Matthias.”

“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you'll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won't matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”

Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows


~Brian

August 21, 2016

Update for August/September

video
Enjoy the video update. :) Looking forward to coming back in September full force.

You can follow Ashley for quick updates (and kitten/horse videos)
Instagram: @bookz4nerdz
Snapchat: @bookz4nerdz

You can follow Brian for updates ( and anything magic related)
Instagram: @brianwei11111

We really appreciate each and every one of you sticking with us during our hiatus. Comment below what you`ve been up to during summer as well as your current read.

Be sure to follow the above sites for up to date information :)

TTFN,

Ashley & Brian

June 29, 2016

Brian Review: The Crown`s Game by Evelyn Skye

The Crown’s Game


Author: Evelyn Skye
Published On: 5/17/16
Page Count:388
Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.
And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.
Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?
For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.
And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love... or be killed himself.
As long-buried secrets emerge, threatening the future of the empire, it becomes dangerously clear... the Crown’s Game is not one to lose.


Overall Rating: 4/5
This book was worth the wait. I’ve been hearing good things about it for months, and Ashley has been dying to read it since I can remember, so I’m glad that it lived up to the hype. An all around entertaining and exciting adventure.

Cover: 4/5
I liked this cover quite a bit. The clever shaping of buildings into a crown shape, with the light and dark playing off each other to represent the two halves in the Crown’s Game itself. The picture was clever and not too cluttered. The only gripe I have is that I don’t like having quotes from reviews on the covers of books.

Characters: 4.5 / 5
Vika: One of the two potential enchanters in the Crown’s Game, Vika is the more elemental, or primal of the two. Her talents seem to focus on weather, earth, and the elements, allowing her to do all sorts of interesting things. She grows up believing she is the only enchanter, only to discover at the last minute that she has competition. I liked Vika’s character, she is somewhat sheltered, but confident in her abilities and herself. She has some reservations, but takes to the Crown’s Game rather well, all things considered.
Nikolai: Vika’s counterpart, the other enchanter in the game. Nikolai’s magic is tuned more toward machinery, crafting, and technical things like creating his own clothes and tools. Although it may not seem as overtly powerful, his enchantments seem more refined and focused. He has been raised by a woman who trained him constantly for the Crown’s Game, knowing he would have to overcome an adversary in order to become the Imperial enchanter, but nothing could prepare him for Vika. Nikolai was a lot of fun to read, he was intelligent, effective, and a bit sarcastic, which I really appreciated. He also seems to have a lot of bad luck, usually meaning well but having his plans not quite working out the way he intended. His relationship with Vika and best friend Pasha were quite relatable.
Pasha: The Tsar’s son and next in line to rule Russia, Pasha wants to do everything but be the Tsar. He tries to aid his father in matters of state, but can more often be found slumming it with Nikolai (while in disguise of course). Pasha is also immediately smitten with Vika, which causes Nikolai plenty of trouble. You can’t help but root for Pasha, he’s charming, genuine, and lots of fun to read about. It’s difficult to pick a favorite character in this book, but Pasha is definitely in the running.

Plot: 4/5

This book reminded me of a couple different stories, but took the best from them and made the magic its own. I think that overall my favorite thing about this book is how subtle the magic can be. I feel like the story could have been boiled down to a wizards duel, complete with two enchanters throwing fireballs and bolts of lightning at each other until one of them didn’t get back up (Spoiler: It’s not), but instead you really get to learn about the characters as they use their abilities to impress the Tsar and benefit the populace. It made a lot more sense to me, the idea of the Tsar actually picking an advisor and right hand, to see what all they could do, rather than how effective at killing they are. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more about these characters.

Until Next Time, Brian



June 25, 2016

Brian Review: The Beginning of Everything

Severed Heads, Broken Hearts
AKA Us Version of The Beginning of Everything

Author: Robyn Schneider
Published On: 9/1/13
Page Count: 288

Synopsis: (Found on Goodreads)
Golden boy Ezra Faulkner believes everyone has a tragedy waiting for them—a single encounter after which everything that really matters will happen. His particular tragedy waited until he was primed to lose it all: In one spectacular night, a reckless driver shatters Ezra's knee, his career as a jock, and his social life.
No longer a front-runner for homecoming king, Ezra finds himself at the table of misfits, where he encounters new girl Cassidy Thorpe. Cassidy is unlike anyone Ezra's ever met— achingly effortless, fiercely intelligent, and determined to bring Ezra along on her endless adventures.
Together, Ezra and Cassidy discover flash mobs, buried treasure, secret movie screenings, and a poodle that might just be the reincarnation of Jay Gatsby. But as Ezra dives into his new studies, new friendships, and new love, he learns that some people, like books, are easy to misread. And now he must consider: If one's singular tragedy has already hit and everything after it has mattered quite a bit, what happens when more misfortune strikes?

Overall Rating: 4.5/5
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and have to say that it really struck a chord with me on several different levels. So much so that I needed to take a few days to process it before I could sit down and write the review.

Cover: 3.5/5
The cover was serviceable, but nothing really extraordinary. I like the duality of the two faces, it has interesting symbolism, but I think there was probably room for some improvement here. I’m also not a big fan of review quotes on the cover.

Characters: 5/5
This book really hinges on the depth of its characters. In a world where you could lose interest in high school drama, you instead find yourself hanging on the end of every chapter wanting to continue.
Ezra: The antagonist of the book, we are told the story through his eyes. Ezra was an amazing tennis player before he was struck by a car and his knee was shattered. Now he has to find his footing again in school, where he feels like he doesn’t fit in with the athletes anymore. Luckily he is able to rekindle an old friendship and spend time with a new crowd in the debate team. I liked Ezra’s character, he could have been much more self pitying and dour about his accident, but makes a genuine effort to get back into the swing of things. He is definitely sad about his loss of mobility, but tries to move on.

Cassidy: An enigma, Cassidy is the new girl in school. She is definitely an oddball, with a style all her own. She joins the debate group after transferring from another school and they all seem to recognize her. Ezra becomes interested in Cassidy fairly quickly and they go on several amazing adventures together. Unfortunately she does have a difficult past, which rears it’s ugly head occasionally to make their wonderful world not as perfect. Cassidy was a fun character to read about, but frustrating sometimes when you couldn’t understand her motives. Like Ezra, she has a lot of depth, and isn’t easily summed up in a few sentences. I felt especially drawn to her character because she reminded me a lot of Ashley. Quiet confidence, refusing to conform, and the ability to effortlessly draw me (or in this case Ezra) into her world with the desire and confidence to try things you never thought you would be able to do. Ezra can’t help but fall head over heels for her, and I understood the feeling completely.

Toby: Ezra’s childhood friend, and the face of the debate team, Toby and Ezra are able to reconnect after several years of having drifted apart. I loved Toby, and I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t. He always seems to be the life of the (nerdy) party, quick witted, and always there when you need him. We should all have a best friend like Toby.

Plot: 4.5 / 5
This book’s plot relied heavily on its characters to move it along, and fortunately they were all up to the task. The setting doesn’t change a whole lot, but everyone in the story felt like they mattered and were integral. When I found myself wondering what was going to happen to some of the secondary characters in the debate group, or why Ezra’s ex-girlfriend seemed like such a terrible person, I knew the book was well written. I got about two thirds of the way through the book and I couldn’t put it down until it was finished. I honestly still don’t know how I feel about how the story ended, but the ride was entertaining, from start to finish.



Quotes:

“And I realized that there's a big difference between deciding to leave and knowing where to go.”

“You have this maddening little smile sometimes, like you've just thought of something incredibly witty but are afraid to say it in case no one gets the joke.”

Robyn Schneider, Severed Heads, Broken Hearts

Until next time,
Brian

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