Review of Rarity From The Hollow by Robert Eggleton

Title: Rarity From the Hollow

Author: Robert Eggleton

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

You would enjoy this if: you like very dark children’s stories.

Trigger Warnings for this book: Mentions of abuse, murder

Pages: 354

Rating: 4 out 5

Buy it: Amazon

Goodreads Summary

Rarity from the Hollow was so hard for me to read through that I frequently had to put it down.

Not because that the writing was hard to read, because it was so well-written and easy to go through, and not because it wasn’t interesting because that is the complete opposite. It was simply very dark. Especially at the beginning of the novel. It opens up to talks of abuse and very dark themes that I wasn’t completely expecting after I’d received the novel from the Novel/Publisher. I had read a resume of it and known that it would approach it, but I didn’t know how. The reason why it was difficult to read through was because the connection with the main character is so well-established at the beginning that it was what made me feel too much to read it in one go; but I wouldn’t have this book any other way.

But (as there is always a but), it was hard in some places to follow what the author was trying to say. A lot of the time I could follow along very well, but other times it was hard to catch onto what was passing, certain things seemed to appear in the rearview and then disappear all too quickly. However, this could be said for typical children’s book, so it may simply be that the style was meant to recapture that feeling.

Rarity from the Hollow was an amazing ride throughout, touching fantastic themes and continuing toward sci-fi, to create a beautiful and dark novel. However, this is not for the faint of heart. If you are easily triggered by themes such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, any type of abuse really, then I would suggest to stay away from this book altogether because it goes into those subjects very deeply and doesn’t let you forget that it’s there.

Otherwise, I would suggest everybody give this book a try as it is such an amazing journey.

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First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Shwab

Hosted by Diane @Bibliophile by the Sea

Share the first paragraph of the book you are currently reading, or are planning on reading soon.

Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

It had neither one side, which would be conventional, nor two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible.

The first thing he did whenever he stepped out of one London and into another, was take off the coat and turn it inside out once or twice (or even three times) until he found the side he needed. […]

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha, #1)

Title: Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Genre: YA/Fantasy

You would enjoy this if: you like magic and fantasy, Russian based scenery.

Pages: 368

Rating: 5 out 5

Buy it: ChaptersBarnes & Nobles

Goodreads Summary

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Shadow and Bone is a terrific, Rusian-inspired read, in which I fell in love with from the first chapter. I remember buying it because of the cover design and what I had heard about it. It sat on my shelf for a while as I went through my books, but finally, I got into it when Taylor’s 1989 album came out, and to this day, every time I hear a song from that album, I think of this terrific series.

Shadow and Bone got me excited from the first page. I knew what would happen, although not exactly, logically figuring it out from the synopsis, and that was definitely what got me excited. Big reveals are my favourite things in anything, especially when done right. And this was done right.

I think, possibly, one of my favourite things from this book was, aside from Alina herself, the way it was written. The beginning started out as a fairytale-esque thing, and then turned to first person during the rest of the book, and then back to fairytale at the end. The writing is simple, yet eloquent, and even the words such as Kefta, are easy to decipher from the explanation that follows, without giving the exact meaning of the word.

The characters were all also very well written. I loved Alina to death, as well as Mal, while Genya will, and forever will be, my favourite character in the entire series. The Darkling I didn’t like, although he was really well written, with redeeming qualities and a history that made me a bit more sympathetic, but if I had to meet someone similar to him in real life, you would be sure that I would hate him, no matter his redeeming anything.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (The Darkest Minds, #1)

Title: The Darkest Minds

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi/Dystopian

You would enjoy this if: you like kids with superpowers, a very dark modern-set dystopia, amazing character development

Pages: 488

Rating: 5 out 5

Buy it: ChaptersBarnes & Nobles

Goodreads Summary

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something alarming enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that gets her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that’s killed most of America’s children, but she and the others have emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they cannot control.

Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones.

When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now she’s on the run, desperate to find the one safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents.

When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all its mysterious leader. But there are other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice, one that may mean giving up her only chance at a life worth living.

The Darkest Minds is possibly one of my favourite YA novels of all time. I first picked up the book in a French bookstore, attracted by the cover (I was looking for something darker that day, and TDM just drew me in). I didn’t know that Never Fade, which was sitting right beside it, was the second book, which was really frustrating for me after I’d finished it and found out that it wasn’t a novella, but the second book, which I could have gotten the same day, so that I wouldn’t have to wait to get it.

An epidemic has taken over in America, resulting in kids dropping left and right all across the country (it is said that half of Ruby’s fourth grade class had died, the numbers rising as you read on), all around Ruby’s age.

But there were those who lived, and those were the ones they feared.

They placed the children who lived in rehabilitation camps, to help them “recover” from what they’d gained after they’d survived IAAN — Idiopathic Adolescent Acute Neurodegeneration. The advertisements for the camps were misleading, made to believe that they were built to help the children, while really, they were built to beat them down with fear, so much so, that they would lose their wills to use the abilities they’d received after surviving IAAN.

Those who survived IAAN gained powers, classified as followed:

Green – Super Intelligent

Blue – Telekinetic

Yellow – Electrokinesis

Orange – Mind Control

Red – Pyrokinetic

Ruby Daly had not only lost her will to use her ability as an Orange (classified as a Green when she manipulated her tester’s mind to classify her as such), but her will to even make connections to others. Ruby is frighteningly realistic, she is a protagonist you have to connect with. Ruby lost her only friend at Thurmond the same way she lost her parents. The loss of her friend did not only cause her to withdraw from connecting to other people, but made her fear herself because of what she’d done. Her anxiety is incredibly apparent when she meets the gang (Liam, Zu, and Chubs) in the van, and that fear is so undeniable as you go on to read how she attempts to get away from them so to save them from the darkness she was sure to bring.

Ruby develops so much throughout this book, from making lifelong friends with Zu and Chubs, to falling in love with Liam, she makes big steps to fighting against the six years of being fed and beaten with fear and pain and hatred; to heal herself from those wounds that won’t ever leave her, but that, we hope, will close, with only a scar to remind her of what she’s overcome.

**possible spoiler ahead

The ending of the book is sure to make you cry. I was finishing this up in class, and as soon as Ruby whispered “let me finish the story”, tears were swelling in my face. I couldn’t believe what was happening, and I just felt so so bad for Ruby and what she had to do, and for Liam, who had to suffer through that. When I finished the book, I quickly ran to the The Darkest Minds tumblr tag, and was quick to find that I was not the only one in shock, so really, this wasn’t just me -it was a lot of people. So you will cry, I promise you that.

**

The only thing that one might not like, because I felt this way while reading the book myself, is the cliche kids with superpower YA novel feel that you’re given while you go through the book. Not many things are explained, but you have to keep reading. I cannot stress this enough. All is explained in In The Afterlight, the third and last book of the series, and trust me, it is worth the read. The Darkest Minds series is a favourite of mine, but ITA is possibly my favourite book in the series.

All in all, I’ve given this book a 5 out of 5 stars, mainly because I’m biased, but also because I think it truly deserves it. Ruby is such an incredible protagonist that it is very very hard to stumble upon any plot holes that may or may not be in there. She is so realistic, you simply cannot help but connect to the way she’s reacted to the way she’s been treated and the way other children, such as herself, have been treated as well. If you’re looking for something dark, action-packed, with superpowered kids, and heartbreaking to fill your need for angst, then this is definitely the book for you. This is a haunting, terrifying tale of a Dystopian future that will keep you on the edge of your seat at every page.

CURRENTLY READING: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas & The Mine by John A. Heldt

The month of May has been a surprisingly difficult one for me this year. What with starting a new job, and falling ill on the very first week, it’s been quite the struggle to get through the stress of it all. The only good thing about this is I’ve had some time to get to reading, what with free afternoons, and having a massive headache that keeps me away from my computer, I’ve been able to really sit down and get to my TBR pile.

I promise, next time, I will take pictures of my currently reading list, but for now, here they are: Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas, and The Mine by John A. Heldt. Two amazing reads, although terribly different from one another. Crown of Midnight will have it’s review up soon, which will either before or after my review of Throne of Glass, the first book in the series. The Mine should come along very soon after that, considering how terribly incredible this is so far!

Until my next post!

Book Outlet Bookhaul #1

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! This meme is hosted by Tynga’s reviews.

So as of April 2015, Book Outlet has officially become my go-to site for low priced, quality books. And I mean read-iculously low prices (they’re quote/moto). I was so so excited to find this site, y’all don’t understand: This is a Canadian bookstore, with low prices, which is so exciting for little Canadian me!

No, I’m not being paid for this, but I did want to share this with you guys, so that all of you could take advantage of the prices just as I did! If you want to check it out, here it is: http://bookoutlet.ca/

So, without further ado, let’s start the haul!

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So, first package contained these two books (I thought I was being smart by separating my first order into three small orders, but I’m pretty sure I just paid more on shipping by doing so. Don’t try to outsmart the system if you don’t understand the system, kids!)

Lux: Beginnings by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Is a book, or rather a series, that I have heard so much about in the booktube community. I have not read the synopsis of this in it’s entirety, but I do know that the main character’s name is Kat –Katherine? Katy?, and she is a book blogger/reviewer herself (which is probably what attracted me to this book the most), and she’s just moved into this new house with her family, and her next door neighbor is an alien with time freezing abilities and whatnot, and he drags Kat into his crazy ass problems. It seemed really interesting, although I’m hoping that it won’t be a cliche romance like you find in a lot of YA books these days, I am really interesting to get into this.

crewel by gennifer albin

Crewel has been a book I’ve been meaning to buy ever since I saw it at Chapter, the cover was gorgeous (it was a different cover from this one, but it’s still very pretty), and the title seemed oddly interesting. The main character, Adelice (how cool is her name though, right?), has the power to control the very fabric of reality, but Adelice doesn’t want to manipulate what people can and cannot do. Adelice uses her power, has to run away so that the Guild won’t use her, and all in all, seems like a pretty interesting read, and not just about romance! Go Gennifer Albin!

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monument 14: sky on fire by emmy laybourne

What I didn’t know when I place the order for this book, was that this is the SECOND BOOK in a trilogy(?), because I hadn’t read the synopsis, or I read it real quick and it didn’t sound as if it was the second book, but that was probably purposeful so not too much would be revealed! So, I am not going to describe what might be in this book, just because I don’t want to re-read the synopsis and possibly get spoiled for the first book that I will eventually buy.

jackaby by william ritter

This is a Historical Fiction read set in 1892 with a heavy weight of supernatural elements!

The story, I believe, centers around Abigail Rooks, the new assistant to R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained. Abigail’s first case is centered around a serial killer on the loose, whom Jackaby is certain is not human, while the police force believes that it is. Apparently, this is Doctor Who meets Sherlock, so if you’re into that, you should definitely check it out! I have always loved P.I.s in the time of the past like in those noir movies, so I’m really excited to be reading this!

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sapphire blue and emerald green by kerstin gier

The second and the last book in the Ruby Red trilogy, I’m not going to get into too much detail with these two either since I don’t want to spoil anyone on the first book.

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Goodhouse by peyton marshall

Goodhouse is a science fiction thriller, set in a transformed America at the end of the 21st century. The sons of convicted felons who test positive for a genetic marker are ripped from their homes, and sent to Goodhouse campuses, where they are reformed to get rid of their dark thoughts and impulses. This is not the first time that I have heard of something with a similar plotline, but given the cover, and the fact that this is partly based on a true story, I figure I’d see out it goes! And I am a sucker for anything sci-fi.

the pledge by kimberly derting

This is a book I had read on my ereader a long while back, and considering how much I enjoyed it, decided to finally get myself a physical copy.

This is set in a Dystopian world with a monarchy, and the social classes are all divided by the language they speak. If a member of a lower class looks someone of a higher class in the eyes while they speak their native tongue, they can be executed without trial. Kimberly Derting is an author I have followed ever since I read The Body Finder series. She is an amazing author, and I am so excited to be in possession of this book!

dark inside by jeyn roberts

I had been wanting to buy this book for so long, but was always so distracted by other books that I never had the chance to. And when I saw that there was a sale on sci-fi reads? Wow, did I jump on the chance to get this.

This is an apocalyptic/dystopian read, set in a world where your friends turn into murderous strangers. From what I can gather, I believe that people are turning into Zombies, and this is what Goodreads is telling me as well. The rest of the synopsis doesn’t tell you much more than this, which is what really attracted me to this book in the first place.

saving francesca by melina marchetta

This is a contemporary read, which follows the life of a young girl named Francesca, who hangs out with some of the few girls at this “co-ed” school, and I saw some graphics on this on Tumblr and they made this seem really interesting, so I am super excited to get into this!

And that, ladies and gents, is my fist Book Outlet bookhaul! Do tell me what you think of any of these books! If you’ve read any of these, which were your favorites? What did you like about them? What didn’t you like about them?

Friday Quotes #3: Ultraviolet by R.J. Anderson

Book Beginnings

“Once upon a time there was a girl who was special. Her hair flowed like honey and her eyes were blue as music. She grew up bright and beautiful, with deft fingers, a quick mind, and a charm that impressed everyone she met. Her parents adored her, her teachers praised her, and her schoolmates admired her many talents. Even the oddly shaped birthmark on her upper arm seemed like a sign of some great destiny.

This is not her story.

Unless you count the part where I killed her.”

I received, and read, this book about three years ago, and the beginning had, and still has, pulled me in. I think it’s a very interesting beginning, and it tells a lot about the main character, even if it isn’t much to go on.

The Friday 56

tw: talk of anorexia

“Scowling, she took hold of my hand and turned it over, inspecting my fingers. I knew what she was looking for; I also knew she’d be disappointed. I might be thin and a picky eater, but nothing could convince me to make myself throw up on purpose.”

I’m not sure why, but this does make me love Alison, the main character, more. I don’t mean the way she talks about anorexia. But the way this is written is like she’s going “as if” to the other person in the scene, without actually saying as if, and it makes me enjoy this more.

Friday Quotes #2: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Book Beginnings

“The snow in the mountains was melting and Bunny had been dead for several weeks before we came to understand the gravity of our situation.”

The first line is incredibly engaging and gripping, and it’s not something you encounter a lot in modern literature, as it is quite revealing, and if done wrong, could unravel the entire story. But Donna Tartt does this so well!

The Friday 56

“I met her my first year of college, and was initially attracted to her because she seemed an intelligent, brooding malcontent like myself; but after about a month, during which time she’d firmly glued herself to me, I began to realize, with some little horror, that she was nothing more than a lowbrow, pop-psychology verson of Sylvia Plath.”

I’m… not really sure what to say about this, not without the proper context or just, having read to that particular page. It does leave me intrigued, and want to get to page 56 so that I understand what’s going on.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey (The Fifth Wave, #1)

Title: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Genre: YA/Sci-Fi

You would enjoy this if: You liked the Lorien Legacies series, or was a fan of Firefly

Pages: 457

Rating: 4

Buy it: ChaptersBarnes & Nobles

Goodreads Summary

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker.

Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother—or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up

What I enjoyed:

  1. The narrative. It’s just so wonderful to read a book with a really well done teenage narrative. First person novels have always been my favorites because, when done right, you get books like these! I especially loved Cassie’s narrative overall, because the way she thinks and the way she feels is so prominent and so poignant that I flew through her parts, and when the narrative changed, I wished for more of Cassie. I did enjoy Zombie’s parts as well as Sammy’s (because I believe, from what I remember, that we do get parts with Sammy’s own narrative).
  2. The plot. I love aliens, and I’d been seeing it talked about here and there in the booktube world, and I thought I’d pick it up since I’d been in need of another good alien/sci-fi read.
  3. Ringer and Cassie. I know, these are just characters, and I should probably be mentioning something else. But when I first read through it, I did go into a bit of a slump, and these two helped me to the end and got me back into the story. These are two amazingly strong ladies, two of my favorites, may I add, in the YA world.
  4. Ben and Cassie. No, I’m not picking sides about who Cassie should end up with (but if you did ask me, it would be neither Ben nor Evan), but the bit at the end. This is no spoiler, Cassie had a huge crush on Ben (Zombie) back in the day when they were all still in high school. It was very prominently mentioned in the book,**spoiler** and I loved the way we saw them near the end of the book. It didn’t feel as if they were in love with each other, or that Ben felt the same way Cassie had, but to me, it felt like a very family-like moment, which is something I enjoyed much more than the idea of them getting together.

What I didn’t enjoy:

  1. **spoiler** Evan. I did not like Evan, at all, and hated the “love” between he and Cassie. I thought it was disturbing, and it was neither well-done nor realistic, especially not for Cassie’s character. And I didn’t like Evan as a whole. He was creepy, and I really hated seeing him close to Cassie. He is pretty realistic, because we do find guys that are like this in real life, and for that, I commend Yancey for portraying him realistically. But other than that, Evan is not an appealing character nor is he a suitable love interest for Cassie.
  2. The plot holes. When I was reading the book I didn’t notice them right away, which I suppose is a good thing. But after I finished the book, it did become more evident when I thought on it.
  3. The writing is easy to get through, but less so when you change narratives. I got really attached to Cassie’s point of view, so whenever the book switched to someone else’s narrative, it got harder for me to continue on And I think this should be your main concern: getting attached. I know it’s unavoidable for most people, but if you can avoid, do it. And if you can’t, at least be aware that the reason you may be getting through this slower, is because you’re going through a narrative that doesn’t suit you or that you don’t like, rather than because it’s not a good book.