Monday, December 5, 2016

Review: The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer

The ChemistThe Chemist by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: November 8, 2016
Purchase: Amazon
She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn't even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning.

Now she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They've killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. They want her dead, and soon.

When her former handler offers her a way out, she realises it's her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous.

Resolving to meet the threat head-on, she prepares for the toughest fight of her life but finds herself falling for a man who can only complicate her likelihood of survival. As she sees her choices being rapidly whittled down, she must apply her unique talents in ways she never dreamed of.
My Thoughts:
Okay let me first say, I liked this...a lot.  Am I surprised, yes and no.  I truly loved the Twilight series and it will always have a special place in my heart.   Stephenie Meyer will hold a place as well because she brought me like so many others to the world of YA and for that I am forever thankful.  I wasn't sure what to expect with The Chemist though.  I mean she's gone rogue before like with The Host, but this one sounded completely out there and with little to no publicity I wasn't sure what I was in for.  I should have had more faith in Meyer.

So the elephant in the room for me is where was all the publicity???  I try and stay up to date on most bookish things and believe me when I tell you there wasn't hardly any hype surrounding this book. It was just kinda thrown out there one day and I am completely baffled as to why.  Normally we readers know at least a year beforehand that a book is out there being written, but I had NO IDEA about this one.  I have to wonder if I am losing my bookish knowledge or did the publisher truly keep this one on the downlow and if they did keep it quiet why?  Did they not have faith??  I guess I will never know, but I hope in the future Meyer receives the publicity she deserves.

On to the book!  Alex was everything Bella was not so have no fear my friends.  Alex is overly prepared, beyond intelligent, and borderline obsessive.  I loved everything about her.  She was a great character that could incapacitate her opponent with one drop of her crafted poison.  So cool!!  She truly earned her name as the chemist!

Meyer always  knows how to write secondary characters and The Chemist had a wonderful cast. I honestly enjoyed reading each and every one of them.  Kevin, Daniel, and Val were amazing and to be honest I wish this was a duology.  I am not ready to let these people go just yet.

And of course there is a romance, but unlike with Meyers other books, this one makes sense!  It does have its flaws, but it made sense and I loved it.  Daniel was so great with Alex and he gave her what she needed which was time and space.  He understood she wasn't used to personal intimacy and he let her navigate their relationship without expectations.  I love him!  Plus he said all the right things was totally described as being a chef/teacher/nerd with soft curls I mean come on!  Meyer knew what she was doing when she created Daniel. 

The dogs!!  I have to admit I am not a fan of animals in books because I am always afraid one will die and I even had to text my blog roommate to get spoilers!  I won't say what she told me or if any die, but I do have to give a special mention to Einstein, Kahn, and Lola.  I am a true dog person at heart and these three were amazing.  Love love love how Meyer thread them through the story.

If you love Meyer I know you will love this.  It is a survival story wrapped up in a thriller and it was so fun.  I have realized I will read anything this woman writes and I hope we don't have to wait as long for that one because 8 years is WAY too long!

Oh I would have given this 5 stars, but the epilogue wasn't what I wanted and yes I am pouting.  It was a bit weird, but it fit I suppose I just wanted more.  That's my one peeve!

4.5 snowflakes

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Follower Appreciation: Bundle of Books Giveaway #2

This week WinterHaven Books has another bundle of books you might enjoy. Again, a HUGE thank you to our followers for visiting our blog. Be sure to check back next week to see if there is a bundle of books you'd like to win and curl up with this winter! 

Thank you to all of our followers and bloggie friends!!
Be sure to fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win and let us know what book you're interested in reading. Because of the number of books we'll be shipping, this giveaway is open to US Residents only. 

This week we are giving away the following ARC editions:
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski (ARC edition)
Sinner by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC edition)
A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston (ARC edition)
Burning by Danielle Rollins (ARC edition)
Stone Rider by David Hofmeyr (ARC edition) 
Burn Girl by Mandy Mikulencak (ARC edition) 
Our Lady of Ice by Cassandra Rose Clarke (ARC edition)

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Follower Appreciation: Bundle of Books Giveaway #1

WinterHaven Books would like to take a moment to thank our followers for continuing to visit our blog despite us taking a little break these past months to focus on family and friends. As a token of our appreciation, we'll be hosting weekly giveaways of some of the books we've been lucky to come across. Be sure to check back next week to see if there is a bundle of books you'd like to win and curl up with this winter! 

Thank you to all of our followers and bloggie friends!!
Be sure to fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win and let us know what book you're interested in reading. Because of the number of books we'll be shipping, this giveaway is open to US Residents only. 

This week we are giving away the following ARC edition books:

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy MicGinis (ARC edition)
Destined for Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon (ARC edition)
Mirrored by Alex Flynn (ARC edition) 
Nightfall by Jake Halpern and Peter Kujawinski (ARC edition)
Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund (ARC edition)
Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin (ARC edition)
Zodiac by Romina Russell (ARC edition)
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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Review and Giveaway: The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Published: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true?
My Thoughts
“Once they met, the rest of it, the love between them, was inevitable..”

“She smiles so big that I know that whatever happens will be worth it.”

Love.. love.. love.
The Sun is Also a Star is another great example that Nicola Yoon has found her place in YA fiction. This is the first book I’ve read in a while, and all avid readers know how frustrating it is not to be able to enjoy your hobby. So thank you Yoon for penning a beautiful, simple, captivating story about a boy and a girl whose lives change after a chance meeting. It’s nice to know that with the right story, I can fall into my happy place, travel with fictional characters and simply enjoy their journey.

In this novel, we meet Natasha Kingsley who sees the world through a scientific lens of observable facts. There’s no room in her life for fate, destiny, and the possibility of falling love. If it can’t be seen, measured, quantified… then it just doesn’t exist. However, when she meets a funny, poetic, Korean boy the day she and her family are to be deported back to Jamaica, she wonders how she miscalculated so much.

Daniel Bae is a hopeless romantic that loves to write poetry. However, growing up in a Korean household where his parents have already decided his future, where he’s to go to Yale and be a doctor, he’s not quite sure how to navigate around the expectations he has no desire to fulfill. Then he meets Natasha, and as they spend a New York day together, new possibilities begin to take shape for him.

I truly enjoyed this novel. I knew after the first few pages that it was going to be an experience I wouldn’t soon forget. The story is not complicated, dramatic or over the top. It’s sincere and heartfelt. There are moments and passages that made me just stop and think about life and the choices we make. I love books that make me contemplate beyond the lines.

One thing I enjoy about Yoon’s writing is her creative narrative. Not only do we get the dual POV of Natasha and Daniel, but we also get insight into secondary and tertiary characters that you don’t realize play a crucial role in the main characters’ lives. We also get some fun insight into topics that balance love and science. Somehow, Yoon makes it all fit into a story that just flows.

Lastly, the ending was spot on! Yoon was bold in her decisions and I loved that! Not everything ends perfectly and sometimes things happen for a reason.

Overall, Yoon’s managed to impress me with her consistently in writing amazing stories with characters that have staying power. So glad I’m able to add another fave YA author to my list.
5 Snowflakes

If this sounds like a story you would enjoy, enter through Rafflecopter for a chance to win an ARC edition of The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. Also, I would love to hear why you think you'd enjoy this story. 

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Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Adult Coloring Book: Bram Stoker's Dracula: A Coloring Classic

Bram Stoker's Dracula: A Coloring Classic
Illustrated by Chellie Carrol
Published: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Purchase: Amazon  |  Penguin Random House
Dracula is one of horror's most classic stories, and now it is a hauntingly detailed coloring book. Intricate linework combines with iconic quotations and scenes to create a chilling book that will inspire creativity while taking you on a journey of terror, thrills, and romance. Featuring a richly foiled cover.

My Thoughts
With Halloween right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to spotlight another Coloring Classic by the lovely people at Random House. I am so thankful for having the opportunity to sample their new line of adult coloring books because I’ve had an amazing time with this collection. Recently, I received a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This Coloring Classic was designed and illustrated by the talented Chellie Carrol.
As you journey through the pages, you can see her unique style of bringing this horror novel to life. She combined carefully selected quotes, tranquil landscapes, as well as, chilling scenes to give us the full gamut of Bram Stroker’s vivid imagination.

As daunting and eerie as this story can be, I really liked how Carrol incorporated some beautiful scenes you can easily get lost it before experiencing the gothic horror of this story. I enjoyed adding color to the beautiful landscapes and oceanside views. I breezed through these pages rather quickly and enjoyed every moment of it.
However, Dracula’s Coloring Classic wouldn’t be complete without a glimpse into his resting place. I couldn’t quite decide what colors I wanted to use for his lair, but I knew it had to be bold and dramatic.

Lastly, it was rather exciting spending some time on a couple of vampiric transformations. I’ve been a fan of the paranormal for quite some time, so bringing these pages to life with vivid, bright colors was fun and freaky all at that same time.

Overall, I know I’m not done with this coloring book. There are some additional pages that caught my interest because of their nightmarish themes that will be fun to dive into. So if you’re a fan of all things spooky and spectacular, I suggest you check out this coloring book. It’s quite the treat for Halloween!

5 Snowflakes
If you missed my previous posts or would like to see some additions I’ve added to Wuthering Heights and Romeo and Juliet, be sure to check them out. As I continue to go through these books, I’ll be sure to keep adding to my coloring collection.

Also available in the Coloring Classic series:
Illustrated by Chellie Carroll

Illustrated by Elisabetta Stoinich

Illustrated by Bethan Janine and Renia Metallinou