Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity #1)

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Code Name Verity (Code Name Verity, #1)

Oct. 11th, 1943-A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

When “Verity” is arrested by the Gestapo, she’s sure she doesn’t stand a chance. As a secret agent captured in enemy territory, she’s living a spy’s worst nightmare. Her Nazi interrogators give her a simple choice: reveal her mission or face a grisly execution.

As she intricately weaves her confession, Verity uncovers her past, how she became friends with the pilot Maddie, and why she left Maddie in the wrecked fuselage of their plane. On each new scrap of paper, Verity battles for her life, confronting her views on courage, failure and her desperate hope to make it home. But will trading her secrets be enough to save her from the enemy?

A Michael L. Printz Award Honor book that was called “a fiendishly-plotted mind game of a novel” in The New York Times, Code Name Verity is a visceral read of danger, resolve, and survival that shows just how far true friends will go to save each other.”

-Taken from Goodreads

I love historical fiction as a genre, no matter the historical setting, and I have a strong interest in military history, particularly World Wars I and II. That being said, I felt that this book fell a little flat for me. I was expecting more from a book with such a hype.

The way this book was built made it clear that we weren’t seeing the whole scene. The setup for a twist was obvious from the start, and then, when that twist happened, my reaction was ‘Wait, is that it? Is that all of it?’. It was not as momentous as the setup led me to believe, and that frustrated me quite a bit. You see, I only kept reading in the hopes that the twist would be worth my while. It wasn’t.

Verity, our title character, annoyed me. I didn’t see what the point was to what she was doing. All that information that is given just went over my head. While reading, I was going, ‘Okay, but why are you telling me this?’. <spoiler> You see, there are many, many, many things that are quite specific to England. Therefore, if you’re not British, you’ll miss what the character is actually doing. </spoiler>.

At around 60%, there is a change in POV, that is quite an improvement. The reprieve was temporary for me, however. I found myself just skipping the pages to get to the end. And the end, when it finally came, was not as momentous as I thought it would be.

This is not, to sum it up, a WWII book that I would recommend.

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This Shattered World (Starbound #2)

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This Shattered World (Starbound, #2)

The second installment in the epic Starbound trilogy introduces a new pair of star-crossed lovers on two sides of a bloody war.

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet’s rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn’s blood. Terraforming corporations make their fortune by recruiting colonists to make the inhospitable planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage in a bloody and unrelentingly war, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape the rebel base together, caught between two sides of a senseless war.”

– Taken from Goodreads

First off, that is one gorgeous cover! It’s still the first week of the year and we already have a serious contender for most beautiful cover of 2015! I love how it reflects the characters background, with Jubilee actually dressed in spacial military garb and Flynn wearing an outfit that has seen better days and also carrying a weapon. I also love the colors and the title typography (not sure how I feel about the authors’ typography).

While this shares a plot arc with its predecessor, These Broken Stars, this is set in a completely different environment, with a different set of characters, and a different subplot. That said, I did miss some sort of recap from the first book, considering it came out a year ago and over 200 books were read between them. On the other hand, I do realize, given that this is about different characters etc., how hard it would be.

My memories from These Broken Stars are a little (okay, a lot) fuzzy, but I seem to remember it having more romance than this one. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I missed it, as Flynn and Lee have loads of chemistry together. A very positive thing here was the absence of a love triangle and of insta-love. In fact, there was a quote that I absolutely loved and that shows the lack of insta-love here:

“I don’t have the luxury of dealing with his hormones -or mine, for that matter. What, did he think I was just going to melt into his arms? Start a tragic and dramatic tale of star-crossed lovers on a war-torn planet?”

While there was a slight shortage of romance, there was plenty of action. There was double-crossing, scapegoating, chases, kidnappings… Again, because I didn’t remember much of the first book, the plot wasn’t easy to figure out beforehand. So, if you want to keep things mysterious for this book, don’t go digging for a recap of These Broken Stars.

In terms of characters, I felt they were very nicely done. Lee was a strong heroine, of Asian descent, and she knew what it meant to be a part of a military organization, and reading her struggle with that was really nice. While Lee was world-weary and pragmatic, Flynn was more of a dreamer, a talker.

I was, for some unfathomable reason, expecting this to end in a more dramatic note. Then again, the main characters do not have the political significance of Lilac, from the first book. But I still felt it missed some sort of bang at the end.

Now I have to wait until December (Patience is not one of the many virtues that I possess *ahem*) for the end of this trilogy. Given what we have learned so far, it should be a blast!

Cover Reveal: Queen Of Tomorrow

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THE OFFICIAL COVER REVEAL FOR:

QUEEN OF TOMORROW by Sherry D. Ficklin

 

QUEEN OF TOMORROW by Sherry D. Ficklin

A Stolen Empire Novel, Book 2
The Queen Arrives on July 14, 2015
Sophie—now Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia—had a tough first year at Imperial Court. Married at sixteen to Grand Duke Peter, heir to the throne, and settled in their own palace, things start to look up. As a new day dawns, Catherine thinks only of securing her future, and the future of their country, during one of the greatest political upheavals of her time. Fighting desperately against forces that try to depose the Empress Elizabeth and put the young Prince Ivan on her throne, Catherine soon finds herself in the middle of a war brewing between her beloved Prussia and her new empire. While navigating the fragile political landscape, she quickly realizes that she has only begun to discover the tangled web of deceit and infidelity woven over the lavish court of Oranienbaum Palace.
When a strange and delicate alliance forms between the young couple, Catherine glimpses a future of happiness, only to see it vanish at the hands of those who still seek to end her life—and prevent her reign. Out of favor with the empress and running out of options, Catherine must sacrifice her own innocence on the altar of Russia if she is to save the nation and herself. To survive, she will have to do the unthinkable, betray those closest to her and become something greater and more dangerous than she ever imagined she could be… a queen.

ADD QUEEN OF TOMORROW TO YOUR TBR LIST!

Queen of Tomorrow
READ THE FIRST BOOK TODAY:
Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophia will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.
Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.
Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.
In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

 

PURCHASE QUEEN OF SOMEDAY TODAY!
WATCH THE OFFICIAL BOOK TRAILER:

ABOUT SHERRY D. FICKLIN


Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

 

She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2015 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, EXTRACTED: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.






Want to READ MORE from Clean Teen Publishing? Check out our huge selection of amazing reads! There’s sure to be something for every reader!

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Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)

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Imitation

“Everyone is exactly like me. There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face.

Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?”

-Taken from Goodreads

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Alloy Entertainment for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This had a very interesting concept, what with clones being made and kept in handy for whenever they are needed. Ven is one of them, and she is called into action after someone attacks her original. While it is not exactly explored, the idea that clones are not that identical to their ‘originals’ (genotype does not equal phenotype) is present throughout the book.

While I thought that Ven was a bit too meek at times, taking orders without question, that is how she was raised, trained, conditioned, I don’t know how to define it. It was nice to see her breaking out of it, becoming her own person.

In terms of plot, however, it wasn’t that developed. It was a plot with slow moments and then it would suddenly become full of action. Then it would get slow again. It was a bit too slow at times, verging on boring.

Soulprint

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Soulprint

“Alina Chase has spent her entire life in confinement. With the science of soul-printing now a reality, she is ‘protected’ for her own safety – and the safety of others – because her soul has done terrible things … or so she’s told. When Alina finally breaks out of prison, helped by a group of people with unclear motives, she begins to uncover clues left by her past life that only she can decipher. And she may not be as innocent as she once believed. Can Alina change her future, or is she fated to repeat her past and face the consequences? Perfect for fans of Sophie McKenzie.”

– Taken from Goodreads

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Bloomsbury Publishing Plc for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This had a really promising premise: soulprinting. In the same way that fingerprints are unique, so are souls. This means a soul can be traced from reincarnation to reincarnation, and that consequences of previous lives end up spilling into the present one. This is what happens to Alina. Because she had the misfortune of hosting June’s soul and because June was considered to be extremely dangerous, Alina spent her life locked in an island.

However, the execution of the premise leaves a lot to be desired if what you crave is action. There is not much action here. Well, there is, in the first few chapters. Then, it begins to drag and switches from action-packed to extremely philosophical. Halfway through, it seems the characters are more concerned with pondering whether or not the fact that a soul was bad in one life means it will be bad in the next life. Because of this, the thriller aspect fell apart, at least for me.

Black Ice

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Black Ice

“Sometimes danger is hard to see… until it’s too late.

Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn’t prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin, accepting the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants—but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. The task is made even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that have taken place there… and in uncovering this, she may become the killer’s next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy? Or an ally?

BLACK ICE is New York Times bestselling author Becca Fitzpatrick’s riveting romantic thriller set against the treacherous backdrop of the mountains of Wyoming. Falling in love should never be this dangerous…”

– Taken from Goodreads

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Simon & Schuster UK Children’s for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reading this book was a bit like watching a car wreck unfold. You know things will go awfully wrong, but you still can’t look away. From the beginning, it was obvious that Britt and Korbie (weird name, by the way) would get into trouble. For all that they thought they were prepared, they weren’t. For instance, if you’re going to a mountain where it snows, the least you should do is change the tires of the car. Also, they should have travelled in a group of cars, rather than by themselves.

So, when what’s left in front of you is the steaming wreck, you keep staring. You can’t believe that a car has turned into that mass of twisted metal. This is what happened here. After disaster struck, that is, Britt is taken by the two guys, I kept reading. I had to know if there were going to be any survivors. There were some lived and some that died, but I’m not spoiling it.

The twists at the end weren’t that twist-y. They made sense, and, thus, were even expected. I’m not sure I’m entirely happy with how the book ended. I can’t say anything else or else I’ll spoil it, but I will say this: I was sort of creeped out by that ending.

Lies We Tell Ourselves

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Lies We Tell Ourselves

“In 1959 Virginia, the lives of two girls on opposite sides of the battle for civil rights will be changed forever.

Sarah Dunbar is one of the first black students to attend the previously all-white Jefferson High School. An honors student at her old school, she is put into remedial classes, spit on and tormented daily.

Linda Hairston is the daughter of one of the town’s most vocal opponents of school integration. She has been taught all her life that the races should be kept “separate but equal.”

Forced to work together on a school project, Sarah and Linda must confront harsh truths about race, power and how they really feel about one another.

Boldly realistic and emotionally compelling, Lies We Tell Ourselves is a brave and stunning novel about finding truth amid the lies, and finding your voice even when others are determined to silence it.”

– Taken from Goodreads

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Harlequin Teen for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I’ll be blunt: this book made me angry. Not at the author nor at the characters, for they are fictional. It made me angry at human stupidity. While I do not live in the United States, my country also had a long and dark period in its history where slavery was legal. Even though slavery was abolished more than a century ago, society still bears the scars in the form of racism.

This book, by dealing with the beginning of the end of segregation in the United States made me angry. I know a lot has changed, but still, I can’t help but being angry at a society that blindly believed that Negroes (as they are called in the book) are inferior and dumb. Not only that, but that society felt entitled to treat these supposedly inferior individuals as animals. I don’t know how Sarah could keep her cool in the situations she was put through. I would have stabbed someone with a pencil in the second chapter of the book.

Another thorny issue dealt with in this book is sexism. While Sarah’s main struggle is with segregation, Linda struggles with sexism. Her main goal in life is to graduate high school and get married. Hold your horses, get married straight out of school? Yes, she has no thought of going to college. She just wants to get married so she can move out and leave her abusive father behind. In essence, she would be replacing her father with her husband.

While both are very serious issues, racism was the one that caused me the most anger. Maybe it’s because I have more experience with racism than with sexism (remember that first paragraph in this review?).

The ending, however, made all that anger go away. Not all the problems are solved, far from it, but it’s astounding to take a step back and see how much the characters matured, particularly Linda. I wasn’t expecting her to grow that much, so that was a pleasant surprise.