Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Review ~ Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi (Happy Release Day!)

Olympian Challenger

About the Book: A hero's tournament. A defiant contender. Does one girl have the courage to take on Mount Olympus? 

Hope's world doesn't have room for heroes. She barely has time for schoolwork, swim team, and taking care of her ailing mother. But when she's invited to a mysterious tournament, the all-powerful hosts won't take no for an answer. 

Transported to Mount Olympus, Hope comes face to face with her new trainers - the pantheon of Greek gods. While other contenders train hard to gain a fighting edge, Hope searches for a way out. Instead, she finds a gorgeous shadow god who may just convince her to stay...

As each round unfolds, the ultimate prize draws closer - the granting of her heart's deepest desire. If she survives the final challenge, her mother's cure would be within reach... but only if Hope can ignore the tournament's dark purpose. 

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐.5

# of Pages: 350

Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult

Age Range: 14+ (Some violence, not much detail though)

Favorite Quote(s)

"Mortal values such as love, respect and generosity are a hero's most precious weapon."

"Forget about the fall and focus on the ride. When you believe in yourself, you can do anything."

"If I ever needed to pick a place to hide, I would seek refuge inside a book."

"We as humans are the sum of our love, our fears, and our memories."


Okay, I know that's a lot of favorite quotes, but I honestly couldn't pick just one. This book was so good, guys! I had pretty high hopes for this one since it's Greek mythology in the modern world (and if you didn't already know, I'm a huge Percy Jackson fan) and this book definitely did not disappoint! I would honestly love for this book to become a movie or tv show. It's written in a way that I actually felt like I was watching it instead of just reading it and I love when that happens!

I really liked how they addressed dementia in this book. My grandmother has Alzheimer's and I've never found a book that addressed anything like this before. As someone who knows what it's like to have to watch someone they're close to go through something like this, I believe the effect that it has on the people themselves as well as their loved ones was very well portrayed.

It was a lot of fun kind of comparing how a book that I love describes and portrays the Greek myths with how this one does, and even though there were differences, I enjoyed this portrayal just as much as any others that I've read! One of the things that I really liked about this book was that the author made sure to use the name Heracles instead of Hercules. Even though he's almost always known as Hercules, that's actually his Roman name and Heracles was first, which I think is a really interesting little fact. (Yes, I'm a major mythology nerd. 😂) I also feel like if I were ever in the challengers' position, I would at least have an advantage in the knowledge part of it and wouldn't have to do much research... Fighting on the other hand... I can shoot a bow? I can hit a target at least? 😂 (Also, speaking of bows, can I have Hope's, please? It sounds gorgeous! 😍)

I absolutely love when characters have a love for books! Ariadne was great in this book because of that, and I loved Hope's reaction to the library when she sees it for the first time! Honestly, that would be my exact thought process if that had been me. 😂

Honestly, there wasn't much about this book that I didn't like... Though, if Heath counts, I feel like he was the Cato (as in Hunger Games) of the competition... An absolute jerk until the very end of his story. He was still a great character with an important role in the story, though!

One thing that I will say I had a hard time getting into was the romance... I really like both of the characters, but I had a hard time with the idea of them being together. Yes, they're sweet, but I don't think I would have minded whether they ended up together or not. I would have felt sorry for Hope, but I wouldn't have been heartbroken myself if their story had gone differently. This book actually could have gone without romance between this couple entirely and I think it would have been just as amazing! I loved the friendships that were made in this book so much! Hope's relationship with each of the heroes as well as with Amy and Gabriel were great and I love the support (and teasing) that went on between them all! Also, I absolutely love the Pythia. 😂 She's a sassy little old lady and I love it so much. 😂

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I can't wait for the next one to come out! If you enjoy mythology or just fantasy in general, I highly recommend checking this one out!

Some Changes...

Okay, guys... So, I'm trying something a little different out... I switched my blog over to WordPress...

I don't know if it will stay like that, therefore I won't be deleting this blog, but I'm going to try it out and see if I like it. I explain a bit in my post over on my new site, which you can access here

Please bear with me while I try and figure out which site I prefer and thank you in advance!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Review ~ Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon (New Favorite!)

Olivia Twist
Hey guys! I am so excited to post this review... I seriously love ranting about new favorites, and this book has definitely made the list! 

About the Book: Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, he life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. But she can't seem to escape her past... or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.

Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London's East End to become the adopted "nephew" of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his "aunt" are robbing them blind every chance they get. When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love.

Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens' classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the "proper" life she has built for herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn't like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre(s): Historical Fiction; Young Adult; Classic Retelling

Age Range: 15-16+ (some violence, though not detailed; a few kissing scenes with some detail)

Favorite Quote(s)

Can the entire book be my favorite quote? 😂


Okay, just... 😍

Now that I have that out of the way, I'll get on to the actual review. 😂 For days, I couldn't put into words how much I absolutely loved this book! I feel like I sped through it (I think that was partially helped by the promise of gifts at certain pages, thanks to Once Upon a Book Box. 😂) and I never wanted to put it down! I haven't read much historical fiction yet, but if they were all like this one, I would binge the heck out of that genre!

I absolutely loved the characters! Olivia and Jack were both so full of attitude and sass, which I love in books, and the secondary characters were all amazing as well! Even the villains were amazing villains. 😂 I actually haven't read Oliver Twist yet, but after reading this, I plan on picking it up soon! And the storyline was so good, guys. It never left me bored for an instant, there was always some kind of action happening and it always helped lead the plot along.

The one thing I do wish was that we got a little more between the last chapter and the epilogue. I was so happy with how it ended, and it was a very satisfying ending, but I would have loved to see how the characters got from the end of point A to point B. That may also just be because I was not at all ready for it to end. There's seriously no way for this book to ever have a sequel, but I still wish it did. 😂

After reading this book, I will definitely be checking out some of the other works written by this author! Her writing is amazing and she does a great job of keeping you hooked the entire time! If you haven't read this book yet, even if you're not sure if historical fiction is your thing, I highly recommend it! 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

May Wrap-Up!

Hello again! I hope you guys have been having a good week! I got to hang out with my best friends yesterday, so that was lots of fun! I read four books last month, which is an absolute miracle because my May was insane! So much happened! But here are the books I read!

  • Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4) Mar. 22nd/May 12th - Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter - 4.5/5 ⭐s - The reason it took me so long to finish this was that I put in on hold for a while to finish Song of Blood & Stone and Renegades. I finally finished it during a readathon by Howl's Moving Bookstagram on Instagram (you should definitely check her out! She's one of my favorite bookstagrammers!) and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! This book ended in quite a cliffhanger... But thankfully I had the short story to help me until I got book 5 from the library! 
  • The Throne of Fire: The Graphic Novel  (The Kane Chronicles: The Graphic Novels, #2) May 12th/May 13th - The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan and Orpheus Collar - 4/5 ⭐s - I think I liked this one better than the first! It did leave out a lot of scenes, but they made the point that needed to be made in each scene they did use. The art was a little weird in this one and the writing seemed to be written for a younger audience than the first, but my ships are beginning to sail, so I was happy. 😂 I'm excited to see what I think of the last one!
  • Olympian Challenger May 1st/May 18th - Olympian Challenger by Astrid Arditi - 4.5/5 ⭐s - This was an eARC from Netgalley and I enjoyed it so much! It won't be out until July 3rd, but be sure to look out for a full review from me on release day! 
  • Classified Material (Gallagher Girls, #4.5) May 30th/May 31st - Classified Material by Ally Carter - 4/5 ⭐s - This is considered #4.5 in the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter! It's a set of 10 chapters(?) from different characters POVs that gives some info about what happens between the events of books 4 and 5! I loved seeing the POVs of the other girls and Zach! It was really cool seeing inside their heads instead of just seeing them from Cammie's POV. It made me so concerned for book 5 and now that I'm currently reading it, my concern was definitely accurate. 😂 If you want to read this story for yourself, you can use this link to read it on Wikia! (It was released in sections on the author's website initially and someone put it all in one place on the Gallagher Girl Wikia page!)
Well, that's it for this wrap-up! I hope you guys enjoyed! If you've read any of these books, let me know in the comments! 


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

May Book Haul!

Hey guys! A couple days late, but I had family visiting from out of state until Tuesday and making sure I had a post for Wednesday completely slipped my mind! At least I didn't miss a week completely... 🤷 Anyways, here's a list of the books that I got last month! There are 15... 😂

  1. Saving CeeCee Honeycutt  Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman - Got this one from a thrift store! I don't read many contemporaries or adult books, so I'm excited to see if I'll like this one! 
  2. Olivia Twist Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon - I got this book in May's Once Upon a Bookclub box by CrateJoy! I had money from my birthday, so I decided to try this box out and oh my gosh, I loved it! It's so unique and a lot of fun! I actually just finished this book last night and I'll have a review up for it soon! 💗
  3. Serenity Serenity by Keith R. A. DeCandido - My dance studio was having a used book sale and this was one of the books I found and I honestly snatched it up as quickly as possible. 😂 I literally gasped out loud when I saw it, guys. 😂
  4. Fahrenheit 451 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - I tried reading this book about four years ago and I just couldn't get into it. But I didn't really like classics at all back then and I don't think I gave it much of a chance. Now that I'm older, I've found that I enjoy all of the classics that I've tried so far, and I'd really like to see what I think of this book now!
  5. A Necessary Deception  (The Daughters of Bainbridge House #1) A Necessary Deception by Laurie Alice Eakes - Okay, I love this cover, guys! I'm really in a historical fiction mood thanks to Olivia Twist and Fawkes (my current read) so I'm excited to read this one!
  6. An Abundance of Katherines An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - Confession: I have never read a John Green book... 🙈 I own The Fault in Our Stars, but I haven't read it yet. This one sounded cool, so when I found it at my dance studio's used book sale, I grabbed it! 
  7. Looking for Alaska Looking for Alaska by John Green - Basically the same explanation for this one as An Abundance of Katherines. 😂 Though I actually think that I meant to pick this up from my library a few years ago and I never did... I basically only grabbed it for that reason and the fact that it's a John Green book. Hopefully, I like his books... 😂
  8. A Lion Among Men (The Wicked Years, #3) A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire - This is the third book in the Wicked Years series and I own books one and two, so I was happy to find this one! Now I only need the last one and I'll have the entire set ready for me to read! 
  9. The Silmarillion The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien - Okay, I tried reading Lord of the Rings when I was younger and I just couldn't get into it... I read The Hobbit and The Fellowship of the Ring for school and had to force my way through them... But, again, it was a time where I did not like classics. I've heard a lot of really good things about the Silmarillion, so I figured I might start here with my second attempt at the series!
  10. The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide: Five Complete Novels and One Story (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1-5) The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide by Douglas Adams - I am in love with this edition! 😍 I'm not sure if I'll like the story or not yet, but I haven't read a lot of sci-fi, so we'll see!
  11. Promise Me Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans - I've only read the Michael Vey series by this author so far but my mom loves his adult books and I plan on picking them up at some point! At least some of them are based around Christian stories, so I'm really curious to read those especially!
  12. Suzannah Strikes Gold Suzannah Strikes Gold by Elaine L. Schulte - Sadly this is the third book in this series, but I'm hoping I can read it without reading the first two first... I might end up getting the others from the library just in case, but we'll see. 😂
  13. Daniel Colton Kidnapped Daniel Colton Kidnapped by Elaine L. Schulte - This is the fourth book in the series, so at least I have two consecutive ones! 😂
  14. Lost and Found Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst - I honestly don't even know where or when I got this one, but I just discovered it when I was cleaning up and decided that I wanted it, so I added it to my book haul. 😂
  15. Cotton, Cornbread, And Conversations: 50 Adventures In Central Georgia Cotton, Cornbread, and Conversations by Suzanne Lawler - This book was written and published in my hometown, so I'm excited to see what kind of stories are in it. 😂

Alright, that's my May book haul! If you've read any of these books, let me know in the comments! 


Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Books and Colors Book Tag!

Hey guys! Time for another book tag! This is another tag I found on Instagram, so we'll see how this goes. 😂

The Selection (The Selection, #1) Calming Read - The Selection is such a light, happy read to me. It's definitely a go-to if I want to read something that will make me smile! 

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1) Adventure-filled Read - Okay, I don't know if this is green or blue, but I'm going with green. 😂 Of course, The Lightning Thief had to end up in this tag somewhere! It's definitely packed with adventure and action! 

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1) Fantasy - I love this series and it is so underrated! Even though the Percy Jackson series is so well known, I swear no one has heard of The Kane Chronicles and it makes me so sad! Now that I'm reading the graphic novels, I feel like a re-read of the actual series is in my future! 

Wandering Star (Zodiac, #2) Sci-fi - It has orange in it... so it counts, right? 😂 I haven't read much science fiction yet, but I absolutely loved Wandering Star! The characters and the storyline are so great... I really need to finish the series soon! 

You Slay Me (Aisling Grey #1) Romance - I haven't read this one yet, but it's the only pure romance novel that I have. 😂 The cover is so generic... Hopefully the storyline is better...

The Petrified Flesh (Reckless, #1) Magical Read - This color is supposed to be white but... the screen is white, so the font is grey. 😂 Magical is definitely a word to describe this book! There are so many magical creatures and items in this story!

And that's it for this week's tag! If you think this one sounds fun, consider yourself tagged!!


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

April Book Haul!

Hey guys! I just realized that I uploaded the wrap-up and the book haul out of order this month, but it's okay. 😂 I only got two books in April and I honestly forgot that I got them last month... 😂 This is why I add all of my books to Goodreads the day I get them... 

Normally, I would explain where I got each book listed, but seeing as I got them the exact same way at the exact same time, there's really no reason to, so I'll just explain here! I won these two books from a giveaway ran by Storygram Tours on Instagram along with an amazing bag, some temporary tattoos, and a set of headphones! Reclaiming Shilo Snow was just released a month or so ago so I'm really excited to read these two!  

I know this was a bit of a strange post, but hopefully, you enjoyed anyway! If you've read this series, let me know your thoughts below!