Tuesday, March 10, 2015

City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett


20174424
This review was written by: B
Received: BloggingforBooks
Publication Date of Book: September 2014
Pages: 452 (paperback edition)
Stars: (5/5)



Official Summary:
The city of Bulikov once wielded the powers of the gods to conquer the world, enslaving and brutalizing millions - until its divine protectors were killed.  Now, Bulikov's history has been censored and erased, its citizens subjugated.  But the surreal landscape of the city itself, forever altered by the thousands of miracles its guardians once worked upon it, stands as a haunting reminder of its former supremacy.

Into this broken city steps Shara Thivani.  Officially, the unassuming young woman is just another junior diplomat sent by Bulikov's oppressors.  Unofficially, she is one of her country's most accomplished spies, dispatched - along with her terrifying "secretary," Sigrud - to solve a murder.

But as Shara pursues the killer, she starts to suspect that the beings who ruled this terrible place may not be as dead as they seem, and that Bulikov's cruel reign may not yet be over.

A tale of vast conspiracies, dead gods, and buried histories, City of Stairs is at once a gripping spy novel and a stunningly original work of fantasy.


My review:
To put it simply, City of Stairs blew me away, and now I'm left wondering, how does one begin to describe or even formulate a cohesive sentence on a story so perfectly unimaginable?  I suppose that I should start with the author.  Robert Jackson Bennett has a writing style that is rich and imaginative, enthralling and deep.  Every word he wrote, I clung to like it was my last hope.  He possessed a capturing effect that made me want to flip through the book at the speed of light to figure out what happened, yet I wanted to read at a snails pace, as well, in hopes that the experience would never end.

The world building was yet another fantastical element in this story.  Bennett's world unfurls at the perfect pace which left me in wonder and blatant awe.  The (urban) fantasy was absolutely brilliant and masterfully written.  It was impossible for me not to fall into this book!  The characters each had a distinct and natural voice, a quality that I greatly admire.  So many times, an author's characters just blend together and become one blob of similar traits, but this was not the case here.  The history and qualities of the Divinities were each unique, as well.  They added a great intrigue to an already amazing writing style.

In the end, I was deeply impressed.  There was mystery, cultural distress and identity, a murder mystery, and a strange entanglement with  supposedly dead gods that bundled into a worthy book to behold.  City of Stairs was impressive, epic, and original, and I found myself completely satisfied with it.  RJB is a sure author to look out for.  I know that I will continue to read his books as long as he decides to make them!  

Also, please note that I received a free copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Other Information:
Author Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/robertjbennett
Further Book Information : http://www.randomhouse.com/book/228171/city-of-stairs-by-robert-jackson-bennett
Author Bio: http://www.randomhouse.com/author/177470/robert-jackson-bennett

If you liked this book you may also enjoy:

18947303    15810910

9780553419719

        

Sunday, March 8, 2015

(February 2015) Topic of the Month: YA Contemporary Romance!

Young Adult Contemporary Romance






February's Topic of the Month is officially YA Contemporary Romance!  To kick it off, we have posted a few  YA Contemporary Romance filled books that may interest you.  If you have any suggestions let us know!  Hope you enjoy!  (Click on the covers to go to the books' GoodReads pages!)


15283043

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:  
     Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she's pretty sure they're only good for one thing - spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother's shop.
     So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he's oozing rich.  Despite his charming ways and that he's one of the first people who actually gets her, she's smart enough to know that his interest won't last.  Because if there's one thing she's learned from her mother's warnings, it's that the rich have a short attention span.  But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off.  And much to her dismay, she's beginning to enjoy his company.
     She knows her mom can't find out - she wouldn't approve.  She'd much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn't been raised by money.  But just when Xander's attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn't a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she'd ever realized.  And that Xander's not the only one she should've been worried about.


15749186

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     To All the Boys I've Loved Before is the story of Lara Jean, who has never openly admitted her crushes, but instead wrote each boy a letter about how she felt, sealed it, and hid it in a box under her bed.  But one day Lara Jean discovers that somehow her secret box of letters has been mailed, causing all her crushes from her past to confront her about the letters: her first kiss, the boy from summer camp, ever her sister's ex-boyfriend, Josh.  As she learns to deal with her past loves face to face, Lara Jean discovers that something good may come out of these letters after all.


9754815

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     Anna is happy in Atlanta.  She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection.  So she's not too pleased when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year.  But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new friends, including the handsome √Čtienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend.  Unfortunately, he's taken - and Anna might be too.  Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's been waiting for?


7664334

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer.  Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut.  The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel.  Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own.  The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with her friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how out how to map their way.


16068905

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     Cath is a Simon Snow fan.
     Okay, the 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?



11721314

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     It's one thing to fall head over heels  into a puddle of hazelnut coffee, and quite another to fall for the--gasp--wrong guy.  Straight-A junior Julia may be accident prone, but she's queen of following rules and being prepared.  That's why she keeps a pencil sharpener in her purse and a pocket Shakespeare in her, well, pocket.  And that's also why she's chosen Mark Bixford, her childhood crush, as her MTB ("meant to be").
     But this spring break, Julia's rules are about to get defenestrated (SAT word: to be thrown from a window) when she's partnered with her personal nemesis, class-clown Jason, on a school trip to London.  After one wild party, Julia starts receiving romantic texts...from an unknown number! Jason promises to help discover the identity of her mysterious new suitor if she agrees to break a few rules along the way.  And thus begins a wild goose chase through London, leading Julia closer and closer to the biggest surprise of all: true love. 
     Because sometimes the things you least expect are the most meant to be.


11071466

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     Taylor Edwards' family might not be the closest-knit - everyone is a little too busy and over scheduled-but for the most part, they get along just fine.  Then Taylor's dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.
     Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to know each other again.  And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven't actually gone anywhere.  Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend...and he's much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.
     As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they're more aware than ever that they're battling a ticking clock.  Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance - with family, with friends, and with love.


20807316

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     Ever since Sarah was born, she's lived in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Scarlett.  But this summer on Cape Cod, she's determined to finally grow up.  Then she meets the gorgeous college boy Andrew.  He sees her as the girl she wants to be.  A girl who's older than she is.  A girl like Scarlett.
     Before she knows what's happened, one little lie has transformed into something real.  And by the end of August, she might have to choose between falling in love, and finding herself.
     Fans of Jenny Han and Stephanie Perkins are destined to fall for this story about how life in love are impossible to predict.


13060734

Here is the GoodReads summary of the book:
     Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams' heart.  She fell for her best friend's boyfriend and long story short: he's excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life.
     Enter her parents' plan to spend the summer on their sailboat.  Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now.
     Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river.  He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he's just the distraction Clem needs.  Can he break down Clem's walls and heal her broken heart?
     Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem's heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to.