Rook by Sharon Cameron

23399192 Rook by Sharon Cameron“Rook” by Sharon Cameron

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Sophia Bellamy is the daughter of a wealthy landowner, or at least the daughter of a man who used to be wealthy. Now it is up to her to save the Bellamy name from ruin and to protect her family’s manor from falling into the government’s hands. To do that, Sophia has to marry René Hasard, a man who has a reputation for being a flirt and scoundrel, because of the money he will bring when they wed. But there’s more to René than meets the eye and he is playing a game of his own, but Sophia mastered the art of subterfuge when she became the Red Rook, and she’s not too worried about the cards René has yet to play.

The Red Rook has saved countless lives from LeBlanc’s guillotine, and the madman has never gotten close enough to the Rook for Sophia to ever have to worry. But when something terrible happens and Sophia’s world is upended, she realizes that she can’t fix what’s gone wrong, and that not even the Red Rook is capable of putting right everything that has happened. Well, at least not alone, she can’t. As LeBlanc gets closer to uncovering her secret, Sophia has no choice but to put her trust in René Hasard, a man who just so happens to be one of the least trustworthy people in her life.

Time ticks away as Sophia, René, and their motley group of troops try to stop LeBlanc and his madness from destroying everyone in the Sunken City. But things are never quite as they seem, and Sophia wonders who she can really trust and who is only moments away from betraying her? Everything else aside, Sophia’s greatest worry is for all of the innocent lives at stake in LeBlanc’s game of Fate, and that the Red Rook will not be able to stop him in time.

Thank you Scholastic and Sharon Cameron for being willing to send me an ARC of “Rook.” In no way has this affected my review.

About three weeks ago, I got into contact with Sharon Cameron, the author of “The Dark Unwinding” and “A Spark Unseen,” and I ended up asking her if I could get an ARC of her newest YA novel, “Rook.” As it turned out, she submitted my info to Scholastic and I was fortunate enough to be sent an ARC! I pretty darn excited to say the least! (P.S. I have some more news related to this book, but I’ll share it with you at a later date). When it came, I got my game face on, sat down with my tea-cup and some Earl Grey, and I started reading “Rook.”

The first thing I noticed about “Rook” was that Sharon Cameron had a very distinct and sophisticated style of writing. During the beginning chapters of this book, I was kind of taken aback (in a good way) by Mrs. Cameron’s writing style  because I was not expecting it from a Scholastic author; Scholastic authors are great, but those I’ve gotten the chance to read have never had the elegance to their writing style that Sharon’s did. After processing this difference for about a chapter, I was completely enraptured with Sharon Cameron’s method of storytelling. Besides Sharon’s writing being unique, I felt that all of her characters were also very distinct. A lot of authors are good writers, but some writers are unable to create characters who have those special traits that individualize them, or that make them fully “fleshed-out” people who readers can connect to. Mrs. Cameron, from the very beginning of “Rook,” created real, tangible characters, and I could pick out who it was speaking by just the way they talked or acted. That takes talent, and I really commend Sharon for being able to do that.Okay, let’s delve into the characters!

I really liked Sophia as a heroine. She was intense and strong-willed, but she was not too overpowering and her behavior made a lot of sense to me. Sophia was a Bellamy in the daytime, but at night she was the Red Rook who risked her life to save as many innocent people as she could from LeBlanc’s razor. Because of these two personas she was constantly keeping up, I do not think Sophia knew who she really was until “Rook” took place. It was really interesting seeing her change whenever she “became” the Red Rook or when she was Sophia Bellamy, and it was as if she were playing two different roles in a play. Sophia had played the game of lies and secrets quite well, always keeping her cards close, but that all changed when René Hasard came along.

René Hasard was an interesting character. One moment he was a player and heart stealer and the next he could show a shocking amount of depth, and that was slightly unsettling considering who he was related to in “Rook.” I wanted to dislike René in the first forty or fifty pages of “Rook,” but to be quite honest, it was kind of hard not to enjoy the scenes he was in. Sharon Cameron did such a good job of writing this character (accent and all), and René ended up being a really vivid and colorful person in “Rook.” I also loved how Sharon showed her readers all the different sides to René Hasard; you have to allow some time to pass before you can ever see where he was truly coming from in this book and his intentions towards Sophia, and I loved that!

Another aspect of this book that was quite enjoyable was the tenuous truce between Sophia and René. The only reason these two characters had ever met was so that  René could appease his mother and Sophia could save her family from ruin. By no means did they get along in the first hundred to hundred and fifty pages of “Rook,” but then circumstances forced them to become unwilling partners. I liked seeing their relationship slowly evolve and the tension build between them and their circumstances; their whole world could go up in flames at any moment, and they took that into account. Sharon Cameron did a good job of making their acquaintance become more without going into the insta-love category. Even though “Rook” took place over a shorter period of time, nothing felt rushed or like it was haphazardly thrown into the story, and that made this book even better! I will warn you, though, that there are only a few moments where René and Sophia have a moment, but they are darn good and well worth the wait! I officially ship René and Sophia together.

fed ex

I also loved how Sharon Cameron took all of her characters and either made them grow as individuals or show their true colors. But Sharon, once again using her skill as a writer, made it a wee bit hard to figure out people’s true intentions until the end of this book. A lot of characters are not as they appeared in “Rook,” and it was a lot of fun trying to figure out what was really going on and what I was missing. I predicted a few things, but I was also surprised by others. It has been a really long time since an author and a book have kept me in real suspense about what was going to happen and whether the characters I liked were good or bad, but Sharon totally did that with “Rook”! There were a lot of twists and turns and I loved them all! The only person who you really see as they are was Albert LeBlanc, and he was one of the most creepy and well done bad guys that I’ve read in quite some time.

What really captured me while reading this book was the French and historical influences that Sharon Cameron wove into this book so seamlessly. The tagline for this book is “History has a way of repeating itself,” and that is the perfect description for what this book is all about! Fancy gowns and lavish parties clashed with the dirty and oppressiveness of the rest of the world that Sophia lived in, and that is how it was during the French Revolution. I just loved that “Rook” felt more like a historical fiction novel rather than a dystopian because there were so many historical elements that lent a lot to this story, and they created a really great dynamic for a reader to enjoy. I loved “Rook” so much because it reminded me a bit of “For Darkness Shows the Stars” by Diana Peterfreund because of the regression in technology and society, but with Marie Rutkoski’s level of elegant and entrancing writing.

“Rook” was SUCH an amazingly well-written book with dynamic characters, and it had a lot of twists and turns! I loved the French setting and the theme of “The Scarlet Pimpernel” behind it. Sharon Cameron did such a wonderful job retelling a classic piece of literature while leaving her own mark on the story. “Rook” was fantastic and I loved it!

Cover Reveal: The Golden Braid by Melanie Dickerson (Medieval Fairy Tale Romance #2)

Guys, it’s happening!! Another “Rapunzel” retelling is coming out! “Rapunzel” is my ABSOLUTE favorite fairytale (original and Disney), which is why I have a huge “Tangled” obsession and why I loved Rapunzel and her prince in “Into the Woods.” It is very cool that Melanie Dickerson has decided to write another fairytale, and I am totally on board for this retelling of my favorite fairytale story! I’ve been waiting for a book like this since I read “Cress” by Marissa Meyer, and it is finally happening!!! Okay, here’s the beautiful cover.






598dea8044bbd7c48c6e382f91c82d7f big

tangled 2

Yup, I’m going to be buying this one.

Books I’ve Pre-Ordered

Alright, here is a list of my pre-orders for 2015 that I will (hopefully) be reviewing soon.

April Pre-Orders:

23399192“Rook” by Sharon Cameron

20560137 sabaa tahir an ember in the ashes“An Ember in the Ashes” by Sabaa Tahir

May Pre-Orders:

the heir by kiera cass book“The Heir” by Kiera Cass

18798983 The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh“The Wrath and The Dawn” by Renee Ahdieh

23215450 Megan Shepherd The Cage“The Cage” by Megan Shepherd

20698530 P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han“P.S. I Still Love You” by Jenny Han

23492282 Katie McGarry“Nowhere But Here” by Katie McGarry

October Pre-Orders:

15724396 The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan“The Sword of Summer” by Rick Riordan

24465724 kiera cass“Happily Ever After” by Kiera Cass

IlluminaeJKT600px-copy“Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

December Pre-Orders:

13138736 their fractured light

“Their Fractured Light” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

So far, these are all of my pre-orders. I am hoping to keep all of them and add a couple more as the year progresses, but since I’m not made of money, we’ll see what I end up buying.


Thanks for taking a look!

Cover Reveal: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The cover for “Illuminae” is pretty much genius. It is very different from my usual cover crushes, but I my inner graphic designer adores the fact that it holds so much of what’s inside on its surface while remaining vague so that you can’t tell what’s going to happen in the actual book. It is gorgeous and fabulous, and now it is time for you to see it for yourselves.











Now I’ve got to wait until October to see what’s going to happen in this book! I’m just going to sit here while I hyperventilate. 




So exciting!

Originally posted on Jay Kristoff - Literary Giant:


This contest is open internationally.

Hello droogs!

So, as you might know, my partner in crime Amie Kaufman and I have a new book coming out this year called ILLUMINAE. You can pre-order it here if you really wuuuuv us.

Early reviews are starting to come in, authors like Marie Lu, Laini Taylor and Beth Revis are all saying excellent things about it, and some awesome bloggers seem to be really digging it too, so we are officially excited!

The first round of Advance Reader Copies have been delivered to our doors, so Amie and I figure it’s about time to give some of these beauties away. So, if you’d like to win a signed ARC of ILLUMINAE (of course you do), read on, MacDuff:

We wanted to make this easy for you guys, but give you something fun to do, too. Something simple that’d let your…

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My Excitement: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

You all know that I love the “Starbound” trilogy, so I am sure can conclude that the existence of “Illuminae” would send me cartwheeling. You’re both right and wrong in this case: 1. I have never successfully been able to complete a cartwheel (childhood fear, I guess), and 2. Cartwheeling is a bit too mellow for what I’m feeling right now. Since a picture paints a thousand words, I’m just going to let the gifs speak (mostly) for themselves.

chris prattLearning that Amie was co-authoring another book with a friend,

prince of bell airand then my happy dance commenced!

tangledAfter my happy dance was completed, I finally noticed the summary of the book.

robert downey jr.My feels were bountiful to say the least,

psych shawn and gusand we all know that I pre-ordered “Illuminae” right after that.

d32bc04ce6c33df8a776f721d23cb153Felt a little bit like this after pushing the confirm button for my pre-order…


and then this.

america I really want it now, but August will be here soon enough, right?

877c9836f9074af0b4fb4c0a194fe1a9_200x300This was my reaction to it being delayed until October 20th…

jack sparrowand here I am, waiting until the day that it comes out.

Thanks for taking  a look everyone!

P.S. Goodreads posted the cover for “Illuminae” earlier than it should have, and so I needed to erase my previous post.If you saw it, please keep it hush, hush for a while to respect the authors and the publishing house.

Please Read This Before April 6th!

I picked this particular link concerning “SB 277″ because it had the most simple explanation as to what this bill could do to parental rights.

I’m a cancer survivor.

I don’t tell this to people often, and only my family really knows this fact about me. If others know about it, they probably did not hear the story from me. But today I am telling you, readers, because I wanted to share with you some info about a certain bill that the government is trying to pass.

 A bill called “SB 277″ is trying to passed and its purpose is to remove the right for vaccine exemptions. Most beliefs on vaccines will be considered invalid by the government and health officials if “SB 277” is passed. To simplify the definition of its purpose: mandatory vaccination for all children attending school. In essence, this law that they are trying to push through will deprive you of your right to say, “my body, my choice,” or if you are a parent/guardian,”I have the right to decide.” I’m an advocate for personal choice (and social equality for all), especially when it involves your body and vaccines. One of the reasons for this is what I experienced when I was five years old.

Quite a few years ago I had to get vaccinated because I was headed into first grade. No biggie right? Well that is what I thought until the nurse told my mother and me that we had to get four or five vaccines that same day. My mother had asked the nurse if that was wise considering the fact that I had barely gotten over strep throat and was still running a low fever. The nurse had said to my mother that I would be fine, and that the vaccines wouldn’t affect me or do any damage. Plus, doctors and nurses reasoning is that statistics prove that only 1 in ever 100,000 (rough estimation) have gotten really sick from being vaccinated. Why would I be the one to get sick? I came out with five Snoopy print band-aids on my legs that day, and a few months later I was diagnosed with leukemia (a cancer that limits red blood cell production and creates too many underdeveloped white cells). Partially because of what happened that day, I became a statistic.

Obviously I’m still here, but I’m not writing to tell you about what I went through. I do, however, want to inform you about vaccines and the rights that you should have concerning them. After I was diagnosed, my mom was SO careful to make sure that she paid attention to ingredients in food and medical prescriptions (a couple of allergic reactions later, we found what to avoid), and she made sure to sign a waver to ensure that I could opt out of certain vaccines. Here we are, years later, and I am cancer free and intend to stay that way. I am grateful for what I went through because I can tell people about it now so they can be informed from both sides: the medical world and personal experience. This isn’t just me on some weird rant, guys; there are real correlation studies that are linking low immune systems combined with vaccinations (especially concerning the mid-twenties and late teens in America) to different forms of cancer and type 1 diabetes.

My family members and me took those vaccinations/prescriptions because we were told to, but now we know that it is wise to do our research before we put things into our bodies. I am so grateful for the exemptions I received during those first few years of having leukemia because I stayed so much healthier than some of the kids I knew who had cancer and were consistently vaccinated. But nowSB 277” wants to take the right to choose away from parents and adults. I’m not telling anyone that all vaccines are bad because some of them can be very helpful. All I want to do is to prompt you to think twice before you put something in your body, and that you should also have the right to choose whether you and your children want to be vaccinated or not. There is not judgement to the believers of vaccines or those who doubt them, because, for me, all I want is the right to choose. My body, my choice.

I picked this particular link concerning “SB 277” because it had the most simple explanation as to what this bill could do to parental rights.

Thanks for reading!