Book Review

Review: A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J Maas

 

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Well, it’s been over a week since I’ve finished ACOFAS and I still don’t really know how I feel about it. I got into the first book, ACOTAR, reluctantly since I’ve never been into fantasy. Surprisingly, I loved everything about it. It actually sparked a new love for fantasy that I thought would NEVER happen. I especially loved Feysand in ACOMAF and ACOWAR. However, I think I’m just over it. Their relationship is starting to gross me out. LOL

After reading it and being like WTF where is the plot, I started reading reviews and understanding it a bit more. Believe me, there really is no plot, but I guess the point of it was to show you where the characters are right now after the war. I definitely get that they are all suffering in their own ways. It’s completely understandable. I just wish this was less about Feyre and more about everyone else. I still don’t get what’s up with Nesta and Elain. I really, REALLY hope the next book shows some growth in their characters.

I feel like this isn’t my favorite review for a book, but I honestly don’t even know what to say. I’m not used to novellas to be honest. I’m hopeful the next book will give us some answers.

Did you like this book, or were you just as confused as me?

Book Review

Book Review – Circe by Madeline Miller

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Once in awhile, a book comes along that I know I must have immediately. I’ve known about Circe by Madeline Miller for quite awhile. I even had the release date written in my work planner, that’s how excited I was for it! I could not wait to completely immerse myself in the world of the Titans/Olympians, especially with a book about a goddess witch! When the release date arrived, I realized I didn’t have the budget for it (see my post about book budgeting here).

When I finally picked Circe up, I was completely enamored with it. Not only is this book about learning to overcome your faults, it’s about being a strong woman, facing your fears, and the journey of motherhood.

The book starts out when Circe is young. She is definitely not the favorite of her mother OR father, and is often picked on by her siblings for being different. Her siblings all end up being extremely cruel, while Circe does have her moments, she is not even as close to as evil as her family.

The book revolved completely around Circe and her journey through immortality. She often faces the fact that many around her are mortal and won’t live forever. I loved the men she fell in love with — they were far from perfect, and Circe tells the stories of them in ways that made me believe she never completely gave her heart to anyone except for her son.

I truly enjoyed this book until the end. I loved how she worked with herbs and magic. There were parts that were slow, but overall I really loved getting to know Circe and watching her move through life. The stories of the gods were not fabricated or turned into mushy, sweet fairy tales — they were full of deceit, death and destruction, as they have been told for many, many years.

I gave this book five stars on Goodreads and I plan on reading The Song of Achilles very soon!

 

Book Review

Reading Game of Thrones AFTER Watching the Show and Why I Hate Re-reading

I had a bit of a late start to the Game of Thrones TV show. I started to watch when season five was already out, quickly becoming addicted and in desperate need of more Jon Snow. I’m not sure I’ve ever been more entranced by a show. Every character had major flaws (some more than others!) and the plot was full of layers and twists that you would never think of. After seven seasons, you could say I’m in for the long haul. After I get married in June I plan on taking a nap until next year when season eight comes out 😉

I picked up the first Game of Thrones novel a year ago and started it immediately. For whatever reason, I put it down and  picked up something else.

I recently realized why. If I’ve already seen the show/movie, I already know what happens, and I despise re-reading.

I remember seeing Gone Girl in theaters and hearing that the book was “so much better” than the movie. Of course it is, I thought to myself. They almost always are! So, like the book addict I am, I went and picked up the book afterwards. I read about ten pages and gave up. I don’t know what it is about reading books after seeing the movie. I hate knowing what’s going to happen!

I compare it to guessing the plot of a book before it happens. We’ve all read books where we can guess where it’s going to happen LONG before it does. It’s not our fault, we’re just really good at reading.

I also rarely, if ever, re-read books. When someone asks me what my favorite book is and how many times I’ve read it, I tend to not answer. I have books that I LIKE, definitely. But re-reading them? Ain’t nobody got time for that, especially if your TBR pile is 50+ books!

Despite not reading books where I already know the ending, I am loving Game of Thrones. There is so much more vivid description in the book, and many scenes that never made it into the show, or were changed. I’m loving being able to fully catch up on the tales of Westeros and learn things I missed when I watched the show. One thing I’ve learned from Goodreads reviews is that although the show follows the first book closely, it strays from the rest. So I’m looking forward to that.

Now, if this was the case with every book, maaaaaybe I could become a re-reader. No promises though.

Do you like to re-read? Do you prefer reading the book before seeing the movie? Does it not matter to you if you’ve already seen the movie?

Book Review · Book Tags

20 Questions Tag

I wasn’t tagged, but I did steal this from Kristin at Kristin Kraves Books!

How many books is too many books in a series?

Four is plenty! Unless it’s Outlander, in which case I became bored after six 😉

  1. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I LOVE a good cliffhanger. It gets me excited for the next book!

  1. Hardback or paperback?

Paperback because I’m cheap!

  1. Favorite book?

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald is my favorite classic. I’m not sure I have a “true” favorite which is crazy!

  1. Least favorite book?

I’m not sure, if I don’t like the book I usually DNF it

  1. Love triangles, yes or no?

No, unless it’s ACOMF

 

  1. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

House of Mirth! I wanted to love it so bad.

  1. A book you’re currently reading?

The first Game of Thrones book!

 

  1. Last book you recommended to someone?

The Broken Girls by Simone St. James. Loved it.

 

  1. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Yikes, I actually have no idea!

  1. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication date)

Children of Blood and Bone

  1. Favorite author?

F.Scott Fitzgerald for sure

  1. Buying books or borrowing books?

Both! Although, I’m trying not to buy lately. Borrowing is nice if I’m not sure I will like the book.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?

The Red Queen.

  1. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks forever

  1. A book you can always reread?

I hate re-reading. LOL

  1. Can you read while hearing music?

I prefer not to

  1. One POV or multiple POV’s?

It depends on the book, but usually one.

  1. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

I haven’t read a book in one sitting since high school. My attention span is bad these days haha

  1. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

Daughter of The Burning City

Book Review

Book Review: Reign of The Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

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Necromancers are highly regarded in Karthia, a place where change is disregarded and the dead walk among the living. They are the only ones that can safely travel to the Deadlands, where spirits reside until the move on to who knows where. Odessa is affectionately called “Sparrow” since she is the best at finding her way home from the Deadlands. However, an interesting part of this story is that once a spirit comes back from the Deadlands they must always shield their face/body from the living or risk turning into a Shade – crazy, dead monsters that can kill a human in minutes. After an increase in Shade attacks, Odessa and her friends must figure out what is going on before it’s too late.

Besides the fact that this was a huge cover buy for me (I mean really, that cover), it caught me off guard with what it was actually about. The synopsis didn’t give anything away, but I feel this book was immensely about grief and how we deal with it. Odessa loses someone she loves and can’t come to terms with her sadness, so she ends up becoming addicted to potions that take her pain away. Necromancers bring back the dead (and usually more than once) which is something we all wish we could do with our loved ones. Unfortunately for these people, it has consequences.

It brings up the question: If we were given the chance to bring someone back to life, would we? Would our loved one WANT to come back? Is it worth the consequences?

I notice the reviews for this are all over the place and I agree with most of them. It was hard to keep reading at the beginning because you really don’t find out much of anything about the main characters. Odessa was an orphan along with Evander, and that’s basically all you find out about their past. I definitely prefer to know more about my main characters.

Reign of The Fallen was definitely more than just this synopsis. Odessa had a couple different love interests, a brief addiction and several attempts at learning to cope with grief. Although this wasn’t my all time favorite book, I’m still giving it 3.5 stars because the idea of it was good, but it fell short in terms of character development.

Book Review

Book Review: An American Marriage

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Goodreads synopsis:

Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together. “

It took me a few days to comprehend what this book was REALLY about. It wasn’t just about how shitty the criminal justice system can be (although that was part of it), it was also about complex relationships and the strain that can be put on a marriage when someone is incarcerated. There were a lot of aspects that are just downright unfair in this book. Being married for a year and having your life ripped apart, being arrested for a crime you didn’t commit, having to spend years and years in jail, having your wife lose interest, losing your job and every ounce of stability you’ve created. It is so raw and often times mesmerizing. Despite the fact that Roy sat in jail for five years, for the first few  he remained hopeful that he would get out and life would be the same, at least regarding his wife. When that doesn’t happen, he realizes how much he has truly lost.

Out of all the characters, I loved Roy the most. He was flawed, yes, but I couldn’t help feel he always acted on emotion. He loved Celestial so much and it was very apparent.

Celestial was a character I couldn’t really get behind. She was smart, driven and strong but very insecure around Roy’s family. It seemed like she was deeply threatened by Roy’s parent’s relationship and questioned herself in regards to her own, while Little Roy exuded confidence and longed for the type of relationship his parents had.

I wasn’t surprised with the ending. I don’t want to give too much away, but it made sense the way it worked out. All in all, I liked this book, but I still don’t feel like I really “got it” completely. Maybe I’ll read it again someday.

Book Review

Book Review – The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

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I’m still in awe of this beautiful novel. It’s rich, full of fantastic characters, flowery writing, minimal lovey dovey scenes, and a political world based on people’s need to be perfect and beautiful. I loved the concept of this story. It wasn’t like anything I’ve read before. The characters had real flaws, and the villian was definitely full fledged crazy pants. I really enjoyed this read and can’t wait to read the next book.

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle, the most treasured type of human in her country. She is destined to be the favorite, the Belle chosen to work with the royal family and do all their beauty work. However, her plan doesn’t work out and she ends up second best. Until the royal family decides to change that, as easily as they do their appearance. Camellia soon learns that being the favorite has severe consequences…. and those consequences could cost her her life.

This world was so intriguing. The descriptions were a little TOO much at first, I was almost getting lost in them. However, once you get around the mid point of the book they become less and less. I love, love, loved the detail of the beauty work. How they changed body types, how they painted faces, how the person getting the beauty work usually had to drink a tea to ease the pain. It proved the point that beauty sure is pain. The teacup animals were probably my favorite part, and the fact that their mail was sent via small balloons… just awesome!

The story line was somewhat slow in pace, but very interesting none the less. I didn’t see the ending coming at all. I liked how it wasn’t “Camellia saved the sleeping queen and all was well”. There is still a lot that is going to happen with this series and I honestly can’t wait to read more.

There wasn’t a ton of lovey dovey scenes , but there are two love interests. I like that it really didn’t take away from the story at all.

I recommend this to anyone looking for a YA Fantasy read that differs from any current releases on the market, as it is mainly about how beauty consumes people and sometimes being perfect comes with consequences.

 

Book Review

The Broken Girls by Simone St.James – Book Review

What a fantastic mystery filled with paranormal experiences and suspense. This novel had so many layers that fit together like puzzle pieces and an ending that actually surprised me quite a bit. I hardly ever read thrillers since they give me anxiety but I really LOVED this one.

Fiona Sheridan is a journalist that can’t shake the murder of her sister Deb twenty years ago. With the help of her journalist father and police officer boyfriend, she’s determined to find out if the man convicted of murdering her sister was truly guilty. This takes her back to Idlewild Hall which is being renovated by a mysterious woman… but why? The novel flashed back and forth from 2014 and 1950 and is very fast moving and suspenseful. There are paranormal elements that really add a dynamic layer that makes this thriller different from any I’ve read personally.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC! This title comes out in March.

Book Review

Book Review: Love & Ruin by Paula McClain

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Paula McClain truly wraps and weaves you into the world of Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn with her newest novel, Love and Ruin.

Marty Gellhorn is a woman of courage and tenacity. She is a writer by trade and throws her all into her work. She is continuously let down by the men in her life, including her distant father, who sees her work and love life as self destructive. After her father passes away, Marty and family travel to Key West. They meet Ernest Hemingway at a local bar by chance, and he and Marty start a friendship that completely changes her life, in more ways than one.

This novel covers many years, including the years Marty and Ernest spend as war correspondents. While I know this was an essential part of the story, it was the only part that did not completely hold my attention. McClain’s writing is truly wonderful. The descriptions are elegant and intriguing, especially the scenes set in the house Marty and Ernest shared in Cuba. The relationships Marty had with Ernest’s children were beautiful and nurturing, an aspect that can’t be ignored from the story. Even the relationship between Marty and Ernest was raw and beautiful, although at times very trying.

Towards the end of the book we go through the demise of Marty and Ernest’s relationship, one that would free Marty but show the beginning of the end of Ernest Hemingway. It was tough to read after many pages overflowing with their partnership, but it was done well. It showed the true courage of Marty, which I believe was the best outcome of a sad ending.

Book Review

Book Review: The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick

I had a huge Tudor book phase 4-5 years ago. I read everything about Henry the 8th and his wives, watched any Tudor show/movie (ahem, The Tudors with Jonathan Rhys Myers…swoon) and thought about what it was like to live during that era. My phase ended when I moved out of my apartment and into my boyfriend’s (he didn’t care to watch The Tudors 800 times) so it’s been awhile since I’ve picked up a Tudor book. I jumped at the chance to get an ARC of The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick. The premise of the novel seemed like something I could dive into.

The book starts with Allison peeking into a gallery window and seeing a painting of Mary Seymour. However, it’s labeled as Anne Boleyn. She becomes curious and walks inside, and to her surprise, after speaking to the gallery owner, finds out that the man who is claiming the portrait is of Anne Boleyn is her ex boyfriend, Adam.

To make the story even more crazy, Alison is a time traveler. She knew Mary Seymour as a girl. Alison has been trying to get back to her own time and find out what happened to her son. She tries to figure out the clues left by Mary and struggles to find the answers to where her son is. While all this happening, her romance with Adam is rekindled… but he still has no idea she’s a time traveler. Allison struggles with her relationships, knowing they are completely built on deception.

I really liked the premise of this, however I found some issues with the story. I felt really confused as to how Alison could spend just 10 years in modern times and not slip up, or have anyone be suspicious of her. There’s no way she knew how to navigate the world that easily. She works a normal job, had a boyfriend, etc and never had any issues. Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

The book went back and forth between Alison and Mary Seymour. Mary, at first, was a super awkward character. She was beyond naive when it came to men. but I guess that can be expected due to her life at that time. She did grow out of it in the end, thankfully. However, she had an “imaginary friend” who didn’t make a ton of sense at first. Even after his true identity is revealed, the connection lacked development.

Overall, I love love loved the idea of the story, but I couldn’t really vibe with  Mary or Alison.

3.5 stars from me.