Review of Every Breath by Ellie Marney

Every BreathEvery Breath
By: Ellie Marney
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Tundra Books
Format: E-ARC
Source: NetGalley

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Rachel Watts is an unwilling new arrival to Melbourne from the country. James Mycroft is her neighbour, an intriguingly troubled seventeen-year-old genius with a passion for forensics. Despite her misgivings, Rachel finds herself unable to resist Mycroft when he wants her help investigating a murder. And when Watts and Mycroft follow a trail to the cold-blooded killer, they find themselves in the lion’s den – literally.

A night at the zoo will never have quite the same meaning again…

My Rating:
star

My Thoughts:
Nikki from There Were Books Involved was the first person I saw mentioning this book. After she linked to it I knew I had to request it because “what if Sherlock Holmes was the boy next door?” Can we say, dream come true? So, I requested this without much thought at all.

Soon after that glorious email saying I had access to the book I started to think…Mycroft….

Mycroft
I got a tad worried. I love Mycroft but I wasn’t so sure I wanted him to be that boy next door.  I went into this wanting Sherlock, not the older Holmes. So I was a bit apprehensive. Ok, not too much but a tiny bit.

No need to worry! James Mycroft was swoon-worthy, complex, compelling and incredibly original in his own right. I was pleased that the characters of Watts and Mycroft were a fun play off the Sherlock mythology but not a carbon copy.  You can easily see the author’s admiration for Doyle’s classic characters.

I was instantly swept up into Jame’s character and watching him develop through the eyes of Rachel Watts was a complete pleasure. Their chemistry was perfection and Rachel was likeable and relatable. I thought that each of these characters held their own but shone while together. And the secondary cast was not forgotten either. Mycroft and Watt’s friend group was wonderfully represented and equally engaging.

The mystery Marney created was fun to ponder though it wasn’t overly complex to guess who the villain was. I felt that she utilized the suspense and mystery very well and the final showdown was action packed. This was a quick read that kept me highly entertained and glued to the pages. The real driving force for me in this book was the relationship between Mycroft and Watts. I absolutely loved their interactions, pining and anything related to the two of them.

Once finishing Every Breath I was distraught that I could not continue the series immediately. The book ended in a great place, no horrible cliff-hangers or anything but I was so invested in the characters I wasn’t ready to say goodbye just yet. I’ve since ordered Every Word because I must have it.

Final Thoughts:
I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted when I started Every Breath other than a complex relationship between the lead characters and a smart, hard to know main character to fall in love with. I got all of this plus a fun and entertaining book that left me wanting much more.

Review of The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters + International Giveaway

The Cure for DreamingThe Cure for Dreaming
By: Cat Winters
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

The Story:
Well, this cements it, Cat Winters is one of my favorite authors (really there was no question) and I’ll read anything she writes. The pacing was incredibly fast and I was riveted from the very start. I dropped the other books I was reading and became solely immersed in this one. I wanted nothing more than to have my nose stuck in this book until I finished. Really, that’s what I did.

I wasn’t as drawn to the summary for The Cure for Dreaming as I was her first novel, In the Shadow of Blackbirds, but as soon as I began reading I knew I’d fall in love with this book. Winters’ writing was incredibly powerful, emotional and engaging. There are never slow moments. I was swept into 1900 Oregon and Olivia’s life. Actually, upon finishing I feel that dreaded book hangover. I zipped through the book and now wish I could go back and read it again for the first time.

I’ve not read much about the suffragist movement and had very little to go on but I felt that Winters was able to express the time period and how it felt to be a woman beautifully. I am ashamed that I’ve not spent more time understanding where my right to vote began and feel that I will be looking deeper into it now. This book was encouraging and opened my eyes to how much things have changed in a short amount of time.

Not only does this novel touch upon a historically significant time but we are also introduced to hypnosis. Magic, the occult and hypnosis was very much in style early in American history and I adore that Winters brings up the subjects and incorporates them into her novels. I loved the other worldly quality of this book and felt that though it was fantastical it still felt incredibly realistic and even plausible to some degree. I for one have never encountered a hypnotist so have no experience with the art but I am thoroughly intrigued to learn more.

As with In the Shadow of Blackbirds, photographs either from the time or portraying this time period are scattered throughout. This provides the reader a visual peek into the 1900’s and adds so much to the experience. If anyone can create a historical atmosphere it’s Cat Winters.

The Characters:
Olivia was immediately relatable and likeable. Winters gave her character a beautiful progression from slightly unsure of herself to realizing her inner bravery and strength. Not only was her character outstanding, attention was paid to each of the secondary characters. The interactions and dialog between characters were impeccable.

I especially loved Olivia and Henri’s relationship. I felt that they both brought out the strength in one another and I yearned for them to share scenes together. Truth be told, I could have done with many more moments between the two. Let it be known that I am crossing my fingers for a Cat Winters book that focuses on romance a tad bit heavier than the last two (update– Cat told me that an adult book coming out next year called The Uninvited will have a bit more romance in it!).

Back to Henri, our hypnotist, I adored that he began as a magical being that seemed far removed from Olivia and the reader. As the story progressed we learn about Henri as Olivia does and find that he was flawed and real. I thought that he was a very complex character that I’d love to read more about. I could see so many more stories concerning him and his sister.

Winters excels at creating and breathing life into her cast of characters. Even Olivia’s father, who was despicable and frightening, pulled at my empathy a time or two. I’m somewhat appalled at myself, but I felt for the man in one particular scene.

Final Thoughts:
I think you can tell that I adored this book as well as everything Cat Winters writes. I can’t think of another author that so seamlessly incorporates complex characters, a spooky atmosphere with historical elements. Though this story took place in 1900-elements are still applicable to our current world and resonates with readers today.

The Cure for Dreaming Book Trailer:

Extras:

Giveaway:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review of The Fire Artist by Daisy Whitney

The Fire ArtistThe Fire Artist
By: Daisy Whitney
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
Aria is an elemental artist—she creates fire from her hands. But her power is not natural. She steals it from lightning. It’s dangerous and illegal in her world. When she’s recruited to perform, she seizes the chance to get away from her family. But her power is fading too fast to keep stealing from the sky. She has no choice but to turn to a Granter—a modern day genie. She gets one wish at an extremely high price. Aria’s willing to take a chance, but then she falls in love with the Granter . . . and he wants his freedom. Aria must decide what she’s willing to bargain and how much her own heart, body, and soul are worth.

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Review of Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)Snow Like Ashes
By: Sara Raasch
Release Date: October 14th 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: E-ARC, Print ARC

An electronic copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

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