Currently Reading

Tegan Mae's bookshelf: currently-reading

Witch Finder
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading, a-little-witchy, advanced-copy, first-reads, net...
0 of 5 stars
tagged: currently-reading, historical, queens-and-kings, ya, the-tudors, an...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fresh Start

Hi everyone!

Here is my most recent update. These past 5 months have a been a little crazy. I've been in and out of the hospital and taking classes and starting a second job.

I have also decided to start posting these reviews, and other YA related activities, at my new blog The Rowdy Librarian.

I will still post the links on here for you guys coming up, to help with the transition.

I will still be posting at The Founding Fields as Lady Salvatore. I will also be recording reviews for a fellow reviewer's podcast! So keep an eye, or ear, out for those!

Thank you for being loyal readers and for joining me on this new venture!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Type: Young Adult
Genre: High Fantasy
Tea: Hot water with a plain teabag that didn't sit in it for very long.
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

"I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.

Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.

Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt." (from
This book is a joke. A big joke. But not a funny one. One of those unfortunate ones that physically hurt you when someone tells it. One that you never want to hear again and will run from if it shows up. Yes, this was that bad. I couldn't even finish it. What was bad about it, you might ask. EVERYTHING. ALL OF IT.
Adelina was boring. She was a piece of cardboard. Yes, it's terrible what her dad was doing to her. But all she did was feel sorry for herself. And then when she accidentally kills someone all she does is go on and on and on about how horrible she is. And she has the weirdest flashbacks. I just...everything in here is accidental and she just gripes about her life. She makes mopey Katniss in Mockingjay look like a ray of sunshine. I don't know. She was boring and not even remotely badass like the description says. They say it's like a high fantasy X-Men. If this was an X-Men movie, I'd be pissed.
Her "love interest" is bizarre. He's a jerk and not interesting at all. He's just an excuse to have a romantic storyline in this book. And that storyline can't even save it. Her sister was a spoiled brat and...can you tell that every character sucked?
And what kind of place is she living in? I've had authors reimagine our world and make it their own, prime example being Jacqueline Carey in her Kushiel's Universe series. You know what country it would be if it was in our world, but she makes it entirely her own and you're sucked into this amazing land. But in this book she basically takes Renaissance Italy and renames stuff. It was awful. This was NOT high fantasy. This was a train wreck.
I've heard good things about her Legend series and I will give that one a chance. But never again for this one. 

Illusions of Fate by Kiersten White

Title: Illusions of Fate
Author: Kiersten White
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Tea: Golden Mojito, sort of good, but sort of lackluster.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

"Downton Abbey meets Cassandra Clare in this lush, romantic fantasy from New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White.
Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

Kiersten White captured readers’ hearts with her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy and its effortless mix of magic and real-world teenage humor. She returns to that winning combination of wit, charm, and enchantment in Illusions of Fate, a sparkling and romantic new novel perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare, The Madman’s Daughter, and Libba Bray."

This was my first Kiersten White novel, so I wasn't sure what to expect, but the description intrigued me. The description is a liar.

First off the only thing Downton Abbey (which I LOVE) related is the fact that this girl works at a hotel. For like 2 seconds. Then suddenly she is lavishly taken care of by some random stranger. Yeahh...that doesn't happen to Daisy or Anna or any of them in Downton. Cassandra Clare could've been a warning sign, as I wasn't the biggest fan of City of Bones. Another thing that sucked me in is I loved The Madman's Daughter and I love, love, LOVE Libba Bray. The Gemma Doyle trilogy is one of my favorites! This was NOTHING like those books. A pale imitation maybe, but not much more than that.

The world confused me a bit. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be like an alternate version of our world and where she lived was maybe supposed to be London and the island she is from is supposed to be...somewhere? It is kind of vague and you get lots of description of how crappy it was for her at home, but not much more.

This fell into every trope a YA book can fall into. Insta-love, love triangle, "my boyfriend is actually an asshole", poor-little-girl-gets-turned-into-a-"princess". Just everything you could think of. The only thing that I really enjoyed was the magical aspect. There was some actual thought put into that and is honestly what saved this book from getting a worse rating. My favorite was the book that could turn into a bird...or is it a bird that can turn into a book...? Either way, that was awesome. That bird saved Jessamin more times than not. She'd be dead without that bird.

And the ending. Oh the ending. When I was reading and saw I only had a small portion left, but nothing was resolved yet, I was worried. I didn't want to read a whole second book as this one was giving me a hard time. But I wasn't worried for the reason I should've been. This was the most hastily, sloppily tied up ending. It was a rush and a mess. It was like she just realized she needed to end the book. It did nothing for me. I was really let down.

I will try giving another one of her books a chance because they intrigue me, but this one just had too much going on and nothing really developed. It's like everything kind of started to develop, but then tapered off.

This one is up to you, but don't go in judging it from its description, you won't get that.

MARY: The Summoning (Bloody Mary #1) by Hillary Monahan

Title: MARY: The Summoning
Author: Hillary Monahan
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Horror
Tea: Haute Chocolate, something you think you know, but full of surprises.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
"There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her.

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go.

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror.

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered.

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?"

MARY: The Summoning is the first in a series entitled Bloody Mary. I was really excited when I saw this. I haven't read a good YA horror story since I picked up Katie Alender's Bad Girls Don't Die trilogy. Those books scared me, and I was not disappointed with this one!

The story of Bloody Mary always freaked me out anyway. I was never one of those girls that went to the bathroom and tried saying her name three times, just not worth it! So I live vicariously through books when it comes to horror, especially the stories that really freak me out. This book had such an interesting take on the story. You got Mary's back story in journal entries scattered throughout the novel, I was so excited each time I came across one, I just had to know what happened to her!

Mary's manifestation was also really interesting. Clues were given based on her appearance as to how she died, which was a lot of fun while reading the journal entries. She was also REALLY scary. She didn't just show up in mirrors, she was in ALL REFLECTIVE SURFACES. WHAT?! I kept thinking how if she latched onto me, I'd be in so much trouble. There are reflective surfaces EVERYWHERE and I don't think I could handle that.

I also really liked the characters and the one's surprise connection to Mary. I think it was an accurate portrayal of friendship and loyalty in a messed up situation. The ending was also very surprising and had me itching for the second book once I was done! Unfortunately that will not be released until (hopefully) the fall of this year.

Definitely check this book out, but you may to want to cover your mirror.

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass

Title: The One
Author: Kiera Cass
Type: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian/Romance
Tea: Silver Yin Zen Pearls, a step up from other similar teas, top of the line (plus silver cover!)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

"The time has come for one winner to be crowned.

When she was chosen to compete in the Selection, America never dreamed she would find herself anywhere close to the crown—or to Prince Maxon's heart. But as the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants."

This book is the third in Kiera Cass's The Selection series. If you haven't read the first two, be forewarned, here be spoilers for those. This book is SO much better than the first two. I, obviously, really enjoyed the first two or I wouldn't have kept reading the series. But this one blew them out of the water. The first two were a lot of set up and a lot of America going back and forth between Maxon (swoon) and Aspen (yuck!). This book brings us to the end of the Selection, and it's time for Maxon to choose a bride. If you think it's going to be easy and simple and you know what's going to happen, you're wrong.

There are so many twists and turns in this book! There are familiar faces finally brought back that really surprised me! This book made my heart hurt at some point and I'm not ashamed to say that I cried. Aspen somehow makes me sort of okay with him, but I still am in a rage over that whole situation. He's the jerk, but makes America feel like it's all her fault...Okay...I digress.

I went through a whole range of emotions reading this book: happy, sad, angry, nervous; you name it, I felt it. I read this in a day. When I finished it was really glad because I enjoyed it, but really sad since I thought it was over. Turns out it's not! There's going to be a 4th book called The Heir, but don't read the synopsis yet unless you want the ending of this one ruined.

If you enjoyed the first two, read this one, it is above and beyond those! And if you still haven't read the series, pick them up!