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This is the final book in the trilogy, for now. Let’s just say Stanford left the ending in a satisfying way that wrapped up the major plot that spanned the first three books, so any new books in the series would tackle a new set of problems. It was satisfying but open-ended, which made me hope for more.
But some more things about the book: Alex and Flynn and their friend group have survived the bloody war in the last book with minimal casualties and some pretty big bombshells being dropped. Now, they are stuck with three sides to a looming war, the Azure Loyalists who want things to go back to the way they were with Attis as their leader, the Azure Rebels, led by Flynn and Alex, who want to overhaul the system and do what is right, and the Depths, run by Samuel, who want death and destruction and power.
There are some surprising deaths in this book and some twists and turns, not all of which I liked. At one point, Flynn told Alex that he needed her to be his moral compass. I didn’t approve of that. It made me feel as though the characters had become too dependent on each other, and some of the things that Stanford brought up in regards to Alex’s moral compass made me… [Read More]
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The Duff has a very sarcastic narrator. It makes the book very entertaining, despite the fact that the narrator is very secretive and treats her friends like crap throughout most of the book. It’s understandable why Bianca treats her two best friends like that, though. She deals with a lot of crap. It starts with her mother always being gone, her parents getting a divorce, her dad relapsing into drunken rages after eighteen years of being sober, and her ex boyfriend, who treated her like crap and was dating someone else at the time, is back in town, engaged.
She complains about everything, but it’s in a humorous and entertaining way. Bianca is an intelligent, smart-arse character whom I loved. She starts sleeping with the school’s notorious playboy, Wesley, who helps her quiet her brain and escape her life and problems. They start falling for each other and find that they have more than a no-strings-attached sexual relationship.
I was surprised by [Read More]
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In this book, the main character, Britt, finds herself stuck in the wilderness with two fugitives. She is on spring break with her best friend, Korbie, in the mountains. She hopes to encounter her ex and Korbie’s brother, Calvin. Unfortunately for her, on the drive up the mountain she misses a turn and gets stuck in a snowstorm and must find shelter.
Britt and Korbie hike through the snow for a while until they see a cabin with the lights on. They knock on the door and find themselves in the company of two men, Sean and Mason. Britt realizes something isn’t right when the cabin is dusty and hasn’t been stocked with food. She finds herself held at gunpoint and has to find a way to make herself useful in order to stay alive.
She has a map of Calvin’s that she secretly uses to guide them off the mountain, but things go awry when they encounter a dead body, someone kills Sean in cold blood, and Mason and Britt are stuck in the wilderness together facing a bear and the elements. Feelings between Mason and Britt grow, but she starts realizing he has been keeping secrets from her, so she makes a run for it.
With a whodunit twist, this story was… [Read More]
Rising Depths is the second book in the Vicious Depths trilogy by Madeline Stanford. It is a young adult dystopian fantasy that I have fallen in love with since I read the first book while it was still titled Like Hell on Wattpad. That was before Stanford took it down to self-publish the series.
Warning: If you haven’t read the first book, this review contains spoilers for that book. Don’t read ahead if you don’t want to know what happens in the first book.
Now that Alex has been exposed as a traitor and she and Flynn have escaped to the Azure, she is looked to by the residents to figure out a way to defend themselves against the oncoming slaughter the Depths are planning. The Senatus members and Seth are still locked up in the depths, and the Azure is split between loyalists for Attis’s rule and those who want a new order. Even the Sentaus have committed crimes, lied, and betrayed their own residents. Things escalate as incriminating evidence against the Senatus is found, Samuel starts sending threats to the Azure with Isaac’s body parts, and the war looms nearer.
With equal parts…[Read More]
Photo by Cait Marie
There will be spoilers at the end of this review that are marked clearly. Stop reading if you want to know what happens by reading it.
Do you remember when The Hunger Games came out and for several months afterwards Hunger Games knockoffs were being published? This falls into this category. Sure, it was okay. But I’ve read better The Hunger Game knockoffs.
Set in a post-United-States-America, the government is a monarchy. If there is a royal princess born, she is married off to other royalty from different countries. If a prince is born then the whole country gets a reality TV show called “The Selection.” It is like The Bachelor; girls from each province are selected to compete for the prince’s hand in marriage.
This story centers around America, named by her mother after learning a bit about the histories of countries past. America is already in love with another boy before she is sent to The Selection.
Everyone has a caste in this book. The lower the caste the less food and money you have. If you marry a caste below the female becomes whatever the male is. America is in love with a six, a labor worker, while she is a five, a musician. Birth control isn’t available to the lower castes which results in large families that can’t feed all the hungry mouths. As a part of The Selection your family gets a large check during the time you are competing.
It’s basically the more [Read More]
Vicious Depths by Madeline Stanford is a wonderful YA dystopian fantasy novel. The ideas of heaven, hell, and purgatory are uniquely turned on their heads in the world Stanford created.
Everyone is given a red test score when they die, doled out by the rulers of the Azure. These rulers are called the Senatus, and they have a mission for a girl named Alex Muir. With a red test score of 50, Alex is one point away from joining the Azure. In order to do so, she must be sent to the Depths and spy on the ruler of the underworld, Samuel, to find incriminating evidence for the Senatus.
The more she gets accustomed to the depths, the more she likes it. She finds friends among the vivacious Megan and the soft-spoken Seren, the trusting Isaac, moody Patrick, and loving Everett. She also has a mutual interest in the mysterious and notorious Flynn Cooper, the only person immune to the Inflamers and the only person with a red test score over 40 to join the elite Ember Circle that rule the depths.
The relationships and characters in this book are [Read More]
Photo by PourquoiPas via Pixabay
“Frat Girl” by Kiley Roache is a chick-lit book about a rebel. Cassie Miller is a girl who has aspirations to go off to her dream college in California. In order to do that, she needs to get a scholarship. The one she’s applied for needs her to propose a research project that relates to her major.
She’s a women’s gender studies major, so she proposes a project to join her father’s frat as a legacy. The frat has been in trouble for misogynist posters during a party. She proposes to expose the frat for its terrible behavior and disband the frat once and for all.
At first, things are going as planned. She wins the scholarship, rushes the fraternity, and survives all of the pledge tasks. She writes journal entries detailing their despicable behavior. But then things start to change.
Her frat brothers become [Read More]
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This is my second review this month on Functionally Fictional. You can find the full review here. I hope you enjoy!
Review of “The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening” by L.J. Smith
This book has dark themes but is intriguing and a great story. It is a short read, and ends with a cliffhanger (as most series do), but is worth reading. The writing style is unique.
Detailing the beginning of the story of Elena, a high school queen bee, and Stefan, a vampire who is new to town, this story has a lot of twists and turns and is very different from the TV series.
Elena is intrigued by the new boy in her high school who is clearly well off. She pursues him and is thwarted at every turn. Odd things start to happen when he comes into town; mysterious [Read More]
Photo from Amazon.com
This is my latest review on Functionally Fiction. As always, you can read the full article here.
Review of “Fallen Too Far” by Abbi Glines
This book is a spicy romance that made me want to read a lot more of her work. I was introduced to Abbi’s work through her book Until Friday Night which I wrote a review for. It was a fairly good YA book that I enjoyed.
However, it doesn’t hold a candle to her adult books! Spicy love scenes and relationships that are addictive grace her books, I am finding.
This book tells the story of Blaire, a nineteen year old who has experienced her fair share of trauma. Looking for a place to stay, she contacts her estranged father, who sends her to Rosemary Beach where she meets [Read More]
Hey everyone! Here is my latest post on Functionally Fictional. I hope you enjoy it!
Photo from Amazon
via Hayley’s Review of “The Path to Courage” by Debbie Burns
Photo by Cait Marie
There will be a notification when spoilers happen in this review. If you don’t want to find out what happens, stop there.
This book is one of Abbi Glines’ Young Adult fiction novels. Set in Alabama, it is told from two points of view: West Ashby and Maggie Carleton.
West Ashby is the football star running back of the small town’s high school. He has captured the attention from the females and is one of the most popular people at the school. But he is hiding a secret from everyone else, and it is tearing him apart.
Meet Maggie Carleton. Mute by choice due to a horrific scene she witnessed, she is moved to a new high school and a new town to live with her aunt, uncle, and cousin. Her cousin is the quarterback of the football team and is not thrilled to have her there. He is forced to bring her to parties and show her around school, mentioning to everyone that she is off limits and mute.
They meet at a field party (hence the name of the series). West slowly opens up to Maggie, who in turn opens up herself. They become an interesting couple and the talk of the town.
This is a sweet love story for those who want to just have an escape. It is not centered around football, like the title might suggest, but is rather centered around West and Maggie’s love story.
Some parts of it are a bit … [Read More]
Photo by Wesley Fryer via Flickr
Now, I know I may be a little bit late on reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, considering it came out three years ago. I also never read her book Eat, Pray, Love, which I need to rectify. But what made me finally pick up Big Magic was a recommendation by several trusted friends.
Her book details her beliefs on “living a creative life.” It is split up into sections and each section is filled with short anecdotes from her life, as well as her musings on what these stories mean for her life. It is written in an engaging and humorous way that is easy to read and pick up where you left off, even months later.
I should know — I multi-read. Between going to school and having a job, I started this book when I couldn’t read for hours at a time. I am sad to say I neglected this book. But every time I came back to it, it never failed to inspire me.
I have a short list of books that I turn to when I feel bogged down and unable to write my stories. They are usually reference books that state different methods for writing. Big Magic is different in so many ways to those books, but it has made the list. After reading through a couple short stories, I found it hard to decide between stopping to write my own stories or to keep reading.
But this book isn’t just meant for writers. It is meant for any kind of creativity, and she lets the definition be whatever it means to you. Sure, she mentions writing a lot, but that is simply because it is her chosen route of creativity.
Gilbert will inspire you to get over the mental roadblocks in your way to use your creativity. And she’ll encourage you not to do it for…[Read more]