Book Review- The Red Queen

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The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Published by Orion on February 12, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopia, Science Fiction
Pages: 383
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Amazon

This is a world divided by blood-red or silver.

The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living in the shadow of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.

To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from the Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.

Then Mare finds herself working at the Silver palace, in the midst of those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.

After having this book recommended *ahem, shoved in my face* multiple times by multiple people, I decided I should probably just read it- so at least I could tell people to back off if I didn’t like it. But, I was actually really surprised by this one.

I’ve been trying to move away from the dystopia book, mostly because after a while they just all sound the same. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this so much- because I haven’t read a dystopia in quite some time.

Anyway, I’d be lying if I said that this book doesn’t remind me of others. It reminded me A LOT of The Selection series (which I also enjoyed, so I didn’t mind that at all), and had some similarities to a bunch of other dystopias, like the Hunger Games (the whole area/fighting aspect), and pretty much any dystopia where the main character finds out they have powers.

I loved the characters in this book, and the depth they had to them. Yes, some of the *ahem* not as important characters were a little one sided *ahem* Evangeline *ahem*. But for the most part, the characters were interesting and some had some very surprising sides to them.

The one thing that really sets the Red Queen apart from other dystopias was the theme repeated throughout the book: Anyone can betray anyone. It was so relevant throughout the story, and I felt like it really tied the events of the book together.
BUT THE END. OH THE END!!!!!! I wont spoil anything, but that just threw me for a loop. UGH. WHYYYYYYYY.

Anyway, I would definitely recommend this book to people who love YA, The Selection, and/or dystopia (or are looking to get into/back into dystopia). But just be sure to have the second book on hand, because if you are anything like me then you’ll have about two seconds to breathe before your nose is buried in the Glass Sword!

I am going to give Red Queen four out of five hearts.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Author Q&A – April Higuera

April Higuera is a licensed private investigator, the owner and principal agent of ADH Investigations located in Reno, NV, specializing in criminal defense investigation of violent crimes on county, state, and federal levels. Higuera has a lengthy record of assisting wins for defense in complex criminal cases. Her work has been applauded and recommended by judges, attorneys, colleagues, and clients across the country. Higuera is a contributing writer for various blogs and national publications in her effort to promote public awareness about the essential need for criminal defense investigation in maintaining a balanced justice system. Her new book “Making a Case for Innocence” is receiving rave reviews as “informative,” “evocative,” and a “page-turner.”

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Q: How long have you been writing?

A: I started writing poetry at age 8, songs (lyrics & music) at age 13, writing and performing my songs professionally at age 17, and have continued throughout my life.  I have music playing in the background of multiple television shows and two albums (CDs) online for sale as an artist. I attempted writing books in my mid-40’s and started at least five books, which I’ve never finished. Last year I began, completed, and published my first book at age 54 titled “Making a Case for Innocence: True Stories of a Criminal Defense Investigator.”

Q: Where do you get your inspiration? Do you have a muse? 

A: No muse. My inspiration is my life and work experiences as a criminal defense investigator since 2001.

Q: Tell me about your book, Making a Case for Innocence. Why did you decide to write it?

A: My current book is a series of personal and professional memoirs as I investigate murders and other violent crimes on behalf of the persons charged with the crimes. The book takes the reader along my journey from singer/songwriter to seasoned criminal defense investigator and all the moral and emotional shifts I experienced personally, as well as detailing my investigation work on a handful of very interesting and dramatic criminal cases.

I decided to write Making a Case for Innocence to inform the general public what really goes on in the criminal justice system and how innocent people fall through the cracks of justice on an alarmingly regular basis. I wanted to educate the public about wrongful convictions and how to defend themselves against a sometimes corrupt justice system.

In the book, aside from the general criminal case elements typical of any true crime writing, I detail my experiences finding and interviewing witnesses, the evidence never presented in court, and the family members of the defendant who are never known to the public . . . all confidential information that is typically never divulged outside of a courtroom (though I obtained permission). My accounts are all true.

Q: What do you think the most challenging part of writing a book is? How did you get through it?

A: Editing. Beginning to write a book can also be difficult. I just started with my own story and interspersed fascinating criminal cases I investigated. I hired folks to edit (three people actually).

Q: Are you working on any writing now? If so, what can you tell me about it? 

A: I am writing articles for various media outlets to help raise public awareness about the pitfalls of the criminal justice system, and offer suggestions to help it work as intended. I also write articles on best practices for criminal defense investigation.

My next book is going to be review of wrongful conviction cases from a criminal defense investigation perspective and/or a series of crime stories with the main character being a criminal defense investigator working on fictional cases with real-life issues and investigation tactics . . . I’ve already begun the first book in the series, and I’m in the process of obtaining story rights to for wrongful conviction case reviews and commentary.

Q: What is something you want the world to know?

A: People must care more about people than money. We can all make money doing the right thing.


 

Don’t forget to visit April’s website (click here) and get a copy of her book: “Making a Case for Innocence” !!

Book Review- The Love Interest

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The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich
Expected publication Feiwel & Friends on May 16, 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Contemporary, Glbt
Pages: 384
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Amazon

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be: whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

I was seriously disappointed by this book for a lot of reasons. It promised to be so good. Like SOOOO GOOD. Come on, two hot spies fighting for their lives and the love of a girl, all while secretly falling in love with each other!!?? There is some serious potential there. However, as I said, I was MAJORLY disappointed.

Firstly, what threw me off was the narration, and Caden’s style of speaking. It’s pretty obvious that the person writing the book SET IN AMERICA is NOT FROM AMERICA. And, as an American, the words like “bloody” (and a bunch more that are escaping my memory) stuck out like a sore thumb.

Secondly, the plot was just too unbelievable for me to buy into. I’m the kind of person that is willing to believe anything that a book puts before me, but something about this plot and the LIC was just too fake feeling. It felt like someone took a half developed idea and stuck some clichés in there and hoped for the best.

Thirdly (I’m almost done, I promise), the characters were so darn ONE DIMENTIONAL that it hurt. It physically hurt me. There was barely any depth to the main characters, and there was no hope for anyone else. It was like combing through the book of stereotypes, picking a few, and throwing them in to fill empty spots in the already-falling-apart-plot.

So yeah, this was not my favorite read. And the worst part is that the potential is there. This book could be so amazing, and the fact that it’s not just really makes me want to throw the book at a wall and then pick it up and find that the story magically developed into everything that I dreamed that it would be.

I am going to give The Love Interest one out of five hearts.

*I was provided with an ARC of this book by the publishers. This in no way affects by views of the book.