Wednesday, August 16, 2017

[Review] Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Series: Code Name Verity #2
Rating: 4 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: September 10th 2013

Goodreads Synopsis: 
While flying an Allied fighter plane from Paris to England, American ATA pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice, is captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women's concentration camp. Trapped in horrific circumstances, Rose finds hope in the impossible through the loyalty, bravery and friendship of her fellow prisoners. But will that be enough to endure the fate that's in store for her?
Elizabeth Wein, author of the critically-acclaimed and best-selling Code Name Verity, delivers another stunning WWII thriller. The unforgettable story of Rose Justice is forged from heart-wrenching courage, resolve, and the slim, bright chance of survival.

4th read for #ARCAugust

Another moving and evocative fictional account of the horrors of World War II by Elizabeth Wein. It's one of those books you just feel sad after because it's a really sad book.

I'm being monosyllabic instead of descriptive, so time for me to break down Rose Under Fire.

This isn't really a sequel to Code Name Verity - it's more like a spinoff. We have Maddie in the beginning and the end getting married to Julie's cousin. Julie is mentioned in passing. Anna Engel (and her name sounded so familiar even though it's been years since reading CNV) has a more prominent role. Different setting, different cast of characters, same emotions captured.

Rose Justice is an American pilot who is part of the British ATA - essentially a air taxicab service. Just as progress is being made in the war, Rose lands herself and her plane on enemy lines, and is forced to spend time in Ravensbruck, a concentration camp. There she meets and befriends the Rabbits, women who were operated on inhumanly to test on various war injuries and diseases.

She recounts her days in the camp following her escape back into Allied territory, and you can tell how broken she is by the way she writes.

And I have been able to sleep a little longer each night. I don't jerk awake at four a.m. expecting the Screamer anymore. But I still have the dream about the cold wind in the empty bunks. Funny how my Ravensbruck nightmare is about the bunks being empty, because by the end they were never empty. The whole Camp was so overcrowded we had to sleep in shifts, even during the day.
I have to keep writing. I can't talk about it at all, not to Mother or Aunt Edie over the telephone, not to Fernande in broken French. It would break her heart, I think, if I told her about it. I keep wishing I could talk to Nick, but how could I explain any of it to Nick? How could I possibly make Nick understand?  

It's just so sad.

Rose is so different from Julie, but in a good way. I related to Rose a lot - in the end, she starts medical school! And she loves to write.  She specifically writes poetry to keep the moral of Block 32 high.

Her relationships with her fellow prisoners were strong and so heartbreaking at times. Roza, who laughed when she was afraid. Irina, her Russian pilot-in-crime. Anna, the angel of death. No matter where they came from, they were all victims of the war.

And suddenly it became like so many decisions I'd made during the war; I didn't have a choice. I had to do it whether or not I wanted to. Not just for Karolina, who was dead, but also for Anna, who was still alive and had no one to defend her.
You only fly straight and level in balance.
Anna and Roza are the opposing forces that perfectly balance each other to keep me in the air. 

And I find out that there's a prequel to Code Name Verity? Ugh, Elizabeth Wein, you can take all my money. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

[Review] Breaking by Danielle Rollins

Breaking by Danielle Rollins
Series: Burning companion novel
Rating: 3 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: June 6th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:
Monsters lurk where you least expect…
Charlotte has always felt ordinary compared to her two best friends at the prestigious Weston Preparatory Institute. Not enigmatic and daring like Ariel or beautiful and brilliant like Devon, Charlotte has never quite met the standards of the school—or those of her demanding mother. But with Ariel and Devon by her side, none of that mattered. They became the family she never had.
Until the unthinkable happens—Ariel commits suicide. And less than a month later, so does Devon.
Everyone accepts the suicides as tragic coincidences, but Charlotte refuses to believe that. And when she finds mysterious clues left behind by Ariel, Charlotte is thrust down a path that leads to a dangerous secret about Weston Prep. There’s a reason Weston students are so exceptional, and the people responsible are willing to kill to protect the truth… 

Third #ARCAugust read.

I keep on reading suspenseful books.

Breaking was alright. Its supposed to be a companion novel to Burning, but you don't really need to read the first one to read this one. Except I think the ending of this book would make a whole lot more sense with it.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

#TheReadingQuest Sign Up Post


Hello everyone! In addition to #ARCAugust, I'm signing up for Aentee's #TheReadingQuest, which can be found here. I'm so excited for this challenge because I have been a gamer for ages. Final Fantasy, Dragon Age, Fallout, Bayonetta - I've played many games over the years. RPGs in particular. Favorite character class was always rogues, or dual-wielders, so what better way to pay homage to my gaming ways then by being a rogue?

All artwork in this post is from CW of Read Think Ponder!

Somehow made this without photoshop. Pretty good, no? 

Friday, August 11, 2017

[Review] The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender
Rating: 4.5 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: August 25th 2015

Goodreads Synopsis: 
In this asylum, your mind plays tricks on you all the time…
Delia’s new house isn’t just a house. Long ago, it was the Piven Institute for the Care and Correction of Troubled Females—an insane asylum nicknamed “Hysteria Hall.” However, many of the inmates were not insane, just defiant and strong willed. Kind of like Delia herself.
But the house still wants to keep “troubled” girls locked away. So, in the most horrifying way, Delia gets trapped.
And that’s when she learns that the house is also haunted.
Ghost girls wander the halls in their old-fashioned nightgowns. A handsome ghost boy named Theo roams the grounds. Delia finds that all the spirits are unsettled and full of dark secrets. The house, as well, harbors shocking truths within its walls—truths that only Delia can uncover, and that may set her free.
But she’ll need to act quickly, before the house’s power overtakes everything she loves.
From master of suspense Katie Alender comes a riveting tale of twisted memories and betrayals, and the meaning of madness.


My second book for #ARCAugust!

I don't normally read horror. I don't normally watch horror either - I would think them too silly or not scary enough for me.

The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall surpassed my expectations on the horror genre. Coincidentally, I was also watching a Supernatural episode on an asylum the day before I picked up this book, so I guess I had some idea of what I was walking into.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

[Review] The Possible by Tara Altebrando

The Possible by Tara Altebrando
Rating: 2 stars

Format: ARC Paperback
Published: June 7th 2017

Goodreads Synopsis:

Some storms rage from within.
What if…a teenage girl could move objects with her mind?
What if…someone turns up at her door asking questions she doesn’t want to answer?
Kaylee lives a normal life with her adoptive parents, and almost never thinks of her birth mother, Crystal, who is serving a life sentence in prison. But the woman at the front door is producing a podcast about Crystal that is about to blow Kaylee’s forgotten past wide open.
What if strange things have been happening Kaylee’s entire life, things she could not explain? What if she’s more like her mother than she ever imagined?
What if the podcast is about to put her on a collision course with Crystal—and her darkest self?
My first #ARCAugust read!

I can't really say much about it, because the book itself was very bland. The entire time we are dealt suspense around the main character, Kaylee, and whether or not she inherited telekinetic powers from her estranged, psychopathic mom, Crystal, who is currently in jail for killing Kaylee's little brother. There's a lot of buildup and not much spark for the reveals. The characters weren't that interesting - Kaylee more or less annoyed me at times. I found myself just trying to finish this book.