Tuesday, January 31

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Summary:  Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

My Thoughts: Okay, so I had heard really great things about Caraval, but I wasn’t real sure what it was even about. But I knew I had to read it if I got the chance!

We are introduced to sisters Scarlett and Tella. Scarlet always has been so protective of Tella. Their father has a habit of punishing them for the most ridiculous things and he’s brutal.  They have heard things about Caraval, a place like no other. Stories from their family that they must explore. So, Scarlett has written to the master of Caraval many times with no response. But she finally hears back, finally!

Caraval is a game like no other. It’s a game full of surprises, mysteries, and nobody really knows much about it. Not really. There are stories of course. And the winner gets a wish. Any wish they want. It’s magic. It’s amazing.  Scarlett gets an invitation to play along with a guest, which is meant to be her soon to be husband.

Tella and Scarlett go to Caraval and the game starts. It’s crazy. We also meet a few different boys. And the person who organizes it all, Legend. I wasn’t sure what to think about him as we never really know him or who he is. Just stories. And then another boy who I absolutely fell in love with. He was so sweet yet so dangerous. Whoa. Swoony!
This one was such a magical beautiful book! I want to tell you all about the games, and all the different great characters. But this is one of those you need to experience yourself so I’m going to keep this review somewhat short.

Overall: Caraval was everything I hoped it to be! It was magical, excruciating at parts, and just plain AWESOME! It will probably be one of my favorites this year!!!  

Garber you did everything right!!!!!

Cover: Love it! It fits. It lures you in and doesn't give anything away.

What I’d Give It:

Friday, January 27

Wait For Me by Caroline Leech

Wait For Me by Caroline Leech
Release Date: January 31, 2017   
Publisher:  HarperTeen
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages: 384  

Summary:  The perfect blend of sweet romance and historical flavor, Wait for Me, from debut author Caroline Leech, brings a fresh new voice to a much-loved genre.

It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country?

But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing. The more she learns about him—from his time in the war to his life back home in Germany—the more she sees the boy behind the soldier. Soon Lorna is battling her own warring heart. Loving Paul could mean losing her family and the life she’s always known. With tensions rising all around them, Lorna must decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice before the end of the war determines their fate

My Thoughts: I’m honestly not much for historical fiction of any kind. I’ve read a bunch and only liked a few. But when I read the description of this one, it just pulled me in so I decided to give it a chance. And I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

We are introduced to Lorna who doesn't like German’s much. It’s not really surprising since her brothers are away fighting in the war. She just wants them back home to her safely. Lorna also has a best friend. I kind of liked her, I kind of didn’t. She just was kind of dense and I know back then it was more normal for the husband or soon to be husband to be in charge of things but it just bugged me.  Lorna herself was a strong character though and I’m glad that her friend did eventually come around. I also liked her family and the other characters.

Well Lorna is surprised when a German prisoner comes to work on her farm. He’s in charge of helping her with some of the duties and picking up where the last worker left off.
His name was Paul. I liked him so much from the get go. He sure wasn’t perfect physically or emotionally but I liked him instantly. Just something about him that drew me right in.

I really liked seeing how the town reacted to Paul’s appearance, not good. I liked seeing how having him there really impacted the people around him. But he wasn’t a bad guy at all!!!! And I liked the way him and Lorna got along. I was just really drew into this one even though its historical and wanted to know what would happen next.

If you like historical you’ll probably really like this one and if you're not sure, just give it a chance anyway, it might surprise you!
Overall:  I actually liked this one a lot. I think it rates between a 3.5 and 4 cupcake rating. It did have a few drawn out spots but I liked it a lot and finished it within a day!!!

Cover:  Like it. I think that’s one of the things that made me want to pick it up. I love how they are almost touching. CUTE!

What I’d Give It:

Wednesday, January 4

2017 Debut Author Challenge

This post will be all the Debuts I read in 2017

1. Even The Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Has To Be Love by Jolene Perry

Has To Be Love by Jolene Perry
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Publisher: AW Teen  
Age Group:  Young Adult
Pages:  272   

Summary:  Years ago, Clara survived a vicious bear attack. She's used to getting sympathetic looks around town, but meeting strangers is a different story. Yet her dreams go far beyond Knik, Alaska, and now she's got a secret that's both thrilling and terrifying--an acceptance letter from Columbia University. But it turns out her scars aren't as fixable as she hoped, and when her boyfriend begins to press for a forever commitment, she has second thoughts about New York. Then Rhodes, a student teacher in her English class, forces her to acknowledge her writing talent, and everything becomes even more confusing--especially with the feelings she's starting to have about him. Now all Clara wants to do is hide from the tough choices she has to make. When her world comes crashing down around her, Clara has to confront her problems and find her way to a decision. Will she choose the life of her dreams or the life that someone she loves has chosen? Which choice is scarier?

My Thoughts:   I liked this one, I did, but I didn’t fall in love with it as I hoped I would. We are introduced to Clara who is a survivor. She survived a pretty bad bear attack and she has scars on her face and other places. She’s brave and confident even though she does want to change her scars. Make them better. Less noticeable.

We also meet a boy named Rhodes. He comes over to her house a lot and visits her father. He’s also a student teacher. This makes it a bit awkward for Clara.  Clara also has a boyfriend.

As Clara and Rhodes get to know each other, they start to develop feelings for each other. But Clara is very religious so doesn’t want to do anything with her boyfriend but with Rhodes it’s different.

I don’t know. I just never felt the connection really with Rhodes. I didn’t love him, liked him,, but just not “enough” I guess. I read a lot of romance so this one just wasn’t everything I wanted it to be. Hopefully you’ll like it more than me!  I think Perry books are going to be a hit or miss with me because I did really like the first one of hers I read.

Overall: This one was just okay for me. I hope the next Perry book I read, I enjoy more. I did finish it but it wasn’t one of my favorites of the year. Or will be.

Cover:  Like it! Like the colors and the way she is leaning over to kiss him.  

What I’d Give It:


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