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erinarkin

Erin's Books

Currently reading

Divergent
Veronica Roth
Gameboard of the Gods
Richelle Mead
Progress: 50 %
Starglass
Phoebe North
Fangirl
Rainbow Rowell
Ultraviolet Catastrophe - Jamie Grey 3.5 stars. Review to come.

Rebel Belle

Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins Review to come.
Two (One Universe #2) - LeighAnn Kopans 3.5 stars. Review to come.

The Boleyn Deceit: A Novel

The Boleyn Deceit - Laura Andersen The Boleyn Deceit opens up shortly after The Boleyn King ends and continues with the story of what could have happened if Anne Boleyn had a son that became King.Will (Henry IX) has come into his power and is trying to navigate the political pieces of his rule. The three people he trusts the most are those he relies on to be the most honest with him. This includes his sister Elizabeth, his friend Dominic, and his other childhood friend (and now focus of his romantic energies) Minuette. The Protestants and the Catholics are still creating issues for Will and because of the continued animosity; Will is faced with making a marriage alliance to help create a balance. He knows that either he or Elizabeth will have to marry a Catholic and that is the story that continues throughout the entire book. After negotiating a treaty that includes being betrothed to a French, Catholic Princess, Will determines that he will do whatever he can to get out of the agreement and marry Minuette…without really taking into account what anyone else may want.Elizabeth is also trying to figure out her role in the kingdom after having her meeting with Dr. Dee and finding out there is more power in store for her. She still has feelings for Robert Dudley but comes face to face with some truths about what can and will be in her future. At the same time, she is trying to balance what she wants with what she is required to do for England. She truly struggles with the idea that Will doesn’t have to marry for political reasons (despite the treaty he has arranged) and she has to. At the end of book one, Dominic and Minuette finally realized how much they loved each other. Their relationship definitely progresses in this book and I was happy to see it. This isn’t to say they don’t hit some speed bumps because they definitely do but due to a number of things that happen, they finally realize that they want to be together and take steps to make it happen. Both Dom and Minuette struggle with how to tell Will about their feelings. Not only because he is King but also because of their friendships with him. They know he has very few people he fully trusts and both are fearful that when they tell Will about their feelings, he will take it very hard. When Will does something that really makes Dom realize something about their relationship, he takes the steps to separate himself from Will but also then become closer to Minuette. It was hard to see Dom come to the realization about his and Will’s friendship but I was glad to see him take that realization and have it push him to go to Minuette.I am very curious to see how things progress for all of these characters and cannot wait to get my hands on book three. If you enjoy history and reading about Royals along with a really good story, you will definitely find this series to be hard to put down. Check this out when you can – you won’t regret it!Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the ARC.

The Boleyn King: A Novel

The Boleyn King: A Novel - The Boleyn King explores the idea of what might have happened with the English monarchy had Anne Boleyn given birth to a healthy baby boy. If you don’t know this about me, I love history. I was a history major in college and I find the royal families, historical events, and class based society interesting and the idea that Laura Anderson explores made me curious to see where she would go with this story. The focus in addition to the what if is the relationship between the four main characters, William (King Henry IX), Elizabeth (Princess and Will’s sister), Minuette (Genevieve Wyatt) and Dominic Courtenay (best friend and advisor to the King).This book does a wonderful job tying in the historical pieces with a character driven story. Will is turning 18 and with that, taking over rule of the throne from his uncle Rochford who is Lord Protector. As is typical, there is a lot of political intrigue. Between trying to protect England from the French, Will is faced with having to make a number of decisions that impact his half-sister, Mary. She is staunchly Catholic and never supported her father’s decision to marry Anne Boleyn. Although she acknowledges Will and Elizabeth, Mary and her Catholic supporters will do whatever is necessary to put her on the throne and once again make England a Catholic country. Without going into all of the history and detail, the one thing that could potentially remove William as King of England is a supposed confession made by one of Anne Boleyn’s people called the Penitent’s Confession. As the book progresses through politics, intrigue, and romance, this is one of the mysteries at the heart of the novel. The only people Will trusts are involved in tracking this piece of paper down and in turn, protecting him.It is the relationship between the four characters that makes this book so good…in my opinion. All are close and have ended up looking at each other as a family. Although Minuette serves Elizabeth and Dominic serves Will, they are able to speak pretty freely with each other and have built relationships that allow them to trust in one another, despite their differences in class. Will constantly states how much he values Dom and the relationship they have – he knows that when he needs the truth, he can count on Dom to tell him things straight. As the book progresses, it is clear that Dominic has feelings for Minuette and eventually she realizes she loves him back. It took a while for them to get there and I was glad when they finally did. Unfortunately for them, they live in a world where they don’t necessarily command their own destiny. Along with that, the one person they both care a great deal for, Will, has also come to the conclusion that he loves Minuette. Because of this, there is some tension as to how to handle their feelings. They can’t come forward and declare anything for fear of hurting Will - who has it in his head that he will marry Minuette someday….despite his role as King and currently being betrothed to a French princess. It will be interesting to see what happens with this dynamic in book two as it is bound to create some tension between all three.Don’t get me wrong – I love Will and think he is a strong and fair king. I just don’t think he is the right match for Minuette and despite how much he cares for her; he is being fairly naïve about what he thinks he may be able to get away with considering the political climate. I will say I was sooo happy when he had Eleanor vacate the rooms he had set aside for her at court….she was definitely not one of my favorite characters. She went out of her way to make herself seem way more important than she really was and I found it annoying.Elizabeth is an interesting character as well. She is strong and smart but as a daughter, knows she doesn’t have any real power outside what she can do to support her brother and England. Robert Dudley is her love interest and as we find at the end of book one, has an agenda. I will be curious to see what happens in book two with her.If you can’t tell, I loved this book. It was the perfect blend of history, intrigue, and romance. These characters are ones that definitely make the history interesting if you don’t necessarily love that type of thing. Don’t be afraid of it here…the story is more than just the history of the English monarchy and I recommend you check this out. Excuse me while I get started on book two….

Into the Still Blue

Into the Still Blue - Veronica Rossi I loved this...great ending to the series. Review to post closer to release.

Find Me

Find Me - Romily Bernard Find Me by Romily Bernard blends a great story that includes a bit of mystery and some great characters that have made it onto my favorites list. It kept me turning the pages trying to figure out what happened to Tessa but also because I wanted to see what was going to happen next for Wick. I won't go into a ton of detail around the mystery here because I don't want to give anything away. Just know that the story blends in a bit of hacking (Wick/Griff), some high school shenanigans, and a budding romance. Wick is seventeen and hasn’t had the easiest life. She and her sister Lily have gone through 3 foster homes since her drug dealing father ran off to avoid the cops but now they are living with Bren and Todd. As a way to make some money…for just in case, Bren has been hacking. There are layers to this story and I don’t really want to give anything away but within the first few chapters, we find out that a girl that went to school with Wick has committed suicide (supposedly) but mysteriously, her journal is sitting on Wick’s porch addressed to Wick with a Post-it that says “Find me.” The main storyline here is Wick trying to solve the mystery of what happened to Tessa (Did she really commit suicide?) and also solve the mystery of who has now threatened Lily.I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Wick is the main character. She is a nerdy, computer hacker who has a bit of a sarcastic edge. In addition, she truly cares about Lily and wants to do whatever she can to keep her safe and make Lily’s life better than what hers was at age 11. She struggles with adapting to living with Bren and Todd and I imagine any kid in foster care would have the same thoughts she does. That she doesn’t really belong with them, she needs to plan for the day things fall apart, and why bother unpacking…she will be moving on once they realize who she really is (her father’s daughter).And although she has known him for a long time, Wick and Griff don’t really connect until the morning Wick finds out about Tessa. From that point on, they start to find out more about each other and it was great to see them become more to each other. They have two very different approaches to interacting with others which makes their approach to hacking very different. Griff also hasn’t had an easy life but where Wick has chosen to avoid others and put up walls, he has opted to blend in and become someone who can interact with anyone. “He moves pretty easily through school. He’s funny, gets along with everyone and has even been known to save bullied band geeks.”Griff has easily become a favorite of mine. He challenges Wick and where other guys might run in the other direction when she says certain things to him, he tells her he prefers her hard edges and she shouldn’t hold back. “You’re the first girl I’ve ever met who’s smart and never plays stupid. You’re small but you don’t back down.”He has been waiting for three years for Wick to notice him and his interest and he wasn’t going to let it pass – that is one of the things I loved about him. He was patient but he also wasn’t going to let a perfect opportunity pass by without getting her to see him. When he tells her he has wanted her since the moment he first saw her…..SWOON. When she finally does get it, Wick realizes she not only likes Griff, she needs his help. The secondary characters were great too. I loved Lauren as Wick's best friend. I also thought the bad guys were done well. Wick's dad and his friend Joe...definitely bad guys. But Bernard also did a good job with the good guys...and making me wonder if they were really good...these are definitely not black and white characters. From the detective (Carson) to Tessa's dad (Mr. Waye) I was questioning just what their motives were and where they were supposed to fit.As always, I love a good character driven story. The story here is definitely one that drew me in…right along with Wick and Griff I was trying to figure out who it is that Tessa wrote about in her journal and it did keep me guessing. The other part here though is the change in Wick. She goes from being this person who feels she can only rely on herself and it is up to her to keep Lily safe to eventually realizing that despite her life and circumstances, she can rely on others to help her…And trust that they will follow through. In the end, it is that trust that she puts in Griff that helps them all.Definitely check this one out when you can. It is a great debut novel and I will be looking for more from Romily Bernard. She not only writes a solid story but gave me some characters I could care about and honestly, I want to read more about them.

Conjured

Conjured - Sarah Beth Durst 3.5 stars.Conjured is definitely unlike any other book I have read. We find out that Eve is part of the Witness Protection Program but we get very little background as to why….at first. Sarah Beth Durst did a great job of exposing bits and pieces of the story throughout the novel by revealing things to Eve. See, she doesn’t remember anything prior to being placed with the Witsec agents and other than knowing that the story includes magic and the killer she is being protected from is a magician, Eve is just as in the dark as the reader.Eve is a likable character but I didn’t love her. I thought she allowed people to dictate her actions too often – perhaps this was a side effect of her memory loss but in hindsight, it is possible that it was due to her role in life prior to being placed in protection. There were times where she took charge but it wasn’t very often.I enjoyed Zach as a character. I fully support a nerdy guy who spouts out useless facts. On top of this, he is very honest (he truly never lies) and the way he introduced himself to Eve for the first time won me over completely.Throughout the story, Zach is the one who centers Eve and helps her realize who she is. When she realizes that doing magic causes her to blackout, she tries not to do it at all but then surprisingly, she finds Zach can do magic through her and that changes everything. It definitely draws them closer together and creates this sense in Eve that he is someone she can trust.I do wish we had learned more about these magical worlds. Although at the end we were given some insight into how the trial process went, we didn’t get much exposure to these magical worlds as well as much detail behind Aiden’s quest. I honestly would have liked to know more about him, his world, and why he thought Eve was truly the answer…outside of her magic.If you are looking for something different, this may be the book for you. As I mentioned, I don’t think I have read anything like this before and that is honestly what made this book stand out for me. I thought the story was well paced and kept me interested in what was going to happen next. If you like magic, a bit of romance, and some mystery…check this one out.

The Transfer: A Divergent Story

Four: The Transfer: A Divergent Story - Veronica Roth Four...I love him. That is all.

The 100

The 100 - Kass Morgan Holy cliffhanger!!!
Untitled (Pivot Point, #2) - Kasie West Loved this one. Review to come.

Horde (Enclave)

Horde - Ann Aguirre Review to come

Relativity

Relativity - Cristin Bishara Relativity is one of those stories that makes you think about the “what ifs.” You know, what if I left the house 5 minutes earlier…would my day have turned out differently or in the case of Ruby, what if her mother had survived the car accident she was in…would Ruby’s life have been different? The exploration of the idea that there are other parallel universes where our lives could be entirely different or even strangely similar based on the choices we make is interesting to me. I enjoyed this book and found the story to be engaging. Ruby has been dragged from California to Ohio by her father. Since he met and married Willow, Ruby has been forced to make some major changes in her life. Namely, move away from everything that is familiar including her best friend (who she wishes were more) George. Additionally, she now has a step-mother and step-sister. There were times where I truly felt bad for the situation. The sense I got was that although her father did love her, he was absorbed by his work and really left Ruby to her own devices. In all honesty, it made me a bit angry on her behalf. While wandering the corn fields, Ruby comes across a tree that has, for some reason, drawn her attention from the house. When she gets closer, she realizes there is something different about the tree and ultimately finds out it is actually something that will transport her to these other parallel universes which she definitely wants to explore. With the draw of potentially finding the perfect world – the one where her mother survived, George is more than just a friend, and everything else has fallen into place - Ruby jumps into the tree to begin her exploration.I won’t go into the detail and history behind how the tree came to be but what happens is Ruby is propelled into these other universes where things are completely different and she needs to determine what is really important. Her choice not only impacts her but she is forced to look at how what she does in each of the universes impacts those around her. She does finally get to a world where her mother is alive and she gets to experience what it would be like to have her be there for her and Ruby doesn't really want to let it go. Overall I thought this book was well done but there is definitely a science/math slant to it. Ruby loves both of these things and Bishara definitely doesn't shy away from bringing up either of these items. It was completely over my head but I don’t think it hurt the story in any way as it brings some credibility to idea that this type of wormhole could potentially exist. Definitely check this one out if you enjoy a story that has some science, some action, a little bit of romance, and the opportunity to explore the unknown. The main character is a likable heroine who needs to decide what is most important to her and in the end, her experience pushes her to make some decisions in her life that she otherwise might not have made.

Indelible

Indelible - Dawn Metcalf Indelible was an interesting read that has a unique story. I have mixed feelings on this one mostly because I felt like it took forever to get to the actual plot of the story. It’s there but fair warning, there is a lot of other stuff that takes the focus off of the fact that someone in the Twixt is breaking the rules and trying to get to Ink via Joy.is centered on Joy Malone who, while out with her friend, runs into Ink and Inq (Indelible and Invisible). Neither of them are what they seem. Joy is the only person who appears to be able to see them and the first time they meet isn’t positive. Ink actually cuts her eye with something and with that act, everything changes. Joy starts to see flashes of light and weird creatures are attacking her and asking her to pass on messages. Joy eventually learns that when Ink attacked her, he ended up mistakenly marking Joy. She has been touched by a Scribe and is now marked as belonging to Ink, otherwise known as his Lehman. Because of this, Joy is pulled into a world that includes weird beings, magic, and the Folk. Inq and Ink are Scribes and they are “hired” to mark people. Because of the work they do, a mistake could put his work in question and his life in danger. Instead, they decide it would be better to pretend that Ink meant to mark Joy and have her go along on some of their assignments. After a while, they expect that they novelty will wear off and people will stop looking for her to be with them. Throughout the story we learn more and more about the world that Ink and Inq come from. They essentially take orders from the Bailiwick and Ink’s marks are meant to be seen while Inq’s are meant to be invisible. They were made/created, not born and their images are a result of things they have seen in humans throughout their existence as they are not human.Eventually a romance blossoms between Ink and Joy. They learn from each other and find themselves becoming more to each other than they originally expected. A lot of the story is spent with these characters learning more about each other as well as Joy learning more about this other world. She definitely has a tough time and seems to continually be faced with problems as a result of her relationship with Ink. I have mixed feelings about Joy. She is a typical teenager who has typical teenage problems and issues…until her run in with Ink which then throws some not so normal issues into the mix. Throughout the novel she displays some toughness which I appreciate but I found myself not fully invested in her. I enjoyed seeing the relationship develop between Joy and Ink but also the change in Ink as he began to study and learn from Joy. He had kept himself separate from humans up to now and by becoming closer to Joy, he definitely changes and begins to develop some human attributes. Overall, this was a good book and had a slightly different twist on the Folk and otherworldly characters. If you are looking for a quick read that has some action and some romance, you might enjoy this one. Although this is a series, it felt like a standalone and it will be interesting to see where Metcalf takes the rest of the story.

Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2)

Rebel Spring (Falling Kingdoms #2) - Morgan Rhodes,  Michelle Rowen Gah! Now how long do I have to wait for the next one?Rebel Spring is book two of the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes and jumps back into the story shortly after book one ends. I have mixed feelings about this one as I was so happy to finally get a chance to read this (THANK YOU @book_junkee) I found myself a little underwhelmed. NOW – don’t get me wrong. I still love this series, I just feel like the progression of the story seemed to take baby steps forward and nothing really was resolved. This isn't uncommon (I have found) with a second book in a series so while nothing was really resolved, I thought it was well done. Also, the covers on these books are beautiful and they make me happy. Auranos has been conquered by The Blood King (Gaius) and he is definitely making his presence felt. Gaius has taken over the throne and united all three nations (Auranos, Limeros, and Paelsia) as one country now called Mytica. Things have changed for everyone in this story and the changes Gaius has made is impacting Cleo, Magnus, Jonas, and Lucia….a lot. He is willing to do and risk whatever he needs to in order to ensure his rule and his longevity. Plus, he doesn't really care about anyone but himself and what others can do for him. He kills anyone who gets in his way and even those that just happen to cross paths with him at the wrong time.Cleo is now a prisoner in her own home – guards follow her everywhere. While Gaius makes plans to build his road, he decides the best way to keep the focus off of him and his plans is to have the people focus on Cleo…and her wedding. Gaius makes an announcement that will forever link the nations and allow him to finish his road into the Forbidden Mountains. Cleo is definitely doing the best she can in her situation. She has lost everyone in her family and is now living under the same roof as her enemy. At times she worries that the Damora’s will kill her but she comes to understand her true value to them. Mostly using the wedding as a distraction or using the Auranos people’s love for her as a political move against the Rebels.Magnus is still struggling with his feelings for Lucia. He has no choice but to move on but he finds himself unable to let go at times. With everything else that is going on in his life, he is also dealing with the fact that Lucia appears to be in an indefinite sleep. The fact that he can’t do anything to help wake her up and he continues to deal with his father’s mood swings only frustrates him more. There were times again in this book that I felt both sympathy and anger toward him. He has definitely had his share of crap thrown at him and he takes it but then turns his own anger toward others. He is continually trying to prove to his father he is worthy of taking over the Kingdom and he is slowly showing Gaius that he is his true heir. I really hope he comes through and doesn't just become a puppet for Gaius, I would be very disappointed.Jonas is now the leader of the rebels and slowly building an army. Very slowly. In addition to Brion, another rebel by the name of Lysandra happens to have his ear and become an integral part of what happens. I have mixed feelings toward Lysandra – sometimes I thought she was kickass other times I just found her annoying. If Jonas didn't do things her way, she thought he was stupid and basically argued with him about everything. I don’t want to give anything away regarding what happens but Jonas makes some decisions that have a huge impact not only on the rebels who support him, but also those that don’t. Bottom line -his ultimate goal is to kill Gaius and Magnus. If he has the opportunity to kill Aron at the same time, even better. We do get to learn more about Lucia’s purpose and how she ties to the road Gaius is building. It is revealed via The Kindred and Alexius, Phaedra, and Melenia all play a role. It was good to find out more about Lucia’s magic and how it all ties together. Also, seeing her struggle with controlling the dark side of her magic was interesting. I am curious to see what happens and see what is in store for Lucia in book three. This book definitely leaves a lot unresolved and Rhodes has proven (with both book one and book two) that she isn't afraid to kill of important characters. Based on what happened in this book as well as where things were left off I am hoping book three dives right in and gets us moving. My only regret in reading this book now is that I have to wait for what may be forever (or at least it will feel that way) to read book three. If you enjoy fantasy definitely check this one out. It includes politics, magic, murder, and a bit of romance. It has a lot of different points of view but if you enjoy reading from the different perspectives, you should appreciate it with this one.
Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis Not a Drop to Drink is one of those books that had me thinking about it even after I finished the story. This is definitely not a simple read as it focuses on surviving in a world that isn't necessarily easy to survive in. There is violence and painful stuff going on but it is real and there are also some lighter moments. It includes swoons and romance alongside death and anger…but honestly, this is the type of story that makes me love reading. Lynn is the main character and she has been brought up by her mother with the knowledge that no matter what happens, she needs to protect the pond on their land. You see, the world’s water supply has been diminished and now those that live in the city have to pay for water but also have limits placed on them to control population. Those that are lucky enough to have a water supply (like Lynn and her mother) didn't have to move to the city but do whatever they can to safeguard their independence. It is clear that Lynn’s mother has tried to do whatever she could to prepare Lynn for the possibility that she may one day be on her own, unfortunately that time comes sooner than either one expected. Lucky for Lynn – despite what she may think – she has Stebbs. She is definitely wary of him at first, but eventually she comes to rely on and trust him.Stebbs was a great character. While Lynn’s mom was alive he definitely kept his distance. We find out that there is history between the two as the novel progresses but no matter what, he seems to always be there in the distance…just in case. When the worst thing Lynn could imagine happens, he steps up and begins communicating with Lynn. He knows he won’t win her over right away mostly because he knew her mother. Regardless, as they start to build a friendship of sorts they begin to learn to trust one another. As the story moves forward we start to see the changes in Lynn. She is a hard character and very straightforward. There are definitely no games with Lynn and people know where they stand with her. When she comes across Lucy and Eli, this is where things start to shift. Lynn is unexpectedly taking care of a young girl and although she tries her hardest to avoid them, begins to feel something for Lucy. She becomes very protective and does her best to make things better for her while she is staying with Lynn. Now….throw in Eli and Lynn is completely out of her element. What to say about Eli….not only does he make Lynn see things differently, he (along with Lucy) help her realize there is more to life than just work and protecting the pond and together they soften Lynn’s hard edges. Eventually they become more to each other than just acquaintances but they are also very real and understand that the things they have to face don’t necessarily mean everything will end up perfect for them no matter what they wish for. McGinnis definitely builds this story that slowly pulls you in and then scattered throughout makes you realize things aren't always happily ever after. It ran me through a million different emotions but also made me want more at the end. There are some twists and turns in this one and I refuse to give anything away about these characters and what happens but trust me when I tell you that you should read this book. Check this one out when you can.