Monday, July 16, 2018

THE BLOOD RACE BOOK REVIEW // Worlds Beneath by K.A. Emmons Blog Tour

(I was going to make a header, but then I saw someone else on the tour just use the Worlds Beneath cover and I decided that was a great idea. I mean... IT'S BEAUTIFUL.)

Welcome, O readers, to the blog tour for Worlds Beneath by K.A. Emmons, the highly anticipated sequel to The Blood Race! Though I have yet to read Worlds Beneath, I read the first book to review for this wonderful tour, and I'll give you a hint: I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THE SECOND ONE.

So without further ado, let's get into my review for the epic masterpiece that is The Blood Race. xD


This book was like no other I have ever read. Something about it felt so unique, so different from your average YA fantasy. (Or sci-fi fantasy. Whatever specific genre it falls into.)

I’ve seen several reviewers compare The Blood Race to Narnia, which I initially found unusual and almost impossible. After all, the vibe of the novel is nowhere NEAR a Narnia vibe - that much was clear from the get-go. As the story progressed, however, I picked up on the similarity. Now I would probably comp-title it “Narnia meets Karate Kid,” while at the same time insisting it’s incomparable. xD

It's deep. It's full of powerful themes, breathtakingly complex characters, and intense twists and turns that had me on the edge of my seat. If you want something emotional, gritty, fantastical, fast-paced, and theme-focused, I highly recommend The Blood Race!

It's the kind of book that really gets you THINKING. For example, at one point I was sitting on my patio whilst reading it on my Tablet screen, and I got caught up in a certain scene that I remember prompted me to gaze up the sky and imagine what it would be like to fly. (It was a really cool moment! No matter how lame it may sound. xD)

What would it be like to be one half of a soul searching for your other half?

What would it be like to have a teacher whose every remark oozed great wisdom (sometimes confusing great wisdom, but great wisdom nonetheless)?

What would it be like to face the incredibly hard choice of leaving one everything behind… or another everything?

Guys. THIS BOOK. It was just so meaningful, heart-rending, and beautiful all tied up in the gorgeous package of Emmons' superb writing style. <3 And as for the characters...

- Hawk is suuuuper cool, and I positively devoured her depth.

- Ion has enormous depth too, and his character arc… I CAN'T WITH HIM. <3

- Fin is a smol precious bean somehow capable of crushing my heart.

- Sensei is just the epitome of wisdom; I loved his character!

The story has allegorical elements, though I don't think it's a complete allegory...? Which is totally fine! Though it was very subtle, I took notice of it and ATE IT RIGHT UP. Readers from both Christian and secular audiences will enjoy! (Take note it has some mature content like language [briefly strong, mostly mild] and an undetailed, fade-to-black dream/flashback of a rape.)


- That ending, tho. Like I hinted at before, I need Worlds Beneath ASAP!

~ 5/5 stars ~

When she’s not hermiting away in her colorfully-painted home office writing her next science fiction, passionate story-teller and adventurer Kate Emmons is probably on the road for a surf or hiking trip, listening to vinyls, or going for a power run. Emmons’ debut novel The Blood Race is the first book in her YA science fiction/fantasy thriller series. Get connected with Kate on your favorite social platform, and be sure to check out!



For more on Livy's blog tours, click HERE!

The blog tour for Worlds Beneath is in full swing! Check out yesterday's tour stop at the blog Totally Graced, and be on the look-out for the tomorrow's stop at the blog Christ is Write. :D

The Lord's Truly,
Have you read The Blood Race? Have you read Worlds Beneath? Do you want to?? ;D Talk to me in the comments!

Monday, July 9, 2018

JUNE 2018 READS // mini reviews galore!

Hola, mis amigos! We're already neck-deep in the month of July (freaky), but I've been meaning to do a post in which I talk about the books I devoured in June. I have several reasons for this:

1) I read quite a lot of great books last month.

2) Everybody loves mini reviews.


I don't have a whole lot of freedom, but I do have more freedom than I did. That's the beauty of summer! Also my vacation was pretty laid-back, meaning that I had a lot of time to read. #blessed <3

Onto the mini reviews, then!

1. In 27 Days by Alison Gervais

Here's a bizarre truth: I read In 27 Days over the course of 2 days. (I'm a bit of a slower reader, okay?? I consider a whole novel in two days a pretty big accomplishment.) This story is just so beautiful, so meaningful, so HARD to put down. I fell deeply in love with the characters - they are precious smol beans with awesome depth and development. Especially Archer. <3 The suspense of it all made me constantly desperate to know what would happen next. The writing was wonderful (I pictured everything so vividly), and the setting made me feel cozy inside. Think autumn and coffeehouse. *heart eyes*


~5/5 stars~

(Content advisory: a couple instances of an abbreviation for a cuss word and some passionate kissing. Don't believe there's much else of note...)

2. The Girl Who Could See by Kara Swanson

34094813Sometimes it's refreshing to step away from the familiar hefty novels and open up a short-and-sweet novella every once in a while, ya know what I'm saying?? The Girl Who Could See not only has an utterly GORGEOUS cover - the story inside is brilliant and inspiring, and I love the characters so much. <3

The thing about novellas is that their shortness, while refreshing, can make the story feel like it lacks a certain depth. I do wish some things could have been fleshed out more in this novella, but even so, it is a very well-rounded story with strong themes and 3-dimensional characters worth rooting for. Not to mention the absolutely GENIUS concepts of an "imaginary friend" who never left, and of being able to see two worlds at the same time!

~4/5 stars~

(Content advisory: Some violence and a semi-detailed kiss. That's about it, I think.)

3. Skeleton Key by Anthony Horowitz

103983I love the Alex Rider series because there's virtually no end to the explosive action, the villains are always really cool, and Alex himself is awesome.

At this point in the series, the characters aren't the most complex. Still, Skeleton Key is a fun, intense adventure that Horowitz clearly put a lot of planning and research into. His style, though simple, flows nicely and fits the action-packed nature of these stories like a charm. Though Alex would realistically be dead by now, the fact that he hasn't died yet makes him awesome. He's super smart and knows karate - and yet he's not perfect, which makes him feel real.

(Note: My first July read was Scorpia [Alex Rider book 5], and I just wanna say... The characters jump to a startling level of depth in that one - especially Alex, because we get into his backstory. I CAN'T WITH IT ALL. <3)

~4/5 stars~

(Content advisory: A couple minor curse words, violence [like explosions], people dying in less than pleasant ways - never detailed, I don't think - and some other minorly disturbing things.)

4. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

An odd story, that's for sure! The stakes are high, and things get really bad before they ever get better, which makes for an engaging, nail-biting read. The weirdness rises to a slightly uncomfortable level, though, and the characters weren't my favorite (Charles Wallace especially irritated me). Even so, it's a meaningful little story! Really appreciated the Christian parallels and the use of Scripture. <3

I don't think I'll read the rest of the quintet, but I'm definitely going to watch the movie - as soon as I get around to it. And I don't care what anyone else says, I'm hoping to enjoy that movie. XD

Aunt Beast is wonderful, and Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which, and Mrs. Whatsit are a fun, interesting, very unique trio. I shall hold close fond memories of this book. And strange memories. :)))

~3/5 stars~

(Content advisory: Uhhhhhh, WEIRDNESS?? I can't think of anything, really. I'd recommend it for ages 12+, I think. Maybe even 11+.)

5. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

2767052I first read this book quite a few years ago, and last month I took the opportunity to reread it as an audiobook listen for my vacation road trip. And it was SO immersive. I mean, those hours on the road positively flew by.

This book is just AMAZING, okay?? The characters are complex and wonderful, the futuristic setting is genius, the plot is skillfully executed, and the writing style is great for audiobook. Just sayin'. ;)

THE HUNGER GAMES, AAAAAHHH. Sorry, I just love it. Best dystopian ever. <3

~5/5 stars~

(Content advisory: Rather violent/gruesome at times, so be ye warned. There's also some non-detailed kissing.)

6. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

*deep breath* This. Was. Beautiful.

One of my favorite things about Stiefvater's writing is her style, especially the particular style she uses for The Scorpio Races. I could feel, see, taste, and smell all there was to sense on the island of Thisby. I'm tellin' ya, it's all in the details!

I loved essentially everything else about it too, but you can read all my rambly, fangirly thoughts in THIS Goodreads review of mine. XD

Gaaaaahhh, I LOVED IT. Sean is beautiful and amazing, and I love Puck too. And also adorable little Finn. And... I'll shut up now. XD

~4.5/5 stars~

(Content advisory: Some language [nothing super bad] and some rude comments. Also I guess there was a little bit of suggestiveness? Oh, and also those water horses are savage. So yeah.)

7. The Blood Race by K.A. Emmons

I won't say much about this book right now, because a full review of it is coming to the blog very soon, but suffice it to say that I ABSOLUTELY FREAKING LOVED IT.

I loved the setting, the blatant themes, Sensei's wise words, the CHARACTERS <3333, the fast-moving plot. Also I got soooooo many feels from the different character relationships.

A heart-poundingly profound novel, The Blood Race definitely lived up to the hype for me. *nods*

~ 5/5 stars ~

(Content advisory: coming with the later review!)

8. Eagle Strike by Anthony Horowitz

175004(Forgive that blurry cover. :P)

Another epic installment to the Alex Rider series! I thought this one was especially creative, with the whole video game thing. Can't get specific because #spoilers. ;) It's the spark that sets up for the epic "different-ness" of the next book, Scorpia.

You see, this one is where Alex's mission(s) and Alex himself start to merge. If that makes any sense. It's hard to explain, and I don't want to spoil anything, so...

Also THE PLOT TWIST. You know that satisfying, jaw-dropping moment in a book when everything clicks into place, even if you didn't really notice there were that many pieces of the puzzle floating around? Eagle Strike has one of those moments. O_O

~4/5 stars~

(Content advisory: See my content advisory for Skeleton Key - it works for this one too!)

                                         9. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

This is a sweet, moving story that delves deep into three big things: the power of family, the power of friendship, and the power of bullying.

The characters stole the show in this one. Some people don't like Auggie, but I love him. <3 I just want to huggle him forever. Also I admire Via, adore Jack (well, mostly), think Justin is pretty cute, and want to punch Julian in the face.

Wonder is full of sweet/funny moments that made me giggle (in the middle of the library at that), and also full of less-than-sweet moments that pricked my heart and made me want to cry.

It's a dark book, guys. But it is also hopeful, and it is extremely important. Highly recommended!

~4/5 stars~

(Content advisory: Some rude behavior [those bullies, urrrgh], and quite a few instances of God's name taken in vain. Also a tiny bit of non-detailed kissing.)


So. Nine books. Nine books throughout the month of June. All I can say is... I'm thankful for the freedom of summer. I may not be completely free, but I'm more free, which is better than nothing. XD 

Since we're already in the thick of July, I'm curious - how are my fellow Camp NaNo-ers doing so far? I'm back to work on my fairy tale retelling WIP, and it's going swimmingly! I hope it's going well for you guys too. <3

What is your average number of books read per month?
What are some good books you've read in the past month or two?
Have you read any of my June 2018 reads, and if so, what did ya think? ;)
Talk to me!

The Lord's Truly,