BOOK REVIEW: TREASURE DARKLY BY JORDAN ELIZABETH

23399901Title: Treasure Darkly (Treasure Chronicles #1)
Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Published: February 16th 2015 by Curiosity Quills Press
289 pages
Source: Author
Click here to find it on Goodreads

Maria’s thoughts:
Clark and his mother are doing everything they can to get by. They don’t have very much money, but they live a happy life together. That is, until Clark receives the ability to awaken the dead and his beloved mother is brutally murdered. Suddenly, the army is after him, wanting to use his new ability, so he is forced to go into hiding. Clark then decides that it is time to meet his birth father. Growing up, he had heard few stories of the man who had left his mother. He only knew what his mother had told him over the years. Clark had only one thing of his fathers: a letter that was addressed to his mother. When Clark shows up on Mr. Treasure’s property, convinced he is his father, he shows him his mothers letter. Mr. Treasure recognized the letter that Clark brought with him, and he and his family welcome the boy into their home with open arms. When Clark gets a visit from a ghost named Eric, claiming that he is Clark’s birth father and not Mr. Treasure, things start to get a little crazy. He must collect his real birth father’s inventions, avoid the army, convince everyone that he is a Treasure to remain in hiding… and on top of all of that, he is falling in love with Amethyst – Mr. Treasure’s daughter.

Whew. There was never a dull moment in this book. I believe that it may have been my first steampunk read, so I was a bit hesitant going into it. I worried that I would not understand everything, but after a few chapters I was more than okay.

First of all, the cover is stunning and the characters are awesome. Clark was an interesting main character that I highly enjoyed reading about. I liked that he was different from the Treasure family. He was always protecting and saving people. Then there’s Amethyst, who is pretty badass for a rich girl. She wanted to learn to use a gun and to defend herself. She was curious and wanted to go on adventures to learn more about what’s outside of her world.

I loved that Clark could confide in Amethyst. They had a very honest and open relationship. They made a great team. It was really odd at first when Amethyst kept coming onto Clark, because I honestly believed that they were related. However, once I learned the truth, I loved the relationship that had blossomed between them. She may have tried throwing herself at him, but for the majority of the book they were simply really good friends. More like partners in crime. Clark had known that there was a possibility of him falling in love with her, but of course everyone believed that they were brother and sister. This forbidden romance aspect made for an even more interesting read.

The more I think about this book, the more I like it. It was so different than what I typically read. In this world, people are not afraid to kill. They just get rid of the bodies and they move on. The action in Treasure Darkly was great and kept me on my toes throughout the entire novel. I highly recommend this book to those who want to get into the steampunk genre! I rated Treasure Darkly 4.5 out of 5 stars. It was such a delight to read and review this book for the author.

Mallory’s thoughts:
Clark has been running away from the army. Drinking a potion he thought was absinthe made him the biggest tool that army could use. He has the power to bring the dead back to life. And finding out he is the bastard son of Garth Treasure is just the leverage he needs to use to his advantage. Seeking the Treasures out, he thinks that being under Garth’s wing will protect him from the army. Little does he know that his adventure is only beginning.

A steampunk novel mixed with the Wild West, this book will be sure to satisfy your action expectations!

I was a little nervous going into this book. I’m not a very big western fan and on the other hand I know very little about steampunk. But there was just enough of each aspect that I didn’t feel scared or overwhelmed by it. It was a nice way to ease myself into new genres. I found the first couple of chapters to be a little slower, but from there the story really picked up the pace. I felt myself reading through chapters at a pretty quick speed. There were a few times where I would ask myself “why is this happening?”, only to have it resolved later on in the book. So it was nice that nothing felt strained or out of place.

The characters were very distinguishable. Each had their own views and attitudes and felt very thought out. In my mind it felt as though I could hear them each talking through the chapters, it really brought the book to life for me.

I look forward to more in the series to find out more about the characters and to see what kind of trouble they get themselves into next time!

4/5 stars from me!

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MALLORY’S JANUARY TBR

So December was a bust for me, as it always is. The holidays get me in a reading funk and I get nothing accomplished! Especially this year as I hosted my entire family. I really haven’t read anything since the middle of December. So I’m going to make a small TBR to try and get me back into the reading mood!

1. The Mine by John A. Heldt. We were contacted by the author himself and this book sounds really interesting! I can’t wait to start it.
2. Embrace the Suck by Stephen Madden. This is a nonfiction about a guy that does crossfit. It sounds super intriguing and fitness is my other passion, so I want to get more into fitness and health books.
3. Poser: My Life In Twenty-Three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer. Again another fitness themed book!
4. Stay Out of the Basement by R.L. Stine. This is the second Goosebumps book and I adore these. They bring me back to being a kid and getting scared by these stories.
5. Dark Legend: The Supernatural Chronicles by R.A. Renee. Another review book that sounds really great!
6. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. This is my book club book of the month.

Those are the books I have planned for sure. Later in the month I am starting school plus will be working, so I won’t have much time for reading. I’m going to try and make the most of it before then!

Let me know what you are reading this month!
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2014 STATS

This post is a recap of our reading and blogging year, inspired by THIS post by odetojoandkatniss. We are really happy with what we have accomplished and are super thankful for the support of our followers. Keep in mind that we just started our book blog in July of 2014! These posts are great to look back on in the future. Let us know how your reading/blogging year was in the comments below! Home-Sale-Stats

MARIA’S READING STATS
Final reading count of 2014: 92
Page count: 33247

Genres:
Young adult fiction: 70 books
Adult fiction: 10 books
New adult fiction: 5 books

Ratings:
5 stars: 39 books
4 stars: 40 books
3 stars: 12 books

2 stars: 1 book

Most anticipated releases of 2015:
Confess by Colleen Hoover
Never Never by Colleen Hoover
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop
The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles #2) by Mary E Pearson
Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5) by Marissa Meyer

Top 3 books read in 2014:
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Top 3 series read in 2014:
The Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
The Divergent series by Veronica Roth
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer series by Michelle Hodkin

MALLORY’S READING STATS
Final reading count of 2014: 138
Page count: 45932Ratings:
5 star: 47 books
4 stars: 60 books
3 stars: 29 books
2 stars: 2 books

Most anticipated books of 2015:
The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Top 3 books read in 2014:
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Top 3 series read in 2014:
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer
Cirque Du Freak by Darren Shan
The Maze Runner by James Dashner


READSBYMANDM BLOG STATS
Total posts: 118
Total views: 2,015
Total visitors: 1,069
Total likes: 141
Total comments: 69
Total followers: 79 amazing followers
Busiest day of 2014: October 9th with 78 views.
Posts that got the most views:

MALLORY’S #12DAYSOFBOOKMAS READ-A-THON TBR

10846780_10152837584945465_1444511147_nSo as Maria mentioned in her post, this read-a-thon is taking place on Instagram. And what perfect timing for a read-a-thon! Everyone will be finishing school and work and it’ll be all read read read time! So here are the books I plan to read during this time.

1. My True Love Gave to Me by various authors. I’ve already finished one story so this shouldn’t take me very long.
2. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. Why has it taken me so long to get to this book? Super pumped for this one.
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Second book in the graphic novel series. These are fun and take no time at all.
4. Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O’Malley. This is the third in the series.
5. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. It’s about time I am getting to this series!

Hopefully I will be able to make it through all these and more. I want to get a lot of reading done this month. But so far, I’m slacking. This read-a-thon should help me pick it up though. Let us know what you plan on reading too! And don’t forget to check out our updates on Instagram 🙂

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STORM DAY READS – OH THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL

Maria’s storm day reads:

Storm days are perfect for curling up in your warmest Christmas blanket and getting lost in a great book!

When it’s freezing out, and snowing, and you don’t want to leave your house at all, I suggest picking a book that is short enough to finish in 24 hours (or at least that you will be able to read a big chunk of).

Old favorites are always great for stormy days as well. Maybe you’ve been meaning to re-read a some Harry Potter, maybe it’s been so long that you’ve started forgetting things that happened in the hunger games series, maybe you’ve been craving to pick up your favorite childhood read…

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1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. (yeah I wasn’t kidding. I actually have forgotten quite a bit…)

2. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (I think this would be a really great middle-grade read)

3. Shadows (Lux #0.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout (novellas are also fast storm-day reads!)

4. Maybe Not by Colleen Hoover (an other novella that I will be reading very soon)

Mallory’s storm day reads:

Okay so I went a little different route than Maria. When I think of storm days I want those huge chunky books that I can escape into for hours and not worry about anything else around me.

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1. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. These books are beasts but once you start you can’t stop. You will seriously want a few full days for these books.
2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Not only this but the whole series is just so warming and adorable. I read this a stormy night in November while missing my boyfriend and it did the trick taking my mind off things.
3. The Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Because if you haven’t heard of Daemon Black yet, what’s wrong with you?
4. The Tiger’s Saga by Colleen Houck. Because not one hot man, but two! Mm.

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5. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Because what was I just saying about hot men? Mmmm.
6. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Rowell is the queen of feel good, cute, fluffy and light hearted reads. Her books will keep you smiling.
7. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. This is probably in my top three favorite books of ALL TIME. Such a great story and take on zombies. Go read it!
8. The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. This is as equally amazing as The Song of Ice and Fire series. A high fantasy that will keep you on your toes and intrigued from beginning to end.

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9. The Elemental series by Brigid Kemmerer. Because not one hot man, not two hot men, but four! Oh boy, swoons all around.
10. The Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. Because honestly, these are so damn addicting and quick to read, you are going to want to binge read the entire series.

We hope you enjoyed our choices! Let us know what your storm day reads would be!

BOOK DISCUSSION: UGLY LOVE BY COLLEEN HOOVER

17788401Title: Ugly Love
Author: Colleen Hoover
Published: 2014 by Atria Books
337 pages
Click here to find it on Goodreads

“Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way.”

First question is going to be the same as always, what were your thoughts before starting the book?
Mackenzie: I didn’t know what to expect since I’ve never read a Colleen Hoover book before, I wanted to go in not knowing too much.
Mallory: I had high expectations because I read Maybe Someday before and freaking loved it so I hoped I would love this one just as much. It was also so hyped up that I was scared I would be let down by that.
Maria: This was my second Colleen Hoover book, so I’ve already had a taste of her writing style. I heard nothing but amazing things about Ugly Love and had a good feeling that I was going to like it.
Marissa: I didn’t read into it at all, so I went in blindly. I saw some brief opinions on Goodreads but that was it.

Cover art. Like or dislike?
Mackenzie: I like it a lot! I like how simple it is but to me it’s intriguing.
Mallory: Yeah it’s simple but I really love the design of it.
Maria: I really like it. I find that as much as it comes off as simple, it also stands out because of the color and texture. It’s very pretty.
Marissa: I also liked that it was simple. I was trying to figure out what it had to do with the story for the longest time.

Did you like the way the chapters alternated between past and present?
Mackenzie: Yes, I liked it because you really got to see his back story and in more detail then if there weren’t any chapters from the past.
Mallory: I liked the way it alternated by damn I wanted to see into present day Miles’s head SO BAD.
Maria: I really liked learning about Miles’s past. I wanted to learn more about why he acted the way he did and what caused him so much hurt.
Marissa: I loved the alternating but I agree with Mallory, it was killing me not knowing what present day Miles was thinking.

What did you think of the relationship between Tate and Miles?
Mackenzie: I loved it because it was so real, especially when she knows it’s wrong and he won’t love her but she can’t stop being around him. I absolutely loved when they got together!
Mallory: Always a bad choice for the girl. Of course you always develop feelings. It was pretty obvious she would from the beginning. I really liked her and didn’t want to see her get hurt. I loved the two of them together ❤
Maria: Oh I loved it. I fell for Miles very early on. How could Tate not falling in love with that guy? I liked that the relationship wasn’t perfect. I also really appreciate the build up to it. Miles didn’t fall for her right away, but he slowly did because he just couldn’t help himself. *swoon*
Marissa: I liked their relationship a lot. They both knew they weren’t going to stick to their rules and it was flawed but I loved every second of it.

What did you think of Miles?
Mackenzie: I love him so much! He’s probably my favorite male character!
Mallory: I loooove him. I kept swooning in his chapters.
Maria: He was by far my favorite character. I liked the way he took his career seriously, he valued relationships, and he was a good friend to Corbin. And the way Colleen Hoover described him just made me melt. He had so many issues and I could feel his pain. But loved him anyway.
Marissa: I couldn’t get enough of him! The way he spoke about Rachel had me swooning. Definitely one of my new top characters. I highlighted so many Miles quotes.

Did you like Tate as a main character?
Mackenzie: Yes, she wasn’t one of my top main characters but she really fit perfectly in the story and I liked that she wasn’t annoying and she would stand up for herself!
Mallory: I actually really liked her. And I loved how sassy she was. It was awesome to have a female protagonist not get walked all over by everyone in the book.
Maria: I did! She was a relatable 23 year old woman. I liked that she was getting her life figured out. I feel like she had a good future ahead of her! And yes, she was so kind, I really liked that she went out of her way to befriend an old man.
Marissa: I loved Tate. She was a very relatable main character. And I liked that she was very into school and her job and genuine to everyone, especially Cap.

What were your thoughts on Cap and his relationship with Tate?
Mackenzie: It was probably my favorite part of the book even though I love Miles and Tate, I just adored the parts with Cap! I loved that her best friend wasn’t a girl her age and that Cap gave her good advice and was funny!
Mallory: It was such an unexpected friendship, the 60 year age difference just as well as the way they met, it was the cutest thing. He was just adorable and it made my heart melt when Tate thought about him and made him a sandwich.
Maria: So nice! It was an incredible friendship between the two of them, despite the age difference. Cap was such a funny character and had so much wisdom to offer to Tate. I loved that she was able to trust him and tell him what was going on in her life.
Marissa: Their friendship was perfect. Obviously not the normal best friend character but he was funny and their relationship really showed a lot of who Tate was that she befriended him and would make him food when people like Dillon would scoff at him.

What are your thoughts on Tate’s brother Corbin?
Mackenzie: I liked him and I also liked that he wanted the best for her and didn’t want anyone to hurt her. But sometimes I thought ht was a little bit too over protective.
Mallory: I thought he was exactly like a big brother should be, although maybe he went a little bit overboard at times. But I loved his genuine concern for Tate.
Maria: It was nice to read about a brother/sister relationship. It was cool that they were living together and I liked how protective he was over her, he always wanted the best for his sister.
Marissa: Corbin was an awesome big brother to Tate. He only wanted what was best for her and it was cute how protective he was, to an extent. One of my favorite parts was when Corbin told Miles that he was happy it was him who ended up with Tate because he was the only one who could have met his standards for her ❤

Did you think the story was a good pace?
Mackenzie: I didn’t want it to end.
Mallory: Definitely was for me, I kept flipping pages like it was my job trying to figure out what was going to happen next. So sad when it ended.
Maria: I think it was! I was completely invested in the story. The entire time I was at work I wanted to be reading it because I just couldn’t get enough of their story. I was obsessed with finding out more about Miles and I wanted him and Tate together SO bad.It was perfect pacing for me.
Marissa: I flew through it so quickly, so the pace was perfect for me. I had to keep reading during class because I was so curious about Miles.

Your thoughts on writing style?
Mackenzie: I loved it! Especially Miles’s chapters from the past. It was beautiful.
Mallory: I think Colleen Hoover just uses the perfect words. Especially Miles’s chapters that were written in prose. So beautiful.
Maria: Her writing is simply perfection in my eyes. Every word was amazing in this book.
Marissa: LOVED that it was written like poetry in Miles’s chapters. Colleen Hoover knows exactly what to say and when to say it thats for sure.

Will you read more of Colleen Hoovers work?
Mackenzie: Absolutely! I want to read all her books now!
Mallory: A big yes for me. Definitely reading everything she ever writes.
Maria: Obviously! I can’t wait to read more of her work.
Marissa: Of course! As soon as I finished I went and added her other books to my TBR on Goodreads.

Goodreads rating?
Mackenzie: ★★★★★
Mallory: ★★★★★
Maria: ★★★★★
Marissa: ★★★★★

MALLORY’S NOVEMBER WRAP UP + DECEMBER TBR

Well I don’t feel like I read very much in November at all. I had a busy month and I switched jobs. My plan in December is to make more time for reading, especially since I’ll be getting quite a bit of time off for Christmas.

So on to the wrap up. I read a total of nine books this month.

1. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★
I found myself getting lost throughout this a lot. Definitely nowhere near as good as the first book.

2. The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson ★★★★★
Probably my favorite book of the month. Loved loved loved it. We have already posted our discussion on this book and you can find that here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/book-discussion-the-kiss-of-deception-by-mary-e-pearson/

3. Redwall by Brian Jacques ★★★★
Loved this book. I have already posted my review and you can find that here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/book-review-redwall-by-brian-jacques/

4. This is Sarah by Ally Malinenko ★★★★
Maria and I received this from the author herself and we have already posted our review. Check that out here: https://readsbymandm.wordpress.com/2014/11/20/book-review-this-is-sarah-by-ally-malinenko/

5. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover ★★★★★
Adored this book. We have a discussion coming up for this one sometime next week so be sure to check that out.

6. The Lake of Souls by Darren Shan ★★★★★
The 10th book in the Saga of Darren Shan series. This series is so great. I have a full series review coming up within the next few days.

7. The Lord of Shadows by Darren Shan ★★★★★
The 11th book in the Saga of Darren Shan series. Just as good as the rest.

8. The Sons of Destiny by Darren Shan ★★★★★
The 12th and final book in the Saga of Darren Shan. Definitely not how I was expecting the series to end but loved it. I’m now sad that it is over. Be sure to checkout my series review within the next couple days.

9. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss ★★★★★
Obviously this deserves five stars. So adorable and now I want to watch the movie again!

Okay so for December I made quite a large TBR, as always. Depending on how much time I have I might switch things up but we will see as the month goes on how I feel.

1. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by various authors. This is our discussion book of the month.
2. I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. I’m currently reading this and it is my book clubs choice of the month.
3. The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. Starting this one AS SOON as I finish my current read.
4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Carrying this over from November.
5. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I want to read this with my sister on Christmas Eve. She doesn’t know that yet though.
6. The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Have already read this before but The Grinch is my all time favorite Christmas story/movie.
7. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.
8. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World by Brian Lee O’Malley.
9. Scott Pilgrim & the Infinite Sadness by Brian Lee O’Malley.
10. A Grimm Warning by Chris Colfer.
11. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman.
12. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman.
13. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer.
14. Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.
15. Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins.
16. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
17. Scarlet by Marissa Meyer.

So as you can see I have some super easy reads on there that shouldn’t take long at all. So I’m going to try and make my way through the TBR as much as I can. I always find myself slacking each December but we will see how this one goes.

How was your November? What are you planning on reading in December? Let me know in the comments.
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