Friday, March 18, 2016

Book Review: The Sun Trail

The Sun Trail by Erin Hunter

Released: April 10th, 2014
Read: February 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Series: Warriors: Dawn of the Clans (#1)

Source: Purchased

Description from GoodReads: Before Rusty left his kittypet home...
   Before Bluestar ruled ThunderClan...
   Before Crookedstar made his fateful promise...
   The warrior Clans were born.
   Find out how it all came to be in this brand-new arc that reveals the origins of the four Clans. Featuring a new cast of characters, a richly developed world, and a never-before-seen look at the history of the warrior cats, this prologue arc is perfect for existing fans and for those new to the Warriors world. With over thirteen million copies sold and each new title hitting the New York Times bestseller list, the Warriors series is a true phenomenon that will continue to take readers by storm.

Review: First things first, these are not children's novels. They're much too gory and heart-breaking to be. Even if they were, they are amazing.
   The new set of characters in this book is so refreshing. After 4 arcs worth of the same 40 characters (an estimation, but yes, that is a lot), it was so nice to get to know new cats, with new issues and different relationships.
   One thing that never changes, or, always changes, are sibling relationships. They always fail. Someone dies, or leaves, or betrays the other. Grey Wing and Clear Sky are no different (spoiler? not really, though), and although Grey Wing gives up so many things for his brothers happiness, he gets nothing in return. It was a sad story that almost seems familiar. Hopefully in the end, Grey Wing gets his own happiness, and doesn't die a martyr, like other siblings have.
   It was also really weird to see the original forest from the point of view of newcomers. When we were introduced to it in the original series, it was already well worn and working, whereas here it's untouched and intimidating. 
   I liked the storyline and issues that the characters face, and the deaths were sad, as the ones who died were probably more memorable than the ones who survived.

Quotable Quotes:
“I love you too much for that. For my sake, go.”
“Dreams? What’s the point of that?”

Rating: 7/10

Read if You Liked: Narnia, Lord of the Rings, cats, adventures, failing sibling relationships

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

What About Wednesday: Favourite OTP's

Hello all, we're back with another installment of What About Wednesday! We wanted to mix it up for today, so we'll rattle off our top three OTP's in our favorite series!

1. Simon Snow and Baz Pitch (SnowBaz)
2. Maxon Schreave and America Singer
3. Alina Starkov and Nikolai Lantsov (Alai? Nikolina?)

1. Kat and Frosty (from Alice in Zombieland)
2. Nico de Angelo and Will Solace
3. Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase (Percabeth)

1. Damon Slavatore and Elena Gilbert (Delena)
2. Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger (Ramonie, also my very first OTP!)
3. Mr. Darcy and Lizzie Bennet (Dizzie? Not sure, but they are the original OTP!)

That's everything for today!
Your friends at the Autumn Bookshelf

Monday, March 14, 2016

Book Review: Stonefield

Taken from Goodreads
(how pretty is this cover??)

Stonefield by Christy Lenzi

Released: March 29th, 2016

Read: February 2016
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Format: Paperback ARC, 320 pages
Series: N/A
Source: McNally Robinson Two Thumbs Up Program

Description from Goodreads:
In a small town on the brink of the Civil War, Catrina finds a man making strange patterns in her family’s sorghum crop. He’s mad with fever, naked, and strikingly beautiful. He has no memory of who he is or what he’s done before Catrina found him in Stone Field. But that doesn’t bother Catrina because she doesn’t like thinking about the things she’s done before either.
Catrina and Stonefield fall passionately, dangerously, in love. All they want is to live with each other, in harmony with the land and away from Cat’s protective brother, the new fanatical preacher, and the neighbors who are scandalized by their relationship. But Stonefield can’t escape the truth about who he is, and the conflict tearing apart the country demands that everyone take a side before the bloodbath reaches their doorstep.

I chose this book because I absolutely love retellings of classic novels. This one is a retelling of Wuthering Heights, but not in the here and now (as most retellings are), but during the Civil War. I was excited, and so eager to read the result. But I was disappointed. Although the plot was sort of already written, it felt mish-mashed, and a little overwhelming. You could tell that the author was trying to emulate the writing style of Bronte, but it came across as forced, and almost sarcastic. It was a struggle trying to interpret what was actually being said. Another thing, was that the characters had very little development, (especially the main character)  so you never really connected with Cat. I wasn’t rooting for her to be happy in the end. I also had a problem with the romance in it. I love reading books where the main characters fall slowly in love. But SLOWLY! They literally were totally in love by page 50. Not even kidding. It was so fast! It was way too quick, and then Bible verses were added to make it sound as if it was less promiscuous. It was weird.  I also didn’t like the fact that they were able to somehow speak telepathically. That was never really explained. It was a weird book, all in all and unfortunately, not my favorite.  

Rating: 4.5/10

Reccomended for people who enjoy: retellings, romance, lots of descriptive language

Happy Reading,

Monday, March 7, 2016

Book Review: Signs Point to Yes

Signs Point to Yes by Sandy Hall

Released: October 20th, 2015
Read: January 2016
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Format: Paperback, 228 pages
Series: n/a

Source: Bought

Description from GoodReads: If only Jane’s Magic 8 Ball could tell her how to get through the summer. With her “perfect” sister, Margo, home for her “perfect” internship, Jane is not going to be able to spend the summer writing fan fiction, as she had planned. And her emergency babysitting job requires Jane to spend the whole summer in awkward proximity to her new crush, Teo, a nerdy-hot lifeguard with problems of his own. With his best friend out of town, Teo finds himself without anyone to confide in…except Jane. Will Jane and Teo be able to salvage each other’s summer? Even the Magic 8 Ball doesn’t have an answer…but signs point to yes.

Review: This adorable book is just as cute on the inside as the amazing cover. Its got a wonderfully complicated, but-if-they-just-told-each-other romance, with other small plots that sort of get solved.
   Margo, who unsurprisingly, is not "perfect", barely gets her issues resolved. Teo's issues sort of get swept under the rug after he realizes he's in love with Jane (spoiler alert?). Not even the romance gets completely solved.
   If you just read it as a sweet and simple love story, and not over-analyze the plot holes, it's a lovely book! Jane is a typical teenage girl, with an annoyingly perfect older sister, and a crush. A great summer romance.

Rating: 7/10

Read if You Liked: Say You Will, The Fault in Our Stars, easy reads, cute romances

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

Friday, March 4, 2016

Book Review: Wolf By Wolf

Taken from Goodreads

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

Released: October 20th, 2015
Read: February 2016
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Format: Borrowed ARC, Paperback, 388 pages
Series: Wolf by Wolf #1
Source: Borrowed from the lovely Ohana Reads

Description from Goodreads:
The year is 1956, and the Axis powers of the Third Reich and Imperial Japan rule the world. To commemorate their Great Victory over Britain and Russia, Hitler and Emperor Hirohito host the Axis Tour: an annual motorcycle race across their conjoined continents. The victor is awarded an audience with the highly reclusive Adolf Hitler at the Victor's ball.

Yael, who escaped from a death camp, has one goal: Win the race and kill Hitler. A survivor of painful human experimentation, Yael has the power to skinshift and must complete her mission by impersonating last year's only female victor, Adele Wolfe. This deception becomes more difficult when Felix, Adele twin's brother, and Luka, her former love interest, enter the race and watch Yael's every move. But as Yael begins to get closer to the other competitors, can she bring herself to be as ruthless as she needs to be to avoid discovery and complete her mission?

I read this book, as it was literally forced on me by Laurens sister (who runs Ohana Reads). I'm soooooo glad she made me read it!! This book is everything I look for, be it fantasy, historical fiction or strong female characters. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every page of Wolf by Wolf. Yael is such an interesting character, and the "skinshift" quality of hers is just so cool. I kept worrying that she would accidentally reveal herself to Felix (the brother of Adele) or Luka (the former love interest of Adele). Both guys are eager to help Yael but are really suspicious of this "new" Adele. I have to say, I was more partial to Luka. He was just so.. so.. handsome? And suave? It's hard to describe but he was the epitome of an annoying bad boy, who just steals your heart. You hate to like him, that kind of thing. Whereas  That aside, I loved how Yael was able to develop from a young girl (through flashbacks) to a powerful young woman right before our eyes. Although she is perceived by the other characters as someone who is "made of steel", she has her vulnerabilities. The tattoos of wolves (hence the name of the book) represent the people she lost, so her grief and loneliness is always with her. That is what drives her desire to get revenge, and make the leaders of the Third Reich pay for what they did. Because of this she gets drawn into this revolution, and it's the reason she enters the race. This book had a minor "Hunger Games" feel, what with the competition and all. It really moved the plot forward, and filled any parts that normally would've been too long and boring. Right until the very end there is the tension of "will she win or won't she??" It's a surprise ending, and I couldn't stop babbling about it. I won't give it away, but let's just say I CANNOT wait until the sequel is out (Blood for Blood)! 

Favorite Quotes:
“So she traced and she named. She hurt and she raged. She remembered.” 

― Ryan Graudin, Wolf By Wolf

Rating: 9/10 Stars

Recommended for people who enjoy: fantasy, historical fiction, alternate retellings, romance, strong female leads

Happy Reading,