BOOK REVIEW: FROZEN BY MELISSA DE LA CRUZ + MICHAEL JOHNSTON

15850937Title: Frozen
Author: Melissa De La Cruz + Michael Johnston
Published: September 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
336 pages
First in the Heart of Dread series
Source: Netgalley
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Frozen is the story of Natasha Kestal, a girl with a secret, and her treacherous journey to “The Blue”. When the story begins, Natasha is a blackjack dealer in a Casino located in New Vagas, a city covered in ice. The planet is slowly being destroyed, but Natasha knows of a place where the water is still pure and the sun still shines. In order to get to “The Blue”, she must get the help of the runners. Frozen is a young adult fantasy novel about magic, love and adventure, written by none other than Melissa de la Cruz and her husband Michael Johnston.

Going into this book, although very drawn to the cover, I didn’t know what to expect. However, the story turned out to be one of a kind. The fact that it takes place in Las Vegas, and that the city is literally frozen over, is nothing like anything I have read before. What a wonderful and original setting!

Reading about their ship and the high seas was refreshing and exciting for me, as I don’t usually come across this type of adventure in other books.

I loved the magical elements, although I do wish that there could have been more. I understand that this was hidden for good reason and am very much looking forward to learning more about this new type of magic as well as more about the main character Natasha herself in the second instalment.

Speaking of Nat, she was a very interesting character. I found myself liking her very early on in the book and wanted to know more about her power. The relationship building between Nat and Wes was definitely one of my favorite things about this book. As I continued reading, it was obvious that SOMETHING was going on between them, and couldn’t help but look forward to more Nat+Wes scenes.

In the end, I have to say that this couple did a great job co-writing Frozen. I really enjoyed it – though I did not absolutely love it. I gave Frozen 4 out of 5 stars and will be picking up the second book in this fantastical series.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Natasha is a young blackjack dealer in New Vegas, the city covered by ice. The freezing temperature does not affect the casinos though. Night after night, they constantly have huge crowds gambling away for the night. Natasha wants out, she wants to get to “The Blue”. It’s a fantasy place that most have heard of, but have not taken the risk to get there. It is supposed to be a paradise of no ice, with sun and clear waters. The only thing is that the journey there is not an easy one. She can’t make it there on her own. And then Ryan Wesson comes into the casino, and he may just be what Natasha was waiting for to get her out of New Vegas and on her way to “The Blue”.

This was definitely not what I was expecting. It is a new kind of magical world, one I’ve never read anything similar. Although most of the magic had to be hidden through this book, I am expecting a lot more of it in the second book. I really like when two authors can come together and create a fresh new story and both writing styles really combine and click together. I found both Nat and Wes’s characters equally interesting. And I loved them together. Both “pretended” to have feelings for each other, all the while developing true feelings.

Most of this novel takes place on a ship with some fighting at sea involved which I absolutely loved. It gave it a real pirate feel, which I don’t read too much of. The ships crew was really great to get to know too. Not all characters were likeable and I love when authors throw characters in there that you don’t necessarily have to love.

The ending to this book tore at my heart strings with a cliff hanger that makes me excited to pick up the second book. A great set of characters that make you think they could be real, a badass setting on a ship in the middle of a sea, and completed by great writing from a pair of authors.

4/5 stars from me and I believe this is a book that will be enjoyed by so many people. I highly recommend giving it a go.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing us with a copy!

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MALLORY’S SEPTEMBER WRAP UP + OCTOBER TBR

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I’m having a hard time believing it is my favorite time of year already. Where has this year gone? October is my absolute favorite, with the beautiful colors, the gorgeous weather, the yummy pumpkin treats and Halloween, what’s not to love?

September was probably my worst month of reading so far this year. I only ended up reading eight books when I usually try to get in the double digits. So here are the books I read in September.

1. Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout ★★★
Not my favorite of the series but I am still loving every minute of these books. I will be very sad for the series to end. I am waiting to finish this series to do a full series review.

2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness ★★★★★
Absolutely adored this book. Do not be fooled by the plot, this one has some pretty heavy content in it. Full review to come this month.

3. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins ★★★★★
An absolute fabulous way to end out the series. I will forever love Stephanie Perkins and I hope she starts working on new books right away. Can’t get enough of her writing.

4. The Good Girl by Mary Kubica ★★★★
My book clubs choice for the month. I was very intrigued with this one and was blown away by the ending. A great thriller thrown in between the contemporary I was reading.

5. The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp ★★★★
Not what I was expecting at all but still enjoyable. We did a group discussion on this one and you can find our thoughts here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/book-discussion-the-spectacular-now-by-tim-tharp/

6. Whispers at Moonrise by C.C. Hunter ★★★
One of my monthly reads with Maria. We are still making our way through this series and we will have a full review of this one to come.

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry ★★★★
Another one of my reads with Maria. We have already reviewed this one and you can find that right here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/book-review-the-giver-by-lois-lowry/

8. Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ★★★
Definitely not what I was expecting. As a dragon lover I had a hard time learning to love these dragons. But I have a full review of this one coming up next week and will let you know more of my thoughts then.

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I’ve got a lot on my plate for October. We have received quite a few books for review, Maria and I have a ton of books to read together and I have lots of Halloween and horror posts planned for this month. So I’m going to try and not let myself get overwhelmed with all that. So here are the books I plan to read in October.

1. The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer. Currently reading this one and am halfway through.
2. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Reading with Maria.
3. The Merciless by Danielle Vega. Reading with Maria.
4. Chosen at Nightfall by C.C. Hunter. Reading with Maria.
5. Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. Reading with Maria, Marissa and Mackenzie.
6. Storm Siren by Mary Weber. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
7. The Swallow by Charis Cotter. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
8. When War Calls by Zy J. Rykoa. Making my way through this one and will be reviewing with Maria.
9. Frozen by Melissa De La Cruz and Michael Johnston. Received from Netgalley and will be reviewing with Maria.
10. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. My book clubs choice of the month.
11. Horns by Joe Hill. Was on my list last month but didn’t have time to get to it.

As you can see the two of us will have our hands full this month. But you can expect our blog to be very busy this month.

Hope you all have a great month of reading!

Mallory