Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: The Last Star by Rick Yancey


Welcome to the release day blitz for the paperback version of The Last Star by Ricky Yancey! As you may recall, this is the final book in the series, and it published in hardcover last year. Check it out!


About the Book:


The Last Star by Rick Yancey
Book Three of The 5th Wave series
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 23, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

The Last Star is the heart-stopping finale to the bestselling 5th Wave series by award-winning author, Rick Yancey. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.

'Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough' The New York Times

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series. 



Check out the series:

  
(Click on the covers to go to Goodreads!)


About the Author:

Rick Yancey (www.rickyancey.com) is the author of the New York Times bestseller The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, The Last Star, several adult novels, and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn't writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.



The Giveaway:

Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of The 5th Wave Collection in paperback, including The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, and The Last Star (ARV: $32.97), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive The 5th Wave in paperback (ARV: $10.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 30, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott


Welcome to the blog tour for Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott! I adored this book and I highly recommend it. Check out my interview with Victoria Scott, and enter to win this book!



The Interview:

Alyssa: Hi and welcome to The Eater of Books! So glad you could join me today. =) Congratulations on the publication of Violet Grenade! By my count, this is your eighth published novel since 2013? Do you SLEEP? What helps your creative process so you keep going and don’t burn out?

VS: That’s a good question, because I’m working on two hours of sleep today. Honestly, if it weren’t for readers cheering me on, I’d be in a ditch somewhere. 

Alyssa: How was writing this book different compared to writing your other books, especially with it being a completely different genre than your usual? 

VS: This one is much darker, and much more lyrical in style. I usually write with more snark and humor, but I wrote the way I wanted to with this one, and it felt natural. 

Alyssa: A somewhat related question – what was the most difficult thing about writing this book?

VS: Keeping the suspense going without wearing readers out. It’s a difficult thing to balance, and the first time I had to tackle something like that. 

Alyssa: How did you come up with the title of this book?

VS: It’s a combination of Violet, which is the highest ranking Flower in the house Domino goes to live in, and Grenade, which represents Domino as a person, and specifically her second personality, who is quite explosive. 

Alyssa: What are some YA psychological thrillers that you recommend to readers?

VS: Start with Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, obviously. Then move onto In the Blood by Lisa Unger! 

Alyssa: What is one message that you’d love young readers to take away from Violet Grenade?

VS: Be careful who you mess with. 

Alyssa: My last question – what’s next for publication? Will there be anything to follow Violet Grenade? Or entirely new projects?

VS: I’m working on a new young adult book that I can’t talk about too much yet. But I should be able to share with you guys very soon! 

Alyssa: Thank you so much, and best of luck with everything!


About the Author:


Victoria Scott is the acclaimed author of eight books for young adults. Her novels are sold in fourteen different countries, and she loves receiving fan mail from across the world. Victoria loves high fashion, big cities, and pink cotton candy. You can find her online at VictoriaScott.com.



About the Book:


Violet Grenade by Victoria Scott
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

DOMINO: A runaway with blood on her hands.

CAIN: A silent boy about to explode.

MADAM KARINA: A woman who demands obedience.

WILSON: The one who will destroy them all.

When Madam Karina discovers Domino in an alleyway, she offers her a position inside her home for entertainers in secluded West Texas. Left with few alternatives and an agenda of her own, Domino accepts. It isn’t long before she is fighting her way up the ranks to gain the madam’s approval. But after suffering weeks of bullying and unearthing the madam’s secrets, Domino decides to leave. It’ll be harder than she thinks, though, because the madam doesn’t like to lose inventory. But then, Madam Karina doesn’t know about the person living inside Domino’s mind. 

Madam Karina doesn’t know about Wilson.



The Giveaway:

Signed paperback of The Collector, a signed paperback of Titans, and a signed galley of Hear the Wolves.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Follow the Tour:

There are tons of stops and content! Check out the schedule HERE.

Promo and Giveaway: Seeker by Veronica Rossi


Welcome to the release week celebration for Seeker by Veronica Rossi! I am so excited to help promote this exciting conclusion novel. Don't miss this series!



About the Book:


Seeker by Veronica Rossi
Book Two of the Riders series
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: May 16, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Veronica Rossi's new fantasy adventure in the Riders series—Seeker .

When Daryn claimed she was seeing visions during her sophomore year of high school, no one believed the truth. She wasn't losing her mind, she was gaining the Sight the ability to see the future. If she just paid attention to the visions, they'd provide her with clues and show her how she could help people. Really help them. Daryn embraced her role as a Seeker. The work she did was important. She saved lives.

Until Sebastian.

Sebastian was her first and worst mistake.

Since the moment she inadvertently sealed him in a dark dimension with Samrael the last surviving demon in the Kindred guilt has plagued her. Daryn knows Sebastian is alive and waiting for help. It's up to her to rescue him. But now that she needs the Sight more than ever to guide her, the visions have stopped.

Daryn must rely on her instincts, her intelligence, and on blind faith to lead the riders who are counting on her in search of Sebastian. As they delve into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems and where Samrael is steadily amassing power, Daryn faces the ultimate test. Will she have to become evil to destroy evil? The very fate of humankind rests in the answer.



Check out Riders:

(Click on the cover for more information.)


About the Author:


Veronica Rossi is a best selling author of fiction for young adults. Her debut novel, UNDER THE NEVER SKY, was the first in a post-apocalyptic trilogy. Released in January 2012, it was deemed one of the Best Books of Year by School Library Journal. The series appeared in the NY Times and USA Today best seller lists and was published in over 25 foreign markets.

Her second series for young adults will begin with RIDERS (published February 16, 2016), the story of four modern day teens who become incarnations of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and the prophetic girl who brings them together.

Veronica completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and then went on to study fine art at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. She is a lifelong reader and artist. Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she has lived in Mexico, Venezuela, and all over the United States, to finally settle in Northern California with her husband and two sons.

When not writing, Veronica enjoys reading (it’s worth repeating), painting, and running. She does NOT like anything involving numbers, the addition of them, subtraction of them, you name it. They terrify her. Her obsessions generally lead to fictional works. Currently, she’s exploring New York City during the Revolutionary War.

Don’t tread on me. (If you know what that means, then you are my people!)

What else? This is getting more fun, isn’t it?

She–okay, I–am a huge fan of the SF Giants and the Golden State Warriors. I know, I know. Book types and sporty types shouldn’t be one in the same, but what can I say? I’m breaking the mold. Continuing. I have an irrational love of elephants. They make me cry, but it’s the best kind of cry. On other end of the spectrum, I abhor the shrill squeak styrofoam makes when it’s coming out of a box. Just typing that sentence made me want to scream. Needless to say, Christmas is great, but also really tough on me.

It’s probably time to wrap this up. If you’re here, it’s likely because you’ve read one of my books, or because you’re thinking about reading one of my books. Either way, thank you. Writing fulfills me like nothing else and I feel exceedingly fortunate to also call it my profession.

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


The Giveaway:


10 Winners will receive a Copy of Seeker and Swag (Glow in the Dark Bracelet and Stickers) by Veronica Rossi. Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, May 21, 2017

These Are a Few of My Favorite: "Old" Adult Romance Books

Hello, everyone! Today I'm sharing some of my favorite "old" adult romance books. What do I mean by "old"? I'm classifying "old" as published over five years ago (or thereabout). I started to read adult romance in 2011 (before I started blogging), when I was sixteen. To this day, a lot of them are still some of my favorites! Keep in mind, these are just a few of many. Also, a few of these are not quite old. Enjoy!

You can check out my favorite "old" YA books HERE!

  
    
    
    


I'm sure I'm missing some books. I reread several of these books constantly, when I'm stuck in a reading slump (like Spinning Gold and Through a Dark Mist). Tell me - what are some of your favorite "old" adult romance books?

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Stacking the Shelves (#230)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, May 14th to Saturday, May 20th?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:

Errrr, as per my usual for the last four years, I will update this when I go home on Saturday evening! :D

Updated!




Thank you, Penguin! I enjoyed The Glittering Court and I'm looking forward to read this companion novel. 



Unsolicited - but thank you, Simon & Schuster!


Flame in the Mist, The Valiant, Rebel of the Sands samplers

Thank you for the trade, Rachel! More for my collections. :D


Passenger/Wayfarer notebook, Traitor to the Throne tattoo, The Diabolic buttons

YAY! Thank you, Ari! This was a great trade. =)


From NetGalley:



YAY! Thank you, Sweve/SMP! I loved Ex-Con and Outlaw, and I can't wait to start this novel. 



I am thrilled to have this book! It sounds great and I adore this author's other books. =)


Reviews from this week:


    
(Reviews are linked!)

Less than 4 days until graduation! It's on Wednesday! So my next STS will be a bunch of graduation pictures, of course. :D Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Review: When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married. 

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right? 

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself. 

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not? 

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

What I Liked:

When I first saw this book I thought, Indian rep written by an Indian author? YES PLEASE! I'm Indian and I often have such a hard time reading YA books with Indian protagonists or set in an Indian setting or based on Indian culture or folklore - because these YA books are often written by white authors, and I'm often incredibly disappointed by those stories. This YA contemporary romance is so fun, lighthearted, and it struck a chord in me.

Dimple Shah is off to Stanford at the end of the summer, and she can't wait to start her college career in technology and coding. But first, she is going to attend Insomnia Con, a summer program for aspiring web developers. Rishi Patel is also going to Insomnia Con, but he has a goal in mind: woo Dimple Shah, his future wife. Dimple has no idea that Rishi's parents and her parents have put Rishi up to this, and so color this girl surprised when she and Rishi first meet and he says something about them getting married. Though Dimple has no intention of getting married anytime soon, she doesn't mind starting a friendship with Rishi - especially when they are partnered to work together on the project for Insomnia Con. But Dimple does not expect to fall for Rishi, and Rishi doesn't expect to fall for Dimple. They may have had a rocky start, but they are meant for so much more.

This book is written from both Rishi and Dimple's POV, which I loved. Dimple is clueless to her parents' arrangement with Rishi's parents, and she thinks that her parents are simply sending her to Insomnia Con because she wanted to go. Rishi, on the other hand, knew everything, and thought that Dimple did too. Their first meeting is hilarious! Poor Rishi. Anyway, I liked getting the chance to read from both of the characters' POV. 

Dimple was both completely relatable and yet sometimes not. I understand her so well; she feels stifled by her parents' traditions and culture, and she feels 100% American. And yet, she doesn't quite fit in. Dimple has always preferred computers to people, and she is adamant about not getting married and started a "domestic" Indian life. At times, Dimple was hard to relate to, because she was mean to Rishi, and in a cruel way. BUT I think this was all very well written, because we could clearly see her character development, from start to finish. She goes from selfish and cruel and recluse, to more open, considerate, and understanding.

I adored Rishi, much more than I liked Dimple (don't get me wrong, I did like Dimple). Rishi is the opposite of Dimple - he holds tight to his culture and heritage and traditions, and he wants to please his parents in every way possible. He is a good boy, a sturdy and steady presence. Honestly I'd prefer a Rishi to a "bad boy" any day - give me a nice, dorky guy with a fantastic sense of humor and a lot of confidence that doesn't seem like arrogance, and I'd be happy. Seriously, Universe, I'm waiting for my own Rishi Patel.

On a personal note, this book made me so happy. I feel like I'm a perfect mix of Dimple and Rishi - I'm a first-generation American and I'm American (like Dimple), but I try so hard to hold on to my culture and traditions (like Rishi). I also loved all of the Indian food, the Hindi, the clothing, the Bollywood movies/references, and the other subtle touches of Indian culture that Menon infused into this story. So much of it was recognizable to me, even though I am much like Dimple and Rishi (not straight from India, but still Indian). 

Another thing I loved about this book was how Menon explored social and socioeconomic themes. There are many stereotypes when it comes to Indian people - we're cheap, traditional, over-the-top flashy, good with computers. In this book, Rishi's family is super rich, and Dimple's family is middle-class, sort of on the lower end. You can see this social divide very clearly, with Dimple noticing Rishi's expensive accessories and him paying for expensive food. I liked that the author subtly included a socioeconomic/social class undertone in this story, because it felt important to discuss, especially in the context of Indian families. 

So I adored Rishi, and I liked Dimple. As a couple, they are so cute. They butt heads at first, and Dimple is so rude to Rishi. But Rishi is a kind and sweet guy from start to finish - too good to be true, honestly. I didn't love how Dimple treated him initially, but I like how she felt bad about it and made efforts to starting over with him. The progression of their friendship is gradual but very fun to watch. And the progression of the romance is even more fun! They are an adorable couple, and there are some cute moments, and steamy moments. 

Insomnia Con is always in the background, and it is very important to Dimple. Rishi also has a passion that he hides - creating comics. This becomes an important part of the story, because Rishi's plan was to attend MIT and study engineering. College, parental relationships, friendships, and self-identity are such vital themes of this book. Menon did a great job of weaving all of these into the story, without making the story too heavy.

There is a little drama in the last 10% of the book, but it is resolved in a satisfying way. Both characters own up to their mistakes (not just one or the other). I love seeing both characters swallow their pride (and not just Rishi, for example). The ending is a lovely, perfect ending!

What I Did Not Like:

I already mentioned this but I didn't really love Dimple at first! She is callous and rude to Rishi, and irrationally so. BUT. This is all part of her character development, and she definitely grew on me. So, just as heads up!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book to my fellow South Asian friends (especially Indian), especially if you're first-generation American. This book will (hopefully) resonate with you, like it did with me. I felt parts of myself in both Dimple and Rishi, and that really struck me. This is so important, and it's so subtle - this book isn't a statement book (in terms of the self-identity aspect). And yet, that subtle part of the story was so important to me.

And of course, in general, if you're looking for a fun, cute YA contemporary read, this is definitely a great read. Lots of swoons, a little bit of angst, and so many warm and fuzzies after finishing the book. You won't regret it!

Rating:

4 stars. It took me entirely too long to crack this book open! I regret not reading it sooner. I am so pleased with this story, and though I think I love it differently compared to other readers, I am glad that I love it in any case.


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Promo and Excerpt: Roar by Cora Carmack


Happy Friday, friends! We made it to the end of the week! Today, I'm sharing an excerpt of Roar by Cora Carmack, a book that I recently read and loved. Do not miss this book!



About the Book:


Roar by Cora Carmack
Book One of the Stormheart series
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.



About the Author:


Cora Carmack is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Since she was a teenager, her favorite genre to read has been fantasy, and now she’s thrilled to bring her usual compelling characters and swoon-worthy romance into worlds of magic and intrigue with her debut YA fantasy, Roar. Her previous adult romance titles include the Losing It, Rusk University, and Muse series. Her books have been translated into more than a dozen languages around the world. Cora splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City, and on any given day you might find her typing away at her computer, flying to various cities around the world, or just watching Netflix with her kitty Katniss. But she can always be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and her website www.coracarmack.com.



The Excerpt:

There was a hole in her chest, an awful, gaping hole that screamed like she wanted to. Like a cyclone, it seemed to suck up everything in its path until her knees were curled into her chest and her body hunched, and she just kept collapsing in and in and in. Suddenly unable to breathe, she clawed at the beaded fastenings that connected her headdress and necklace. One of her fingernails bent and splintered as she scrabbled for the hooks; when she could not find them, she took hold of the beaded cord and pulled until it broke, beads scattering across the stone floor around her.

The headdress tipped sideways, tugging painfully on her hair. Again and again, she pulled at the ties until her palms felt raw and beads littered the floor around her. The headdress began to sag, and she was nearly done, nearly free when someone stepped through the archway, and she froze.

Novaya.

Thank the skies. The dark-haired servant held an urn full of steaming water in her hands, and she stared in horror as if she had stumbled upon a monster rather than a crying girl. Nova had been Rora’s closest friend before she cut herself off from everyone at her mother’s command. Girls with secrets the size of Rora’s could not have friends. Nova took a step forward, paused, then knelt down, her large brown eyes carefully blank.

“Should I call for your guards? The queen?” Nova asked.

“No!” Softer, Aurora said, “No. Please don’t tell anyone.”

Once upon a time, Nova had kept all her secrets. Now the two rarely even looked at each other in the eye when their paths crossed, and it was all Aurora’s fault.

“Your Highness? What happened?”

Rora shook her head and returned to tugging at the headdress still tangled in her hair. She couldn’t say the words aloud, couldn’t let anyone see how much of a fool she was. Aurora had become accustomed to her shortcomings as a Stormling, as an heir. But she’d thought she had her mother’s strength, tenacity, and intelligence. But maybe that was wishful thinking. Maybe she was altogether…inadequate.

“Stop, Princess. You’re hurting yourself.” Nova put the water aside, crawled forward, and grabbed Rora’s wrists. “Aurora, stop.”

All the years spent missing their friendship came rushing back, and she froze at the sound of her name. Not Princess. Not Your Highness. Aurora. But the moment she stopped moving, it all came crashing down on her. Her naïve plan to kiss him, to experience something real. She should have known that her future would hold only more lies. As if she knew anything about real life, real anything. She lived in this palace, protected and pampered and put away like a doll on a shelf, too fragile for anything but appearances. And it seemed that’s all she would ever be.

Cassius wanted control of the city for himself. He thought he’d have to fool her to do it, but the moment the world found out that Rora had no magic, he’d become the ruler in truth, and she’d be the puppet at his side. He wouldn’t have to feign interest in her then. He wouldn’t need her at all.

She wound her arms about her legs and rested her forehead on her knees. Nova moved closer, and Rora sat still and silent as the girl worked to remove the headdress. Her old friend had grown into a beautiful young woman—flawless bronze skin, shiny black hair, stunning features. She’d recently begun assisting the royal seamstress in addition to her position as a maid. She probably had more friends than she could count. Aurora could not help imagining how different her life would be now if she had never become heir.

The headdress finally gave way, and Nova slipped it off and laid it on the stone floor beside them.

“Tell me what happened.”

Rora leaned back against the wall. It was cool against her abused scalp, and she muttered, “Nothing happened.”

At least she had that much. She hadn’t kissed that beast. But what she had done felt worse. She had hoped. And hope broke more hearts than any man ever could.

“Should I get someone? A friend?”

Rora let out a bleak, cold laugh. As if she had any of those. Softer, she said, “I don’t want to see anyone. I just need this dress off. The makeup too. I need to breathe, and I can’t do it through all this mess.”

“I can do that. I came to help remove the headdress and gown. Stand up and we’ll go to your room. Everything will be fine, Your Highness.”

She didn’t tell her old friend how wrong she was, not as she peeled the dress off her and unlaced the corset. Not as she wiped away the powder that was smudged and striped on Rora’s face, thanks to falling tears. Another maid came in with more steaming water for a bath and Rora let them clean her up, wishing it was as easy to wipe away the last few hours.

She sat in the bath until the water grew cold and her skin shriveled like dying fruit. She had to face the facts. The Rage season was coming, as was this sham of a wedding. And she didn’t know how to fight it any more than she knew how to stop a storm.

But she would not give Cassius any more opportunities to see her vulnerable. Nor was she giving up. If there were no other way, she would marry Cassius.

But she had six days. Wars had been won, empires toppled, and cities leveled in less time. If there was a way out of this, Rora would find it.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Roar by Cora Carmack


Roar by Cora Carmack
Book One of the Stormheart series
Publisher: Tor Teen
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage. 

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough. 

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

What I Liked:

I've read several of Cora Carmack's New Adult novels (her Losing It series, specifically), and I've had pretty good success with those books. When I saw that Cora would be publishing a YA novel - her YA debut - I was pretty thrilled! Especially after reading the synopsis, and then seeing the cover of this book. I had high expectations for Roar, and my expectations were met and exceeded.

Aurora Pavan is the heir to the throne of Pavan, daughter of many powerful royals... and a magic-less Stormling. She and her mother have hid this for years, isolating Aurora from everyone. But as she is now eighteen, and the Rage season is coming, they can't hide Aurora for much longer. The solution? Arrange a marriage with the second son of the King of Locke - Prince Cassius, the cold, hard young man with more Stormhearts than a second son should ever have. When she follows him one night, Aurora discovers a black market full of magic, in which people are buying and selling storm magic, thanks to storm hunters. Aurora may not have her own true Stormling magic, but she can learn and obtain this storm magic. This way, she can take control of her destiny. 

Usually I don't love it when books have long synopses, like the one we see on Goodreads and on the back cover of this book, but I actually really appreciated that long synopsis. On the surface, this book isn't complicated: girls has to get married, girls finds a new option to be free, girl runs away, girl hides who she is to her new friends, girl learns about her power... and then the ending of the book, which I won't spoil. There is a lot more going on than meets the eye!

Aurora (or Rora - or Roar) is a complicated girl. Yes, she is a princess and therefore much more privileged than most of the common folk in her country who are poor and destitute and often denied citizenship (a fact that Aurora doesn't know). But Aurora is lonely and she is forced into this arranged marriage for her safety. She hates that she has no choice, but she also wants to live. Aurora has a temper and sometimes she gets too upset and too impulsive and is too reckless. But she has a good heart and she defends and protects herself well. 

Prince Cassius is more complex than the cruel, hard villain that we expect him to be. I still don't like him and I'm still very convinced that he is a "villain" archetype, but we really get to understand what his motives are, and why he is so desperate and angry. He does terrible things to Rora (mostly manipulative), and I can't like him because of those actions. But I can appreciate how Carmack dug into his character and made him more than just a villain, in terms of character archetypes.

I should mention that there are five key POVs in this book: Rora's, Cassius's (occasionally), Nova's, Locke's, and Evil Dude (I won't say much about him). Nova is Rora's childhood friend and maid (yeah that's a little strange, I know), and Locke is... Locke. Incredible storm hunter, and Rora's love interest. Though he is so much more than a love interest.

You can probably already tell, but Locke is my favorite character of this book. He and Rora go toe-to-toe in nearly every scene of this book, which is so fun to watch. He is equally as stubborn as she is, and he is just as used to getting his way. A big difference is that he is a natural, commanding leader, and he is in charge and used to being in charge. He has great instincts and he is very clever. Rora should have trusted him more initially! He is very smart and intuitive, and also protective and a good man. He is strong-willed too, hence the clashes.

Seriously, Locke and Rora were so fun to watch. They butt heads on every page - which isn't surprising, because their personalities are like fire and ice. They're similar, and yet so different. Rora is fire, with her temper, and Locke is ice, with his cool facade and worldly experience. The romance was steamy and explosive! With all of the bickering and banter and constant arguments, you know the romance was going to be on fire. This romance was also hate-to-love (sort of), which is my favorite. Locke and Rora are so great together!

No love triangle! It might seem that way, because Rora is contracted to marry Cassius. But she loathes him (and for good reasons), and he doesn't really care about her either (she is a means to an end, for him). And then Rora falls for Locke (and vice versa) and it's legit. Of course, Locke is in the dark about who she is but... anyway, no love triangle in this book. I don't really get the sense that Carmack will work a love triangle in the next books, but who knows? I hope not.

The world-building of this story is amazing! I personally haven't read any YA fantasy like this - in terms of the storms and stormhearts and storm magic. Usually it's the elements (earth, fire, wind, water), and you can kind of see the elements play a factor, but in the storms. I can't wait to see more about the storms in the next book! And of course, I would like to see more of a high-stakes aspect that YA high fantasy often has - but we see the beginnings of this type of plot, with the introduction of the Evil Dude who is planning the destruction of kingdoms.

Most of this book deals with Rora running from Pavan and joining Locke's storm hunting team, in which she learns a lot about storm hunting and survival. No one knows who she is, not even Locke. But towards the end of the book, Rora knows she must make a choice. This book honestly didn't have a ton about the storms and magic and whatnot, or the political situation. BUT I think Carmack is setting up all of that for the next books. This book barely scratched the surface of Rora and Locke's story, and so I'm looking forward to seeing more about the storms, the Evil Dude, Locke's past, Rora's reveal, the political situation in Pavan, even Nova's situation. Suffice it to say, I need more!

What I Did Not Like:

Sometimes Rora and her temper got on my nerves, especially when she was a little mean to Locke and then didn't apologize for what she said - and yet he basically groveled and went above and beyond, whenever he messed up. I think an important part of being such a strong and independent female is that you should own up to your mistakes. A lot of YA and adult female authors like to have these strong female protagonists in their book and a male who caters to the female. BUT, I these female protagonists should own their mistakes, apologize, and not act so superior. Just like how the authors have the male acting. 

Right?

Would I Recommend It:

If you like YA fantasy romance, this is a great start to the series! I might recommend waiting though, because I'm always wary of YA fantasy series these days. Love triangles seem to be reemerging in YA in general, and I personally am not a fan - though I don't think Carmack will be going that route, in this series. But again, who knows. THIS book was good. Hopefully the rest of the series is. The world-building of this book is very unique and so intriguing - honestly I would recommend this book based on the world-building alone!

Rating:

4 stars. A story as beautiful as its cover! I can't wait to read the next book! And also check out its cover. I hope the cover is just as stunning! 


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