Category: Sunday Meme

Standalone Sunday: None of the Above

Standalone Sunday (#SAS) was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads.

What is Standalone Sunday?

Each Sunday bloggers feature a standalone book (one that is not part of a series) that they loved or would recommend. The standalone can also be one you want to read. There is so much focus on books that are part of a series that standalone books seem to be forgotten. They can be just as great as book series!

It has been a while since we did #SAS.  This week’s #SAS is a contemporary YA novel.  This one deals with coming to terms with yourself and learning who you really are. 

This week’s #SAS is by I.W. Gregorio:

None of the Above

A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex… and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?

When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She’s a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she’s madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she’s decided that she’s ready to take things to the next level with him.

But Kristin’s first time isn’t the perfect moment she’s planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy “parts.”

Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin’s entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Remembering Megan:

Standalone Sunday was started by Megan over at Bookslayer Reads. She sadly passed away last year and was the heart of the book blogger community. She was always so welcoming and helpful towards others and she is missed.

Megan’s presence on social media is gone, but I will remember her! It’s sad that a life so young ended.

Short Story Sunday: One Star by The Behrg

Author: The Behrg
Published: July 20, 2019
17 Pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 23 and July 28, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Every action has a consequence. But when Li posts a one-star review of a novel on her book blog, the results are far more frightening than she could ever have imagined. Not every story was meant to have a happy ending.

Jessica’s Review:

This short story packs quite the punch in its short 17 pages!  It is also currently free on Amazon and serves as a thank you from the author The Behrg to book bloggers and book reviewers. I know my blog is not a huge one, but my reviews get seen and what happens if you don’t like a book?  What if the author sees your lower starred review even though you did not tag them on social media? What if they take your review the wrong way or they take it personally? In our world where we are all connected through various social media, you really can’t get away from seeing something directed towards you.  This is what Li discovers with her one star review of an author’s latest novel.

This is definitely a horror story that goes in an unexpected direction.  I did enjoy this short story and it is definitely not a one star review! I have no fear of the author’s reaction to my review of his short story.

This short story that I read within 30 minutes; I have read it twice now.  It is a part of The Behrg’s upcoming short story collection The Passengers You Cannot See. I enjoy short stories and have enjoyed One Star and also Happiness is a Commodity (my review is here) so I am looking forward to this upcoming collection. I even downloaded Stillborn, another of The Behrg’s short stories to read as it was free on Amazon. That one looks to tackle a difficult subject that I hope to read relatively soon.

One Star is recommended, and if you are a book blogger/ book reviewer, I say definitely read it!! 

Purchase Links: **Remember it is currently FREE!**
Amazon US  
Amazon UK 

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Sunday Series Review: His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin LaFevers

Today Kim is reviewing His Fair Assassin Trilogy by Robin LaFevers. She rated this series 4 stars.

Books in the Series:
Grave Mercy
Dark Triumph
Mortal Heart


Grave Mercy
Published: April 3, 2012
549 Pages

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Dark Triumph
Published: April 2, 2013
385 Pages

I lean forward, pushing my body out past the battlements. The wind plucks at my cloak, buffets against me, as if it would carry me off in flight, just like the birds or the knight’s soul. Let go, it cries, I will take you far, far away. I want to laugh at the exhilarating feeling, I will catch you, it whistles seductively.

The convent has returned Sybella to a life that nearly drove her mad. Her father’s rage and brutality are terrifying, and her brother’s love is equally monstrous. When she discovers an unexpected ally imprisoned in the dungeons, will a a daughter of Death find something other than vengeance to live for?

Mortal Heart
Published: November 4, 2014
444 Pages

Annith has watched her gifted sisters at the convent come and go, carrying out their dark dealings in the name of St. Mortain, patiently awaiting her own turn to serve Death. But her worst fears are realized when she discovers she is being groomed by the abbess as a Seeress, to be forever sequestered in the rock and stone womb of the convent. Feeling sorely betrayed, Annith decides to strike out on her own.

She has spent her whole life training to be an assassin. Just because the convent has changed its mind doesn’t mean she has…


Kim’s Rating of the Series: 4 stars

Kim’s Review:

This series is awesome! I got Grave Mercy while I was on vacation in the Outer Banks, at the amazing Buxton Village Books. The cover is beautiful and the story is unique. LaFevers combined history with a little fantasy, yet it all still felt realistic, like it all actually happened that way. The convent of St. Mortain was fascinating. I doubt I would make a good assassin, but I would go to the convent!

The main characters, Ismae, Sybella, and Annith are all likable and relatable. Of them all, I think my favorite is Ismae. She is the main character in Grave Mercy and the first of the assassins that I got to know. She embraces everything with grace and her abilities are the most interesting. Her story sets the tone and standard for the rest of the series.  I’ll admit that when I started reading book two, Dark Triumph, I was a little worried that the story was starting to get predictable. Thankfully, the further I read, the less predictable it was. Sybella’s story was definitely the most surprising and Annith’s romance came out of nowhere!

So, each book has its own merit. And each one is very good and worth reading. I did read them separately, with a couple of books between so any predictability was staved off really well. The men were all great as well. I don’t want to take about them in too much detail because I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that I was crushing on each of them as I was reading. Fictional boyfriends are all part of my nerd life, and I regret nothing!

Overall, this was an excellent series, with engaging characters and fascinating circumstances. This is also a great series for older teens.

Purchase Links to the Series:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

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