28 December 2015

Review: Dreamtreaders

Review: Kelsey
Author: Wayne Thomas Batson
Format: Paperback
Pages: 289
Rating: 5 out of 10

Summary (I dream of Goodreads): People are fascinated by dreams, and the Bible has a great deal to say about them. From Jacob s dream of the heavenly stairway in Genesis 28 to angels visiting Joseph during dreams in Matthew 1 to the Apostle John s waking dream from which he obtained the book of Revelation dreams have been powerful ingredients of God s plan as revealed through Scripture.

Fourteen-year-old Archer Keaton discovers he has the ability to enter and explore his dreams. He is adreamtreader, one of three selected from each generation. Their mission: to protect the waking world from the Nightmare Lord, who wreaks chaos in the Dream World. But as Archer s dreams become more dangerous and threatening, so too does his waking life.

Rigby Thames, the new kid from England, builds a suspicious rock star-like following at Dresden High School a little too quickly. Even Archer s best friend and confidant, Kara Windchil, seems taken in by the cool guy with the wild blond hair, which definitely rubs Archer the wrong way. Archer must face two foes in two worlds, but he cannot succeed alone. Archer sets off to find other dreamtreaders in a desperate attempt to defeat the enemy terrorizing his friends and family.

My Thoughts: First of all, the cover of this novel is totally magnificent. The colours are wonderful and the birds are reflected inside the book as well. The tagline is a little simple sounding but easily overlooked. It's great...except for this name because my brain has a hard time understanding the word "treader" and also I can't figure out if it's supposed to be one word or two (Thanks for nothing Goodreads...) but, alas, it is what it is.

From great cover to not so great dialogue. The dialogue in the novel seemed a little off. Nothing was said quite how it should have sounded coming from the characters that were speaking. The inflection was also a little strange. It just sounded not right. It couldn't have been spoken by a real person. This kind of thing bothers me because pretty much everybody speaks so people should understand how regular people sound, right? The language being off made the novel seem much more middle school than it could have been (not that there is anything wrong with middle school aged novels, they just really aren't my thing). It was just too young for me, I guess.

There was also very little explanation of things. The reader was thrown into a very interesting world. This novel had a fantastic and imaginative concept but it lacked follow through. The missing explanations made the story feel rushed and cramped. It could have been longer and the extra pages would have helped a lot. It would have seemed more realistic. It would have been much easier to follow. It would have pulled the reader in more. It would have built up more suspense. It would have made me care about the characters. It would have made me care about the issues the world was facing. It would have done so much but it wasn't there and I missed it a lot.

I mean, the characters were sufficient but could have been so much more. The world story could have been more.

Basically, it wasn't enough for me. It was too young and too fast (not in a good way). I expected and needed more to fully immerse myself in the story. With what I was given,  I just couldn't get into it. I won't be reading the next book but I think I will keep this pretty cover on my shelf.

25 December 2015

Merry Christmas

All of us at One Chapter Ahead wish you have a happy holiday and that everyone gets all the books they ask for! Let us know what your favourite Christmas Holiday book has been! Did you get anything good today? We'd love to hear from you.

Merry Christmas!

23 December 2015

Review: Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1)

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Pages: 340
Format: Paperback
My Rating: 7.5 out of 10

Summary (This Christmas, I am thankful for Goodreads): Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

My Thoughts: This is my second time reading this. I read it a long time ago, before there was any sequels and I forgot about it. I didn't realize that there were any sequels to the series until I walked into the book store and saw the beautiful new covers. And then, I saw them on BookOutlet, and that was my sign. I bought all of them, and dove right into the series. Apparently, I had forgotten everything that had happened. That's good though, it's almost like a clean slate. 

The writing took me a little while to get used to. It was different, but it was actually crucial to the story because it added so much to Juliette's character and it gave the reader such an insight into her life. Her mental state came through, we saw some of her deepest darkest secrets and fears, and had it not been written in the way it was, the story wouldn't have been nearly as powerful as it was. 

The story follows Juliette as she tries to navigate a world that has literally thrown her into a mental hospital for being born with powers that pose a threat to the new and remarkably corrupt government. I know, I know, it sounds like your typical young adult dystopian novel, but trust me. It is nothing like I have ever read. 

I binge read the crap out of this series, so I'm going to stop this review here. This was my least favourite book in the series, and yet I still really enjoyed it. 

Final Thoughts: Read it, internet friends!

21 December 2015

Review: What If

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Rebecca Donovan
Format: ebook (Maybe)
Pages: 352
Rating: 6 out of 10

Summary (Thanks, Goodreads): What if you had a second chance to meet someone for the first time?

Cal Logan is shocked to see Nicole Bentley sitting across from him at a coffee shop thousands of miles from their hometown. After all, no one has seen or heard from her since they graduated over a year ago.

Except this girl isn't Nicole.

She looks exactly like Cal's shy childhood crush, but her name is Nyelle Preston and she has no idea who he is. This girl is impulsive and daring, her passion for life infectious. The complete opposite of Nicole. Cal finds himself utterly fascinated-and falling hard. But Nyelle is also extremely secretive. And the closer he comes to finding out what she's hiding, the less he wants to know.

When the secrets from the past and present collide, one thing becomes clear: Nothing is what it seems.

My Thoughts: I won't lie to you all, I don't remember how this book ends (I need to review faster, I know). Let's talk about what I do remember. I remember that the language fit the characters and that I bought the main character as a male. You know how sometimes authors just can't write the other sex? Yeah, that wasn't a problem here. I remember that they sounded smart and young and wild. I remember the great writing.

I remember how out of control Nyelle was. I remember wishing that I could be as different as she was. I remember being jealous of her bravery (stupidity) and wishing that I was as free. I remember wondering what her story was and being unable to figure it out at all. I remember thinking that she was a fascinating character that I wanted to keep reading about, even if she was a little annoying at times because of how she acted towards Cal.

I also remember that the representation of college in this novel was pretty accurate. I didn't question it or judge it like I do with most novels with college in it. 

The only problem is that I can't remember how it ended. How memorable could it have been? Obviously, not very. Which worries me. Why can I remember the characters and setting looking back? Why can I remember a scene on a silo (or something of that nature, high up) and a scene in a boat and the rain and being in the truck but not the conclusion of the novel. Maybe I just need to review faster, okay, I know I do, but maybe it wasn't so good in the end. I think I will reread it so that should be a positive for the book, I guess. I'm not afraid to reread the novel. I remember liking it and the characters, that must count for something.

16 December 2015

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Sarah J Maas
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
My Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (Goodreads, I'd save you in the apocalypse): When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it... or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and George R. R. Martin, this first book in a sexy and action-packed new series is impossible to put down!
My Thoughts: So, I love Throne of Glass something fierce. I love Sarah J Maas something fierce. I didn't think that my heart had anymore room for a fierce book love. I was wrong. I was so very wrong. This book is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, and that is literally one of my favourite fairy tales. Hello, the beast gives her a library. The world building in this novel is unlike anything I've ever read, and the characters are so kickass and loveable and fantastic that I just want to know on earth Sarah J Maas makes me feel literally all the things about all the characters.

I love Feyre, even though her name often times makes me want to bash my head against the wall. I KNOW HOW TO SAY IT BUT I NEVER SAY IT RIGHT. Same with Rhysand. Tamlin I got down though brother. Also, I'd totally get down with Tamlin... wait what? I'm torn because I think that I know where this series is headed and I don't know what to think or expect. Well, I know to expect that Sarah J Maas is going to throw us through a loop and make us regret all of the feelings we feel. She's good at that. Seriously, one of my favourite authors ever.

Also, can I get myself a Lucien? I'd like one.

Final Thoughts: This book has firmly planted Sarah J Maas into my auto-buy author list. She is fantastic and she is the queen of mortal and immortals alike.

14 December 2015

Review: An Ember in the Ashes

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 446
Rating: 7 out of 10

Summary: Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

My Ponderings: This novel was not what I expected. Laia does so many things that you would not think she could or would after first meeting her. 

[Moment of honesty for the day: I don't remember much about this novel. I promise that I really am working on getting better at reviewing right away. I am. I swear, everyone, I swear.]

Recap what I remember? Elias made some stupid choices when he could have done better at keeping himself secret. He should have just shut up and he would have been fine. Laia made as many stupid choices. Stupid risks all around. 

Can I cut to the chase? Okay, this was a very good book and I didn't see a lot of stuff coming. Looking back I thought their choices were stupid but in the moment I could see where they were coming from. Elias was a unique character and Laia's love of family was admirable. The world this was set in was interesting and different enough to be a change of pace. I liked this novel and would read it again. I think that it would be better the second time, actually. I think that you would understand a lot of foreshadowing and would be better able to understand the characters.

Basically: I think that if you like adventure or solider stories than this is a pretty good one for you. It's good, I swear (even if I mostly forget what happened in it...)

9 December 2015

Review: Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5)

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 40 pages
Format: ebook
My Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (you da best Goodreads that I know): After spending one life-changing day in Paris with laid-back Dutch actor Willem De Ruiter, sheltered American good girl Allyson “Lulu” Healey discovered her new lover had disappeared without a trace. Just One Day followed Allyson’s quest to reunite with Willem; Just One Year chronicled the pair’s year apart from Willem’s perspective. Now, back together at last, this delectable e-novella reveals the couple’s final chapter. 

My Thoughts: This review is going to be short and sweet just like the novella was. After I had finished Just One Year, I was left wanting just a smidgen bit more. I understood why the book had to end the way that it did, and I actually really liked how it ended because I liked that we kind of got to create what happened between Allyson and Williem. Trust me, I'm very inventive when it comes to endings (I blame the fanfiction). This was the perfect closure to their story and I am just in love with Gayle Forman's writing. If you read and loved Just One Day and Just One Year, you've got to read this too. 

Final Thoughts: The perfect conclusion to a fantastic series. 

7 December 2015

Review: Fangirl

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 445
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 (1.5 of that is just for Levi, to be clear.)

Summary (I'm a fan of Goodreads): Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan...

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words... And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

My Thoughts: Kristen really loved this book from what I remember. I liked it but it wasn't my favourite ever. The main reason so this is that I never got into the fan fiction parts  of the novel. That meant that I found myself skipping entire sections of the novel and that made me sad. I still couldn't make myself read it. I didn't feel like I was missing out exactly but one shouldn't really feel the need to skip large portions of a novel, right? Also, I was mad at the resolution of her lack of interest in working on her school assignment.

Why did I like the novel? Well, Levi. Levi was pretty great. Sure, he made mistakes; he's human. I loved the sass and the sarcasm and the quick wit. I loved that he was kind and willing to do anything to help people out. I loved that he lives such a different life than the one I do so his life experiences were all new to me. I also loved that he needed help. He enjoyed making other people happy and was comfortable around basically everyone, which I envy. He was just fantastic and I want one right now. 

Cath? Cath was alright. I could relate to a lot of what she felt. I like reading novels with characters who write because I enjoy that. Right away I have something to bond with them over. I also really felt for her and her family situation. 

But, honestly, I wish it hadn't been fan fiction. I couldn't care less about the fan fiction. 

Even so...it was a good book. Easy. Ends happy. I don't know. Check it out.

2 December 2015

Review: Thoughtful (Thoughtless #1.5)

Reviewer: Kristen
Author: S. C Stephens
Pages: 558
Format: eARC 
My Rating: 1 out of 10

Summary (thanks Goodreads): Every story has two sides, and in this new book, the epic love story between Kiera and Kellan is shown through his eyes. 

All Kellan Kyle needs is his guitar, and some clean sheets of paper. Growing up in a house that was far from a home, he learned a hard lesson: You're worthless. Now his life is comfortably filled with passionate music, loyal band mates, and fast women... until he meets her. 

Kiera makes him ache for more. Makes him feel for the first time that he'sworth more. But there's one problem— she's his best friend's girl.

Just when Kellan thought his emotional defenses were rock solid, Kiera's indecisive heart wreaks havoc on his soul, changing him forever. Losing Kiera is not an option.

My Thoughts: I think that the best way that I can describe this novel is that some things are better left unsaid. Seriously. It's just... Kellan Kyle was almost completely ruined for me when I started reading this book, and it was one of my most anticipated books of 2015. In the vein of full disclosure, I stopped reading this book around the 200 page mark. I was just desperately hoping that things would change before the end. 

I just... I don't even know where to begin. In Thoughtless, we only get Kiera's perspective, so we don't see just how manipulative or mood-swingy Kellan truly is. I definitely did not understand Kellan like I thought I did and I didn't understand any of the relationships in the novel, apparently, either. I just didn't see the appeal of other character. I thought that maybe Kiera would have some more redeeming qualities in this book that made me understand why both Denny and Kellan looked at her like she was the moon, but I didn't. And I thought that seeing what makes Kellan tick and what he thought of all the events would make me love him even more, and it definitely didn't. So, ultimately, I just started to question the relationship, and that's the opposite of what I wanted to be doing when I received this. 
The writing was great, again, and that almost goes without saying. S. C Stephens is a great story teller. I just wish that I could understand the characters motivation, and that is not what I got from this. Instead, I questioned why I even liked them in the first place. I haven't tried to re-read Thoughtless since reading this one, but I hope that I can still enjoy it without thinking of Kellan how he is portrayed in this instalment. I need to learn my lesson, I very rarely enjoy the male perspective of books, apparently. 

Final Thoughts: Please don't use this book as a meter stick for the rest of the series, it was much better, I promise.
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