Posts By: Rashika

Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

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I received this book for free from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth OppelEvery Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on October 11th, 2016
Genres: Adventure, Historical, YA
Source: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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four-stars

The hunt for a dinosaur skeleton buried in the Badlands, bitter rivalries, and a forbidden romance come together in this beautifully written new novel that’s Romeo and Juliet meets Indiana Jones.

Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt it’s the “rex”, the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. Because if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. And with both eyeing the same prize, their budding romance seems destined to fail. But as danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light, Samuel and Rachel are forced to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry—and with it a new life together—or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?

The Airborn series was one of my favs ever growing up so I was immediately like YAAS to Every Hidden Thing but then I saw it was pitched as Indiana Jones meets Romeo & Juliet and was like double YAAS. WHO CAN RESIST THE COMBO of a childhood fav author and INDIANA JONES MEETS ROMEO & JULIET? Not me obviously. Anyway, I loved this book and that is all you’re ever going to need to know in your life. BYE NOW. See you again someday.

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*comes back reluctantly to finish reviewing this book*

Every Hidden Thing is fucking amazing brain candy but just because it was brain candy does NOT mean it was easy to read. This book is set sometime in the 19th century (probably late 19th century) so there is a LOT of racism in this book. There are so many secondary characters who just suck because they aren’t empathetic and are so so ignorant. I had to put the book down a lot to take breathers because it was really intense but I am glad that Oppel doesn’t brush over these horrifying realities. Through our main characters though, he reminds us how important it is to be an empathetic human being who tries to see the other side of the story. There is also some things some of the adult characters do that made me feel more hopeful as I was reading.

The MCs were pretty great but I adored Rachel. Rachel is smart and isn’t ashamed of it. She has a father who doesn’t appreciate her smartness but over the course of the book, she learns to say fuck you to him so she can be the smartest smarty pants ever. I would say more coherent things about her but you can just READ THE BOOK.

One thing that I wasn’t completely on board with was the romance. I love love-to-hate romances but they are HARD to write in a way that completely works. I think Rachel and Samuel have chemistry and I love that their attraction starts off as being intellectual and then develops from there but it’s still instalove and I don’t like instalove. To be fair, it’s mostly Samuel who has a case of instalove and Rachel is all like nah boy, I just met you and this is crazy so take a chill pill.

You might not think of it right away but this book, on top of being an adventure has lots of western vibes because they go on a dig somewhere in the west coast. I LOVE IT. I loved how the dig was mapped out and the struggles the various parties experienced. There was also a lot of rivalry and two adults being a-holes to each other because toxic masculinity. BUT there was something that happened towards the end of the book that I wish we could have spent more time on so I could have had even more fun living vicariously through these characters.

Read this book if you’re into: Archaeological digs,  brainy flirting, smart girls and adventures.

four-stars

4 Hot Espressos

Blog Tour: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Blog Tour: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Posted by on 09/26/2016 • 4 Comments

Today we’re kicking off The Midnight Star tour and I am excited to share with you my top 5 reasons to read this series and sharing some of my series sensory associations!

5 Reasons to Read The Young Elites

 

1. A villainous MC.

Adelina is not your run-of-the-mill villainous MC. Over the course of the series, she spirals down into a dark places and goes from being a naive and clearly wronged girl to someone who is downright terrifying and hurts people she loves.

2. Hits you in the feels.

Do you enjoy having your emotions messed with? Do you enjoy having a series leave you completely drained and feeling like life cannot go on? This is the series for you.

3. World building.

This series has amazing world…

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Review: A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

Posted by on 09/23/2016 • 9 Comments

I don’t write in books and have become too lazy to keep an actual notepad by my side while I am reading but recently I decided that I wanted to do a better job of keeping track of my feels so when I write a review two weeks after I’ve read the book, I have something to jog up my memory. Sticky Notes were the answer. And while I did not tab the shit out of this book (or really any book because I am more of a reader than a note taker), I did tab a scene in this book and write OMG!!!

You were probably wondering where I was going with the whole insight into my reading process thing weren’t you? I AM SORRY. I felt like backstory was…

Giveaway: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Giveaway: Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Posted by on 09/21/2016 • 15 Comments

Hey hey hey! Today we are partnering with the lovely people over at JIMMY Patterson Books to provide you with an opportunity to win Stalking Jack the Ripper (which I’ve heard many wonderful things about and cannot wait to dive into!)

Find out more about Stalking Jack the Ripper

ADD TO GOODREADS

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation…

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Review: Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Posted by on 09/19/2016 • 12 Comments

I have a weird thing about sequels that aren’t about the main characters from the first book but since Illuminae was the bomb.com, I was still pretty excited for Gemina. I didn’t love it as much as Illuminae but that’s also probably because I missed the sh██ out of Kady and Ezra. I MISSED THEM SO SO MUCH because they are so wonderful together and I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS FOR THEM.

As a result of the mentioned weird thing I have, it took me a lot longer to warm up to Nik and Hanna but when I finally did, I was able to appreciate the fact that they were wonderfully well-rounded characters who were pretty darn easy to like. They are both funny and sarcastic like Kady…

Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Review: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Posted by on 09/16/2016 • 6 Comments

Here is the thing about this book, it would have hands down been a favorite of the year were it not so flipping confusing. I am not the kind of person that is immediately turned off from a book when something doesn’t make sense to me. In fact, I enjoy it when my mind is being twisted into a pretzel because everything is SO COMPLICATED but that isn’t Vassa in the Night. Vassa in the Night has beautiful writing, an interesting plot and a gorgeous atmosphere but the problem is that the world building needs a LOT of work. I don’t understand at ALL how the world works. This book is trying so hard to be whimsical and eerie that the bare bones are kind of just forgotten about. I…

Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Posted by on 09/13/2016 • 9 Comments

I literally don’t know how to start this review because there are a lot of things to say but they can all just be covered with a big NO. There is potential in this book but it’s all potential that is unrealized. From the spoilt MC who is a cardboard cutout to the world building, this book is just lacking. It isn’t BAD but it isn’t GOOD which is especially disappointing because I was really looking forward to reading this book.

The MC was a clear let down but I was really upset that the MC’s cutting is not at all talked about in ways that isn’t a character trait. It’s used as a description of the MC in the way an adjective might be used.

There are…

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

Review: And the Trees Crept in by Dawn Kurtagich

Posted by on 09/08/2016 • 8 Comments

I read The Dead House last year and immediately fell in love. It was eerie, scared the bejezus out of me, and twisted my mind into a pretzel. I LOVED the thriller aspects, the mystery and just the plain horror of it so I was excited to dive into And the Trees Crept In. While I definitely enjoyed the novel, I wasn’t as blown away by it as I was by The Dead House.

This novel starts with a happily ever after. Silla and Nori  have escaped their abusive household and are ready to start over at their aunt’s but then things go downhill. Kurtagich is the queen of building tension. When I was half-way through the novel, I had no idea how things could get any worse but holy…