A Real Life Dystopian: Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee

28818317Publisher: Amulet Books

Publication Date: September 13th, 2016

Series: N/A

Genre: Memoir, YA

Rating: 3.5/5

This was a flawed but interesting read. North Korea, as put by the author, is a real life dystopian. Sungju Lee provides a fascinating experience as he becomes disillusionment with the North Korean society when his family moves from the nation’s capital among society’s elite. It’s a shocking tale for both reader and writer alike as he goes from assuming everyone in Korea is well-fed and taken care of to becoming homeless and starving, where every day becomes a fight to obtain even life’s most basic necessities.

This book made me want to learn more about North Korea. I didn’t realize that Kim Jong-un was basically regarded as a deity or just how badly disparaged society is there. I don’t even know if you can travel to Korea from the US or if it is embargoed like Cuba.

On the flip side though, I did find the title and initial summary a bit misleading. It led me to assumed that the story would include more details on the actual escape from North Korea to China. And the presentation at times made me question the writer’s credibility. I have no doubt that while it is an accurate depiction in general, there seemed to be an awful lot of minute detail for every aspect of the book to have actually happened. I doubt, especially when living in such destitute conditions, that the author can recall all these small events and conversations as perfectly as is presented. Those were my two issues with the book from a critical standpoint.

Overall though, a harrowing and thought-provoking read that will increase your appreciation for the blessings in your life.

Where Have I Been? / Ice, Ice Baby: Frostblood by Elly Blake

Here I am. I am indeed well and alive. Thanks, Daley Downing, for reaching out and checking up on me. I’m sorry I haven’t been around for anyone that missed me. I needed a break. I didn’t know I needed a break nor did I intend on taking one. It just sort of happened.

A couple things led to that.

For one, I’ve been busy with a new business venture that I’m super excited about. I’ll give you details on that later.

I realized I had worn myself out. I was losing track of why I started this book in the first place. Instead of writing and reading for the sake of my love of books, I’d become a bit too consumed with deadlines, obtaining ARCs, cranking out reviews, and reading for others more than for myself. I was losing sight of why I enjoyed reading and blogging in the first place.Obviously, those things can be important but they had overtaken my life to a point where I wasn’t enjoying myself, and I’m not enjoying reading than what is the point?

Basically, I felt like I was losing my personality and becoming a review robot.

And I’d rather write less and be awesome.

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SO! I will keep blogging and reviewing but expect some changes! A few things I’d like to do differently are more concise reviews. I was reading Kirkus Reviews lately, you know the ones that are always on the Praise section on the back of your book, and I realized that they are incredibly and wonderfully short! They don’t dance around their opinion. They use precise language to make their point and are done with it. I’d like my reviews to be more like that so I don’t dread writing them.

Second, I was manic about making sure I wrote Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at the very least sometimes more. While I think consistency is important, I have a one-year-old that needs my time and attention. So from now on, expect a post on Monday. If I write more than that, great. If I don’t, then oh well. That’s the consistency I can offer at this point in my life.

Hopefully though, if I’m writing shorter reviews for the most part, it won’t be such a chore to write a post multiple times a week.

I hope you understand and that this won’t dissuade you from keeping up with me! But if it does, I totally understand…sort of. Kind of. Okay not really because I’m awesome, darn it!

With further ado, here is my review of the upcoming book Frostblood, which is to be released in January 2017!

27827203Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: January 17th, 2017

Series: Frostblood Sage, #1

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 4/5

Ruby is a Fireblood, born in a kingdom ruled by the powerful Frost King, who has decreed an end to her kind. After she is imprisoned and her mother killed by his soldiers, she heartily agrees to an opportunity to kill the king, even if it means learning to take control of her unpredictable and dangerous powers after years of suppressing them.

Frostblood reads like an early Sarah J. Maas novel though with more grit and less fluff. The world building was superb, complete, and made a wonderful backdrop for our characters. It was easy to imagine the Frost King’s palace, icicles and all, as though you were actually there.

I though that Ruby and Arcann where fairly well-developed, though they could’ve been pushed a bit further and it may have been more interesting for their romance to be drawn out. However, I still enjoyed them as characters. Both are sassy and strong while still being flawed and having believable likability.  What I really would’ve liked to see though was more development of the secondary characters. I was quite sad that Rasmus, the Frost King, was so one-dimensional as I personally found him to be incredibly interesting and would’ve enjoyed learning more about it. The priests as well were a bit lackluster.

Overall though, a great first novel which gives readers a good glimpse at Elly Blake’s potential.

Magicians and Axe Murderers: The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry

Wow. I almost don’t even know where to begin. This retelling of Alice in Wonderland is one crazy, dark, wild ride. And I loved every minute of it. Even the parts that made me squirm. Continue reading “Magicians and Axe Murderers: The Chronicles of Alice by Christina Henry”

Why is Neverland Full of Hippies?: Never Ever by Sara Saedi

22840374Publisher: Viking Books

Publication Date: June 21st, 2016

Series: Never Ever, #1

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 2/5

Never Ever is a contemporary re-telling of Peter Pan. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take this book seriously, and me not liking something Peter Pan-related is just unheard of. It goes against the very core of my being. Continue reading “Why is Neverland Full of Hippies?: Never Ever by Sara Saedi”

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

If you love this book, you might not want to read ahead. A lot of unpopular opinions are about to spew from my lips…er fingers.

16034235Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Publication Date: August 7th, 2012

Series: Throne of Glass, #2

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Rating: 2/5

It all starts with the cover. At first glance, you see it, and you’re blown away. It looks so bad-ass and awesome! But then you look closer, and you realize it’s actually ridiculous. How can anyone possibly fight with all that long hair flying everywhere?

tog reviewAnd don’t even get me started on those pants. They look great…till you realize that if this was real life, her pants would be falling off her butt, they’re slung so low! I can’t even look at them.

Girl, your pants are falling off!

And this is where my eye rolling began. Continue reading “Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas”

100 Hours Cover Reveal + Giveaway

Happy 4th of July, everyone! I hope my fellow Americans are enjoying their holiday. Since it’s a busy day, I don’t want to take up too much of your time.

I am so excited to share the awesome cover for 100 HOURS, the first book in a new trilogy by New York Times best-selling author Rachel Vincent, which
releases on March 28, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books, along with a note from the author about her upcoming novel and an amazing giveaway.

Scroll down to take check out the gorgeous cover, read what Rachel Vincent has to say about 100 HOURS, and enter for a chance to win. And be sure to share your thoughts about the cover in the comments!

Continue reading “100 Hours Cover Reveal + Giveaway”

Interview with Alexis Lampley: Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur

I’m pleased to announce our first official interview here at Fictional Fox! If you’ll look up at the menu bar, hopefully you’ll notice the new section entitled Bookpreneur. This section will not only have updates on my own entrepreneur adventures and DIY tips, but it is where I will be posting interviews with authors, bloggers, designers, and all the amazing people in the book world.

And an interview with Alexis Lampley is a fantastic way to kick this off!

28484655Alexis is the author of The Onyx Vial, book one of the Shadow of the Nine series. She is also the creator of the recently launched bookish typography and art subscription service, Nerdy Post. I first discovered Alexis and her work via her Instagram account (@dropandgivemenerdy), and I’ve basically been a fan ever since. I’m so grateful she took the time to answer a few questions, despite being not only a bookpreneur but a mom as well. Needless to say, she is a busy woman! Continue reading “Interview with Alexis Lampley: Author, Blogger, Entrepreneur”