Friday, May 20, 2016

The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments
The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
Age: Adult
Category: Fantasy
Rating: 5 stars


Rosie Thinks: I don't even really know how to start the review for this story. Maybe some history, first: I read it 5 years ago and flew threw the entire trilogy. This book introduced me to the author that has become one of my favourites of all time, and I've just been dying to read it again. Two days ago was the time, and I polished off this not-very-short-at-all epic in two sittings. In an interview, Weeks says "I've dreamed of keeping people up late reading my books since I started my first novel at age thirteen" - and yes, he most definitely has achieved that!

This story starts off with Azoth, a guild rat with one true dream: to be as fearless and powerful as the infamous assassin, Durzo Blint. Blint offers Azoth a way to get out of the abuse, hunger and desperation of the slums, but has to leave his old life, including his two best friends and name, behind. Azoth becomes Kylar Stern, masquerading as a baron and learning the art of poison, weapons and death in secret as Blint's apprentice.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Confess

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: New Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars


Brittany Thinks: As a life long reader of Young Adult who is arguably still in the stage between YA characters and Adult fiction characters in my own life, New Adult is an exciting new genre for me. New Adult stories are still humorous coming of age tales, but for characters a bit older than the typical YA heroes and heroines. NA characters know a bit more about who they are, but they still have a lot to figure out before they’re fully settled. I’ve been devouring the most popular New Adult titles lately, and my newest addiction is Colleen Hoover.

Confess is the story of Auburn Reed. When we first meet Auburn, she is desperate for money to hire a lawyer - I’d tell you why, but then you’d have to kill me - and she finds herself taking a job with a quirky and intense artist named Owen. Confess follows their story as their lives intertwine and fall apart. It’s a roller coaster of emotion and I’d love to tell you more about the plot, but discovering on your own is seriously the best part. Colleen Hoover will always keep you guessing, unsure of who to trust or what awaits you on the next page.

One of the coolest parts of the book is Owen’s art. He runs a gallery called Confess, where patrons submit anonymous confessions and Owen uses some as inspiration for his art. Hoover actually found an artist to make art based on a few confessions and the paintings are beautiful, vibrant, and one of the neatest additions to a novel that I’ve seen in awhile. They add depth to the story and allow the reader to feel the emotions of the characters in an entirely different dimension. I loved it.
In a lot of ways, Colleen Hoover reminds me a bit of Sarah Dessen for an older audience. For years I’ve said that no one can do character development like Dessen can and that has always held true for me - until now, that is. Hoover is a master of the character and drops bombshells on every page that will leave you gasping for breath - and wishing you could shake some sense back into your favorite characters. If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced read with well-developed characters and a page turning plot, definitely pick up Confess. Colleen Hoover is an author to watch.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Still Alice

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Adult
Category: Contemporary
Rating: 4 stars


Helen Thinks: Alice Howland is a fifty year old woman that works at Harvard as a cognitive psychology professor and is a renowned expert in linguistics. She’s proud of the life she has built for herself, her husband and her three children. Then one day, during a lecture, she finds herself struggling to remember a simple word that she uses on a regular basis during her lectures. She dismisses it as old age combined with tiredness but eventually the problem becomes more regular until one day when out jogging she can’t remember where she is even though it’s the same route she always takes. Finally deciding that she can’t hide from this any longer, Alice visits the doctor where she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. “Still Alice” follows her journey as the disease has a major impact on both her professional and personal life.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of Dementia and according to the Alzheimer’s association an estimated five million Americans are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I decided to read the book because I had seen the movie (starring Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin and Kirsten Stewart) advertised and it piqued my interest. I am a care worker in a residential home for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and other forms of Dementia but the service users I look after are primarily in their later years, averaging around the age of eighty. To think such a cruel illness could start at fifty was baffling and also slightly terrifying, especially knowing that currently there is no cure for Alzheimer’s.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Crown Tower (The Riyria Chronicles #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult, Adult
Category: Fantasy
Rating: 4 stars


Rosie Thinks: Whenever I go into my recommendations on Goodreads, this book always pops up first. I've been seeing it for a very, very long time, until I finally decided to give it a go yesterday, with very low expectations. And then, because Goodreads knows me so well, I was hooked. This book had everything I loved in it: it was fast-paced and had a fantastic cast of characters, with a plot that, while seeming to be generic, was everything but.

After spending five years abroad as a warrior, Hadrian has come back to his homeland after the death of his father, completely purposeless. He finds this purpose when a friend of his father tasks him with stealing a famous journal from an impenetrable tower. The only problem? He has to do it with the help of Royce Melborn, a cynical assassin whom Hadrian would rather kill than work with.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Daughter of the Gods

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 1:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult
Category: Historical
Rating: 4 stars

“The fear of losing each other is always stronger than the pain we cause.”


Marta Thinks: Hatshepsut was one of greatest rulers of Egypt but her role was very nearly wiped away completely when almost every reference to her time as a pharaoh was erased. She was previously thought to have been murdered by her stepson Tutmose III, but her mummy revealed that she died of natural causes at the age of fifty – and archaeologists uncovered proof that showed that Tutmose III had very likely removed evidence of her rule not to seek revenge but rather to consolidate the succession of his heir.

Hatshepsut is an ideal historical character to take on: she has a vivid role in a history that has largely been lost, allowing room for experimentation and imagination. She must have been a force to reckon with – easily charming and charismatic but ambitious and ruthless and calculating. She’s a hard act to top and she’s a hard task to undertake. Hatshepsut probably would have been handled unsuccessfully in anyone else’s hands but Stephanie Thornton finds the perfect balance and allows Hatshepsut to become relatable (or at least, as relatable as an ancient royal can be), likeable and admirable.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Two Gentlemen of Altona (Playing the Fool #1)

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments
The Two Gentlemen of Altona by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Age: Adult
Category: Romance, LGBTQIA+
Rating: 4 stars


Rosie Thinks: If you're not allowed to eat donuts, probably don't read this book. It will have you craving them like nothing else - even the scene breaks are tiny little pictures of donuts! But don't worry, I'm not recommending to you guys a book about a donut bakery. This is a fantastic thriller/crime/suspense novel, where one of the main characters is on a diet - thus the donuts everywhere.

FBI Agent Mac is having a bad day: not only is he now on a coffee-less/donut-less diet, but the key witness just conned him into letting him walk free out the front door of a murder scene. Henry Page may be the key to putting a mob boss away for life, but he'd rather keep his head down and go back to doing what he does best: conning old ladies out of their money. And so begins a cat and mouse game between them as Mac tries to tie down his major witness, and Henry does his best to escape, while trying not to get killed by the mob along the way.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Remembrance

Posted by A Drop of Romeo at 2:00 PM 0 comments

Age: Young Adult / Adult
Category: Science fiction, romance
Rating: 4 stars


Brittany Thinks: In high school, Meg Cabot was my favorite author. She really introduced me and so many other young readers to the YA genre with her interesting stories that portrayed real teens with real problems. And, yeah, a lot of those problems stemmed from something insane in their life, - like discovering they were royalty or seeing ghosts or saving the President - but they still fought with their friends and hated doing homework. Her books made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

I’ve grown out of my Meg Cabot phase over the years, but I was thrilled when she announced that she’d be writing Adult follow ups to two of my favorite - and her most popular Young Adult series. Remembrance is the second book in her nostalgic project and, to be honest, the venture I was most excited for. If any of you were fans of the original Mediator series, - 6 fun, quick reads about a girl who discovers it’s kind of her family’s duty to help ghosts move on - then I am thrilled to tell you that Remembrance totally holds up. Sure is still the stubborn, strong, funny lead that we grew up reading about and Jesse still made my knees a little weak. Cabot touches base with all of our favorite characters and it’s great to see where they are now. The case itself carries the same depth - even if Suze is a little more prepared to carry out her duty than before.

I think that Remembrance would still be an interesting read for those unfamiliar with the story. Some connections or discussions may be a bit confusing and may not carry the emotional punch without reading the originals, but Cabot explains everything well and the story works as a stand alone. All in all, it’s a fun, fast read full of mystery and strong characters. I was pretty apprehensive to read anything from Cabot’s nostalgia project at first, because I was afraid the books would feel forced rather than necessary. That wasn’t the case with Remembrance. I read the Mediator books when I was the same age as Suze in the original series and it was fun to read about “Suze the adult” now that I’m an adult, too. It was like catching up with an old friend now that we know a bit more about ourselves and I’m grateful that Cabot provided fans with that opportunity.

 

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