Here they are!
Goodreads Synopsis: Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
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 thoughts: This book was our July pick for my book club at school. We read a lot of YA novels and I love it. And this one was no exception. Its the first of 3 books (shocking for YA I know) but this one was a little different then the typical ones we've all read by now. What I especially liked was the setting. It's set in the desert with heavy influences from the Middle East. Which was refreshing for me since I tend to read a lot of books based on European influences. I also really enjoyed the character development of each of the characters. They all grow a lot from beginning to end. I also liked the it was more on the adult end of the YA genre. Needless to say, I'm excited for the sequel.
Goodreads Synopsis: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.
Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, Room is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.
My thoughts: I have been wanting to read this book since I saw the movie version back in the fall. And I'm surprised to say I think I enjoyed the movie more than the book. Now don't get me wrong the book was fantastic. I loved reading the book from Jack's perspective, it's totally different than anything I've read like this before. Seeing a terrible event like a kidnapping through the eyes of child is chilling. And following Jack as he stumbles through a world he thought was make believe is heart wrenching. But I dunno there was just something about the movie that I really loved. The movie did follow the book very closely save for a few minor details but I didn't think anything was lost by leaving out those small things in the movie. Overall loved the book and would 100% recommend it to everyone!
Goodreads Synopsis: FRANCE, 1939
In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.
Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences.
With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah takes her talented pen to the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
My thoughts: THIS BOOK. I knew I would love it even before I read it. It's set in WWII so that in and of itself was enough for me. What I liked about this book was that it touched on a country that I really didn't know too much about during the war. I tend to forget how badly France was affected by the war because we focus so much on Germany and Poland. So this gave me some more background into the German occupation of France. This was one that I could not put down and loved every minute of. And I cried like a baby like 3 different times.
There was a line in the book that particularly stuck with me, because I feel like it can relate to all the tensions we've been feeling in the country lately both from outside forces and between our own citizens: "But love has to be stronger than hate, or there is no future for us." I can't remember which character said it but I loved the line when I read it and thought it was completely appropriate for today.
Goodreads Synopsis: Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.
The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.
Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.
But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.
Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?
The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.
My thoughts: This is the sequel to the Red Queen, which I read last year. And I have to say I was little bored reading the sequel. It was a lot of the same thoughts and feelings being stated over and over from the same people. There was very little action but I gotta say the last 50 or so pages were pretty darn good. And because of that and that alone I will be reading the third book. I just hope the final book doesn't disappoint me as much as other YA trilogies have in the past.
Goodreads Synopsis: A ruthless tycoon
Savage ambition has brought common-born Rhys Winterborne vast wealth and success. In business and beyond, Rhys gets exactly what he wants. And from the moment he meets the shy, aristocratic Lady Helen Ravenel, he is determined to possess her. If he must take her virtue to ensure she marries him, so much the better…
A sheltered beauty
Helen has had little contact with the glittering, cynical world of London society. Yet Rhys’s determined seduction awakens an intense mutual passion. Helen’s gentle upbringing belies a stubborn conviction that only she can tame her unruly husband. As Rhys’s enemies conspire against them, Helen must trust him with her darkest secret. The risks are unthinkable… the reward, a lifetime of incomparable bliss. And it all begins with…
Marrying Mr. Winterborne
My thoughts: Every month I have to read at least one historical romance novel. They're my weakness and I love them and I don't care. I've read every single one of Lisa Kleypas novels and love them all. So anytime she writes a new one I read it. This one was no exception. It was lighthearted and fun and made me wish I had been born a high born lady in 1800s London. Judge me if you will but again I don't care. I loved every minute of it. :)
And that's a wrap for June books. My favorites were An Ember in the Ashes and The Nightingale. Of the 5 those are my highest recommendations. I actually want to buy the hard back version of The Nightingale because I think the cover is so darn pretty and would look good on my bookshelf in my new apartment! :)