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!

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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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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review: Love and Other Words

Love and Other Words Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was really such a good book. Up to this point y only experiences with author(s) Christina Lauren was their 'Boss' series. Which was also very good, but definitely deeply the risqué end of the romance genre. This novel read totally differently and told a more serious and sweeter story their other work. Sometimes it can throw me off when an author writes a story totally different from their more typical style I didn't find that to be the case with this book at all. I was sucked in from the first page and devoured the book in its entirety in under 24 hours.

The books begins with an adult Macy Sorenson desperately trying to avoid a man sees in a local coffee shop. A man she hasn't seen in 11 years but also describes as the love of her life. Flashing back and forth between current day and an 15 year countdown from her summer before 8th grade and the years leading up to their 11 year break the novel addresses the importance people play in a life both with their presence and by leaving us. At it's heart this book tells the tale of a second chance romance but also tells a coming of age story of every kind of love, loss heartache and growing up. This book made me laugh and cry and I didn't want it to be over so quickly. I would absolutely recommend this book to others and look forward to catching up on the authors backlist.

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Friday, February 9, 2018

Review: The Price Guide to the Occult

The Price Guide to the Occult The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Off the coast of Washington there is an small island and witches live there. A small town's worth of other people also live there but the witches are really the important bit. Well, semi-witches is probably the more accurate descriptor for the last 8 generations of Blackburn women. For hundreds of years this family of witches were powerful but good peeps overall. Unfortunately humans beings aren't known for their high tolerance for magical entities real or imagined. This lead to a many generations of witches being forced to constantly move when their neighbors tolerance levels peaked. So eventually one of these witches, Rona Blackburn, decides she's going to set up a life on a little remote Island where there's not even a dozen other inhabitants. Remote locale hermit lifestyle , all should be good and safe for Rona the witch. Yeah, not so much. Some 18th century drama goes down, there's fires set, babies are born, it's not good. So Rona, sick of all the problems her magic has brought to her life decides she's going to try and bind her powers and keep all the future generations of her family safe from what she's suffered. What results is more like a cruse than a protection and it is passed along to each generations Blackburn woman and then on to her one daughter and so on. Eight generations later our story begins with, Nor, who's chillin, living her life, when one a book arrives at the town psychic shop where she works. A book of available spells, incantation pricing, and an order form. A book of Blackburns spells that have been and should still be unusable due to the Blackburn biding curse. Only it appears Blackburn #8, Nor's mother, has found a way to achieve what ought not be achieved. Also, she's like a supermodel channeling her inner Charles Manson. This is not the best combo and pretty much all hell starts breaking loose from this point on. Good times!


I honestly enjoyed this read. It was a quick fun read that I devoured in pretty much one sitting and that says a lot for a book. I'm ADD to the extreme and this a chronic book jumper. This novel kept my attention firmly in place. It brought to mind books like L.J. Smith's Secret Circle trilogy, and Lana Popovic's Wicked like a Wildfire. I think this book be a pretty good matchup for anyone who has read and enjoyed those stories. I believe this book should be available to the public on March 13, 2018.


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review: The Hazel Wood

The Hazel Wood The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Simply put. I thought this book was amazing. 5 stars. 2 thumbs up. A+: 100%. And any other way I can express perfect. Alice Prosperine is a girl who's lived a strange life of instability, with a mother who moves house every few months once their "bad luck" catches up with them. Lurking in the background is a hauntingly weird grandmother Alice has never actually met, the infamous tome of dark fairytales that has almost been forgotten by the world but seems to bring nothing good to those who still remember it and her grandmother's home which these fairytales paid for, known as The Hazel Wood. Once Alice's grandmother passes away her mother believes them safe from whatever has been chasing them for Alice's entire life, she remarries and attempts to settle down in NYC creating a normal life for Alice. Which is where all hell breaks loose and our story pretty much begins. What follows is an addictively enchanting tale that channels The Black Forest through upstate NY. The Grimm Brothers would have loved this book. I enjoyed this book so much that in spite have being given an e-galley copy for review I will absolutely still go out and buy a hardcopy to physically keep on my shelves and to reread later. That is really the highest praise I can give a book seeing as I really have to no time for rereading with a to be read pile like mine or room for any more books but if it's worth it I'll find a way!! This book is worth it.


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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Review: Tell Me How This Ends Well

Tell Me How This Ends Well Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Ok so I'm not allowed to request another book I might possibly enjoy until I right a review for this book. Honestly I couldn't finish it. I really thought I'd like it. I mean, I'm Jewish, I celebrate Passover, my dad can piss me off, I can be super snarky. It's the makings of a match made in book/human heaven and yet... Nope. I just couldn't make it through. I found the main character obnoxious and just didn't care enough to follow through. Sorry. I really hate writing negative reviews too because I think there's enough mean stuff in the world without adding bad reviewedbut that's my honest opinion and I really just want another book to review that I'll hopefully enjoy more. Sooo that's all folks.

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Review: Ruthless Magic

Ruthless Magic by Megan Crewe My rating: 3 of 5 stars Actual rating 3.5-stars This book was without a do...