Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review. So excited about this book haul:

Borrowed:
Thank you Kelly at Effortlessly Reading

HalfBad
Half Bad by Sally Green

Ever since I saw the cover of Half Bad I was incredibly eager to read it. I’ve heard some mixed reviews but am excited to see how I’ll feel about it. I can’t thank Kelly enough for letting me borrow her copy.

Won:
Thank you Lisa at Badass Bookie and Nikki at There Were Books Involved!

 Alienated (Alienated, #1)The Unbound (The Archived, #2)
Alienated by Melissa Landers- signed and The Unbound by Victoria Schwab- Signed

I have read both of these and enjoyed them both. I’m so happy to add the signed copy of The Unbound to my Victoria Schwab collection. You can read my Alienated review here and my The Unbound review here. We also did Lego Cover Art-you can see it here. Thank you both so much for these books!

For Review (via publisher):
Thank you Macmillan and Disney-Hyperion

 BodyInTheWoodsPlusOneVisforVillain
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama, The Body in the Woods by April Henry and V is for Villain by Peter Moore

I am really excited about all of these because they are all so diverse. I have already read Plus One and loved it.  I’m honestly wanting to reread it again already. I tend to be mixed on super hero type books but I love when they focus on the villains so this hopefully V is for Villain will be fun. Other than the summary I’ve not heard a thing about this book.

For Review (via Edelweiss)

 Falls the Shadow
Falls the Shadow by Stefanie Gaither

This cover! Love it so much. I can’t wait to dive into it and see what it’s all about. That screaming face on the right gives me the shivers.

Gifted:
Thank you Stephanie at Inspiring Insomnia

TBSSigned
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner And it’s SIGNED by both of them!

If you’ve been following me for any length of time I’m sure you’ve heard me talking about my love of These Broken Stars (my review). I fell in love with the characters and story. I was lucky enough to interview Amie and Meagan which you can read here and we did a Lego Cover for this one too.

Last Week’s Posts:

My son came down sick on Wednesday and now my husband and I are sick. I didn’t have as much time this week so only posted twice.

I hope to have more time this coming week and post more reviews. I have an upcoming interview that I’m very excited for in the works so hopefully I’ll be able to have that posted soon. How was your week? Which books did you receive?

Review of The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

The Unbound (The Archived, #2)The Unbound (The Archived #2)
By: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: January 28th 2014

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

My Rating:
star

This is a sequel so there will be spoilers for the first book, The Archived.

Summary:
Last summer, Mackenzie Bishop, a Keeper tasked with stopping violent Histories from escaping the Archive, almost lost her life to one. Now, as she starts her junior year at Hyde School, she’s struggling to get her life back. But moving on isn’t easy — not when her dreams are haunted by what happened. She knows the past is past, knows it cannot hurt her, but it feels so real, and when her nightmares begin to creep into her waking hours, she starts to wonder if she’s really safe.

Meanwhile, people are vanishing without a trace, and the only thing they seem to have in common is Mackenzie. She’s sure the Archive knows more than they are letting on, but before she can prove it, she becomes the prime suspect. And unless Mac can track down the real culprit, she’ll lose everything, not only her role as Keeper, but her memories, and even her life. Can Mackenzie untangle the mystery before she herself unravels?

With stunning prose and a captivating mixture of action, romance, and horror, The Unbound delves into a richly imagined world where no choice is easy and love and loss feel like two sides of the same coin.

The Story:
Victoria Schwab has a way with words. Her writing continues to be both beautiful and haunting in this sequel to The Archived.  If you’ve read Schwab’s work, then you know that her writing is slow paced but never boring. She takes time to build her world and characters, allowing the reader to become fully immersed while slowly ticking up the tension into vivid action scenes.

The Unbound picks up with Mac trying to adjust and overcome the events of what occurred in the last book. We explore her struggle with balancing both her normal life and that of a Keeper. I loved that Schwab didn’t wash over how those things would have affected her but delved into it and really showed us what it felt like. The story woven was incredibly complex and twisty turny though never confusing. I’ve always been a fan of her creative world building and how closely it mirrors our own reality but with just enough to make it completely unique. I felt that this second journey into the world of the Keepers gave me even more insight into how this world functions.

The Characters:
In The Archived I really loved Wesley, Mac, Roland and Da. All were incredibly genuine and fleshed out. In The Unbound we have less of Da and Roland but so much more of Mac. I thought I had known her after reading the first installment but I was introduced to even more depth. After the events of the last novel Mac is dealing with so much fear, guilt and confusion. Watching her struggle in her everyday life was as intriguing as it was heartbreaking. She hasn’t been able to sleep without horrible nightmares so her waking life is blurred around the edges and so the book has a dream-like quality. I loved this aspect.

Mac’s lack of sleep and nightmares plus her stubborn nature and inability to admit that she needs help puts her in critical situations and had me tense. I was biting my nails watching her blunder her way through life. I constantly wanted to shake her and force her to confide in someone.

Wesley. Just a big sigh of relief when I think of his character (and guy-liner).  I grew to appreciate him even further in this book. As Mac’s world was crumbling he felt like a pillar of comfort and support. After the confusion of what Mac has been experiencing I felt as relieved as she did within his presence. I loved that we became privy to tiny bits of his life beyond his interactions with Mac and as a Keeper. Along with his own character growth, I felt that his dialog and understanding for Mac’s situation grew as well.

We meet some new characters and continue to see Mac’s family trying to cope with their lives. The one character I felt was somewhat absent was Roland. I admit, he wasn’t as needed in this storyline but I missed him regardless.

Final Thoughts:
Once again I have fallen in love with Victoria Scwhab’s writing, world and characters.

Extras:
My review of The Archived
Lego recreation of the cover of The Unbound

The Unbound Blog Tour-Lego Art

UnboundBlogTour

I am honored to be a stop on The Unbound Blog Tour. The Unbound is the second book in this series (fingers crossed for a third). If you’ve not checked out any of Victoria Schwab’s writing out you must. She is gifted at creating lush worlds with realistic and well developed characters. I’ve loved all the books I’ve read of hers (all but Vicious which I need to read soon).

For our stop here at My Friends Are Fiction we’ve recreated the cover of The Unbound with Lego. I hope you enjoy

UnboundLego320

Read my review of The Archived the first book of the series and look for my review of The Unbound later this week.

Be sure to Check out the other Blog Tour stops:

January 14th: Ex Libris 
January 15th: YA Bibliophile
January 16th: Consumed by Books
January 17th: The Turning Pages 
January 20th: My Friends Are Fiction
January 21st: Jenna at MTG Reviews

 

Stacking the Shelves/Showcase Sunday

This post is both Showcase Sunday a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea and Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

I can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner! I hope everyone is having a great holiday season. Last week was a rather stressful week due to my husband getting in a wreck. Thank God he is fine but our car was totaled. We have a plan to deal with it all so things are looking better but I obviously didn’t have a lot of time to read or write reviews. I hope to review Her Dark Curiosity, Red Rising and Avalon next week (fingers crossed!)

Now to the books:

For Review (via NetGalley)

The Unbound (The Archived, #2)

The Unbound by Victoria Schwab

For Review (via Edelweiss)

The Murder Complex (The Murder Complex, #1)

The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings

I have 2 Giveaways going right now: Best of 2013 Giveaway Hop and 12 Days of ARCs