Cover Reveal: The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

Okay, so all of you know of my love for C.J. Redwine and her “Defiance” series. I loved that series to death (still do) and it has been an agony waiting for C.J.’s newest book, “The Shadow Queen,” to come out. Sadly, it won’t be coming out for another eight months, but it does have a cover now, which makes me SO excited! Alright, here it is!

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THE COVER FOR IT IS GLORIOUS! “The Shadow Queen,” besides its stunning cover, sounds like it will be a crazy good story. It’s a dark “Snow White” retelling, much like the “Snow White and the Huntsman” movie, and I’m flipping out with how amazing it’s going to be!

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I love Balzer +Bray and C.J. Redwine SO MUCH, and I’m really looking forward to reading “The Shadow Queen” when it comes out!

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10 Best Books of 2014

Alright, let’s start the New Year off by recounting the good books that I had the pleasure of reading this year. They were diamonds among the rough, but well worth the search!

 

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“Deliverance” by C.J. Redwine

I adore this author so much! This book was beautiful and a well-rounded and resolved final book. Logan, Rachel, and Quinn will forever be dear to me. LOVED IT!

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“This Shattered World” by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I loved this book so much because of how beautifully put together it was. It was different from the other science fiction stories that are out now; the world was so well-developed and intricate, and I ADORED the characters! Definitely in my top five favorite books ever!

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“The Winner’s Curse” by Marie Rutkoski

This book blew my mind. It is so well-plotted and intriguing, and the relationships between the characters were all so amazing. This was one of the “surprise” books of 2014 that I ended up LOVING!

 

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“The One” by Kiera Cass

I loved how resolved and put together this book was; all the things that I had questions about were resolved and it was a good end to a series (I kinda wish it was over because this book ended so good, but we’ll see how “The Heir” goes). I loved America because she was such a strong and beautiful character who was so different from the other heroines in YA books right now. She was strong and courageous in a quiet way, and I personally think that she was one of the bravest heroines of 2014 because she faced those trials and hardships with a smile and stood her ground. Sometimes it takes more courage to do that than anything else.

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“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” by Jenny Han

Almost everything about this book is perfect. I loved Laura Jean and her family, I loved the dynamic between sisters that was in this book because only someone with sisters can understand that kind of relationship, ans I loved Laura Jean Peter. So cute and heartwarming and funny! LOVED IT!

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“Cress” byMarissa Meyer

Adorable, fun, and well-written. Loved Thorne and Cress, and this book!

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“Her Dark Curiosity” by Megan Shepherd.

CRAZINESS!! This book is so interesting, well-written, and plane old insane: so much happened and I have so many questions that I hope “A Cold Legacy” will be able to answer! P.S. I adore Montgomery and I hope you-know-what doesn’t hit the fan concerning him in the third book.

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“Chasing Shadows” by Ashley Townsend

I loved it! Great time travel, dynamic characters, and an intricate plot that is leaving me guessing as to what’s going to happen in the last book.

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“Red At Night” by Katie McGarry

I loved this novella with every fiber of my being, and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

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“Outcast” by C.J. Redwine

I loved this novella as well. Quinn ended up being one of my favorite characters in this trilogy, and this novella only made me love him more. So good!

These are 10 of the best books of 2014  and all of them are 5 stars to me! Happy New Year, everyone!

Deliverance by C.J. Redwine (Defiance #3): Part 2 The Actual Review Part

There are mild spoilers in this review for “Defiance” and “Deception,” so proceed with caution.

deliverance c.j. redwine

“Deliverance” by C.J. Redwine

5 out of 5 stars.

Logan is locked in a Lankenshire jail cell with Rowansmark soldiers biding their time until they can clear the chess board. He and his friends have fought for their lives before with great odds against them, but somehow this time is different from the others, and there is the likely chance that no one will make it out of Lankenshire alive. Odds have never frightened Logan, but the stakes are now higher than ever before and he is struggling to come up with a good enough plan to get himself out of the dungeon. He hasn’t given up, though, and he is  determined to protect his friends, his family, from the evils that are the Commander and Rowansmark. Sacrifices must be made to save those he loves, and working with Commander Jason Chase is one of them. Logan has promises to keep and if Baalboden’s ex-leader is the only way to stay alive, so be it; he will swallow his pride and make this plan, his only plan, work to save those who are counting on him. He promised Rachel he would always find her, and that is not a promise Logan is willing to break.

Rachel has endured the unspeakable. Her whole family is gone, killed by the Commander, and her dearest friend was murdered by a maniac. Darkness surrounds her, but Rachel knows that she is not alone. Quinn has been following her since she was taken from Lankenshire, having been kidnapped by her friend’s murderer, and Rachel also knows in her heart that Logan is trying his hardest to find a way to save her. But before then, she must learn to save herself. Rachel is fighting a physical and psychological battle against good and evil, light and dark, hope and anger. The time has come for Rachel to finally chooses which of these forces she will embrace, who she will become, and to discover if that choice will destroy or heal her once and for all.

C.J. Redwine is a goddess divine author. I love her as a writer and a person, and I cannot believe that one of my most loved series has come to a close. I am both happy and sad. Sad because I had to say goodbye to these characters who I loved, but also happy because I got to see their stories come together to create one epic book. It has taken me nearly two months to fully absorb everything that happened in “Deliverance” because SO much was good, yet so many things went wrong for these characters. I mean circumstances, not the characters themselves, mind you. I do have to say, though, that there were a few things that I was kind of sad over because of how they changed the dynamic of this story; I am not the hugest fan of change. Despite these changes, I still really liked “Deliverance.”

Logan, my love, was still a great character. He remained fierce and faithful, but I felt like I had a little hole in my heart because he and Rachel were apart for 90% of “Deliverance.” I missed the Logan and Rachel from “Defiance” who worked together, communicated well, and fought to protect one another; I also missed the sweet, quiet moments between them that were beautiful and rare. I had a hard time getting used to the two of them not being with each other because it changed the dynamic of the book, and it felt different from “Defiance,” which was/is dear to my heart. I know people change over time, but it was still hard to accept. Despite this, Logan remained a great character and he did a lot of sacrificial things that made him an amazing leader. Right from the beginning of “Deliverance” he and Willow are fighting for their lives and I was so stressed out that I would practically zoom over the pages to make sure people were still alive.

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I’m gonna be honest, a LOT of people die in this book, and I was wondering how that was even possible since there were only a couple of characters who had survived the first and second books! Oy, C.J., you don’t mind sacrificing characters, even main ones! Another character that I really liked in “Deliverance” was Quinn.

Good golly! I LOVED Quinn in this book!!! I think he turned out to be my favorite character in “Deliverance”; I love Logan dearly, but Quinn was a pleasant surprise of a character. Quinn wasn’t in this book that much, but somehow he was there the whole time. Every chapter that involved Rachel, I was trying to find out where Quinn was and if he would show up. Most of the time he didn’t, but it was like he was still present in “Deliverance” even when he wasn’t in a scene. Oh, how I wish C.J. had given him more time in this book because I honestly could not get enough of this character. Quinn was such a clever, strong, and good guy that I wonder why C.J. did not have more of him in this book. I am extremely grateful for Quinn’s novella, “Outcast,” because it gave me more time to get to know him and helped me to come to love his character all the more. I miss you, Quinn.

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The character I want to discuss in depth is Rachel.

I was worried about Rachel by the end of “Deception” because of how emotionally tortured she was. I cannot blame the girl, but it made me sad for her, angry at the character(s) who caused her that kind of pain, and also quite worried with where C.J. was taking her as a character. A lot of authors in the past couple of years have tried to write “strong” female leads in their books. Everybody is up in arms over the whole feminism movement, and YA lit is a part of that in some ways. I’m a girl and I absolutely hate inequality between men and women and racism that is still occurring in this country as well as in others. It is not fair and it is not okay. My problem sometimes with the movement within the Young Adult Literature world is that a “strong” female equals a *bleepy* one (my mother reads these posts and she doesn’t like language, so I’ll be using *bleep* as my swear word. Bear with me here); I don’t believe that strength and female rights have anything with being a *bleep* or having a domineering, obstinate personality. Women who truly move the world and who are admired by men and women alike are kind, gracious, intelligent, believe in their own worth, do not objectify themselves to get attention, and stand up for what they believe in without wavering. They also don’t shove their opinions down another persons throat or rip the opposite sex down with their words. I really like Emma Watson’s #HeForShe feminist opinion because it is about both men and women coming together to back one another up. Wow, I just realized how off subject that was.

The point I am trying to get at with all the explaining is that C.J. did a good job of helping Rachel heal and become a truly strong female. Rachel eventually figures out that hatred and her desire for revenge will not ever satisfy her; there is a deeper root to her pain than that. Hatred and revenge were the two things that were keeping her emotional wounds open, and the only way to truly heal was to give up those dark desires and to choose to do what is right. In the end she made the right choice and I was happy that C.J. took her from being a girl with revenge that darkened her outlook on life, to one who wanted to choose to live and see the hope that still existed in her world. She chose hope instead of anger, and because of that she began to heal. Rachel still had a lot of inner healing to do, and she was not perfect, but I was happy to see that she was headed in a good direction. It was nice to see a strong female in the YA lit world who did not end up being a *bleepy* banana (i.e. Katniss Everdeen, Tris Prior, Lena Haloway-Tiddle, etc.). Sorry about that novel, but I hope you get my point with all that explaining. Okay, let move on to other subjects.

One of the things that I really love about C.J. Redwine is that she creates back characters who feel just as real and important as the main ones. You care and root for them even though they don’t get as much book time, and it also makes it really hard to let them go when she kills them off! You are sometimes cruel, C.J., but I love you anyway. Conner from Lankenshire was one of those characters for me. He wasn’t necessarily vital to the plot, but I really liked him and I loved the scenes where he was present. I felt like he added a good dynamic and an extra layer to “Deliverance.” Another reason why I liked Connor was that he reminded me a little bit of how Logan was early on in “Defiance.” He was super smart and the some of the other people harassed him for it, but I was rooting for him the whole time to, well, not die. Darn you C.J., one can never tell when a character is expendable. This author’s unpredictability caused me a lot of worry and stress while reading “Deliverance.” Every fight scene I was like,

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don’t DIE!!!!!!! Some characters died, some survived in “Deliverance,” but it was hard to tell who was going to make it until the epilogue. Oops! Did I say that there was an epilogue? I pulled a Burton Guster after I finished that last little bit of this glorious book.

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I think the worst part was when I walked away from the book and sat myself down to go over everything that had happened. It was then that I finally realized this beautiful series was over. Please, please, don’t be over…

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 “Deliverance” was beautiful and well done, but my only thing is that it didn’t quite hit me in the heart like “Defiance” did after I had read it. “Deliverance” was still a gorgeous book and a good end to a fantastic trilogy. Bravo, C.J. Redwine!

P.S. I am looking forward to her new series that is supposed to come out *cringes* in 2016. The title for the first book in the series is “The Shadow Queen,” and it sounds AMAZING. I am feeling joy at its existence, but also sadness because it is such a LONG ways away.

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Deliverance by C.J. Redwine: Part 1

 It has definitely been a long time since I’ve written a post on this blog, but I have two good excuses:

1. I haven’t had any good books to read up until this point,

2. and I’m a freshman in college who’s getting used to the mass quantity of writing/studying that is required.

Thankfully, though, after two weeks of preparation, I got ahead enough to start reading C.J. Redwine’s, “Deliverance.” I’ve got one day to finish this puppy before school requires my attention, so I am currently speed reading.

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SLEEP IS FOR THE WEAK! As I stated above, I don’t have a lot of spare time to read and watch television, but I found out today that “Once Upon a Time’s” third season just came on to Netflix. Really? All summer long I’ve been waiting for something like this to happen, and then of course everything I want to watch/read is released simultaneously. WHY?!!!!!

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I kinda want to forget about school,

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but that’s probably not the best idea this early in my college career. But all of THIS is beside the point. The true purpose of this post was to say that I am halfway through “Deliverance,” and that I will (hopefully) finish it today and have a post written by the end of the week. Here’s to miracles happening ’round the world.

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Outcast by C.J. Redwine (Defiance #0.5)

outcast by c.j. redwine

“Outcast” by C.J. Redwine

 5 out of 5 stars.

Link to Goodreads Summary of “Outcast”:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18652243-outcast

 I found out that C.J. Redwine was coming out with this novella soon after I finished “Deception,” and I had REALLY wanted to read it because, well, I love this trilogy. The only problem was that I had to wait from September until now (July) to get my hands on it. Waiting for it felt like this:

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It felt like an eternity!!! But the wait is now over, and (God bless her) I got to read it on my sister’s ipod touch a few days ago. Once it was downloaded onto the ipod and I got to touch it, I was like…

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It was a magical feeling, and this novella is also magical.

I had really liked Quinn in “Deception,” so I was curious to see his life before he met Jared, Rachel, and Logan, and before he and his sister, Willow, got cast out of their Tree Village. Thank God, this was one of those times when curiosity didn’t kill the cat!!

What I liked about this novella was that it made me love Quinn as a character even more than I originally had. Quinn is such a fantastic character to read about, and I wish that this was a full size book instead of just a novella because I wanted to get to know Quinn as a person, not from Rachel or Logan’s point of views, but from his own. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely ADORE Logan and reading from his point of view and I enjoy Rachel’s too, but I just really connected with this character and I wanted to continue with his story as long as possible. I am just hoping that he is in “Deliverance” a lot and that (crossing our fingers) C.J. doesn’t kill him off at the end of this trilogy.

Another thing that I really enjoyed about “Outcast” was that it helped me to appreciate Willow as a character more because I now understand the circumstances that shaped her into the girl we see in “Defiance” and “Deception.” Willow has a more harsh and cynical personality than Quinn does, and so he’s the one who’s been carrying around the burden of a heavy conscience. I also liked seeing how they were before they got cast out, and what events caused them to be removed from the only home they’d ever known. It was awful how their father had treated them, and I was glad that Quinn and Willow got to break free of that, but it was also sad because they had to leave everything that was familiar behind them.

I really liked reading this novella because not only was it fantastic, but it got me excited for “Deliverance,” which is coming out in August. Oh, and after you finish the e-book, there are four chapters from the third book available.

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I’m going to say it again: MAGICAL! I want to read the rest of it, but I also dread the time when it comes out; a reader can only take so much. I’ve had lot of authors who’ve ripped my heart out (not in the good kind of way), and a lot who’ve been really good to me. I’m just hoping that C.J. is a part of the latter group because this trilogy is very dear to me. Here’s to hoping…

Overall, “Outcast” is a must read for any C.J. Redwine fan. Loved it!!

 

Cover Reveal: Deliverance by C.J. Redwine

Hey, everyone!!!!! Today C.J. Redwine released the cover for her third and final book in the “Defiance” trilogy. This is very exciting news for me because she is one of my most favorite authors, and I have been waiting (not so patiently) for her next book to come out; it is not yet out, but at least I have the cover now to comfort me until that day comes. Okay, here it is….

Deliverance by C.J. Redwine

Isn’t it just AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love HARPER/Balzer + Bray, people, and I don’t care who knows it.

let me love youI love Logan…

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faband that cover, oy!…

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this cover is a WIN! Love ya, C.J. and Harper!

Deception by C.J. Redwine (Defiance #2)

Deception c.j. redwine

“Deception” by C.J. Redwine

4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

Baalboden is gone, burned and condensed down to nothing but ashes. There are just over a hundred survivors after the fatal attack by the Cursed One, which killed, and these broken people have chosen Logan to be their leader. But he’s just a young kid trying to stay alive; they’re all just trying to stay alive, yet they are prepared to follow him wherever he may lead them. Logan barely knows how to save himself and Rachel, and he certainly doesn’t know how to lead a hundred-and-some people successfully into the Wasteland, and to SURVIVE the long trek to another city-state. But Logan has always been smart and scrappy, and somehow he will come up with a plan, a way to pull the impossible off with his friends alongside him. He will make the remaining people of Baalboden proud to call him their leader.

Plans never go as easily as we hope them to, and Logan’s are no exception. He has got a plan and it’s a good one, but someone among Baalboden’s survivors is sabotaging Logan inventions, slowing his plan for a safe departure into the Wasteland. Logan has only got so much time before other city states hear of Baalboden’s destruction and they come to hunt him and his people down. Sure, they’re petty pranks, but it is still costing him time, and time is something Logan has very little of. Soon enough, though, Logan finds out that his time is already up: the Commander is back, and he wants revenge.

Rachel is a different girl now. Stars don’t dance in her eyes anymore, and the sun doesn’t warm her from the inside out like it should. Everything is empty now that her father, Jared, and her adoptive grandfather, Oliver, are gone. Rachel is drowning and the only person keeping her afloat is Logan. But he has so many people to take care of now, and he doesn’t need to hear her troubles; he doesn’t need another burden. So she learns to close in on herself and contain her fears while the sun is up. But when the moon rises and Rachel slips into sleep, everything she hates and wants to hide from haunts her dreams. There is no redemption for someone like her, no matter what Logan says, no matter what anyone says. People like her don’t deserve mercy, and sooner rather than later, she will have to pay for her crimes. But before that day comes, Rachel has something to deliver to the Commander. In person.

With the weight of the world on their shoulders, Logan, Rachel, and their friends begin to lead Baalboden’s citizens out of their ruined city and into the Wasteland. But it seems that every force is ready to contend with them. The Commander is constantly on their tail, Rowansmark is now tracking them, and the Cursed One could show up at any time. Could things get any worse? Sadly for the already ragged group, things do get worse. Soon the little pranks begin to escalate into threatening letters in Logan pack. Each time something happens in their camp, it becomes more and more sinister until it begins to turn into murder. Innocent people are being picked off and Logan cannot figure out why and who is doing the dastardly deed. Can Logan and Rachel find the culprit before the refugees are eliminated one after another and they themselves come face to face with the killer, or are their lives going to be cut short because of a sin they didn’t even know they committed? And can Rachel overcome the darkness that seems to consume her, or is she to be swallowed whole by all that she has done?

It has been a LONG wait for this book. My sister bought “Defiance” by C.J. Redwine a week or two after it came out last year, and we both just LOVED it!! “Defiance” was amazing, and the more I think about it the more I love the story; it is a five-star book for me. So, having to wait a year for the next installment to be released was pretty painful, but patience is definitely rewarded.

“Deception” is a great book, but I want to warn you it is pretty dark. A whole lot of “you know what” is hitting the fan at ALL times. There is never really a down moment, and my stomach was twisting at the thought of what might happen next; my stomach had quite a few reasons to twist while reading this book. It was like I was experiencing a train wreck over and over again!!! It was terrible and horrible, and wonderful all at the same time!

Logan was amazing as usual! I love him still, but I was a little bummed that I didn’t get as many heartfelt scenes between him and Rachel in this book as I did in “Defiance.” The moments I did get were good, but I guess I wanted more of what they had in the beginning of the first book.

Rachel was also a good character. I will warn you, she is kind of crazy in this book. A bit more than in the first, but I was okay with that because I really understood her inner turmoil, and I wanted to see her overcome it. It broke my heart to see her shut so many people who loved her out of her heart; it is understandable, but still sad. I am looking forward to seeing how C.J. resolves what’s going on inside of Rachel in the third and final book.

Overall, “Deception” is a great, explosive read, and I really enjoyed it. The only reason I am not giving it five stars is because of how dark it was. With “Defiance” I really liked the grittiness of Redwine’s world, and I loved how despite all of the despair and pain that the characters endured, there was still hope because they had each other. “Deception” had that nearing the end, but I felt like that ray of “sunshine” didn’t come across quite as strong as it did in the first book (or it should have been introduced earlier on in this book), and with this one being so much darker, it needed a LOT of sunshine! But overall, “Deception” is an amazingly well written book. Loved it! Now I must wait for the last book in this trilogy…

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Why does it hurt so much?

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