Tag: epic reads

Mini Review: PASSENGER (2016) by Alexandra Bracken

Mini Review: PASSENGER (2016) by Alexandra BrackenPassenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken
Published by Disney-Hyperion on January 5th 2016
Pages: 496

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.
Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.
Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever

Happy Monday! The New York Times published a book review of PASSENGER in their Sunday Review of Books, and it echoes what I have to say by the end of my Book Talk: READ IT! Simply put, PASSENGER is a thrilling start to what promises to be an intriguing, romantic, and exciting series.

This is my first book of Alexandra Bracken’s and I am anxious to read every other novel of hers. If the romance in those books is anything like what we find in PASSENGER, I suspect I will enjoy them.

What I Loved

I loved the way the narrative jumped from place to place and time to time. The transitions weren’t confusing at all, and the story just tripped along at a thrilling pace. I was gripped by PASSENGER as I flew across the country to California for Christmas. The time on the plane just flew by as I turned the pages, racing to find out if Etta would be able to rescue her mother and find the coveted astrolabe.

Another fantastic aspect of the story: The relationship between Etta and Nicholas.

Let me just say: WOW! This couple may become one of my favorites for 2016—the development of their connection is stunning. When Etta finds herself transported back in time and on the deck of a captured ship in 1776, she encounters a man who saves her after she falls overboard. It’s clear that Nicholas finds her intriguing. It takes some time, but the two eventually realize they may have some shared goals. I won’t give anything away, but Bracken’s depiction of the growing closeness between Etta and Nicholas is perfect.

“ ‘We watch each other’s backs,’ she said. ‘You call me Etta. And we don’t keep secrets.’”

When the two meet, there is certainly chemistry depicted between them, but it is only as they spend more time together, discover they have a similar enemy, and become honest that their friendship blossoms into something more.

“ ‘Your era is one small sliver of time compared to all eternity—there is only one small place you and I can be safe together…’”

The story featured the perfect balance of adventure, mystery, and romance. Sometimes I’ve noticed that it can be difficult to find that perfect balance in a Young Adult novel, but Bracken pulls it off with this one. That’s why I will definitely be recommending PASSENGER to YA and Adult readers. There are a lot of Time Travels books out there right now, but this one stands apart from the others in its brilliant plot, nuanced characters, and fascinating setting changes.

I won’t lie—the book ends on a cliffhanger and you might be biting your nails while reading those closing pages. But we can rest assured that the next installment will surely be worth the wait. Now to find an astrolabe to jump to the publication month of the second book! (Just steer clear of Ironwood!)

What Katie Read

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books Read in 2015

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This week, we’re sharing our Top Ten Books Read in 2015—a perfect Top Ten Tuesday for this 15th of December. I can’t believe it’s almost the end of 2015. I don’t know about you, but I love the Christmas season—time to bake, relax by the fire, spend time with family and friends, celebrate, give gifts, and especially…read!

This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish—check out their blog and join in the TOP TEN TUESDAY FUN!

Here’s what they have to say about Top Ten Tuesday: “Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly link-up in the community where we provide a prompt and other lovers of listmaking join in on it with their own top ten list. Feel free to have less than 10 or more if you need to at times and put a spin on the topic if you need to! Just please link back to us if you are participating :)”

So here’s my list of my very favorite books read in 2015.

the lake house

The Lake House


Kate Morton

 everything everything

Everything, Everything


Nicola Yoon

winter cover



Marissa Meyer


The Nightingale


Kristin Hannah




Jay Kristoff & Amie Kauffman


Between Shades of Grey


Ruta Sepetys

salt to the sea

Salt to the Sea


Ruta Sepetys

the marvels

The Marvels


Brian Selznick


The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly


Stephanie Oakes




Naomi Novik

So many wonderful books! What were your favorite reads of 2015?!?!

What Katie Read

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For the Rest of 2015

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2015 is shaping up to be an absolutely wonderful year for book releases…in all genres: Middle Grade, Young Adult, and Adult! Today I’m bringing you my Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases for the Rest of 2015….I’m excited to share these titles today and I’m looking forward to discovering what all of you chose as well!

I know this post is up AFTER this particular Top Ten Tuesday took place, but hey, I need to share these titles with you! Summer is turning out to be a little busier with spring work-wise, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be reading loads of wonderful books and sharing with you as often as I can! I’m also heading to ALA later this week, so I’m very excited about that.

As usual, this weekly meme is hosted by The Broke and Bookish. Be sure to link up each week so we can visit your Top Ten!

winter cover


By Mariss Meyer


Winter could be my top choice for the second half of the year….please, November get here quickly!

walk on earth


By Rae Carson


My Secret Sister was kind enough to pick me up a copy of this from BEA and since Rae Carson is one of my favorite YA authors, it’s no surprise that I’m very excited about this one too.

the marvels


By Brian Selznick


Brian Selznick’s new book is AMAZING! Another perfect gift from my Secret Sister. Thank you, Andi!!

queen of shadows


By Sarah J. Maas


It’s no surprise that this book is on my list. I’m sure there are many of us that are in the throes of tortured waiting for Book 4 in the Throne of Glass series….

the lake house


By Kate Morton

[OCTOBER 2015]

Can I get a drum roll, please? You’ll know that I’m a Kate Morton fan through and through, and I cannot wait for October to arrive, chiefly for the reason that it brings a new Kate Morton book!



By Jodi Lynn Anderson


A new book from Jodi Lynn Anderson?!?! Yes, please!

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By Rebecca Stead

[August 2015]

I’ve got an e-ARC of this one on my Kindle, ready to go. I will read anything by the author of When You Reach Me.

the secret chord


By Geraldine Brooks

[October 2015]

Geraldine Brook is another auto-buy author for me. I am really excited about The Secret Chord, especially because it takes place in Israel!

six of crows


By Leigh Bardugo

[September 2015]

It’s no surprise that everyone and their mother is avidly awaiting Leigh’s new book this fall. We all know we are going to buy it and love it.

this monstrous thing


By Mackenzi Lee

[September 2015]

I am very excited about this Frankenstein-inspired YA! A Victorian setting & Steampunk elements?!? Yes!

You might have already posted your Top Ten Anticipated releases for the rest of the year , but I want to know what they are? What else should I be looking forward to besides these gems?!?

What Katie Read
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