Where I’ve Been

I haven’t posted on any of my book related pages in a while. I didn’t intend to take this long of a break, but it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to return. Life got really busy. I started high school, and as a three season athlete also involved with my school’s yearbook staff, I got very busy. I also went through a very big creative slump where I just didn’t feel like creating, but I’m back and very inspired. Coronacation has given me a lot of free time, so I decided to finally make some use of it. I have been reading a lot, and I would love to do a what I’ve been reading post. I have a lot of plans for this blog and my bookstagram account @paperthieves if you wanna catch up with me there as well. I’m very happy to be back.

 

King of Scars Book Review

Book: King of ScarsKing of scars

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads

Synopsis:

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war-and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha squaller, Nikolai will journey to the place in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried-and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Rating: 3.5/5

This review contains spoilers!!

Review:

Sadly, this book was a little bit of a disappointment to me. I found that the things I really enjoyed weren’t a main focus. I mean, for a book of Nikolai there was minimal Nikolai. I lived for the little snippets of Six of Crows references. I’m obviously going to read the next book, but I’m not going to have my expectation high.

disappointed gif 2

Characters: ⅘

I love my snarky, clever, sassy child Nikolai, but I barely got to see him at all through the entire course of the novel. He had scattered chapters that didn’t remind me of the confident King I came to know in the Grisha Trilogy. The other characters were all entertaining, but I didn’t feel a connection to them. I fell a little more in love with Zoya, but I don’t necessarily want for Nikolai and Zoya to get together. To me, that seems more like a convenient pairing. Everyone else is happy and married, so I can’t complain about that. The cutest moment ever was when David was telling Yuri off. “Yuri Vedenen, if you upset my wife again, I will kill you where you stand.” In the next book, I request more of Genya because I love her. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Nina in this. I found that she was just not giving me the vibes I had come to know as Nina. I 100% think that Hanne and Nina are going to be a ship. I even saw that Leigh’s tweet that Nina’s next lover will be a girl, and I got some strong vibes from them. Isak, the new character, was honestly annoying. I found that I didn’t see him as a person deserving of a pov. I mean I get it because he played a role in the political plot, but I just found myself bored of him and his chapters. The next book better have some more Nikolai and Genya.

Plot: ⅖

This book was loads more politically based than I thought it was going to be, and I wasn’t the biggest fan. I think the plot was a mixture of Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows because the Darkling is back (who authorized this?!), and there was a heist that took up a majority of Nina’s chapters. To me, it didn’t seem original, and I found myself bored through these chapters. Nina and Isak chapters were following a plot I just didn’t care about. To me, the plot of this book felt like it was the set up for something bigger, and I think the other book will more action packed (maybe?) I feel like the Darkling plot was predictable, but also, it just not wanted. The Darkling’s story is done. I mean, what are they going to say to Alina? You gave your powers up for nothing because he’s back. I’m interested to see where it’s going to go, but I don’t know if I’ll be overly interested to read it.

World Building: 5/5

I love the Grishaverse. The powers, the culture, all of it is my favorite things ever, and I was so happy to be back with the Grisha. We are deep diving a little more into the magic system, and I think that’s the part of King of Scars I fell in love with.

What did you think of King of Scars? Are you eagerly anticipating the next book?

 

First 1 Star Rating Of 2019

Book: All Rights Reservedall rights reserved

Author: Gregory Scott Katsoulis

Goodreads

Synopsis:

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, parented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent. Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns fifteen, Speth must pay for every word she speaks, for every nod, for every scream, and even every gesture for affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford. But when Speth’s friend, Beecher, commits suicide rather than work off his family’s debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Rather than read her speech-rather than say anything at all-she closes her mouth and vows to never speak again, sparking a movement that threatens to destroy her, her family, and the entire city around them.

Rating: ⅕

Spoiler Free

Review:

I just about dnfed this at the end. I barely paid any attention to the last few chapters. This was my first audiobook experience, and while I didn’t enjoy this at all, I don’t think it was the audiobooks fault at all. My reading experience with this book consisted of rolling my eyes half the time and falling asleep the other. I do plan to try another audiobook because it was very convenient to read, but I will make sure to be more selective about my audiobooks.

Characters: ⅕

These characters, specifically the main character, were the most undeveloped and childish characters to ever grace my ears. Speth made the stupidest decisions all the time, and she didn’t have the maturity to step up and say she did. Speth’s narration felt a little unreliable at times because she had a way to twist her thinking so everything was on someone else. She acted like she was going to save the world and deserved all the praise, but she wasn’t willing to do it by herself lest something went wrong The rest of the characters acted as if they were cardboard cutouts placed for convenience.There was one character who I felt was wrongly villainized throughout the book. Speth’s narration made her seem like a child, but she was in fact older than Speth. I couldn’t find a redeeming character throughout this entire series, and I didn’t feel a connection to anyone.

Plot: ⅖

I listened for quite a long time before the plot actually took hold and Speth’s actions caught up to her. Then for the longest time, Speth didn’t do anything about it, and there were entire chapters devoted to the same things being said over and over. There was no development in any of the conversations, and I swear there were scenes that were copy and pasted with changed names. There was an entire subplot devoted to a manipulative romance that was never brought up or recognized by either one of the characters, and that was annoying. By the end of the book, I was just sick of it.

World Building: 2.5/5

This was what originally drew me to the book, and I was so fascinated by this world that limited speech. But while I was reading, I found myself disappointed by what we know of the world. I was always confused what movements Speth could make, and what would cost her. There always talk about the domes, but I didn’t feel like I didn’t know anything about them. I wished the world had been given more a clear explanation instead of how  we were just tossed in.

I sadly just wished I had enjoyed this series a bit more than I did. I will definitely not be continuing this series.

Favorite Books of 2018

I am fashionably late to post this as always, but I’m going to give myself a pat of the back for even doing it. This year was filled with tons of books. (I read over 100 books!) I can’t wait to share all my favorites of the year. I’m starting at 10, and 1 will be my favorite book of the year.

10. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads

scythe

I may have hopped on this train late, but when I did, I fell in love. I really enjoyed the world building, and I hope for a lot more in the next book. The characters were both interesting, and I loved the seeing the contrast in between them because of the different situations they were placed in. I can’t believe I still haven’t read the next book yet. I promise I will because the anticipation is real.

This books takes place in a world where no one dies of disease or injuries. No one dies unless selected by a Scythe. Our main characters, Citra and Rowan, are selected to become the apprentices and learn how to do become Scythes. They have to learn how to do it because it soon becomes a choice between killing someone or dying.

9.Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Goodreads

truly devious

I don’t know what originally drew me to this book, and I didn’t know much about it. It sat on my shelf for a week, and then I thought I would give it a go. Thank god I did because it was so amazing. I don’t know when the next book comes out, but I am ready for it.

A mystery from the past and present converge in the book as a young student takes up schooling at Ellingham Academy. Stevie is ready to uncover the mystery that cloaks the schools past, but while she’s figuring the past death out, another one occurs. Now she has two mysterious deaths on her hands to solve.

8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Goodreads

liar of dreams

A sequel that was almost better than the original award goes to Lair of Dreams. The first book was one of my favorites, and I couldn’t wait to get back into the world. \ The cast of characters is so incredible, and they all flow together really well. Libba Bray does a really good job of incorporating some creepy moments, and she creates the perfect atmosphere.

The world is visited by the sleeping sickness that affects people’s dreams. There is a new dreamwalker, and will all the dreamwalkers be able to team up to defeat the darkness before it takes over?

7. Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Goodreads

blood for blood

I finally got around the reading the sequel to one of my favorite books ever, and it did not fall short of absolutely amazing. I loved finishing out this story, and I was sad to leave this world behind. The story takes place directly after Wolf by Wolf. To avoid spoilers I’ll tell you the synopsis of Wolf by Wolf.

The imperial Japan and Third Reich rule, and they host a motorcycle race every year. This year, Yael has been given the task to win and kill Hitler. As challenges arises, she finds it harder to keep her cover and complete her mission.

6. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Goodreads

children of blood and boe

I got to meet Tomi back in March, and it was such a wonderful experience. This book is so rich with fantasy and world building that you just fall into the story. I came out of reading this completely in a haze because I was so far gone into the journey. I can’t wait to read this second book.

The book follows Zelie as she has the chance to save her people and bring magic back to the land, but to do that, she has to journey to some of the most dangerous places and survive.

5. Vengeful by V.E. Schwab

Goodreads

vengeful

This was the long awaited sequel to Vicious. It absolutely blew me away. There was added depth the world, and we got to follow many new characters. I don’t know if I preferred this to Vicious, but it came very close.

Vicious follows roommates Victor and Eli as the find ways to give them abilities. The trick is that they need to experience a near death, but they still need to live. Many years later, Victor has broken out of prison. He is on a hunt, a hunt for Eli.

4. How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Goodreads

how to stop time

This was a shocking favorite of mine. I had never read any of his past books, but I was searching the wide web, and it sounded really good. I’m really glad that I read it because it brought some interesting thoughts to my mind. While I may not have been overly invested in the current time period plot, I was all in the flashbacks.

It follows a Tom Hazard through his many, many years alive. He has experienced a lot, but the one thing he isn’t allowed is love. He just wants a normal life, but soon he finds himself struggling with his past and the present. He must decide which he chooses to live in.

3. Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare

Goodreads

queen of air and darkness

The long awaited finale to end one of my favorite trilogies in the world. I can’t really give you a synopsis because I don’t want to spoil every Cassandra Clare book. They are all amazing, and you should go read them all.

2. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Goodreads

song of achilles

I hopped on this train late, but are we surprised? I heard people raving about it, so I put in put it on my tbr. When I finally got around to it, I fell in love. I couldn’t stop reading it. The writing was so beautiful, and Patroclus and Achilles became some of my favorite characters. I honestly didn’t know a whole lot about the Trojan War, but this story taught me a lot.

It follows the Patroclus who was exiled to the court of King Peleus and Achilles. We follow Achilles and Patroclus grow up together until the Trojan War breaks out, and Patroclus has to follow Achilles to the front lines.

     1. Renegades and Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Goodreads

renegades

archenemies

I decided to group these together because I read them in the same year, and I loved both the stories so much. The world building seems like it would be unoriginal, but the characters and plot bring a new twist and view to the world. The story experiments with morality and government flaws. We also dive deep into anarchy, and the idea that people should have to only take care of themselves. The romance throughout this book is built up so slow, and it’s not insta-love. Nova remains a strong character, and though she learns more about the world about her, she is strong in her beliefs. That was something I really admired about her throughout the book.

The Renegades are the group of powerful people who took down the chaos that was Ache Anarchy. They are the people’s saviors, but they are not saviors to the remaining villains. Nova is on the villains side, but as she has to go deeper into Renegade territory, she meets a boy who could potentially change her mind.

December Wrap Up

With all the free time I had this month, I got loads of reading done. I read 13 books in total, and I’m happy with that amount. I’ve been struggling to read for a while, and it’s refreshing to be excited about reading again. Majority of the books I read this month were good and some became some of my favorites.

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare 5/5

Goodreads

lord of shadows

I read this as my reread in preparation for QOAAD, and I enjoyed it more than I did the first time. This book might be my favorite out of the trilogy. There was just so much happening to all the characters that you had to keep reading. I honestly forgot a lot of this book, so I’m glad that I decided to reread it. This trilogy is one of my favorites in the entire world, and Cassandra Clare never disappoints me.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott ⅖

Goodreads

five feet apart

I’m not gonna lie. This book did not hit its mark with me. It follows a girl with an illness that keeps her in the hospital, and she has to stay away from things that could potentially give her an infection. Will Newman has the same disease as her, and they must fight their feelings or risk their lives. I found the dialogue very choppy and basic. I didn’t feel any attachment for the characters besides one who was totally not recognized at all. The whole plot was underbaked, and it felt incredibly sped up so that it would fit into less than 300 pages. I do plan on seeing the movie because I know my friends are going to drag me to it, but I won’t have my expectations set high.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare 4.5/5

Goodreads

queen of air and darkness

THE FINALE! The book to break my soul and also somehow repair. This book had so many strong points, but it also had some lows points. For me, this book didn’t feel like an ending. It felt like there was something else starting, and we were building up so many ideas. I am not prepared to wait until The Wicked Powers. I want to go back to my Blackthorn children already.

The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson ⅗

Goodreads

the unexected everything

I had just finished QOAAD, and I needed a light contemporary to make sure I didn’t fall into a slump, so I picked up this book. This book was what I expected, and I really enjoyed it. It follows a teenage girl named Andie who has it all figured out. She is expecting to have an amazing summer at her internship, but when a scandal involving her father comes out, her life is forced to deal with some unexpected. There wasn’t anything memorable about this book. It didn’t have a strong overarching lesson that stuck with me. In fact, the whole ending just annoyed me, and it didn’t quite touch me in any way. I wished there had been more dog walking and less of the random scenes that didn’t do anything to affect the plot. I did enjoy the character of Clark. I found him to be a cute, sweet boy who was really good fit for Andie. Even though I had some negatives about this book, I am thankful that I was able to read it and not fall into a slump.

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee ⅘

Goodreads

gentlman's guide to vice and virtue

I didn’t have a physical book on me, so I found this downloaded to our ebook library. I started reading it, and this book had me hooked. It didn’t take me a long time to read, and I really enjoyed being on Monty and Percy’s journey. The book follows Monty, a wild soul who needed to calm down a bit, as he makes his was across Europe on his Grand Tour. He is accompanied by his little sister, Felicity, and his crush/best friend, Percy. While on this trip, they find themselves wrapped up in an elaborate scheme as they have to find a way to set things right again. In this book, there are so many cute moments between the characters, and the characters have some of the strongest arcs I have ever read. I’m recommend this to everyone around me.

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig 5/5

Goodreads

how to stop time

I went into this book nervous because I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, and I came out absolutely loving it. I think it was best put in the words of Matt Haig, “It was time travel and a therapy session in one.” This book comforted me in such a way. I felt so connected to the places we traveled in the book. I fell so in love with the history in the book, and the writing style was so poetic. I’m happy that I had chosen to annotate this book because I found so many memorable quotes. Tom Hazard, our main character, has a secret and a rare condition, he has been alive many centuries. He has traveled so much and met so many people in his years, but he is done with all that now. He just wants a normal life, so with the help of a society, he learns to find his life. Now that choices are arising, he has to decide when he allows himself to start living. This is my first experience with Matt Haig, and I can promise you it won’t be my last.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor ⅘

Goodreads

strange the dreamer

I reread this book in preparation of the next book, The Muse of Nightmares. I guess I forgot how whimsical Laini Taylor’s writing is. The world and character she created are so beautifully flushed out, and they leave such vivid imprints in my mind. A mythic city, lost to Lazlo’s ears when he was just a boy. Later in life, he experiences an opportunity and takes it. The journey he takes leaves on brings more questions rather than answers, but Lazlo has to figure them out by himself. I love Lazlo as a character, and the story brings aside a point of view that is rarely considered, and you really begin to understand that no matter the side of the war, someone is going to be greedy. I can’t wait to get into the second book to see what is going on with all my favorite characters.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi 3.5/5

Goodreads

a large expanse of sea

This was a very important novel that I really enjoyed reading. It takes place a year after 9/11 from the point of view of a Muslim as she deals with yet another move. Shirin is a strong character who has built herself walls against all the hate she constantly gets, and she finds her outlet in music and dancing with her brother. Soon enough, she meets Ocean who might just be enough to make it past her defenses. I loved Shirin so much. She was such a powerful character who knew not to take anything. I didn’t like Ocean as much, he just didn’t hit the mark with me. I didn’t feel any swoon factor towards him. The book was very fast paced and sometimes, I felt like there wasn’t enough time to let the important scenes soak in. Still, the emotional factor of this book was so strong. I found myself nearly in tears, but I had to keep it in because on a plane, crying would not be appreciated. I can’t wait to see if Tahereh Mafi is going to explore more of this genre.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw ⅗

Goodreads

the wicked deep

I have a full review here, so I am not going to share too many of my thoughts. Just know, I didn’t really enjoy this book at all. I was so prepared to love it, but it just let me down. The book follows a town that had drowned three witches long ago, and they come back once a year to take revenge. They take hostage 3 girls, and then they use those girls to lure boys to death in the harbors. Penny Talbot has grown long accustomed to this ritual, and this year she meets a new boy who is unaware of all that goes down. She knows he is keeping something from her, and she is hiding something from him. Can they make it past their secrets and the sisters to find each other?

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo ⅗

Goodreads

shadow and bone

In preparation for one of my most anticipated books of the year, King of Scars, I joined Paperbackdreams and Readwithcindy grishareadalong. Even though I started later because exams, I managed to finish the entire Shadow and Bone trilogy. I’m sad to say that I had to drop a star this time around. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I once did. I found Alina to be so annoying and complained like none other (aside from the main character of my current read but don’t worry you guys are getting a rant.) The plot went too slow for me to stay entertained, and at so many points, I found myself spacing out. I can say that I am glad that I read it because it really sets up the world for the Six of Crows duology. Still, it is not a need to read this trilogy to experience the rest of her other books, although it is recommended.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo ⅗

Goodreads

siege and storm

This book killed me because it went absolutely nothing happened for majority of it. In this series, there is very limited amount of people that I honestly and truly care for, and the main characters are not on that list. It was a very trying experience to get through the book. There was a completely useless side plot throughout this book that focused on a romance that I didn’t care for nor did I see the need for it. Thankfully, my favorite character was introduced in this book, and he was probably the reason I kept going with it.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo 3.5/5

Goodreads

ruin and rising

Even though this was my favorite book of the series, it wasn’t that good. I loved how much more the plot moved, but I still just wasn’t agreeing with the characters. They annoy me at every possible moment, and I don’t think that I had any attachment to them. I got through it, and I can now remember majority of what happened. Well, enough so I can make sense of any of it appears in King of Scars.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro ⅘

Goodreads

a study in charlotte

I plan on making a full review, so when I finished it is linked here. Overall, I really enjoyed this even though I don’t typically read any sort of mystery novels. I fell in love with the characters, and now that I know there is more in the series, I am excited to read the rest. It follows Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes as they get wrapped into a murder mystery. They have to learn to work together and power through it so neither of them finds themselves in jail.

The Wicked Deep Review

Book: The Wicked Deepthe wicked deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Goodreads

Synopsis: Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow… Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town. Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three-weak hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under. Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into. Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secretes. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters. But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Rating: ⅗

Spoiler Free

Review:

As I was going through my feed a couple of months ago, I saw this book everywhere. It intrigued me, but it took me forever to spend the money on it. It was much shorter than I anticipated, and my doubts began there… how was this small book supposed to introduce us to this whole world? I got my answer, by packing as much information possible then just skipping the rest. The rest of the journey after the first couple of pages was downhill, and by the end, I was just reading to finish it.

Characters: ⅕

Did I like any of the characters? No. Did we learn anything about any other characters beside Penny and Bo? No. There was no redemption through the romance arc. It got on my nerves, and it was incredibly anticlimactic. Most romance stories are predictable which I normally don’t mind, but since no new angle was given on their romance, I found myself bored and disappointed. There were so many other characters that I wished we have delved deeper, but we were given minimal information. I loved the flashbacks, but I felt they weren’t long enough to give enough detail or insight into the other characters. Expanding outside of our two characters would have added to my enjoyment of the story.

Plot: ⅖

The following of the 3 sisters as they come back into town and began to take their revenge. This year, they have messed with the wrong people. This plot is something I have seen constantly, and it is predictable. The most annoying thing about the plot is the secret keeping that was the only reason the plot ever moved forward at all. I guess the author was trying to add to the mystery of the novel, but it just agitating.

Writing Style: ⅗

The author did an exceptional job of creating an atmosphere and creepy vibe in the book. I felt the unsettled anytime the sisters were talked about in the beginning, and at the perfect times, the author knew what setting it should be and used it to her advantage. She did leave the world underdeveloped a little bit, and I did think there was a lot more room for it to grow.

Overall, I didn’t love the book, but there are aspects I could appreciate.

Renegades Book Tag

As I was rereading Renegades by Marissa Meyer, I had a sudden tag idea. So now this is the tag I have created from it. If you would like to do, please feel absolutely free to.

Sketch: An author that manages to bring all of her stories to life

Victoria Schwab is one of my favorite authors that somehow manages to bring so many worlds to life. She has written the Darker Shade of Magic, Vicious, and she is currently experimenting in the world of her new novel, City of Ghosts. Her stories are all built from the ground up, and they are full of so much creativity. All of the stories that she writes in will be as real to me as our own world.

Monarch: A story that was all over the place (much like the butterflies are)

For this question, I have chosen Caraval by Stephanie Garber. I didn’t hate the book, and I did think that the chaoticness added to the story. But it was all over the place, and I found it hard to grasp onto the strands that the author left. Caraval follows these two sisters as they embark to the magical festival of Caraval. And when one of the sister becomes a part of the festivities, the other must find her. It is somehow all an elaborate performance even when it doesn’t seem like it. It is an overwhelming adventure of magic and games.

Nightmare: A book that was so boring it put you to sleep

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson has to be answer to this prompt. I loved the whole idea of this novel, and I was so excited to get into it. Sadly, I just spent the entire first half of the novel bored. I distinctly remember falling asleep while reading it multiple times. Somehow I wasn’t able to bring myself to care about any of the characters, and I eventually dnfed it. The story has an interesting premise as it follows the accounts of two men, one an architect and the other a serial killer, as Erik Larson explains the roles they played in the brilliant Chicago Fair.

Puppeteer: A childhood book that you were completely obsessed with

I don’t want to be repetitive and say Harry Potter, so I thought back on my childhood. I remember a series and toy that played a big role in my life was the American girl dolls. I had several dolls, and I tried to read every single one of those stories I could get my hands on. I loved reading about the different time periods, and then, I would want to buy the doll to play with. Elizabeth was my first doll that my grandmother bought for me, and I cherished her for so long.

Hawthorne: A book that completely penetrated your heart with it’s sharp tentacles  

book thief

I feel no shame admitting that I am a huge book crier. I find myself easily attached to characters. I think Book Thief was definitely one of the books I felt most attached to, and it completely captured and punctured my heart. It follows a girl who finds her life changed in the world war 2 period as her family hides a jew in their basement, and Leslie discovers her love of reading. It is an emotional book, and I recommend it to everyone who needs a good cry.

Captain Chromium: A book that your love is so strong for that no matter the hate, it is invincible

city of bones

When I love a book, I love a book. The book I have chosen for this series is The Mortal Instruments, or any Cassandra Clare book for that matter. Her books are such a large part of my life, and no matter what happens, I am going to love them. They get quite a tremendous amount of hate but that has yet to stop me from loving it.

The Dread Warden: An invisible (underappreciated) book you’d like to shed some light on

heretics anonymous

There are a lot of underappreciated published books out there, but I’d like to specifically shed some light on Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry. I haven’t heard a lot around this book, and it is such a refreshing book that I definitely think it needs to be talked about. The book follows Michael as he moves to a new school, a Catholic school. He is an atheist, and he finds his interest is peaked by a girl when she challenges a teacher during class. Soon, she introduces him to the rest of the heretics. Micheal has made it his goal to convince them to go public. It’s a very cute, funny book that takes on a challenging angle on the way we think and are accepting of other religions.

 

 

Wildcard Book Review

Book: Wildcardwildcard

Author: Marie Lu

Goodreads

Synopsis:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems-and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

Rating: 3/5

Spoiler Free

Review:

Wildcard is the thrilling sequel to one of my favorite books of last year. Sadly, it didn’t quite meet my built up expectations. I did get to have the wonderful experience of meeting Marie Lu earlier this month. This duology was such an adventure, and I already miss the world. But, I do wish the books had left off on a more satisfying note.

Characters: ⅗

In Warcross, the characters were my favorite part because we got see Emika interacting and growing towards these new people and learning to open up. There was quite a notable absence of these characters in Wildcard. They are a team, and it felt like they were brought in at convenient times. Emika was one of my favorite kickbutt characters, but in this book, she was a shell. I got very little emotions from her, and I didn’t feel she had any part to play in the story. If I did feel a connection to her, it was annoyance because she was really whiny and impulsive. At no point in the story did I could tell she stopped to think everything out.

whining gif

Hideo was also somewhat of a shell. I could tell he was a big part of the story, but I didn’t feel we had put any focus or importance on him. To me, he really just lurked around the edges of the story as more of a plot point than character.

There are some new additions to cast. I loved all of them. We got to explore Zero’s arc a lot more, and I felt he held up majority of the story. He had a little help of lifting up the story from another new character, which I also loved so much.

Plot: ⅖

This is where most of my problems lie. 90% of this was planning and plotting, and it wasn’t until the very end that we got an interesting bit of a fight scene. When I met with Marie Lu, she had talked about condensing the series into two books was harder because the second book is much like a planning/filler book. I felt like she had too much planning in the beginning to try and compensate for the missing book.

The series is based around Warcross, but there was barely any actual Warcross. I had expected to get more world development in this book, but I really felt like we took a step back. I am slightly shocked I made it through this book as fast as I did because I kept losing my focus. The scenes didn’t flow, and there was no action, so I kept taking a break and cruising my phone. I loved the overall plot style, and once we got into that, things got interesting. The ending was incredibly unsatisfying. I felt like it could have given us more.

ending gifs

Writing Style: ⅗

You know the classic phrase, “show not tell.” I feel like Marie Lu could have used that a bit more. The story relies a lot of the narration and dialogue of it’s characters. I didn’t feel like I was a part of the story; I felt like I was being read the story. If I had liked Emika more as a narrator, it would have worked a lot more effectively too.

World Building: ⅖

Warcross had a lot of world building, but I was expecting more from Wildcard. There was barely any Warcross, and I could not tell you what was happening outside of Emika’s bubble. She was so cut off from the world we barely heard about the effect on the public, how the other teams were, or exploration of the Darkworld. We glaze over the effects, and we don’t delve deep enough to feel a connection to the story.

So as you can probably tell, I was disappointed in this book. But the series has drawn to a close, and it was sad to let all that go.

City of Ghosts Book Review

Book: City of Ghostscity of ghosts

Author: Victoria Schwab

Goodreads

Synopsis:

Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), but she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead… and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stanger.

When Cass’s parents land a gig hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets another girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil-and herself.

And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

Rating: ⅘

NO SPOILERS AHEAD!

Review:

Imagine my surprise when I walked into the bookstore on Saturday, and I found this beautiful book just waiting for me. I had just finished reading The Foxhole Court, which put me into a major book slump because nothing can compare. City of Ghosts was a quick, funny read, and I really enjoyed my time reading it.

Characters: ⅘

I loved all the characters, but Jacob, my dead son, was too precious and deserves everything.

precious gif

While the characters were all fun, I didn’t feel we didn’t get the opportunity to explore the characters. Cass and Jacob bounced off of each other so well. I loved their relationship, and it felt so special. I was so glad that they had each other throughout the story to just work through all of it together. There was a bit of family dynamic that just didn’t hit home nor did it seem significant. This was such a short book that I didn’t feel all the relationships develop yet, but I do think that in coming books there could be a lot more development.

Plot: ⅗

The entire premise sounded so good, and it definitely came through. The overall plot was very straightforward. I didn’t feel any shock with the twists and turns.

shock gif

In the end, the story was a little fast. I wish we had gotten more of the ending scene and time in Veil. The ghost element was really prominent throughout the entirety of the story.

Writing Style: 5/5

Obviously, I am a long time lover of Victoria Schwab’s writing. She writes beautiful and atmospheric. She nailed the Autumn/spooky vibes in the story. Her character’s are hilarious and so adorable. The setting was beautiful, and I would read an entire book of following Jacob and Cass around Edinburgh. She made me feel like I was in Scotland, and when I finished, I was disappointed to not be there.

I loved this book, and I can’t wait to read the second book. What did you think of this book?

Something Wicked This Way Comes: A Mini Review

Rating: 2/5 something wicked this way comes

Goodreads

Review: 

Finally after a long while, I finished this book. It was an atmospheric, Halloween book that fell short in many different areas. The characters didn’t seem to be anything unique to the story, and I often found myself bored with their interactions. Whenever Will and Jim were characterized, I felt they were more generalized to encapsulate all boys. The villain of the story was brilliant. He always seemed to be one step ahead of them, and he didn’t seem to be playing a part like all the other characters were. He was one of the main reasons I didn’t dnf the book because he just gave me so many creeps, I wanted him to lose. I did we had more of an explanation and demonstration of the freaks at the carnival, but they weren’t as big plot holders as I had expected.

The plot was another let down for me. It seemed like the right idea, but in the execution, it just seemed to lose all it’s sense of magic and creepiness. It was a simple idea that was just sprinkled with just a little too much of poetic writing that made it seem dragged out and overused.

I wish I could enjoy it more, as throughout the story, the themes that were hinted at hit so close to home. I’m not completely giving up Ray Bradbury, as I still wish to read some of his other works, but I am sad that this one didn’t level up to quite what I was wishing.