Children of Blood and Bone || Book Review

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi || 2/5

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

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Heyo, peeps.

So, everyone LOVES this book. I haven’t seen another poor review. But, I didn’t enjoy it. (Which is unfortunate because one of my closest friends loves it. But she didn’t like Six of Crows, so…)

I’m also trying out a new reviewing style: BULLET POINTS!!!! Come on, guys! Are you excited? I’m SO EXCITED ABOUT THESE BULLET POINTS.

Actually, I have no idea about how bullet points will turn out. But, I must be more efficient. School has started! And I am getting six hours of homework a night! I’M SO EXCITED (about bullet points, not school) AND SLEEP DEPRIVED. Ahh, AP Chemistry, my dear friend. (I hate your homework.) That’s right, six hours of homework a night from ONE class. (I really like chem. I hate homework.) That’s over a twelve-hour workday. In history, we’re learning about how peeps all reformed to eight-hour workdays. Mind you, these reforms were for adults. Children can keep the twelve-hour clock ticking. Bleh.

  • A major issue I had with this book is that the pacing feels weird. It’s almost too fast and it felt like things weren’t fully fleshed out. The magic system or the world-building or the characters.
  • A minor issue I had at the beginning was the overabundance of words unique to the book. I felt like they didn’t have enough context, and it made it hard to grasp what was going on at the beginning, but the problem did fix itself pretty soon. Both because they popped up less later in the books and that I finally figured out what they meant.
  • The writing felt overdramatic to me and it didn’t actually make me feel anything (a difficult endeavor). I was never scared or worried for the characters, despite the book wanting me to feel that way. Is this making any sense? I don’t think I’m making sense. It’s a feeling.
  • It’s a classic questing book. It’s not new or different. It’s been done a ton before. And I didn’t find a reason to read this book over the others available. Generic.
  • I would’ve liked a bit more world-building.
  • Over the course of reading this book, I had so many unanswered questions. It was frustrating.
  • The book feels like it’d be a spectacular movie (that I’d totally watch), but it’s not that spectacular of a book.
  • The writing style was repetitive.
  • The ROMANCE! UGGGGGGHHHHH. There was no chemistry whatsoever, it is not logical, it’s INSTA-LOVE, and finally, it did nothing but create unnecessary drama.

Overall, I think my biggest issue with this book is that I wasn’t attached to the characters. I didn’t care about what happened to them, and so I wasn’t motivated to keep reading.

Read 7/21/2018 – 7/27/2018


What did you guys think about the bullet points?

My hands are so cold.

Apologies for this rambly review. My brain is a mush from doing absolutely NOTHING but schoolwork for the past week. It’s the second week of school. I’m just putting that out there. As Imagine Dragons once put in Who We Are, “Don’t look clear, it’s all uphill from here.”

Mini Book Reviews

Book reviews of I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, and War Storm by Victoria Aveyard.


I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak || 5/5

protect the diamonds
survive the clubs
dig deep through the spades
feel the hearts

Ed Kennedy is an underage cabdriver without much of a future. He’s pathetic at playing cards, hopelessly in love with his best friend, Audrey, and utterly devoted to his coffee-drinking dog, the Doorman. His life is one of peaceful routine and incompetence until he inadvertently stops a bank robbery.

That’s when the first ace arrives in the mail.

That’s when Ed becomes the messenger.

Chosen to care, he makes his way through town helping and hurting (when necessary) until only one question remains: Who’s behind Ed’s mission?

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This is a very unique book that I highly recommend. The writing style is beautiful, as it is with The Book Thief. It reads like poetry. The main character’s development is done well and he grows significantly over the course of the novel. The plot is different from any other book I’ve read and it is amazing and intricate. I love the message behind the book and how it encourages the readers to care more about others. The pacing was slow at times, but good overall. The conclusion was somewhat confusing, but after it sinks in, it’s breathtaking.

Read 7/8/18 – 7/12/18


This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab || 5/5

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

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This is an amazing book. While I usually don’t like school settings for YA fantasy, it worked well for This Savage Song. Like in A Darker Shade of Magic, Schwab has created a magically unique world. I adore the concept behind it and I can’t wait to see what she does with it in the sequel. The characters are well-developed and they feel real. They were likable and relatable. The plot was thrilling and kept me turning the pages, but it’s the characters that drive this book.

Read 7/12/18 – 7/15/2018


War Storm by Victoria Aveyard || 4.5/5

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart—and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her—Mare resolves to overthrow the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head.

But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to defeat the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means demolishing everything—and everyone—in his path.

War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the little lightning girl be forever silenced?

In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

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So, first, let’s talk about the good parts. The characterizations are exponentially better than those of the previous books. The characters are more fleshed out and they feel human, especially the minor characters. It’s like putting on glasses for the first time. The characters were fuzzy before, but now they’re clear.

I love the way the different moving pieces fit together and the plot is fast-paced. War Storm is as action-packed as King’s Cage was slow.

The writing is beautiful and the descriptions are amazing. We are introduced to new settings in this book that came alive in my mind. The action scenes are nicely done and they don’t feel repetitive.

The Non-Spoilery Relationships

  • Evangeline and Elane
    • The relationship is sweet. I love how much Evangeline cares for Elane and it brings a new depth to her character. However, Elane isn’t developed at all. She doesn’t speak much over the course of the novel. I’d like a novella about Evangeline and Elane because Elane is really an intriguing character and I’d like to learn more about her.
  • Maven and Thomas.
    • So we don’t know much about this mystery Thomas dude except that Maven loved him. I would love a novella about them from before Maven was totally corrupted by his mother. GIVE ME PLEASE.

 

SPOILER SECTION

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

I’m going to discuss the ending, so if you haven’t seen the warning above, I am warning you again. EXTREME SPOILERS AHEAD.

 

The Ending

The ending was vague and inconclusive. There’s an air of “it’s safe for now, but it’ll be dangerous again soon and the story isn’t over yet, even though the series is over”. Maven’s death didn’t feel conclusive. Cal and Mare’s relationship didn’t feel conclusive. Are they together? Are they not together? The war’s end was inconclusive. It ended with a ceasefire! I would like details of Norta’s new government. Who’s ruling? I’m left with questions, which begs the question, “Is this a set-up for a spin-off series?”.

 

Spoilery Relationships

  • Kilorn and Cameron
    • I don’t feel the chemistry.
  • Gisa and Mystery Girl
    • Details, please.

 

Maven

In the previous books, he was an intriguing and developed antagonist, but with his instability and descent into madness in this book, he is seeming to regress into the mold of “crazy and dangerous, but under-developed, villain cackling in the shadows”. He’s always been a favorite character of mine, but it’s sad to see him be like this.

Which is why I would love a Maven and Thomas novella. I’d like to see him B.E. (Before Elara). Maybe he can be redeemed.

End Spoilers.

Read More: Spinette’s Review of War Storm by Victoria Aveyard

Read 7/16/18 – 7/21/18


Currently Reading: The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

TBR

  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (reread)
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  • Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
  • When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Mini Book Reviews

Book reviews of Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway, Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, and This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp


Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway || 3.5/5

Emmy’s best friend, Oliver, reappears after being kidnapped by his father ten years ago. Emmy hopes to pick up their relationship right where it left off. Are they destined to be together? Or has fate irreparably driven them apart?

Emmy just wants to be in charge of her own life.

She wants to stay out late, surf her favorite beach—go anywhere without her parents’ relentless worrying. But Emmy’s parents can’t seem to let her grow up—not since the day Oliver disappeared.

Oliver needs a moment to figure out his heart.

He’d thought, all these years, that his dad was the good guy. He never knew that it was his father who kidnapped him and kept him on the run. Discovering it, and finding himself returned to his old hometown, all at once, has his heart racing and his thoughts swirling.

Emmy and Oliver were going to be best friends forever, or maybe even more, before their futures were ripped apart. In Emmy’s soul, despite the space and time between them, their connection has never been severed. But is their story still written in the stars? Or are their hearts like the pieces of two different puzzles—impossible to fit together?

Readers who love Sarah Dessen will tear through these pages with hearts in throats as Emmy and Oliver struggle to face the messy, confusing consequences of Oliver’s father’s crime. Full of romance, coming-of-age emotion, and heartache, these two equally compelling characters create an unforgettable story.

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I previously read Far From the Tree, Benway’s other book, and I LOVED it. While Emmy and Oliver was an enjoyable read, it didn’t hold the same appeal. The plot was slow and heavily romance-based. I loved the premise, but much of the plot revolved around Emmy and Oliver falling in love.

The characters were well-developed (even the minor characters). Benway created quirky and lovable minor characters and I love them (especially Drew). Bonus: There are parents who are involved in their children’s lives! A rare spectacle in YA fiction. My favorite part of this book was Benway’s writing, which is simple, yet beautiful and very addicting. I read this book in one (very long) sitting. (But, to be fair, I probably wouldn’t have if I had anything else to do. It wasn’t that gripping.)

Read 7/2/18


Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor || 3.5/5

Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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While this was an enjoyable read with wonderful world-building, it was heavily romance-based. Much of the story involved the characters being stupidly in love and it was plain icky (sorry, but it’s true). Much of the time while reading this book was spent mentally yelling at the main character to stop swooning over the idiot and GET ACTUAL STUFF DONE. Another thing that annoyed me was how spectacularly beautiful the main character, Karou, and her love interest are and how many times this was reiterated. It’s a waste of words. We get it. You’re prettier than the average human bean. While the plot and characters were annoying for romance-y reasons, the writing and world-building were beautiful. The writing style was whimsical and had a magical feel. I fell in love with it. The world-building was unique and incredibly detailed. Overall, I recommend this book if you don’t mind all the sickly romantic junk.

Read 7/2/18 – 7/6/18


This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp || 2.5/5

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

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This was a kinda enjoyable read in the way that some songs have awful lyrics but have catchy, but bad, melodies and you kinda like them. But not really. The book is creepy, and not in a good way. In a “What have you done?!” sort of way.

I really liked the way the plot was done and how you only got bits and pieces of the story at a time. I liked the way it all weaved together at the end.

But. I didn’t like the ending. It was abrupt.

The multiple point-of-views weren’t done well. There was no difference in voice between the four main characters and I kept having to check to see whose POV I was reading from. I also didn’t get particularly attached to the characters, which resulted in a lack of suspense because I didn’t really care what happened to them. I didn’t like the writing style. It was bland and wasn’t unique. The book also failed at show-not-tell and it didn’t manage to create much suspense in general. This book wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t like it.

I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I had anything better to do.

Read 7/6/18 – 7/8/18


Currently Reading: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

TBR

  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (reread)
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  • Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
  • When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen
  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
  • Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Mini Book Reviews

Book reviews of Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman.


Who Could That Be at This Hour? by Lemony Snicket || 4/5

The adventure began in a fading town. Far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket started an apprenticeship for a secret organization shrouded in mystery and secrecy. He asked questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published that shouldn’t be read. Not even by you. Seriously, we recommend that you do NOT ask your parents for this, the first book in his new ALL THE WRONG QUESTIONS series.
Lemony Snicket, in case you don’t already know, grew up to be the author of A Series of Unfortunate Events series.

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As with A Series of Unfortunate Events, I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on, but it was an enjoyable read anyway. I adore Lemony Snicket’s writing style; it’s very unique and whimsical.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like this book as much as A Series of Unfortunate Events, but I have yet to finish this series (All the Wrong Questions).

The main character, Lemony Snicket, narrates the book like an old black-and-white detective show, which I like. The book also has the perfect level of absurdity, making it all the better.

I love reading prequel and spin-off series because it’s fun to see more of the minor character’s lives, but it’s unfortunate that most of the time, spin-offs are never quite as good as the original. Luckily, this was not the case for All the Wrong Questions and I highly recommend it for fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events.


The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls || 5/5

A tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that, despite its profound flaws, gave the author the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children’s imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn’t stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an “excitement addict.” Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.

Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town — and the family — Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents’ betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

For two decades, Jeannette Walls hid her roots. Now she tells her own story.

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I don’t usually read memoirs, or nonfiction in general, but this book was amazing nonetheless.

I’m not really sure how to go about reviewing a nonfiction book because there’s no way to really change the plot. I can’t say “the plot should’ve been stronger” because there’s only one way the plot can possibly be.

The story was captivating. Reading this book was like living a life completely different from my own, yet Walls somehow made it relatable. The most intriguing aspect for me is that despite the fact that Walls’s parents were unrefutably irresponsible parents, Walls loved them all the same and this was made obvious through her writing. I am envious of Walls’s ability to convey emotion through her writing. This is an amazing book and I highly recommend it.

(I do wish her siblings were more detailed, especially Lori and Maureen.)


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman || 4/5

In her New York Times bestselling and Morris Award-winning debut, Rachel Hartman introduces mathematical dragons in an alternative-medieval world to fantasy and science-fiction readers of all ages. Eragon-author Christopher Paolini calls them, “Some of the most interesting dragons I’ve read in fantasy.”

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty’s anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen’s Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

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This book is hard to read. Not in that it covers a heavy topic, but in that the writing itself is difficult to comprehend. Spinette got me this book for my birthday (but she has yet to read it. I’m glaring at you) and I first read it two years ago. Two years ago, most of the book went over my head and I barely had any idea of what was going on. Likewise, I didn’t continue the series. I’m happy to say that my reading ability has improved since then and I both understood and greatly enjoyed this book. (Although I still recommend reading it with a well-stocked dictionary on hand.) Once you understand what is being said, you’ll realize that the writing in this book is gorgeous. It’s easily one of the best examples of prose I’ve read. I’d recommend it just for the writing. The plot is lovely, but it’s far from “action-packed”. There were many tense scenes, but no action scenes involving the main character. The plot was heavy on politics. The characters were lovely and the minor ones were adequately developed. Overall, I highly recommend this unique book.


Currently Reading: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

 

TBR

  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (reread)
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  • Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
  • When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand
  • The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Book Reviews

Book reviews of King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys, and Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan.


King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard || 4/5

Review of Glass Sword.

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

◊◊◊

I really enjoy this series and this book, but the plot in King’s Cage is slow. It’s somewhat tedious to read through and there are only two action scenes. (But these action scenes are very long, very action-packed, and very good.)

On the other hand, there was a lot of character development, especially for Mare, which I appreciated. I adore Maven as well; he’s a very complex character. I enjoyed how Evangeline was given her own story. She’s one of my favorite characters in the series. The chapters from her point-of-view are my favorite.

As always, I love Aveyard’s writing style.

Cameron is a great character, but—especially at the beginning—she seemed strangely obsessed with Mare. I see how this is useful for the book because otherwise, we wouldn’t get updates on our main character, but it was out of character.

Update from later. That was a sub-par review. It was mostly rambling. And this is a review of the review. But to be fair, I was half-asleep when writing this. I hope you will not judge my reviewing skills based on this one review.


Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys || 4/5

It’s 1941 and fifteen-year-old artist Lina Vilkas is on Stalin’s extermination list. Deported to a prison camp in Siberia, Lina fights for her life, fearless, risking everything to save her family. It’s a long and harrowing journey and it is only their incredible strength, love, and hope that pull Lina and her family through each day. But will love be enough to keep them alive?

◊◊◊

This book pulls on your heart-strings, but not as hard as other books. While the events were horrifying, the writing-style was detached and matter-of-fact. The book would’ve been more powerful if it focused more on Lina’s (the main character) emotions. Despite not being particularly emotional, the writing style was still breath-taking.

While Lina was beautifully developed, the other characters could’ve been developed more, especially her brother and mother. I would’ve liked to know more about their family bonds so I could feel the love between them instead of being told that they love each other.

Random note: I loved the nicknames Lina gave everyone. It made keeping track of the characters a lot easier (until she randomly decided to use their actual names).


Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan || 3/5

This is the story of Paul, a sophomore at a high school like no other: The cheerleaders ride Harleys, the homecoming queen used to be a guy named Daryl (she now prefers Infinite Darlene and is also the star quarterback), and the gay-straight alliance was formed to help the straight kids learn how to dance.

When Paul meets Noah, he thinks he’s found the one his heart is made for. Until he blows it. The school bookie says the odds are 12-to-1 against him getting Noah back, but Paul’s not giving up without playing his love really loud. His best friend Joni might be drifting away, his other best friend Tony might be dealing with ultra-religious parents, and his ex-boyfriend Kyle might not be going away anytime soon, but sometimes everything needs to fall apart before it can really fit together right.

This is a happy-meaningful romantic comedy about finding love, losing love, and doing what it takes to get love back in a crazy-wonderful world.

◊◊◊

I love the town that Levithan created, but aside from that, the book was underwhelming. The entire story revolves around teen drama, which I’m not fond of. It’s all about who’s dating who and who used to be dating.

The writing was bland, the characters seemed fake, and the plot was also bland. This may be the most meh book I’ve read.

It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t good.


Currently readingWar Storm by Victoria Aveyard

TBR

  • It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini
  • To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger (reread)
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
  • Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman
  • When Did You See Her Last? by Lemony Snicket
  • Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  • Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Book Review: War Storm

So, I just finished the final book in the Red Queen series.

It’s the first ever series I have ever finished in the history of the world.

It was okay.

Warning! This book review consists of spoilers for the book series and War Storm so please refrain from reading this review if you haven’t read the books yet. There are spoiler free parts (only for War Storm) and spoiler filled parts.

Onto the summary:

VICTORY COMES AT A PRICE

Mare Barrow learned this all too well when Cal’s betrayal nearly destroyed her. Now determined to protect her heart –and secure freedom for Reds and newbloods like her– Mare resolves to destroy the kingdom of Norta once and for all… starting with the crown on Maven’s head. But no battle is won alone, and before the Reds may rise as one, Mare must side with the boy who broke her heart in order to destroy the boy who almost broke her. Cal’s powerful Silver allies, alongside Mare and the Scarlet Guard, prove a formidable force. But Maven is driven by an obsession so deep, he will stop at nothing to have Mare as his own again, even if it means destroying everything- and everyone- in his path. War is coming, and all Mare has fought for hangs in the balance. Will victory be enough to topple the Silver kingdoms? Or will the lightning girl be forever silenced? In the epic conclusion to Victoria Aveyard’s stunning series, Mare must embrace her fate and summon all her power… for all will be tested, but not all will survive.

Non-spoiler Section

Despite the description, this book is actually a messy, imperfect and odd way to end the Red Queen series. It’s very long (being 662 pages) but, for some reason the series feels unresolved. I will go into the specific reasons why in the spoiler section.

For now, let’s focus on what the book did right. In War Storm, Mare and other main characters feel so much more human and have clear motivations other than to defeat the Maven. Mare’s family is fleshed out more (especially Tramy), Evangeline’s love interest Elane burns a fire in her heart, and Cal is tied to the crown, his noble personality taking charge.

Also I love the settings in this book. They stomp out the places we’ve been in the other books by a long shot. Translation: Montfort is beautiful.

Spoiler Section

Why was the book unresolved, you ask?

“So I’m guessing we won,” I (mare) sigh, too surprised to even comprehend what that means. I have no idea what a real victory would even look like.

“Not entirely,” Kilorn rubs a hand over his dirty cheek, smearing grime across the clean parts of him. Idiot, I think kindly. “They managed to limp back out to sea. I think the big shots are negotiating a cease-fire right now.”

IT ENDS WITH A BLOBFISHING CEASE FIRE FROM THE LAKELANDS.

In the ending pages of the book, this unresolvedness just keeps on going with a light air of “We’re safe, but only for a while.”

Another thing that was unresolved was Evangeline and Elane. I mean, there are a few lines at the very end of the book that state that Evangeline is an honored guest of Montfort, but not much else.

Even Maven’s death felt unresolved! In the last few minutes of their battle Maven let Mare kill him. The main thing in the end was how it “wasn’t too late” with Evangeline rebelling against her parents for Elane and Cal putting the crown aside for Mare. Was it too late for Maven? What if he stayed alive?

Maybe this was Victoria Aveyard wanted to portray. Maybe she’ll make another series following Mare and the others a year or so later (maybe even a different crew in the same world— like the Grisha Trilogy and SOC).

I loved the parts with the Lakelander queens, the rickety alliance between Cal’s crew, Montfort and the Scarlet Guard and the little lines hinting at Evangeline and Elane’s relationship. (If you have read the book you know which line I’m talking about.) Montfort provides a free democratic country to compare the corrupt nations of Norta and the Lakelands to, which is another reason why I’m swooning over the bison filled mountains. The bison are great.

Despite how much I liked about War Storm, the novel was one of the shabbiest of the series.

I didn’t like Maven this time around (he just seemed lazy, angry and spoiled) and he didn’t seem like the scheming little guy he used to be. He feels more like time bomb just waiting to blow, or one of those characters who you know dies first in a horror movie.

Another thing I greatly disliked was the vagueness of everything, which I don’t think was problem with Aveyard’s writing as much as it was just stuffing an epic conclusion, or a whole blobfishing WAR into 662 pages.

Lastly, I would like to point out that the book didn’t seem as clever when it came to major plot points. Take Iris’s siege on Bracken’s children for example. The guards were stupid and distracted. Why? How did Montfort survive as a nation with these idiotic guards? Why did Davidson, who is clearly an intelligent person, let these imbeciles guard a prisoner of war?

If I had to rate this book from one to ten , one being absolute scum and ten being a gift from the heavens I would give this book a six.

Translate that into stars and this book is 3.5 stars out of five.

Book Reviews!!

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer || 4/5

Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime–but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he’s been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship.

•••

Stranger Than Fanfiction is a somewhat light-hearted (but also sad) and really fast read. I liked how the characters interacted with each other. Yay platonic relationships. Cash Carter was my favorite character.

Colfer has an amazing writing style. He uses a ton of humorous similes that are my absolute favorite. The only thing that bugged me about this book was that it sometimes read like an LGBT+ pamphlet, which really broke from the characterization and the flow of the story.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven || 5/5

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

∴∴∴

So after reading the really sad book that is Stranger Than Fanfiction, I picked up All the Bright Places because I expected it to be happy. I mean, it has the word bright in the title!

Dudes, I was so wrong. Warning: This is a sad book.

I’ve never cried while reading a book. But reading All the Bright Places was the closest I’ve come (tied with A List of Cages).

So if you want a book that tugs on all the heartstrings, I highly recommend this one.

The writing is beautiful, but the part that pulls it all together is the relationship between Finch and Violet.


Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard || 4/5

If there’s one thing Mare Barrow knows, it’s that she’s different.

Mare Barrow’s blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control.

The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind.

Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors.

But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever?

The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they’ve always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul.

♣♣♣

This book was lovely, but not as lovely as the first one. I liked seeing how all the characters changed because of the events of the first book, and it was definitely fast-paced, but it lacks an overarching plot besides “destroy the bad guys”. It doesn’t really match the first book; it’s different, and it could definitely use some comedic relief.

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book, but it wasn’t as good as I remembered it to be from when I read it the first time.


That was a pretty good reading round! Lot’s of great books, but my favorite of the three has to be All the Bright Places.

A Note: I’m currently on a trip to Bangladesh for my cousin’s wedding so I won’t be able to respond to all your lovely comments until I get back on July 15, 2018.

Mini Book Reviews!

Hello peoples! Due to finals and other life happenings, I haven’t had time to review books, but I have read quite a few books over the last few weeks. Be prepared to be pummeled with book reviews.


Ready Player One || 3/5

I feel like this book was good, it just wasn’t for me, personally.

One of the main assets of this book is all the references to ’80’s pop culture. But as I’m not particularly well-versed in ’80’s pop culture, I found them somewhat annoying whereas others could love a book that alludes to their favorite TV show as a kid.

This book took me over two weeks to finish. I think more than anything, I found it bland. I liked the plot, but it wasn’t an amazing plot. It was an average plot. The writing was also decent, but not spectacular. Average.

I didn’t like the characters in this book, especially the main character, Wade. He got on my nerves. The minor characters should’ve been developed more. The reader didn’t really get to know them, so I wasn’t attached to them at all and I wasn’t invested in what happened to them.

The plot was also overly convenient.

Let’s move on. I’m even getting bored writing this review.


Will Grayson, Will Grayson || 3/5

I usually love John Green’s books, but that’s because he is the King of Metaphor. This book, unfortunately, didn’t contain many metaphors, and when you strip John Green of his metaphors, there sadly isn’t much left.

This book, like so many of his other works, lacked a concrete and thrilling plot. Things kept happening without an overall idea holding all the different miniature ideas together.

The characters were (fortunately) developed, but they still felt bland.

I really liked the writing style, though. Especially David Leviathan’s portion of the book.


This Mortal Coil || 3.5/5

Compared to Ready Player OneThis Mortal Coil is what a science fiction should be like.

I loved the idea for this book and the apocalypse-ness of it. The characters were lovely (except for one) and they were developed (ish).

This was an addicting read that I finished in two days full of twists and turns and the writing was beautiful.

I love the concept of the Hydra vaccine and the genetic-coding aspect of it was amazing.

There was a love triangle in this book.

Also, I got a chance to talk to this author (with a medium-sized group of people) over Skype, which was absolutely lovely.

 

*Warning. Mild Spoilers Below*

Usually, love triangles don’t bother me, but this one did. Probably because I didn’t like either of the love interests. Especially Cole. Cole was not his own person with his own hopes and dreams (aside from being an artist, which was briefly touched on). It’s like his whole reason for existence revolves around being the love interest for Cat.

*End Spoilers*

 

Speaking of which, why does there always have to be some undercurrent of romance in YA books? I’m not talking about love stories where romance is the point, but high fantasy, dystopian, sci-fi, and other books where survival is the main point, not love.

I dare you to think of a book where there is absolutely NO romance.


The Hate U Give || 3.5/5

So. This book.

It was amazing in that it covers an important, heavy topic and it makes you think about society and equality in a different way.

But, for me, it wasn’t as gripping as I expected it to be. The characters were lovely, but the plot was somewhat slow.

I highly recommend this book. It just falls outside of my tastes. See review for Ready Player One above.


A Court of Frost and Starlight || 3/5

This book was fluffy and light, but kind of boring. It was nice to see the characters be able to relax after the harrowing events of the last three books. But. Usually, I like it when my characters suffer (sorry). It makes for a more interesting read.

From the description, I expected there to be a lot of character development, which I was excited to read, but I was disappointed. It didn’t really talk about how the events of the past books affected the characters. Most of the book was gift-shopping.

A lovely book for Christmas-time, I guess?

It was meh overall.


Okay, that’s it for today’s segment of Harsh Book Reviews.

The Cliche Book Tag

Thanks so much to Sophia Ismaa Writes for tagging me! She’s just started a new tag called “5 Things I Like About Myself” where you list five things that you like about yourself. I think it’s just so nice and so positive. I’m going to do this tag soon and I want to spread the love so if you want to be tagged, please comment with a link to your blog on this post.


Actions Speak Louder Than Words.

A Book That Wasn’t Or Couldn’t Be Better Than The Movie.

I rarely ever watch the movie after reading the book. The only one I can think of is Giver, but I equally despised the book and movie.

So… pass?


The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side.

A Rags To Riches Or Riches To Rags Story.

the false prince

The False Prince

I can’t really talk about why this fits into the category without giving away spoilers, but this is one of my favorite books. I love the characters. Everyone, go read it.


The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree.

A Parent-Child Relationship That You Love

to kill a mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird

Scout and Atticus’s relationship is adorable. I read mostly fantasy, and a lot of those have absent parents, so this was a harder category to choose for.

I could’ve gone with Keeper of the Lost Cities, too, but I felt that the category would be more appreciated if I picked a book you guys have (probably) heard about.


You Can’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

A Great Book That Needs A Better Cover

the pact

The Pact

I’m currently reading this book, and it’s been lovely so far. But seriously, that cover sucks. Just ugh. Look at the color scheme! They do have a different version with a much better cover, so I’m glad they figured out that this one kinda sucks.


You Can’t Please Everyone

A Book You Hate That Everyone Loves

ready player one

Ready Player One

I could’ve gone with Giver, but I also despise Ready Player One. *Shrugs*

Reasons I despise Ready Player One

  • The characters weren’t developed
  • The characters weren’t interesting
  • The main character was insufferable
  • The plot was bland
  • I didn’t get most of the references and it was written like it expected me to
  • The plot
  • Ugh
  • I don’t even like the concept
  • It should’ve gone into more detail about the apocalypse. The beginning where it was described is probably my favorite part.
  • The ending was too neat
  • The characters
  • It wasn’t thrilling
  • I didn’t like the writing style. It was tell, not show. It didn’t go into much depth with the descriptions and it was hard to imagine things properly.

Moving on.


What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger.

What’s A Book That Made You A Better Person For Having Read It.

Let’s make a list!


Love is Blind.

A Book With A Disabled Main Character Or Actual Blind Love

turtles all the way down

Turtles All the Way Down

The main character, Aza, has severe OCD.

It’s a lovely book. I highly recommend it.


Ignorance Is Bliss.

A Book That Is Bad But You Just Don’t Want To Admit It.

king's cage

King’s Cage

This series is so close to me as it was my introduction to the wonderful world of YA. I love Red Queen and it was one of my favorite books, but the series quickly went downhill and it definitely has a lot of flaws. But I’m going to pretend it’s good.

Also, War Storm just came out yesterday! Squeeeee. I apologize for my squealing. Sadly, I won’t be able to read it until June, or maybe even July. *Sobs*


There Is No Time Like The Present.

What Is Your Favorite Contemporary Book?

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A List of Cages

Go read it.


Better Safe Than Sorry.

A Book You Don’t Want To Read In Case It’s Bad.

go set a watchman

Go Set a Watchman

It’s Raining Book Reviews!

I think I’m starting to get a hang of this book reviewing business! I still have to start reviewing books immediately after finishing them, though. Oops.


A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab || 5/5

a conjuring of light

This is an amazing series! The world-building and plot are amazing, but I think that the most impressive part of this trilogy is the characters. They’re all so unique and flawed and they all have their own motivations. Schwab tackled multiple point-of-views really well and she was really good at creating suspense. I was terrified on behalf of the characters. This book definitely took a more tense turn and it wasn’t as carefree as the second book, A Gathering of Shadows(But that wasn’t very carefree, to begin with.)

Plus pirates. There were pirates. I love pirates.


The Rose Society by Marie Lu || 3/5

the rose society

Most of this book was boring for me and I had trouble finishing it. The end was great, though. The minor characters weren’t developed and the romance was weird and unplausible. I think the book would’ve been better without it, but I guess you can’t have a YA book without romance, right? There was a love triangle, too. I don’t usually have anything against love triangles, but I wasn’t a fan of the romance at all. I thought it was strange for not one, but two peoples to fall in love with Adelina. Also, the characters’ decisions were occasionally random and illogical without reason (A reason could be that they were heartbroken by the fact that they were planning to propose to their longtime boyfriend, but the engagement ring that they spent months saving up for was swallowed by a rogue seagull. This heartbroken-ness can cause a person to make illogical decisions.)

My least favorite part of this book was the planning sessions. I thought the plans were weak and undetailed. They were mostly winging it. And yet, usually, nothing went wrong.

I loved Lu’s writing style, though, which was apparent in her other book, Warcross.

There are two things that will usually make me instantly love a book: Pirates and anti-heroes. This book had anti-heroes, but I still didn’t like it.


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee || 5/5

to kill a mockingbird

This book was great! I can’t believe I haven’t read it before now. My favorite part of this book was the various characters. They were all lovely, especially Atticus. The writing was beautiful and there were many amazing quotes.

I’m not planning to read Go Set A Watchmen, though. I don’t want my precious Scout to grow up.


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera || 5/5

they both die at the end

This book takes place in a world that’s mostly like our own, but with one difference: Death-Cast will call you at (about) midnight the day you die.

So first, I want to talk about the idea of being alerted the day you’re going to die (if someone is going to die that day, they’re called a “Decker”). I feel like this is a paradox, sort of like time travel.

So, assume that you are an avid mountain climber and you are supposed to die on June 4 because your harness snaps and you fall down the cliff-side to your doom.

But at 12:05 a.m. on June 4, Death-Cast calls you and tells you that you’re going to die, so you decide not to go mountain-climbing because tumbling down a cliff seems like a painful and unappealing way to die. Instead, you decide to not leave your bed and just drink peppermint tea all day. Super safe.

You don’t die.

And because you didn’t die, Death-Cast didn’t call you that morning.

And because Death-Cast didn’t call you on June 4, you didn’t die on June 4.

You went mountain climbing and your harness didn’t break and you had a grand ole time.

Therefore, is everybody’s life extended just by the existence of Death-Cast?

Or would you have died on June 4 anyway by some other method? For example, by drowning in your peppermint tea?

Okay, let’s get to the review now.

I love the message of this book, which is to take risks and live life to the fullest because you never know how much time you have left.

My favorite part of this book was the characters. I loved Mateo and Rufus. The title (They Both Die at the End) is a huge spoiler and since I knew that they were going to die, I tried not to get attached. I failed.

The writing was amazing and there were a lot of quotable parts. (I thought it was weird that teenagers were coming up with these beautiful and poetic quotes about life and death, though. But I guess they’re dying. They have a reason to be profound.)

Silvera was great at writing suspenseful parts and light-hearted parts and I was smiling through a lot of the book, even though I knew what was coming (intense sadnesses). The characters were just so lovable. Silvera did well with multiple point-of-views, as well. I always knew which chapters were Mateo’s and which were Rufus’s based on what they said and how they said it.


Crooked Kingdom || 13/5

crooked kingdom

This one was a reread, but I don’t think I’ve reviewed it before. THIS IS MY FAVORITE BOOK. THE CHARACTERS! THE CHARACTERS ARE AMAZING! I love how much they grow throughout the course of the series.

Also, I love them.

They’re amazing

SQUEEEEEEEEE.

Sorry, I’m being incoherent.

Read it.


Currently Reading

I just finished Crooked Kingdom, and I’m not entirely sure what to read next (nothing seems as good afterward), so I’m trying out different books on my TBR to see what I’m in the mood for, so I’m at the very beginning of both Seraphina and Ready Player One.

seraphinaready player one


TBR

  1. This Mortal Coil
  2. The Midnight Star
  3. Red Queen
  4. The Unwanteds Quests: Dragon Bones

Miniature Book Reviews!

I’ve read a couple amazing books this time around. Some of them will be new favorites. But it seems like I’ve also been DNFing (DNF=did not finish) books left and right. I always feel a bit bad when I DNF a book because I’ll never know if it got better later on. It could’ve been a new favorite of mine. (Most likely not, but still.) But after reading the entirety of Matched and The Isle of the Lost (my two least favorite books) based on this notion, I’ve been better about DNFing a book when I know it won’t work.


simon vs the homo sapiens agenda.jpg

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda || 5/5

The writing style was a bit choppy, but that was a character trait of Simon (as mentioned in the book). Other than that, this book was perfect. I absolutely LOVED the characters, especially Simon. I do wish the minor characters could be developed more, but again it was a character trait of Simon’s to mostly focus on himself.

The author was amazing at creating dramatic moments. This book is beautiful. Everyone, go read it right now.


let the sky fall.jpg

Let the Sky Fall || DNF

I picked this book up because the author, Shannon Messenger, wrote Keeper of the Lost Cities, one of my all-time favorite series. So I was expecting a lot from this one, but it didn’t really fit my tastes. First, it was a love story. Blech. I read about a third of this book.

The characters were incredibly annoying. The plot was pretty good, though. Vane was just plain irritating and Audra was overly aggressive and serious. I can just feel her glaring at everyone.

The romance was super weird. Vane and Audra both despise each other’s personalities, but are physically attracted to each other. Which is gross. It’s like, “I hate everything meaningful about you, but I’m gonna try and kiss you anyway because you’re randomly beautiful.” (It should be noted that I didn’t read the entire book and these are just my observations about the book so far.)

What I liked about the romance in Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was that Simon and Blue fall in love with each other’s personalities without knowing what the other person looks like. Vane and Audra are in the complete opposite situation.

I might try this book again because Shannon Messenger. Have any of you read this book? Was it good?


pathfinder.jpg

Pathfinder || DNF

This one just didn’t work.


a list of cages.jpg

A List of Cages || 5/5

This book has all the feels! It messes with your emotions, peeps.

The major characters were amazing and I loved them, but the minor characters could definitely use some development. They all blended into one another. Adam has so many friends. They multiply like rabbits and the mash together like a paintball game. I could not tell which was which. Their blandness was an issue when a particular friend among the millions was referred to.

Sometimes (especially at one particular point), the characters made some illogical choices, which was somewhat annoying.

I think people who like John Green would like this book. Speaking of which. In John Green books (specifically Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns) and A List of Cages, the main characters are high school seniors and the way they refer to freshmen freaks me out. 1) Will I be like that when I’m a senior? 2) Do all old people think like that? 3) There must be something wrong with these people.


Currently Reading

a conjuring of light

This book is so good! This series has somehow managed to get even better.


TBR

  1. They Both Die at The End
  2. Seraphina
  3. The Rose Society
  4. Crooked Kingdom

A Gathering of Shadows|Review

This book was absolutely awesome. It’s definitely MUCH better than the first book, which I was kind of just “meh” about.

The writing flowed really well and the world building was great. This book is definitely character-driven rather than plot-driven. (Which is good for me because I like character-driven books better.) The characters are spectacular. I love them all.

There wasn’t much of a plot (in the traditional plot diagram way of things). Things kind of just kept happening and the book seemed more like a bridge between the first and the third book than an addition to the overall storyline. The whole premise of the book is kinda random. It doesn’t really flow from the first book. The events from the first book don’t even seem that essential in this book. It’s not really a continuation of the first book. It’s more like another adventure concerning the same characters. The book was definitely not slow-to-start, things were always happening, but there was no clear antagonist or major conflict for the majority of the book.

Lila is really trigger happy and I can’t begin to understand her. She’s really spontaneous. My issue with her was that when she went on her killing sprees, she rarely showed remorse, which didn’t make her seem real. She was extremely unrelatable for me. I still love her, though. But maybe that unrelatable-ness makes her enviable. Either way, she’s awesome.

ALUCARD IS THE BEST.

I feel really bad for all these characters.


SPOILERS AHEAD… YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

I love Holland. Especially the idea of an antagonist that isn’t really bad just ‘cuz. Holland’s a good guy who is forced to make some hard choices. This goes along with the idea that everyone thinks they’re the good guy.

END SPOILERS


 

Rating: 5/5

Apologies for the choppy post, guys. I’m still trying to figure out how to go about writing book reviews. This time, I took notes while reading the book and then put those notes into paragraph form. Obviously, that didn’t work. It was choppy and lacked my usual charm. Also, the whole thing seems rather negative even though I LOVED this book and I gave it 5/5. That’s probably because I only paused my reading to write about the parts I didn’t like because when I liked parts, I was engrossed.

I also should probably write reviews right after I read the book. I finished this book a week ago, so I wasn’t able to properly expand on the ideas I wrote down.

Either way, it’s a work in progress.

Book Reviews for Days!

I’m going to eventually run out of titles for these book review posts.

I haven’t been reading as many books lately as I want to. I think I’m facing the dreaded reading slump. But it’s all curable. Hopefully. I’m going to read Six of Crows to fix it.


the young elites.jpg

The Young Elites   3/5

The story was lovely, but I didn’t like the writing style. I didn’t really connect with the character or care about them. The relationships between them were also weird. None of the minor characters were developed, either. The story was just kind of average. It was okay. I am planning to continue the series.


 wonder woman warbringer.jpg

Wonder Woman: Warbringer   4/5

This book was okay. I like the characters a lot and the story was good, but I wasn’t really invested in it. The book didn’t call to me and it took me nearly two weeks to finish it. People who aren’t fans of superheroes (like me) will be fine reading it. It made sense and the worldbuilding was good.


of mice and men.jpg

Of Mice and Men   3/5

It was okay. I don’t really have much to say about it.


looking for alaska.jpg

Looking for Alaska   4/5

The characters were the most unrelatable high schoolers I’ve ever read. They were sixteen, but they seemed a ton older. The story was interesting enough, but there wasn’t much of a plot and the ending was unsatisfactory. Things just kept happening instead of there being your usual antagonist and such. The metaphors were awesome and this book was a ton better than An Abundance of Katherines or Paper Towns.


warcross.jpg

Warcross   5/5

The story was great. I love the idea of Warcross. I need the game right now. The ending of the book leaves the reader needing the second book to come out right away (I’m speaking from experience) and it also asks some deep questions.

Emika was randomly talented and the romance felt weird for some reason I can’t put my finger on, but I can live with that. The minor characters weren’t really developed, either. I’d like to see more of them.

The plot of this book was amazing, but the characters could use some more work.


a gathering of shadows.jpg

A Gathering of Shadows   6/5

I’ll have a full-sized review on this out soon. Everyone needs to read this series.


Currently Reading

six of crows.jpg

I’m in between books right now, but I’m going to reread Six of Crows to remedy my reading slump and it’s going to be brilliant.


My TBR

  1. Six of Crows
  2. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
  3. Let the Sky Fall
  4. Pathfinder
  5. A List of Cages
  6. Seraphina
  7. The Rose Society
  8. Batman: Nightwalker

More Book Reviews!

papertowns.jpg

Papertowns   2/5

I thought this book kind of sucked. It was just not memorable. My point is proven by the fact that I cannot remember some of the things I wanted to talk about. But anyway, it was just sort of boring. The beginning was awesome, but not much happened in the middle. There was also a huge information dump and the end, the ending was inconclusive and unsatisfactory, and it was just blah. It also lacked the metaphors I’ve come to expect from John Green.


the apothecary.jpg

The Apothecary   DNF

I didn’t like the writing style for this one. It seemed really hazy and filtered. Again, this one wasn’t memorable. And also, a bunch of unrealistic things kept happening to the main characters and they responded in unrealistic ways. This book is also blah. But who knows, maybe it would’ve gotten better later.


and abundance of katherines.jpg

An Abundance of Katherines   3.5/5

The plotline in this one was lovely and I adored the characters. It also lacked the Green-metaphors, but that may have been because of who the narrator was. I’m just not really into realistic fiction, so if you’re a fan of the genre, I highly recommend this one. There were some funny parts. Some weird parts.


everless.jpg

Everless   2/5

I thought the concept of this one was really cool (time is quite literally money). But I didn’t like the plotline. I think it could’ve gone a lot further, but it was pretty much your average “special girl goes to a palace and falls in love with the prince(ish sort of guy. He wasn’t technically a prince in this one).” It had lots of Red Queen vibes, but kind of like a lesser Red Queen. I thought the characters were unrealistic, especially their relationships.

(This cover is amazing, by the way.)

Minor spoilers ahead.

There’s one part where Jules is willing to sacrifice her life for someone she met three weeks ago. I think this is insane. Why would someone do that? Does she have no sense of self-preservation? Are real people actually that selfless?

Also, she’s in love with that perfect guy. Like, “I haven’t seen you since we were seven, but I have been madly in love with you for the past ten years.” She met this guy when she was seven. Seven-year-olds cannot fall in love.

End spoilers.

The timing was also really weirdly spaced. There was a part where it was like, “The days are dragging and blending into each other. I’m starting to get used to my position and make friends. I’m starting to forget my home. Etc.”

So after reading this part, I thought that months had passed. But nope! It’d been a week.


My reading has been slow lately because of midterms, but they’re *thankfully* over now, so I should be reading more now. The books I’ve read recently have been generally bad, but I think that’s probably a good thing because when I’m reading a good book, I’m known to neglect my work. (Spinette chose to Six of Crows during midterms. I pity her midterms for the abandonment they suffered.)

I do have some awesome books I plan to read soon.


Currently Reading

I’m currently reading The Young Elites by Marie Lu. The story is good so far, but I haven’t really connected with the characters yet.


My TBR

  1. Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo
  2. Looking for Alaska by John Green
  3. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  4. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becki Albertalli
  5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Six of Crows

After a good month of Arachnid stuffing this book in every sentence she spoke and down my throat, I’d decided to read it.

And I did. It was amazing.

The first comment I would like to make is that none of the parts in this book went by slowly. Everything was interesting, from every nook and cranny of the pages, nothing was boring and it kept me entertained! The characters were awesome, the setting was brilliantly described and the plot was difficult to predict. I think this was one of the only books that I did not get bored of at one point and I got bored of Harry Potter, so this is a very fun read.

Because I don’t like writing summaries here is one I got off the book:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker.

Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge. Matthias
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. Jesper
A runaway with a privileged past. Wylan
A spy known as the Wraith. Inej
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. Nina
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz?

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

My favorite character is all of the six outcasts, Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Wylan and Matthias because they are so fun to see fight and become friends with each other, but have terrible backstories that give their moral greyness a deeper meaning. Also, the characters avoid the stereotypical Power Ranger stereotypes that teams from other books and movies usually fall into.

They have great times with each other but are still unpredictable due to past conflicts and layered backstories that really make them do something evil, like be able to kill everyone on the team, but still have a reason. Matthias actually plotted to kill someone on the team because she betrayed him in the past and was part of a race he disliked, but ends up doing something really unpredictable instead.

All the characters have awesome motivations too and revenge plans to seek out which makes their goals worth it. (start spoiler) I especially liked the scene with Inej climbing the incinerator because it seemed like an hot, boiling (ha ha puns) anime fight scene where the main character gives it his all and won’t give up due to sheer stubbornness even as the villain gets stronger and stronger. As the soles of her shoes are burning off, Inej still climbs up the incinerator unable to stop amidst the flames which shows off her super hero-like determination. (end spoiler)

(all of this is a spoiler)

Another part I enjoyed was when Nina, the Heartrender sacrifices herself to the drug like substance jurda parem to gain more magical power and save the team from a whole army of soldiers. During that chapter, my eyes were glued on to the pages wanting to know what would happen next. Would Nina be spared from the addictive affects of two doses? Or would she die after she killed the soldiers?

(end spoiler)

I have no way to end this review so…

Wylan x Jesper for life!

Book Reviews!

Guys! What kind of semi-book blog is this? It’s been forever since I’ve reviewed anything! (Or even talked about books at all.)

So now I will throw up a large quantity of book reviews that review books that I have read recently.

 

story thieves pick the plot

Story Thieves: Pick the Plot   3/5

This book was okay. It wasn’t as good as the others in the series and there wasn’t much character development or plot in general. But that’s to be expected considering it’s a pick the plot book, which in itself is very interesting because the story that I read is different from the story that someone else read, even though it’s the same book. It was still a lovely addition to the series, which I highly recommend.

 

fantastic beasts and where to find them the original screenplay

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay   4/5

Fantastic Beasts is currently my favorite movie and it is absolutely wonderful. Thanks to the screenplay, I actually know what is going on.

 

turtles all the way down

Turtles All the Way Down   4/5

This book was great. I love John Green’s writing style and the things his characters point out that I’d never think about. One such thing that I keep thinking about is how English puts humans above many things, but below the stars. (It was much prettier the way John Green put it.) The main character was well-developed as we spent a lot of time inside her head, but I felt like there was more we could’ve known about the other characters. But I think this was intentional because Aza, the main character, is thinking more about what’s going on inside herself and is not very observant. The mystery aspect of the book was also rather lacking as it wasn’t the main focus of the book and it was suspenseful. But that’s okay since it’s not really about the mystery.

The ending was… there are no words. It sort of just ended. I really like the way it made it seem like the book was just a little piece of the characters’ lives, but I don’t like that I won’t know what happened after! This book may keep you up at night, imagining the next nonexistent chapter.

 

the gentleman's guide to vice and virtue

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue   5/5

This book was wonderful! The humor was exceptional and I think if I actually like historical fiction this would be a new favorite. It was ridiculous. *A note for future reference: When I say “ridiculous”, I usually mean it in a good way.

 

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The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic   5/5

This book was so good! It’s a collection of short stories that are like traditional fairy tales. And it was absolutely amazing! It’s hard to review the book as a whole because all the stories were completely different. My favorite was “The Witch of Duva”, which I made the mistake of reading at midnight. It was so creepy.

 

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Six of Crows   12/5

THIS BOOK WAS SO GOOD! Spinette, you have to read it. Everyone in the whole universe has to read this. I have to reread it.

IT IS SO GOOD!

Okay. I can’t form coherent thoughts about it. Everyone, just read it. Trust me.

 

I’m going to try and be better about reviewing. Maybe I’ll do one every five books I read?

Tower of Dawn

First of all, I, like everyone else, judge books by their covers and this one has a stunning cover. I love the shade of blue, and the texture is warm and fuzzy.

Second, this book is insanely heavy! It’s nearly 700 pages, but it only looks three hundred. What’s up with that? The pages are pretty thin… Is this book denser than average? It is so heavy! It made it hard to carry. This is a serious issue.

The story was good overall, although it didn’t contain as much action as the other books in our beloved series and it was strange to not see our usual characters. I love Aelin and her swagger, and I was slightly upset that she wasn’t in this book, although I was happy that we got to know Chaol, Nesryn, and Yrene better.

Speaking of Chaol and Yrene, it’s like they shoved all the impossible-to-pronounce character names into one book! How did you just pronounce Chaol and Yrene in your head? It was probably very different from how everyone else pronounces it and the pronunciation that was deemed “correct”.

I pronounced Chaol’s name differently in every book until I bothered to look it up. Even after I looked it up, I pronounce it inconsistently.

My pronunciations of Chaol:

  • Chale
  • Chay-oll
  • Kha-all
  • Cowl (like scowl, but without the s)

The actual pronunciation of Chaol:

  • Kay-all
  • Note: Even with this clarification of the pronunciation, I have no idea what it’s supposed to sound like. I now say it as “Kale”, like the vegetable.

 

My pronunciation of Yrene:

  • Why-reen

The actual pronunciation of Yrene:

  • Yea-ray-nah (like Uranus)
  • Note: At least the actual pronunciation for this one is prettier than what I thought it was.

 

I liked that Chaol was developed more in this book. While he was an important character in the beginning of the series his weight dwindled as it continued, so it was nice that he got his own book. All the other characters should get their own books too. Especially Lysandra.

What is this book in relation to the others anyway? It’s not the sixth book, as it happens at the same time as the fifth book. It’s definitely not a novella.

I refer to it as the second fifth book, because this confuses people and that pleases me.

WARNING. SPOILERS BELOW.

For basically the entirety of the book, I wanted to scream at the characters because I knew who Yrene’s mysterious benefactor was and who Falkan’s niece was and who Falkan’s assassin was and I just wanted to tell them. It was ripping my mind apart. And that one point where Falkan mentioned that he “knew an interesting assassin”. *Explosions*. ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO ARE MYSTERIOUS ARE AELIN!!!

And then the part where Chaol’s spine shattered again. Another screaming moment.

It was annoying at the beginning how Chaol kept thinking he was worthless because of his disability because obviously, he wasn’t. But they fixed his spine and then it shattered again a few weeks later! That’s like finishing a manuscript for a writing competition, then realizing that you misread the word count, so you have to start over. All that work, lost!

I am glad that Chaol came to accept his wheelchair at the end, but it seemed kind of abrupt, like his entire mentality changed in the space of a few pages.

I was going to talk about another point, but I’ve forgotten.

 

Sudden Ending.

Ruin and Rising

Soldier. Summoner. Saint.The nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

The Darkling rules from his shadow throne while a weakened Alina Starkov recovers from their battle under the dubious protection of the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Now her hopes lie with the magic of a long-vanished ancient creature and the chance that an outlaw prince still survives.

As her allies and enemies race toward war, only Alina stands between her country and a rising tide of darkness that could destroy the world. To win this fight, she must seize a legend’s power―but claiming the firebird may be her ruin.

 

This is one of those rare series that actually gets better as it progresses. I cannot wait to read Six of Crows (But is that sentence contradictory? Because if I actually could not wait, you’d assume that I’d be reading Six of Crows right now instead of being at my desk, writing this post. Shrugs.)

 

There was some seriously entertaining dialogue. Examples will follow the colon:

  • Everything that came out of Nikolai’s mouth
  • Everything that came out of Harshaw’s mouth.
  • Mal and Alina’s conversations
  • Zoya’s insults
  • Tolya’s lovely poetry

I found myself laughing out loud at quite a few of the parts, so much so that I caused disruptions with my unending snickering.

 

There was an amazing antagonist in this book! The Darkling may be the best antagonist I’ve read in recent history. Bardugo somehow made you despise him and want a happy ending for him at the same time.

 

Harshaw and Oncat!!!

 

Favorite character: Nikolai, followed closely by Harshaw, then The Darkling (What did I say about Bardugo and rooting for the antagonist?).

Favorite quote: I am not ruined. I am ruination.

This quote. I love it.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

 

This book was great!

Scorpius and Albus were so adorable together! I loved their friendship, especially the “do we hug?” moments. (If you haven’t read this, this probably sounds like absolute nonsense.) Scorpius was especially cute and I love the uniqueness that is his name.

I don’t think they were supposed to seem “adorable” or “cute”, though.

It did take a while to get used to the script format, but after I did, I really liked it. It was refreshing.

* MILD SPOILERS BELOW.*

*YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.*

This book did seem more like your average time-travel book rather than a Harry Potter book and it was weird to see all our characters not be in their teens and have their own kids. But Hermione is Minister of Magic!

I am slightly upset that Luna Lovegood isn’t in the story at all. She’s my favorite character.

*SPOILER ZONE HAS ENDED.*

The verdict: 5/5 stars

How could I give Harry Potter any less?

 

Check out my review of the rest of the Harry Potter series here.

The School for Good and Evil

the school for good and evil

With her glass slippers and devotion to good deeds, Sophie knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and join the ranks of past students like Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Snow White. Meanwhile, Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks and wicked black cat, seems a natural fit for the villains in the School for Evil.

The two girls soon find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School for Good, thrust among handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.

But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are?

 

I just finished rereading this book as the fourth one was released recently and I will try my hand at a proper book review.

The story is unique and creative. I liked the concept of all fairy tale characters learning how to be fairy tale characters at schools. Especially schools that teach villans how to be evil.

My rating: 3/5

The story was unique and very interesting. I liked seeing how Agatha and Sophie developed in their strange and new circumstances. This book was one of my favorites when I read it the first time.

Although the story was good, the plot was a bit confusing, especially toward the end. I felt like the author didn’t spend enough words giving descriptions of the settings so it was hard to visualize what was going on. Everything also seemed very perfectly timed, to an unrealistic point. For example:

 

Spinette: (trapped in a spider web) I wonder where Arachnid could possibly be. I’ve been waiting here for hours and hours. If I have to wait for a second longer, I will spill all the cranberry juice.

Arachnid bursts into the room.

Spinette: Ahh, you’re here. Just in time to save the cranberry juice!

 

Overall, it was a good book and I will be reading the sequels. I can’t wait for the movie to come out.

Favorite character: Dot or Hort

Favorite setting: The candy classrooms

I’m not sure how the people are sorted into the different schools, but I don’t think that it is very accurate. Most of the people in the School for Good seemed to be bullies and overly obsessed with their outward appearances. The girls were taught to focus on being helpless and innocent and beautiful so their princes could come and save them instead of being taught to do things for themselves.

Many of the students in the School for Evil seemed likable and good-hearted, including Dot and Hort. They were harmless and they never were cruel or mean. Maybe they actually belong in the School for Good…

 

Spoiler Below

I know it was supposed to be a giant thing that Agatha realized that she had been beautiful all along and her self-confidence grew and everything, which was great, but I felt like she then became more of the princess that they were taught to be at the School for Good, helpless and innocent and beautiful. She embraced their classes and she thought of Tedros as “her prince” and the whole thing was gag-worthy. I liked it better before when she was not your normal princess.