Thursday, February 7, 2019

Review: Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The plot was extremely slow, there were a LOT of characters to keep straight with most of them taking over POV for at least one scene. I think that was a major problem that kept me from falling into the plot. The characters were written in a way that made them all seem like they didn't have emotions, only an inner monologue stating what their emotion was.It was weird This books saving grace is the fact that its author really is such a gifted storyteller. I never once considered throwing this book off to the DNF pile. That really speaks for itself. I didn't really care what happened to the adults and was pretty indifferent to big end solving the mysteries but it was pretty to read. i enjoyed the town and the description and the back stories. But something was missing this book was missing. I'm not explaining this very well. All in all I liked the book but I'm left feeling pretty frustrated because a little extra character building would have made it great. Maybe I'll think on it some more and then adjust the review if need be. Ok, I should probably stop talking to myself in my written book review...

Real Quick Synopsis
Thames - Big important English River with most English of all the River names. Every rule in the English language would indicate this river's name should rhyme James. Naturally it called tems instead. Yay for English.
One day this river beats up a man and spits him out along with a 4yr old. They end up in a country tavern. an astonishing number of people seem to have misplaced a 4 yr old. There is drama. Also, there's several pigs, a bad son, a photographer, a suicide, and a murder all thrown into the mix.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Review: Broken Things

Broken Things Broken Things by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

For whatever reason Lauren Oliver seems to be one of those authors who seem to get a raw deal on Goodreads. Not that her books get absolutely awful reviews but they seem to be underrated to me at least in comparison to some horribly mediocre books that get 4+ ratings. Anyway, that being said I suspect that people who've enjoyed the author's previous work will also like this book and probably not so much if you haven't.

The book begins by recapping the murder of a 13 yr old girl five years earlier. The town blamed the girls friends and an obsessive obscure fandom for an obscure fantasy novel. New facts have surfaced and on the 5th anniversary of their friends murder two girls, a boy that was fought over and a couple of extras thrown in come together to try and finally find the truth behind who hurt their friend.

The story is told through time slips and rotating POV between the two girls originally accused of being behind their friends murder we are told a captivating story that made me read from cover to cover in 3 hours. The story was plot heavy but with interesting and entertaining characters. I would personally recommend this book to anyone who looking to read a quick fun YA thriller.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Review: Poison Princess

Poison Princess Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book. It's not that the plot line was particularly original. It's not, at all. If I had to describe this book in a sentence it'd be. 'The Walking Dead' meets 'The Hunger Games' being played out by X-men named for Tarot Cards. Bam. That's really all there is to it so far. This book was clearly written to be part of a series, which in and of itself limits the scope of the plot of this story installment toward the overall story line. This isn't a work made up by artistically wondrous sentences. How is this all adding up to a 5-star rating? What this book was is entertaining as hell. It sucked me in and left me ready to move on to Book #2, immediately, at 1:30 am. Sometimes it's not about how original the story is or how acclaimed the book is, sometimes it's just about the storytelling and it's even more impressive for pulling off a great story in spite of it's flaws. This book is like a Marvel movie. Totally not capable of winning a prestigious literary award and awesome regardless.

I do still REALLY want to know where the Oxygen is coming from in this book but I'm gonna try to overlook that nagging question. If you have an answer please feel free to leave in comments.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Quickie Review Nevernight By Jay Kristoff

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Honestly I wanted to like this book. In some ways I might have even looked this book now if I hadn't heard spoilers from the next book. But the Hufflepuff in me just could not get on board with certain people's murder and then their role in the next book. The party of me deep inside that screams for loyalty just could not. Also this book is just way too graphic with the torture. For me anyway. I know gore and guts is totally the train all sorts want to board. It's just not me. I get grossed out easily at least when it involves butchering and slicing humans etc. The writing itself was plenty skillful and I have enjoyed the author's other works this just was frustrating and a little too nausea inducing for myself.

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Monday, May 28, 2018

Review: Ruthless Magic

Ruthless Magic Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual rating 3.5-stars

This book was without a doubt entertaining and it was enjoyable to read but in really did have a sever lack of originality. Think Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire mated with The Hunger Games good times, right? So, based on a World Trade Center plot device that was totally unneeded I would guess that this book takes place in the very near future, like 2024ish. A time that is so far in the future teenagers will no longer understand Star Trek references, apparently. I digress. Anyway so the world is made up of Dulls (aka Muggles), Mages (magical folk who mostly have entitlement issues), dampened magical folk (people who had magic but then were deemed too inferior to hang with the mages, were denied entry in magical university, and then had most of their magic forcibly stripped away from them.), then there's burn outs (people who previously had magic and tried to fight against 'The Man' which is actually 9 people and the Confederacy which they totally control who are basically deatheaters but still mostly on the DL we'll get back to that in a minute.) Now to further break things down Muggles (sorry, Dulls) and the various magical folk know of each other and live in the same universe. The Mages had an "unveiling" at some point in recent history and basically announced they were ready to become magical superheroes for the world. Inexplicably magic is spreading and magical kids are being born to muggles and the old school mages don't like it but the Muggles don't like the magical people so they're screwed all over the place. Magical kids are allowed into magical academies if they can afford tuition and their community has enough of a magical population to need one otherwise you just get a magical tutor which apparently is not helpful. So like normal kids the time comes when you find out whether you get into university only there's only one University and acceptance is like super corrupted. Basically kids who belong to magical aristocracy have an easy in and new magic from lower classes are undesirable. On the other hand if you aren't accepted you can compete in competitive trials and try to win your way in… supposedly. Also people have a tendency to die or simply not return from these trials and others appear to be brainwashed by the confederacy and others if they manage to survive long enough to bail out of the trials just get all of their magic burnt out of them. Shortly after the games begin everyone learns they're basically competing in the hunger games but the crazy gov't running everything is nice in the fact that they allow more than one person to live. Oh yeah these trials take place of bloody Riker's Island which in and of itself says something. Muggles and their prisoners no longer inhabit the island but still not a place that channels good vibes to all. This book is clearly the first in what I assume will at least be a trilogy.

What this story lacked in originality was made up for by the fact that it was still a fun and engaging story I was able to connect with the main characters who acted as narrators if not so much with side characters. There were parts of the world building that I felt were left gaping wide when they needed more explanation. Like why would magical folks simply go along with this "dampening" ritual. There are groups of magical terrorists (although we'll probably find out they're actually insurgents) but I was kind of left wondering why people would just go along with what was so very obviously a rigged system. There were also characters who were very predictable but *shrug* they didn't kill the story by any means they simply ended up being what I expected them to be. Anyway if a stories of social injustice, magic, and super scary obstacle courses are your thing then you should try this book out. I would definitely be willing to read follow up to this book I just hope the story gets more unique as it goes.

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Friday, May 25, 2018

Review: Foolish Hearts

Foolish Hearts Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

Is full of great characters (even if they seem a little more deep and considerate than the way I personally remember high school kids.) Honestly it's hard to even describe what this book was about, it was part romance, part friendship, part coming of age, dealing with siblings, leaving your comfort zone and throughout all of this there's some hardcore fandom for what is basically a fictionalized version of One Direction and Warcraft and High School rendition of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Which, yeah, is about a crazy as it sounds but genuinely enjoyable too. It was funny and touching without being super intense or blatantly unbelievable the way contemporary YA often can be. Plus, it really didn't hurt that A Midsummer Night's Dream is literally the only Shakespeare that I've read and enjoyed, so I was able to get in on that. Overall this novel get a solid thumbs up from me and I would recommend it to others.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Review: Hero at the Fall

Hero at the Fall (Rebel of the Sands, #3)Hero at the Fall by Alwyn Hamilton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

super short review until I can update at length and not from a cell phone which will inevitably cause autocorrect errors a typos. 😆 so overall I did enjoy this series. i think the author went a little too "Game of Thrones" with the killing people off and each time it was oddly unemotional. like it felt like the narrator was saying she was sad while not quite feeling sad. also I felt like the author kept getting super repetitive with her description. I hadn't noticed it as much with the previous volumes. overall it was a fun and very action packed the trilogy.

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Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked it. It was a really fun read. The book opens with a quote from one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (sorry, simply not motivated enough to go back and check which one) anyway, this story very much has that sort of Jack Sparrow quirkiness going for it. Which is actually pretty impressive because in spite of the sorta lighthearted vibe there's quite a bit of depressing darkness going on. The overall gist here is that there's a pirate king and he has a daughter (who'd have figured, right?) So he sends his daughter off to find a map that's on a rival pirate ship, at least he thinks its on the ship he doesn't actually have any proof it is there but due to the fact that he's really kind of a horrible horrible father this doesn't actually rank up the list of awful things he's done to his daughter. So the daughter who is inexplicably loyal to her father considering how badly he sucks at said position, gets herself onto this ship and from there on we witness all the shenanigans that go down whilst she tries to find the necessary map in time as requested by her father. I had some minor issues with the story, the main character spends a considerable portion of the novel be a blatant braggart about her stunning pirate and other "particular" abilities and yet for the ENTIRE book she pretty much never lives up to her constant in monologues regarding her own awesomeness. Also a pirate ship run by a bunch of 18ish year olds seems fairly unrealistic but its a YA novel so I guess we'll go with it. In spite some of these small irritants I had a good tyime reading this book and it went quickly. I look forward to moving on to it's sequel Daughter of the Siren Queen

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Review: Royals

Royals Royals by Rachel Hawkins
My rating: 0 of 5 stars

OK. Straight up, I liked this book! Don't care what anyone else has to say about that. It was a quick, fun read, and it finished before I was ready to leave the characters. In my opinion that’s a book that has succeeded. Yes, this is basically the YA book equivalent of a rom-com but that fine because Rom-Coms are what some people love. If you don't go looking for Hemmingway in a teen rom-com then you are a lot less likely to go full on snark with their disappointment because they just have an irrational expectation for the sort of book their reading. There is nothing intense about this book at all. It's just fun. It's a quick ready, with a sillyish plot, with entertaining characters and witty dialogue that makes me laugh. Really that's all I need from a fun summer(almost) reader. I think anyone who has enjoyed Ms. Hawkins previous work or even just enjoys the entertainment that is her social media accounts then you will also like this book. So I give this book a solid 4stars. Because I don't think a book has to get it Faulkner on to qualify as good it simply has to its a own thing and do it well. Ms. Hawkins did her Royals well and I enjoyed coming along for the ride.

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Saturday, April 28, 2018

Review: Legendary

Legendary (Caraval, #2)Legendary by Stephanie Garber

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Update: Alrighty, so the author DID in fact announce that there will be a third book to this story, thank God. So all my very conflicted feelings that I speak about below are no longer an issue and this book is able to maintain the 5 star rating I so badly wanted to give it. Now that I can confirm that this is not a 2-book work of literary torture I am able to highly recommend the continuance of the Caraval story. Yay!! Read On!

Ok, so my thoughts on this book are sort of stuck in a place of limbo right now. It really comes down to whether this book will truly be the stories conclusion as it was initially planned or if it is now intended to be a middle installment to a trilogy/series. On it's own this book is every bit as magical and enchanting as Caraval. Ms Garber truly has a gift for taking her readers to her world where adventure, romance, and magic radiate of the pages...BUT...! As fun and exciting as this book was it would still be nothing short of infuriating if it truly is meant to be any kind of conclusion. As of right now I'm going to base my review on the assumption that there is more to come, I haven't been able to find any mention or suggestion that a third installment but who knows. That being said, if it turns out this truly was meant to be the conclusion to the overall story started in Caraval, I'd be forced to drop my rating considerably. There's just too much left by the time the reader comes to Legendry's final page. A quick rundown of this book. There's another edition of Caraval going down although it's not as vital to the plot as the first game was, there's a maternal scavenger hunt, much like her sister Scarlett, Tella finds herself playing Legend's game, creating serious romantic tension with one of the games actors, as well as picking up her own 3rd party fiancé. There's also a seriously problematic Tarot(ish) deck made up by demigod like characters who are all appear to be created by combining unhealthy levels of narcissism and sociopathy. Other stuff happens. Honestly, so much of how I feel about all the various storylines is dependent on the need for a third book (assuming an additional book would come with the gift of resolution.) Too much of what happens ends up feeling pointless without the satisfaction of some kind of cohesive resolution to pretty much any or better yet all the main plots, subplots, mysterious backstories that just stayed mysterious, &the character relationships that went down through out these books. As it stands right now we are left with … nothing. Scarlet-Julian=??? Tella-Dante=??? Julian-Dante=??? Scarlet-Nicolas=??? Why are you even back, Nicolas?=??? Comatose prodigal bandit mother=I can't even Legend/Fates/Return of the heir-??? I assume you all are seeing the problem here. All the beautiful writing a world building in the world can't erase the pointlessness of a story that's feels so unfinished it wouldn't even qualify as anti-climactic. The idea of that makes me pretty grumpy. Then again a third book might be announced tomorrow and *poof* all my discontent would vanish. I was able to enjoy Caraval so much more for that exact reason. It was pretty vague in its ending but I knew there was more story on the way so I didn't worry on that but now it's like quadruple levels of vague and I'm just over here in my 5-star/angry book review limbo.

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Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: Furyborn

Furyborn Furyborn by Claire Legrand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I really had such hopes for this book. Such a beautiful cover but, we all know what they say about books and their covers. I thought about giving this book two stars but I am willing to read the next book in this trilogy so I figure that should bump things up to 3- stars in reality it's probably closer to 2.50. The problem with this book was cohesion. There was a lot of potential floating around but nothing really brought it together. There were just so many pieces to this story.We start out with a prologue thing that takes place at the end of one timeline seeing everything through the eyes of a young boy named Simon. There is an evil "blood queen" giving birth and some kind of evil and omnipotent angel coming for her baby. There is a lot of info thrown at reader right away and it's quite confusing. We get the gist that angels are bad and nothing like most people's idea of angels. Apparently this queen somehow helped the angels and killed are adored husband but then again this Corien angel dude is coming for her baby so clearly there some points of contention between the angels and this Blood Queen. I digress, so back to the birth-giving queen attempts to give her baby daughter to Simon's father (the two of them being part angel and part human) so he can whisk her away to safety before that can happen fate works against them all and it ends up being Simon who has to rescue the baby. Angel/humans have the ability "travel" hundred of miles via magic threads we don't exactly know why since neither angels nor humans have this ability The queen then shatters into a bunch of light beams (still not sure what that's about) and Simon finds out the hard way that Marques (angel/humans) actually have the ability to "travel" through space AND time if they don't really know what they're doing.

From this point on the story is split up into 2 timelines one that begins two years prior to the prologue bit of writing and the second timeline takes place 1018 years afterward. Honestly ai don't know what all would be considered spoilers so I'm just going to leave off from the plotline from here on out but basically we have these two timelines both of which you can tell are suppose to be action packed but are somehow seem to be boring. There some very ACOTAResque trials that go down and a very deadly female assassin. Familiar sounding right? Then there are angels and saints thrown into the mix and that just ends up being more confusing than anything else because they are nothing like any idea of angels or saints I've ever heard of so it really serves no purpose to give them those titles other than to confuse us. I mean people have pretty sturdy ideas of what angels and saints are and they all typically connect to some idea of a God but there is no God like being in this book so it just gets annoying. Also there's a prophecy thrown into the mix and at the end there's the most ridiculous romantic plot that literally comes from out of nowhere. Let me tell you I'm a big romance fan, typically speaking I am always down for some romance but some foreshadowing a little lead up , something to make it understandable is required. In any enemies to lovers storyline the "to" is required also. So anyway as bitchtastic as this review may seem I would be willing to read the next installment in this trilogy in the hopes that maybe the author and the editors could get things rolling a little more smoothly because I do believe this story has some decent potential. It just started out pretty rocky and slow.

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Review: Once Upon a River

Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield My rating: 3 of 5 stars The plot was extremely slow, there were a...