Velvet by Temple West ~ Book Review

Book: Velvet
Author: Temple West *Website*
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance (Vampire)
Number of Books in Series: 1 Published
Published Date: October 31, 2014
Number of Pages: 285
ISBN: 9781517093266

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Zodiac by Romina Russell ~ Book Review

  • Book: Zodiac
  • Author: Romina Russel
  • Genre: YA Science Fiction w/ Romance
  • Number of Books in Series: 2 Published
  • Publisher: Razorbill
  • Published Date: December 9, 2014
  • Number of Pages: 338
  • ISBN-10: 1595147403
  • ISBN-13: 9781595147400

So Zodiac by Romina Russell. Let me begin by stating this book did in fact, exceed my expectation. The problem is, upon the first few pages, I began to expect so little.

The first of a trilogy, Zodiac is set in a future universe in which each current Zodiac constellation is assigned a planet. Settled via wormhole from Earth refugees, everyone is assigned a characteristic based on one’s birth planet, (Libra is based on justice, Gemini hosts the most imaginative, Virgo is known for sustenance, etc.) The plot revolves around sixteen year old Rhoma (I wonder where the author got that name from) who is appointed Guardian of her home planet, Cancer, after its two moons mysteriously explode, setting off a chain reaction of planet wide death and tsunamis on the water based planet. Inexperienced, under educated but with a natural “gift,” she sees in the stars the moon disaster was caused by a single ancient entity, so lost in history, he is the equivalent of the boogeyman. Along with her guide, Mathias Thais and Libran diplomatic envoy Hasan Dax, she travels to four other plants, to warn of the impending danger to the whole Zodiac system.

While it sounds like this book has a lot going on and should be lauded as a herald of new YA science fiction, it falls ludicrously flat and into many of the traps YA nowadays, fall hilariously into. Love triangle with older, impossibly handsome men? Check. A young girl with no considerable talent plucked from obscurity and continually informed of how special she is? Check. Lack of development in the conclusion to ramp up the sequel? Checkeroo. If there is a YA cliché, it is in this book.

While I generally do not mind cliché’s, part of why I enjoy this genre so much, I felt as though I was hit with too many “borrowed ideas,” paired with average writing. For example, the 12 planet settlement idea could be attributed to television’s Battlestar Galactica where humans are similarly spread on 12 different, Zodiac- based planets with specific planets characterizing an individual’s character. The beginning was exceptionally slow without enough descriptions or explanations of this vastly different and exceptional world where star reading, telepathy and psychics are common place. Another example, Rho, often in the book, practices “Yarrot,” a practice tied to her long lost mother mentioned often. Aside from the emotional ties, this was literally never described or explained—you eventually understand it as some form of yoga.

Overall, this book disappointed. I am not sure I will be reading the second one but I long for some originality in YA. Something different than the Twilights and Red Queens. Unfortunately, I tend to see women writers make this mistake the most often these days and I look forward to the author who does it different.

 

~ Lima Bhuiyan

Fellow book reader and blogger – Check out her blog at Two Girls, Many Books


If your interested in purchasing a copy of Zodiac, here are some common retailers: AMAZON, BARNES AND NOBLE, BOOK DEPOSITORY  ($8.35 paperback at most retailers)


*The above post was written as a guest post by Lima Bhuiyan.*

Hey, Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please click the like button and don’t forget to share it with your friends. Also, feel free to follow me on any of my social media. I always love to meet new people. I also want to hear what you have to say, so if you have any questions, concerns, or even if you just like giving compliments and critiques, go ahead and comment down below or on any of my social media, and I’ll try my best to respond! Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog.
– Teenly Things Blogger Brygitt

 

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#YASH Book Giveway & Blog Hop ~ Review

So last weekend I participated in the Spring 2016 YASH Book Giveaway & Blog Hop! Honestly, this was one of the most fun activities I’ve done in a long time.

So what is it exactly? #YASH is a young adult scavenger hunt hosted by one of my personal favorite authors, Colleen Houck. She, as well as 179 other authors (for those non math people, that’s a total of 180) created an online blog hop where you “hopped” from one blog to the next to find a hidden number, as well as read exclusive and behind-the-scenes content from some of today’s most popular young adult authors. And not only that, you had the opportunity to discover new books and meet new authors, as well as discuss and talk with people of like interest also participating in the contests.

Wait, contests? So there’s more than one? Yep. So the main idea of all the authors coming together is to share their books. So Colleen created 9 teams with 20 authors in each team. And remember that magic number I was talking about? Well on each author’s blog, there was a hidden number and after finding all of the numbers in each team, you added them all up and entered the total into 1 of 9 giveaways to be entered into a raffle to win great books! And the best part, IT’S ALL FREE!

Not only that, but on certain individual blog pages, some authors even hosted their own mini giveaway in celebration of YASH. So while I had a chance at 9 regular raffles, I probably entered about 20-30 individual raffles from the authors as well.
No, it’s not a completely easy, worry-free jackpot, but it was totally worth it. After 4 hours and endless blogging, I won something!!! And it’s only my first time! I actually won 2 books from Colleen Houck herself! She’s basically my biggest literary role model and I can’t believe I have the great opportunity of devouring (in the nicest person way possible) and definitely reviewing her books.
More specifically I won the first book in each of her series, TIGERS CURSE and REAWAKENED. I got them in the mail on Friday, so they basically shipped in 2 days! Needless to say, I’ll definitely be rereading both series in the coming weeks.

 Which reminds me, stay tuned to my blog for upcoming reviews for Colleen Houck’s books.

Okay, now I’m getting a little off topic. The point is, this book scavenger hunt was epic. I got exclusive never before seen content from some of my favorite authors. I learned about new books and went way overboard on adding them to my TBR shelf on Goodreads. I also met new authors. (Some of them even followed me back on Twitter and Tumblr!) Nothing is cooler than an author wanting to meet and share with their readers!  And I won free books! Though I must say, even if I hadn’t won anything, it would have still been worth it. Please don’t underestimate this: Those 4 hours were some the best in my life. Me, sitting in bed with 2 bookmarked books on my nightstand and me snuggling under my blankets with fuzzy sock and my computer on my lap.

So for those of you interested in all of the thing I stated before, you should definitely try out the YASH contest next time it’s running. It runs twice a year in spring and fall, so if you missed out, don’t worry, it’ll run again in the fall!


Hey, Thanks for reading. If you enjoyed this post, please click the like button and don’t forget to share it with your friends. Also, feel free to follow me on any of my social media. I always love to meet new people. I also want to hear what you have to say, so if you have any questions, concerns, or even if you just like giving compliments and critiques, go ahead and comment down below or on any of my social media, and I’ll try my best to respond! Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog.

– Teenly Things Blogger Brygitt

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