Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

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Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor

First in the Akata Witch series

4.5 stars

"Lies are a thing of the physical world. They can't exist in the spirit world."

Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born in America. She is both Nigerian and American. An outsider who belongs. Sunny is different from her family in more ways than one. She’s albino, but she has also seen the end of the world in the flame of a candle. She’s a free agent— a Leopard Person who is not from a family of Leopard People. She has no knowledge of the magic that flows within her or the spirit world that is both her friend and enemy. There’s a serial killer pillaging the streets and killing kids and it’s up to her and three new friends to stop him. This is unique. When I requested this novel, I hadn’t realized that Nnedi Okorafor was the author of Binti, a hugely popular scifi that has been sweeping the book world by storm. This is my first time reading Okorafor’s work and it will not be my last. The writing is beautiful and the storytelling is rich. Okorafor merges the world of Nigeria with the hidden world of Leopard Knocks seamlessly. The imagery is stunning and one of my favorite things about Akata Witch was the excerpts from the book about Free Agents. We learned about Leopard People as Sunny does and it puts the reader on equal footing with Sunny. It makes the story more intimate because the reader develops relationships and knowledge as the main protagonist does. It’s a wonderful, well-developed story full of magic, mischief, and innocence.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.75

The main female character is Sunny. Sunny is a very young protagonist; she’s only twelve-years-old. She doesn’t know much about the world and her thoughts can feel a little silly, but it’s important to keep in mind that Sunny is experiencing a world that is unfamiliar to her. This is a world that children know about since birth if they are born into it and this world is also brutal. There’s a scene towards the end where Sunny and her friends attend a wrestling match that results in someone dying. It’s very brutal for a child to see this, but her teacher was teaching them a valuable lesson— a lesson that becomes important to their task of defeating Black Hat. I really enjoyed Sunny as a character and I guess I have developed a maternal affection for her. I want to see her succeed in learning about and navigating this new world, but I also want her to be safe. If this series follows Sunny throughout her teen years, I know she’ll grow into a badass woman.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4.5

The other characters in Sunny’s friend group are integral to this story. Without her friends, Sunny wouldn’t know of her true self or be able to embrace who she really is. There’s ChiChi, Orlo, and Sasha. ChiChi is a wonderful character with a lot of spunk and heavy doses of snark. She’s fierce, but reckless. She’s very bright for her age (whatever that age may be), but she’s also too cocky. It puts her and others at danger, but this characterization makes ChiChi authentic and feel real. Orlo is Sunny’s classmate at the Lamb school (Lambs are outsiders who are not Leopard People, non-magic folk) and he comes to her aid after several fights. He has the unique talent of mending things that are undone and he’s reserved. Orlo calculates situations and doesn’t make rash decisions without thinking about them. He adheres to the rules of the Leopard People and doesn’t believe they should be pushed or broken. Sasha is from the United States and is outsider in Nigeria, but a Leopard Person through and through. He has a lot of power for being young, but he is reckless and has a vendetta against authority figures. He doesn’t respect those with power and believes that rules are meant to broken. He’s definitely rebellious, but he isn’t a bad person. He just makes a lot of foolish and bad decisions, but most young kids do. Together the four children have a strong bond and they are definite friendship goals. Anatov is their mentor and teacher. He’s wise and does a lot questionable things, but the lessons always outweigh the risks. Messing with juju is dangerous and it can lead to death; Anatov doesn’t let the kids forget it and leads them to many missions that can harm them. I also really enjoyed the balancing of Sunny’s family life with her new life. Her relationship with her mother, especially towards the end, takes a new shift and brought a smile upon my face.


Character Scale: 5

The Villain- Black Hat is a serial killer who targets children. He takes limbs and seems to be practicing some type of ritual sacrifice. It is revealed later on that he has a role in the Leopard Knocks society and an even bigger part to the end of the world that Sunny has seen.


Villain Scale: 4

My only problem, and it’s a bit of a big one, is the ending. The ending felt rushed and the big battle showdown wasn’t as climactic as the novel kept building it up to be. It felt a little too convenient and everything just worked out so well. That’s why I can’t give this novel a full 5 stars, but I’m really excited about the sequel to Akata Witch and I know that this will be a series I don’t want to miss.


Plotastic Scale: 4.5

Cover Thoughts: This cover is fierce. It’s intense and I really like it. Although I must admit I love and prefer the hardcover because it captures Sunny’s innocence. This girl on the cover isn’t Sunny until the end of the novel. It feels a little too mature, but it’s still a well-done cover.


Thank you, First to Read and Speak, for chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
Are you interested in picking up Akata Witch? I hope you are because it's awesome! Let me know down below in the comments what you think! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

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A Curse of Ash and Iron by Christine Norris

1.75 stars

Benjamin Grimm prefers to hide behind the theater curtain than interacting with the society in 1876 Philadelphia. Eleanor Banneker is one and only friend, but he hasn’t seen her in years. When they are reunited he is delighted, but shocked to discover that she’s been under a spell for 7 years. Ellie and her father are both under the spells of her stepmother, but she is sure that she can break them. The problem is that when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, her fate will be in the hands of her stepmother. Obviously, this is a Cinderella retelling, and this slightly puts this novel at a disadvantage. I’m not and have never been a fan of the Cinderella story. The only adaptation I’ve ever loved and I covet it above all the rest is Ever After. You know, the movie with Drew Barrymore and Leonardo da Vinci. That one is my all-time favorite Cinderella story. I do also like the movie for Ella Enchanted because it’s cute and fun, but predominately, Cinderella stories just aren’t my cup of tea. The reason why I was drawn to this particular retelling was because it’s slightly steampunk.


This is told in alternating POVs, which can either make or break a YA novel. I feel like this novel would have benefited from only being one POV, that POV being Ben, the male hero. Ellie’s POV isn’t fleshed out and she has more of a mysterious vibe, which isn’t a good thing to have on an equal footing story that is based off of Cinderella. There are fairies in this story, which makes the plot more entertaining, but the Cinderella plot isn’t really anything new or original. Cinderella is one of the most popular stories ever and this doesn’t really diverge or offer a new perspective on the story. It’s cliched… I mean it has the coveted three challenges that ever fairytale of retelling has to have. This novel is a little too long, which sounds crazy because this novel is only 289 pages. The problem lies with the fact that the climax happens before the last 50 pages. It’s unnecessary and anti-climactic.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 1.75

The main female character is Ellie. Ellie is a typical Cinderella cardboard cutout. She really offers nothing new to the Cinderella character, not like there is much to offer since Cinderella is a bit of a drab character as it is. Ellie’s biggest drawback as a character is her lack of authenticity, she feels more like a mystery that needs to be solved than a person. She’s a manic-pixie-dream-girl in an 1876 fantasy story. She also is obsessed with some stranger named Hamilton Scott. She just needs to reevaluate her priorities because she is supposed to be focused on breaking a curse not getting a boyfriend. She’s naïve and silly. I want a Cinderella heroine with a good head on her shoulders who can navigate her way out of a situation. Ellie is not that.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 1.25

The main male character is Ben. Ben is a magician/ inventor of illusions and this makes for a very interesting hobby. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a character with a passion quite like this before and it is one of the more interesting aspects of this novel. Ben is kind of a creep though. He is constantly mooning over Ellie and I just don’t care about how the sun sets and falls behind her “beautiful” face.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 2

The Villain
- It’s your typical evil stepmother and while her grand scheme was interesting it was rushed and typical.


Villain Scale: 1.75

One shining light in this story is that Rebecca, the stepsister, isn’t portrayed as an evil villain. It’s a nice change of pace from the usual evil stepsister trope. Hamilton Scott didn’t need to be a character. OK. Bye.


Character Scale: 2

The ending was predictable, cliched, and unsatisfying. The whole novel felt poorly executed and did nothing to placate my hunger for a good book. Alas this one wasn’t meant for me, but it may be your cup of tea. If you are a fan of Cinderella and steampunk, then this will probably be a fun, enticing novel for you.


Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: It’s not horrible, but it is kind of cringey.


Thank you, Netgalley and Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What are some of your favorite Cinderella retellings? Books and movie recommendations would be lovely! Let me know down below in the comments!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Recommendations: Feminist Books

 

Hey, everyone! I hope you are having a lovely summer and are reading lots of books. If you aren't sure what your next read is then look no further than this video. I am recommending a wide range of books that I feel personally encompass and represent what feminism means to me. Feminism means different things to different women and men and I think that each of these novels shows feminism in different perspectives. 

THE BOOKS:
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Have you read any of these books? What are some of your favorite feminist novels? Let me know down below in the comments!



Friday, June 16, 2017

The Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki

THIS NOVEL COMES OUT ON JUNE 27!! 

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The Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki

Second in the Lords of the Highlands series

4 stars

Lady Magdalen Keith is the illegitimate daughter of a Scottish earl. She doesn’t partake in balls and isn’t a fan of the fancier side of society. She prefers playing her harp or attending to patients at her hospital for battered women, but at the Hogmanay ceremony thrown by her father all of that changes. Navy lieutenant, Aiden Murray, isn’t expecting to be enticed by the girl at the Hogmanay ball or to spend months thinking about her while he sailing at sea. When Maddie goes to London to save her father’s head from Queen Anne’s noose, she isn’t expecting to see Aiden again. Neither of them is expecting the whirlwind Highland romance that flares between them, but goes against the propriety of London society. This story is fun… a LOT of fun, in my personal opinion. I prefer Highland historical romances and so this kind of story is right up my alley. It takes a lot of real history (Queen Anne, the supposed assignation attempt on her life, the rise of the Jacobite rebellion, and the real-life Marque of Tullibardine). I personally enjoyed the aspect of the plot relying on a lot of historical events, but also being fiction. It makes the story enjoyable, but also stays true to the atmosphere and political tensions of the time.


I can tell that Amy Jarecki has done a lot of research of this time period and it really shows. She has one of the strongest Scottish Highland romances when it comes to being accurate to the time period. I personally loved the opening Hogmanay chapters that set up how Maddie and Aiden meet. It was incredibly adorable. Jareki is good at writing steamy scenes, but there are a few laughable lines that are just weird. This novel is just a lot of fun and in comparison, to some HRs that I have read this one isn’t scared to show battle scenes or talk about blood, battles, and court politics. The romance in this story is definitely there and there is some great romantic tension. However, I do have a huge problem with the pacing of this story. Towards the ending, everything felt so rushed. This novel needed to be longer and to explain things with more depth when wrapping up some a huge plot. That’s my biggest problem with this novel and while it’s my only real complaint, it’s a big problem.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.25

“Maddie never cared to think about morbid endings. She preferred to look to the future.”

The main female character is Maddie, or Lady Magdalen. I really enjoyed her character. She had passions and hobbies. I loved that she had opened up a hospital for women who had been abused (primarily because of the rise of English soldiers raping women), but I wish that we had seen more of her in her element. We were told about the hospital and her love for it, but we never got to see her interact with attendants and it would’ve added another layer of depth to see that. I really enjoyed her passion for the harp. It’s always refreshing to see a character’s passion instead of just being told about it. Maddie’s harp plays a huge part in the story and her love for music is a huge part of her life. The last quarter of the book really challenges Maddie as a person and it was interesting to see the character’s personality being tested.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4.25

The main male character is Aiden. I love Aiden’s character because is a flirt, but he is very unaware of his flirtations with Maddie. He’s very inexperienced and goes against the trope of a rake that is experienced in the bedroom. Aiden is a virgin and Maddie is a virgin; they both have no clue what they are doing and are just kind of exploring each other and using some very explicit photos as a guide. It makes their romance fun and it’s refreshing to see two virgins falling in love instead of a virgin being paired up with a more experienced partner. Aiden is also a sweet talker. This book is full of one-liners that are so damn cute. We also get to see Aiden fight in a pirate battle. It was a great scene and it really added a layer to the story. Upped the ante and really catered to capturing what it was like to be on the sea during the early 1700s.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 4.5

The Villain- Well, this is rather tricky. There’s Lady Saxonhurst, who seems like a villain, but we never know if she really is. There’s Queen Anne, who is only a villain because the Scots do not love her and she is forcing Maddie’s father to be a prisoner, and eventually Maddie. Then there’s the whole plot at the end where Queen Anne is definitely not Maddie or Aiden’s favorite person. I don’t think there are any “villains”, just people on opposing sides of a political battle.


Villain Scale: 3

The characters are a lot of fun. There’s Agnes, the lady maid who has watched over Maddie her whole life, MacPherson, a naval officer who pretends to be a big player, Seaforth, an allay with a good heart, and the Earl Marischal, Maddie’s father who is thrown into the Tower for treason. The side characters are a lot fun, but the only one who really stood out to me and really made me like them was Agnes. Also, that big reveal on the last page about one of these characters was thrown completely out of left field and we had no closure on the issue. It kind of bugged me.


Character Scale: 3.5

Overall, this story is a lot of fun and I think that HR readers will enjoy this, particularly those who love Highlanders. My biggest problem lies with the rushed ending, but the last 25% was really intense and went places that most HRs shy away from. This is a great novel for fans of history, but also don’t mind some fiction in it.


Plotastic Scale: 4

Cover Thoughts: The guy is sexy, but if you look at him for too long his head looks photoshopped onto his body. I’m not complaining though. Give me all the sexy Highland men in kilts on covers.


Thank you, Forever- Grand Central Publishing, for sending me a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review.
 
Are you looking forward to The Highland Commander? What are some of your favorite historical novels? Let me known down below in the comments!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Books I've Read in 2017 #17-19

 
Hi, everyone! Today I'm bringing you a video review on three books that I've read in 2017. Surprisingly, I have written reviews for all three of these books (I know it's unheard of with my backlog of 150 books to review), but I'm actually quite happy with the reviews I've written for these books and I hope you check them out!

THE BOOKS:
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The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell- 5 stars (Reread- originally 4.25 stars) Check out my review here. Genre(s): suspense, classic, short story, horror
Someone to Hold by Mary Balogh- 2.25 stars Check out my review here. Genre(s): historical romance
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury- 4 stars (Reread- originally 2 stars) Check out my review here. Genre(s): science fiction (sci-fi), classic, dystopian

So, two of the three books I read were rereads, which to some may seem silly, but I got a lot out of rereading these books (reasons discussed in video). 
Book I Recommend the Most:
The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell
The great thing about this short story is that it's free online. So, you can check it out right now if you are interested in this famous classic. The reason why I think this classic is so important is because it brings into question morality. The reader must decide if the actions that take place in the end are done to survive or because the character himself has evolved to become a hunter of humanity.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts on these books? Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Nihal of the Wind by Licia Troisi

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Nihal of the Wind by Licia Troisi

First book in the Chronicles of the Overworld Trilogy

4.5 stars

“Just as nature gives life to the creatures of this world, an armorer forges the blade from fire and iron.”

Nihal lives in the Land of the Wind, a section of the Overworld, but no one in the Overworld is like Nihal. She has violet eyes, pointed ears, and blue hair. When we meet her, she is a fierce fighter at the age of thirteen and loves to fight. She meets Sennar, a young wizard, who challenges her and causes Nihal to lose her focus. When he outsmarts her, she vows never to be friends with him, but as time goes on he becomes her best friend and most trusted ally. The Tyrant has risen and when war ravages all of the Overworld- leaving Nihal without a father- she must embark on a journey to become a soldier.


This novel has a lot of war in it. There are a lot of scenes with blood and bodies lining the ground. Races are destroyed and homes are burned to the ground. It’s very sad and I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy where the war breaks out within a first novel and becomes the catalyst for the heroine/hero’s story. The biggest reason you should want to read this novel is because DRAGONS. The soldiers fight on dragons and they are some of the fiercest and most wonderful creatures. I LOVE THEM. When one of them dies I cry because they are such wonderful souls. Sadly, they don’t talk, but their sassy personalities make it as if they are.

“We all have our destinies. For some people, it’s the same as what they want to do. For others, it isn’t. That’s life.”

The writing in this story is very beautiful. Troisi sets up beautiful scenery that feels as though you can see the Overworld. This novel is also strong in girl power. Nihal is a badass heroine and she really makes this story move. The story itself evolves very slowly, but it doesn’t snag and feel bogged down. The pacing can feel be quick in some areas and slow in others, but I feel like it really mirrors the tempo of war. Most wars are battle and then wait then battle and maybe another battle and then wait and wait some more. There is no constant fighting and I really liked seeing that.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.25

Nihal is a very endearing protagonist and she’s quite easy to like. When she’s introduced she is very young and naïve and her innocence makes her a charming a character. Nihal’s backstory is very touching. She doesn’t know where she comes from or who are people are, but she has her blacksmith father and his sorceress sister. When we find out her origins, it is a very emotional realization for Nihal and while it may be obvious to a fantasy reader who is familiar with (view spoiler), it’s a very important scene for Nihal and the woman that she becomes. Nihal is special, but she isn’t a snowflake. She’s unique in this world, but she fights and rises above all the challenges that knock her down. There are several times when she is knocked down and questions getting back, but her determination and her drive to avenge her people and her father makes her an admirable character.

Nihal is hard on herself because when she was little she treated war like a game and when war ravages her home, she feels an overwhelming guilt. This guilt is palpable and makes the story seem very real. The biggest negative about Nihal is that she is childish and brash, but this fits her age. In fantasy, children hardly act like children, but even while Nihal trains for war she exhibits childlike traits because she is still a child who has been forced to grow up to soon. I can appreciate this because so many are forced to grow up when they are not ready to grow up. Nihal becomes very cold. She becomes more of a sword than a person and it is so sad, but it’s a believable character arc.


“Over the past year, she had begun to feel her life would always be full of sadness, pain, nightmares, and doom. But now she did not want to die. She would not die. She would win back the happiness she had lot and make her life worth living again.”

Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5

Sennar is Nihal’s foe-to-friend and he doesn’t stay a foe for long. He’s sweet and caring. He’s a remarkable friend who loves Nihal and his actions are those of a true friend. I ship Nihal and Sennar so hard, but Nihal is blind to love and only see war and revenge. It’s kind of sad, but I ship it and I will continue to hope that they get together and make babies.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 4

The Villain- The Tyrant captures lands and destroys them in rapid pace. He has decimated not only lands, but wiped races of the face of the Overworld. He conquers and pillages. It’s heartbreaking and horrifying to see how much enjoyment he has in destroying this beautiful world to take power.


Villain Scale: 4

There are some wonderful characters in this novel. There are also a lot of characters, some are important and some are not, but they are all important to Nihal’s story. Laio, is a soldier who doesn’t want to be a soldier. He represents all those who are forced to fight in wars and he is such a sweetie pie. Ido is Nihal’s trainer and I love him. He brings wisdom and reason to Nihal’s training and he has some great lines. There are so many wonderful characters: Fen, Joana, and Soana are some of the few who really struck a chord in me.


Character Scale: 4.5

“Death plays dice with every soldier’s destiny.”

The ending to this novel is very solid and leaves room for a sequel, but it is not a cliffhanger. This is a nice trait for a fantasy story to have because it helps those who are scared of series not feel obligated to finish this trilogy. Although, I definitely think most who read this will want to read the sequel, Sennar’s Mission. Overall, I recommend this to fantasy readers, new and old, as well as anyone looking to read outside of the U.S. This is a translated Italian novel and it really shows how different fantasy is in different parts of the world and I love seeing the differences and similarities.


Plotastic Scale: 4.75

Cover Thoughts: This cover is absolutely gorgeous. The painting of Nihal is striking and the detail is so beautiful.

Thank you, Netgalley and Open Road Media for allowing me to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
What's your most surprising fantasy read? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Graphic Novels That I Was Supposed to Review 2 Years Ago

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Core Scramble Volume 1 by Euho Jun & Jeong Lee

1.75 stars

The basic premise that I gathered is that there's a guy fighting on a team. This team uses magic to kill "bugs", but the chief on his team is pretty much a jerk. I suggest just reading the synopsis on GR because I just don’t know how to describe this. I have no clue what happened for the majority of this manga. The art style is messy and is not my preference. I was really interested in picking this one up because it’s a Yaoi (m/m manga), but I didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters or find must interest in them. Since this novel relies heavy on action and no explanations, the plot is disjointed and the flow is rocky at best.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 2

Art Scale: 2


The characters are selfish, but have believable motives for their actions. I just couldn’t connect to them and have no interest in finding out the rest of their story.


Character Scale: 1.5

This manga just wasn’t for me, but I’m sure that there are readers out there who will absolutely adore this.


Plotastic Scale: 1.75

Cover Thoughts: The art is phenomenal, but they have jawlines for days.



Thank you, Netgalley and NetComics for providing me with a copy of this manga in exchange for an honest review.



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Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen

4.75 stars

"Because they fear us, TIM-21. Because they were hurt and they wanted to hurt something back. Because they are human."

The basic idea behind this graphic novel, without going into too much description, is that massive robots took over. This massive takeover has caused humans to condemn robots. TIM-21 and his friends are struggle to stay alive in a universe that outlaws androids. It’s a very simple story and it’s probably not a very unique story for the sci-fi genre, but I don’t have much background with android sci-fi, so I can’t say. Regardless, this graphic novel is beautiful. I will give a warning, though, the beginning for this is not strong at all. This problem lies with the opening art sequences. The people are horribly drawn and the coloring does not save the art in the slightest, but the spacecrafts are magnificent. I suspect that this messy, ugly art is intentional— it’s supposed to represent the discord the world is facing with the Harvester attack. After this attack, the art drastically changes and it starts to flow and even out into a beautiful art sequences.


The plot is developed and well thought-out. The writing in this graphic novel is phenomenal. There are scenes that are emotionally impactful. This story is dark, bleak, and depressing. While this is a story where the whole world is against robots, these robots are compassionate souls that live in constant fear, but have so much hope in their hearts. It’s absolutely spectacular.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

Art Scale: 4

Character Scale: 5

Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I LOVE this cover so much. It’s what caught my attention and I adore it.


Thank you, Netgalley and Image Comics for providing me with a copy of this graphic novel in exchange for an honest review.


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Dresden Files: Down Town by Jim Butcher, Carlos Gomez, & Stejpan Sejic

4.25 stars

Harry Dresden is Chicago’s local wizard-for-hire and his apprentice, Molly, are ready to stop a dark sorcerer who has made an alliance with a mob boss in this Dresden Files graphic novel. I have never read a Dresden Files novel and I was worried going in that I’d be completely lost, but I wasn’t. The art and plot line for this graphic novel is intense and has a great supernatural element. This is fun to read and it has definitely piqued my interest. I’ll definitely be picking up a Dresden Files novel in the future.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

Art Scale: 4.25

Character Scale: 4.5

Plotastic Scale: 4

Cover Thoughts: The cover doesn’t have the most striking art, but it fits the tone and mood of the story.


Thank you, Netgalley and Dynamite Entertainment for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read any of these graphic novels or plan to? What are your thoughts on graphic novels? Do you prefer them to manga? What genres are your favorite to see combined with art? Let me know down below in the comments!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Books I've Read in 2017 #13-16

 
Hi, everyone! Sorry that I haven't posted in a while, but I was recently on vacation and it was a very two weeks. I'm back now and hope to be posting more frequently!

THE BOOKS:
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milk and honey by Rupi Kaur- 4 stars (subject to change b/c I'm conflicted on a lot of the poetry in this collection) 
 Bizenghast Volume1 by Alice M. LeGrow- 2 stars Check out my review here
Zodiac by Robert Graysmith- 3 stars This is decent, but incredibly biased and it does get a little boring every now and then.
It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson- 4.75 stars (maybe 5) I surprisingly loved this!
I discuss more of my thoughts on each of these books in depth in the video!


Have you read any of these books? (I'm sure you've at least read milk and honey because everyone is or has or plans to.) Let me know your thoughts on the books or recommendations that I mention in the video down below in the comments! Hope to see you down there!


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cleaning Out My Kindle

I'm currently on a mission to go through and delete or read Kindle books that have accumulated on my Kindle. Here's three books I've recently given a shot:

25445105Ride Me Hard by Shari Slade

1.5 stars

This is a motorcycle "romance" in 90 pages. There isn't much to describe because it's a motorcycle romance. This novella doesn't really offer anything knew to the genre and continues to perpetuate the alpha male who is entitled to staking his claim. All the usual stuff, but this one lacks substance and pales in comparison to motorcycle novels like Nine Minutes. The characters are just there and offer no substance. There's no characterization and no plot. I've read worse, but it's a Kindle Freebie. It's fun to read for free, but not worth buying.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 2.25

Character Scale: 1.5

Plotastic Scale: 1


Cover Thoughts: Stereotypical motorcycle cover for a stereotypical motorcycle novel with no plot.



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Break Me In by Shari Slade

1 star

This novella continues where the first book leaves off. Star is on her way to enter the motorcycle club under Noah. The first novel in this five-part serial wasn't great, but it was a good set up and had me interested in where this series was going. It was offered for free within the first book, so I decided to pick it up because I was intrigued to see where this story was going. Not surprisingly it quickly went down hill. The plot is just too confounded and quickly turns into this whole pissing contest for domination between Noah and the MC gang's leader, Dev. Once Noah beats Star with a whip and she "puts on a show", but kind of loves it, was when I was done reading this series. The book leaves off with a cliffhanger, but I don't care about what happens to a member of Noah's family that I haven't even met. It's just poor writing, characterization, and plot development.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 1

Character Scale: 1

Plotastic Scale: 1


Cover Thoughts: I swear I've seen this cover on ten other romance novels.
 




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Demon Kissed by H.M. Ward

DNF @ page 28
I don't think I'm the target audience for this at the moment... or ever again. If I had picked this up years ago, I would've gobbled it up as quickly as I did the House of Night novels. Speaking of HoN, this book resembles a striking resemblance with the concept of being given a mark at a certain age (coming of age). The mark is on the forehead in both instances and the only difference is angels and vampires. It's all the same coin. The writing is awkward and there were several times I couldn't make it throughout one page without cringing more than once. An example:
"Inseparable things- I learned- could be separated, but it hurt like hell."
This book tries and because it's the author is giving her best effort I won't star this as 1 star. This just isn't for me, but many people enjoy this novel, so give it a try yourself.
  



  

Have you read any of these books? Are you cleaning out your kindle or bookshelves? Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Books I've Read in 2017 #6-12

 
Hi, everyone! Today I have a wrap-up of the books I've read in 2017. I have a previous video for books 1-5 and you can find it here. Hope you enjoy the video!

The Books:
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Drowning Instinct by Isla J. Bick 3.5 stars (this is subject to change when I write my review)
Outcast by Adrienne Kress 4.5 stars
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 5 stars (for a second time)
Captured by Erica Steven 3.5 stars
Renegade by Erica Stevens 3.5 stars
The Gunslinger by Stephen King 4.5 stars  

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Do you plan on picking up one of these? Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Video Review)

 
Hey, everyone! Today I have my video review of Stephen King's The Bazaar of Bad Dreams. I hope you check out my thoughts. I will be writing a physical review for this book (at some point), but until then here are some of my thoughts and why I gave this collection of short stories 4 stars.

Have you read The Bazaar of Bad Dreams? Are you a Stephen King fan? Leave me some recommendations down below in the comments!

5 to 1 by Holly Badger

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5 to 1 by Holly Bodger

DNF @ 15% (2 stars)

In 2054 India, the ratio of boys to girls is 5 to 1 and the rulers of Koyanagar have decided that marrying daughters off to the highest bidder is the best way to ensure survival and provide more daughters. I was interested in the premise, but this book just didn't live up to what I expected. This novel is told in alternating perspectives of Sudasa, a reluctant bride, and Contestant Five. My problem is that Sudasa's is told if verse form and Contestant Five is told in prose. I personally love verse novels, but this doesn't not translate well between formats and this is not the type of genre that is meant to be told in verse. The reason why Ellen Hopkins does it well is because she writes about real situations that are easy to understand and already laid out in society- drug addiction, prostitution, etc.- but a dystopian novel is not meant for verse. Prose is important to the dystopian genre because it steps up the society that is being introduced, but I was confused and frustrated pushing through Sudasa's odd POV. Bodger does try to redeem herself with prose from the male counterpart, but it is not worth slogging through uncomfortable attempts at free verse to get into the meat of this story. This is just a book that is not for me.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 1

Character Scale: 2

Plotastic Scale: 2

Cover Thoughts: This cover is absolutely gorgeous and I love how intricate the designs are.

Thank you, Netgalley and Knopf Books for Young Readers for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Have you read 5 to 1? What did you think of it? What book has a beautiful cover, but not so beautiful writing (to you)? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

31451174A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Third book in the A Court of Thorns and Roses trilogy

ALL THE STARS SHINING IN VELARIS

*There’s going to be spoilers for the two previous books, so adios and come back when you’ve read the books. I’ll try to mark spoilers for important sections of this book DON’T CLICK ON THEM because you will be hella spoiled. *

A Court of Wings and Ruin picks right up with where ACOMAF left off. Feyre is back in the Spring Court and pretending to have been under Rhysand’s spell in an attempt to thwart Tamlin’s alliance with Hybern’s King. Feyre’s number one goal is to tear Tamlin down and what better way to accomplish this than to turn the Spring Court against him. This is the plot of Part 1 and from then on, we reach the main plot of the novel, building alliances and going to war with Hybern. That is the plot of ACOWAR, but from here on out I will be going into depth on what I think, but major spoilers will be marked.


My biggest bone to pick with this novel (get it, cause of the Bone Carver, hahaha) is Maas is atrocious grammar in a finished copy!!!! Y’all this is ridiculous. This is a finished novel, which means it has been edited multiple times, but contains simple punctuation errors.
Tally of Errors: 19
Another annoying feature of Maas’ writing style is her technique of omitting words or gestures and only alluding to them being foul. There’s a lot of “I gave so-and-so a foul gesture.” What is this foul gesture? Why can’t you just say, I flicked the mofo off because they are testing my patience? Also scroll down to the couple section and read about my thoughts Maas’s perpetuating negative homosexual stereotypes that are already perpetuated by trashy TV shows. Spoilers in that section though, so you are forewarned.


Besides Maas lacking common knowledge on when to use a question mark and not a period, the world building in this novel is strong. Maas continues to set up a vivid world within Prythian and makes the courts we visit tangible. The battle scenes are gruesome and there are plenty. This is a novel of war and while there’s a lot of chapters that focus on planning, meetings, and love scenes, there is quite a few battle scenes and the resulting final war scene is quite intense. Maas may lack in common writing abilities, but grammar isn’t everyone strong suit (it apparently isn’t her editors either). Maas is strong in world building, imagery, and character development. Maas is great at character development. I think that’s her strongest writing attribute and it really shows in this novel.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5(I’ll overlook those errors because the writing was very good.)

The depiction of war in this novel is very well done. Our first battle is an attack on the Spring Court. The war is chaotic and really shows that there is no reason to war other than cruelty and the feeling of entitlement. Feyre acknowledges how hard it is to kill people, but how it is easy for the magic to do it with no hesitation. She is also a strong fighter and she really shows her strength in drowning soldiers alive. It’s brutal and it is a quick battle, but it’s effects are long lasting. The dynamic between the seven courts at the meeting is really interesting. I do like the Dawn, Day, and Winter Courts immensely. The Summer Court is still a really interesting factor, but there is beef between Tarquin, Feyre and Rhys. The Autumn Court is full of arrogant, angry he-mans and I don’t care for them one bit. The Spring Court Dynamic is the most volatile and complicated because Tamlin is a whiny baby who is hurt that his favorite toy has been snatched away. It makes for a very unbalanced dynamic when only five out of the seven seem to be in an alliance against Hybern, a foe with an almost never-ending army.

The characters in this series have stolen my heart. Characters I loved, I’ve grown to despise and characters I’ve hated, I’ve grown to love. There is a lot of fantastic character development and this novel relies heavily on whether or not you love the characters in the center of this story. If you don’t like Feyre, chances are you won’t like this story because this is Feyre’s story which means everything is from her POV (and this also means that we may not see the bigger picture because of Feyre’s biases). If you don’t like Rhysand, you should’ve stopped reading long ago because this novel is as much about him as it is Feyre. Although sometimes I think Rhysand is more important than Feyre in this story because he is the backbone of so many scenes and decisions that contribute to Prythianwinning in the final battle. If you don’t like the Inner Circle of the Night Court, well you are definitely reading the wrong novel because these characters are in almost every chapter once Feyre leaves the Spring Court. If you don’t like Nesta and Elain, well, you’ll learn to love them. I know I did. Essentially your enjoyment of this novel and this trilogy as a whole depends on your fondness of the characters. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. Bad because people will definitely hate these novels if they hate Feyre and good because it makes these novels stronger. Having characters that incite different emotions creates a strong storyline.

My favorite thing about Feyre is her ruthlessness. She is brutal. She is ready to take these bitches down and she does it in some pretty uncomfortable ways. Feyre becomes a master manipulator and it is a huge change from the docile hunter scared, but brimming with hate towards Fae in the first book. Feyre steps up as someone who has to rule over her people as well as someone who has to stand strong. I also love the sister dynamic in this book. It is much stronger and it is a positive portrayal of how strong the bond between sisters is.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5

Rhys is my baby and having him gone for the first hundred pages was torture on my soul. I was still good with Feyre destroying the Spring Court, but that didn’t mean that I didn’t miss him because I did. I also know that letting Feyre go was hard on him, but Rhys knew how important this was to their cause. Rhys is my love and my feels were rampant when they were reunited because YAAAAAAAAAAAS. One of my favorite traits when it comes to Rhys is his kindness. He will help anyone in need especially those who are displaced and in need of refuge. He warms my soul. Rhys will sacrifice everything, too much of himself to save the world, but the other High Lords have to be convinced. Rhys is a beautiful soul and I love him so, so much. He’s so nice that the other High Lords forget how powerful he is and it isn’t until he silences Tamlin by taking away his speech that everyone remembers. Rhys’ ending speech to the Inner Circle is the most beautiful part of this novel and it broke me and my emotions. Page 666 was fucking with everyone’s emotions and I can’t with Maas. She was really trying to destroy my soul.


Swoon Worthy Scale: BROKE MY SCALE

Here’s where I’ll talk about all of the characters. This is no particular order, just how I took notes in my book:

Lucien- At first I hated him. How could I not? He betrayed Feyre’s friendship after the Under the Mountain by letting her be locked up and suppressed by Tamlin. His betrayal went even further at the end of ACOMAF when he stood by Tamlin and Ianthe as Feyre’s sister were thrown into the Cauldron and turned into High Fae. I immediately felt a war within myself when it comes to Lucien because while I hate his actions, I love him. He chose to be on the wrong side of the war, but that doesn’t mean he is a despicable person. His friendship with Feyre begins to blossom again and really made the Spring Court scenes entertaining. It was also interesting that Feyre purposely got a little too close to Lucien to arouse speculation within Tamlin that they may be lovers. Feyre is brutal and it may have not been fair to Lucien, but he wasn’t on my good side at the beginning of this novel. Lucien is a character that quickly regained my love. He helps Feyre leave the Spring Court and travel with her the Night Court. The fact that Lucien becomes an ally of the Night Court and is a key player in finding a possible ally shows that he is capable of being his own person. In ACOMAF, he seemed to bow to Tamlin’s commands like trained lap dog, but in here, he steps up to plate and is the one to command situations. Even more interesting is the knowledge that Hellion is Lucien’s father. I’m curious to see how this plays out when Lucien finds out. 

Jurian- Jurian had everyone fooled. He’s a master manipulator and that’s why he was able to see what Feyre was doing while he was there with those insufferable twins. I was honestly surprised when it was revealed that he has been a spy against Hybern this whole time. Like what? The more I think about it the more it makes sense. Feyre never knew Jurian, she only heard stories of him. Everyone assumed Amarantha’s torture and dismemberment would drive him insane. No one who actually knew him was around him and it makes how Feyre wouldn’t see it and how those who did know him (Rhys and Mor) wouldn’t see it because well they were the ones to pass on the stories and are biased in their memories. The truth stares us in the face, but we see what we want to see.

Tamlin- THIS SON OF A BITCH!!!!!!!! I recently saw someone post about how they didn’t understand why everyone vilifies him. Wanna know why? Because this prick throws a TABLE in a fit of rage at Feyre. Granted she stood in the way on purpose to get the brunt of it, so she could use it as an emotional ploy to turn Tamlin’s soldiers against him, but he threw a table at someone he claims to love. Why would I love him? Sorry, you can have him. I’m not looking to have a table thrown at me and not be able to properly walk without feeling sorry like Feyre. “Not when he saw the purplish markings and knew that if they were on a human, I might have been.” What a Romeo! Tamlin is a mixed bag. He claims allegiance to Hybern and then pretends not to be in alliance. Then he sets up another attack on the Summer Court  after pretending to be kind-of in alliance with the five courts. 

Ianthe- This is my least favorite character in this trilogy because I liked her in ACOMAF. I felt played like a fiddle when I saw her true colors and I continue to despise her callous cruelty and manipulation that causes harm. Her actions with Tamlin’s soldier made me absolutely RAGE and I couldn’t wait for to go. She rapes men and thinks it’s all honkey dory because they are aroused, so they must want it even if they say no. I do commend Maas for breaking the stereotype in novels with women being raped and showcasing a woman who enjoys raping and manipulating men. Feyre crushing her hand was brutal, but I don’t think it taught her any lessons.Seeing Ianthe being fed to the Weaver was the most satisfying moment. I couldn’t have seen a more fitting demise. 


Cassian- I LOVE, LOVE Cassian. He is funny and loyal to his friends. Cassian has a great scene where he pretty much lays his soul bare to Feyre in expressing how as a High Lady of the Night Court she is all of the Inner Circle’s to protect. She is no longer just Rhys’, but every member of the Night Court’s responsibility.

Azriel- I think Az is my favorite of the Inner Circle. He is a tortured soul surrounded by darkness, literally, he can control shadows and darkness. I have a special place in my heart for him because he is so gentle and kind.

Amren- Amren’s sass levels are on point. Every scene with Amren is guaranteed to elicit a laugh because she is so snarky and calls everyone out on their BS. We get a little bit more on her backstory and it touched my heart because Amren is a monster who longed and wanted when monsters are supposed to. My biggest fear with Amren was that she would give up her body to protect the Night Court and be lost forever. [Naturally, Amren sacrifices herself to destroy Hybern’s army and it is the so sad and devastating. Doesn’t last for long though because naturally she returns from the Cauldron as a High Fae.  


Mor- I love Mor. She’s a good friend and a strong fighter. She fights alongside Feyre and remains a constant close friend. I really enjoy their dynamic and the strength of their friendship. Scroll down to the couple section for my thoughts on the big reveal about Mor.

Elain- Elain is very fragile and she’s quite innocent. It’s obvious that having her mortality ripped from her has left her broken and unsure of her purpose. She can no longer marry the boy she was meant to and the Cauldron is the most comforting experience, especially for someone like Elain. I also predicted Elain’s gifted from her first mutterings and random catatonic state. Maybe, I’ve read too much about seers, but I can spot ‘em and I was right. Elain is a seer, but this important quality is easily spelled over Hybern which makes life harder because of course magic can mask plans. Elain is the most surprising character in this battle. She was the one to slit the King of Hybern’s throat and this was a huge character development. This moment also shows the bond of a sister and how we will go against our core beliefs to save our loved ones.  


Nesta- We all know Nesta is a bit of a cold-hearted bitch. She was cruel to Feyre constantly in ACOTAR and she grew on me in ACOMAF. In ACOWAR, I actually LOVE Nesta. She’s become one of my favorite characters in this trilogy. We learn that Nesta pulls a piece of the Cauldron out when it turns her. This means she has a piece of Death inside her. She is Death. I can’t think of a more fitting ability for Nesta because Death is a cruel part of life and Nesta is cruel. A gentle person cannot wield Death, but Nesta can and I’m curious to see her master it. Nesta is a brutal when it comes to beheading King Hybern and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  

The Bone Carver- I love this character. I think he’s creepy, but so interesting. He also learn that he is death. Obviously, I mean he carves bones, but it’s a solid confirmation that comes in handy in the war. He sends Feyre out on a goose chase to obtain the Ouroboros from Hewn City to ensure that he will help in the War. The catch is that most go mad upon looking into it. The Carver’s death was sad AF. I mean damn, he wanted to die and it was so sad. 

 The Suriel- This creature is one of my favorite in this trilogy. I LOVE this character and the guidance and truth it has provided throughout these books. The Suriel’s death destroyed my soul. Of course, Ianthe would take such a wonderful creature out of this world. I cried so hard. 


Feyre, Nesta, and Elain’s father showing up at the helm of a ship with soldiers was so unexpected and it made my drop. Even sadder was his death and I kind of feel like it was not necessary at all.

Character Scale: 5
Villain Scale: 5

Here’s where I talk about the romantic partnerships/developments:
Maas likes to pair her characters off to one another. That’s not a bad thing for fangirls, but it certainly doesn’t show good quality writing if every character has to be in a relationship to show their worth. I’m going to talk about my thoughts on the relationships and new romantic developments/possibilities/predictions. HUGE SPOILERS, so you can skip this section if you would prefer to, I’ll put a big bold warning when it’s done.

Lucien & Elain- Lucien has knowledge that Elain, Feyre’s docile and gentle sister, are mates. The situation is really depressing because Elain is engaged to a human boy who comes from a line of Fae Hunters and is now a Fae. Lucien pines after and longs for his mate. It is also revealed that mating bonds can be rejected. To be honest, I see Elain rejecting this bond and ending up Azriel. Unpopular opinion: I don’t want Lucien and Elain together AT ALL. If Lucien ends up with anyone it’ll probably be Vassa, the swan queen.

Cassian & Nesta- At first, I was a strong believer in, “Cassian can do so much better than Nesta”. My feelings quickly shifted because their banter gives me life and it is a lot of fun to see someone so stoic be so quick witted. There’s a quote by Cassian in a big reveal concerning Nesta and OMG my feels. (view spoiler) The ending battle scene with Cassian and Nesta fighting Hybern’s King was the most emotional thing. I was having a panic attack because of how intense this was.

Mor & Azriel- Surprise, it doesn’t exist! SPOILER Alert Mor confides in Feyre that she is bisexual, but prefers females. I honestly don’t think that this was Maas’ original intention for this couple, but the backlash with her having lack of diversity made her come up with this. In all honesty, I’m ashamed her fans drove her to this because now it makes it seem like Mor is manipulative and cold and doesn’t care about hurting Az by leading him on for five hundred years. This puts a sour taste in my mouth because it allows people to think that bisexual or lesbian women are only leading people on. It’s a stereotype that has been perpetuated in our media and people who scream about needing diversity in everything have lead Maas to continuing this stereotype. I don’t like this at ALL. I love Mor and still respect her, but I think this is a horrible way to treat someone. I’m going to tell you something people may not want to hear: NOT ALL WRITERS CAN WRITE DIVERSELY. All these diverse stories are coming out that further perpetuate stereotypes and do nothing for the people they are representing. This is a prime example that some authors can’t write diversely because they do not KNOW DIVERSITY. Maas is comfortable writing straight, white characters with wings and Fae powers. That’s okay. What’s not okay is how everyone is forcing other people to write diverse stories when some people just can’t do it. I can’t write from the point of view of an atheist because I’m no longer atheist. That mindset does not reside in me and I’d be a bias writer who would piss off atheists and perpetuate stereotypes. This is the same situation. I still love Mor and I understand her reasoning, but I don’t agree with her actions.

Predictions on who the next book could follow or what I want to see:
I want to see something about a half-Fae, human and Fae. I’d love to see a story about one rising up from below the Wall and becoming an ambassador of the people, but I don’t Maas will write that. I just desire it.
I want to see a book about Lucien. I think he will make a wonderful High Lord and it won’t be of the Autumn Court.
I want to see more Cassian and Nesta because that last scene of the battle proved to me that this is a couple I want more from.
I want a story of Vassa, the swan by day, queen by night, because I think that would be really interesting.


Overall, this book has problems, but I honestly don’t care. This is one of my all-time favorite trilogies and this is my favorite book in the series. It is wonderful. Despite the four flaws I had, I one-hundred-percent stand by my 5-star rating because this book deserves it. I LOVED this book to bits and pieces.


Plotastic Scale: BEAUTIFUL

Cover Thoughts: This cover is so gorgeous. I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it.


What were your thoughts on ACOWAR? Did you love it or hate it? Let me know down below in the comments!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

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A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Second book in the A Court of Thorns & Roses trilogy/series

5 stars

“I was the butcher of innocents, and the savior of a land.”

*There will be spoilers for this book and the previous one* Don’t click on spoiler tags, man, they are legit for this book.

ACOMAF stars where ACOTAR leaves off and we are left with a strong character who has been remade as an immortal High Fae. While Feyre may be stronger than ever physically, her mental state is weakened. She suffers from heavy post-traumatic disorder (PTSD) and is plagued with nightmares. To make matters worse, she’s trapped in a deal with Rhysand, the High Lord of the Night Court, and must uphold her end of the bargain to be whisked from the Spring Court and her lover, Tamlin. This is where I’ll stop the summary of this novel and from here on out that there will be heavy spoilers for ACOMAF, so come back to this review after you’ve read the book (and if you aren’t interested in reading stay and get comfy).


I LOVE ACOMAF a billion times more than I did A Court of Thorns and Roses. I was swept up in that Beauty and the Beast retelling that featured fae and evil queen Under the Mountain ensnaring millions as slaves and decimating Prythian. A Court of Mist and Fury is a completely different story. This is told in the vein of a Persephone and Hades retelling, but my favorite thing about this story (and how I describe it to my friends and family is) that this story is the follow-up to what living with the Beast is like. Everyone has always questioned what the repercussions of Belle’s love for the Beast are. Maas does a great job of painting (haha Feyre pun because she loves to paint, well not in this book for a long time, but she eventually loves to again) what living with the Beast is like and to be honest, not everyone wants to live with one and I know I don’t. Sometimes the Beast is only a phase in our seasons that we must learn from and facing in kind of abuse, emotional, verbal, sexual, or physical abuse, is the hardest thing a woman can face especially a woman who has just become a new person entirely and defeated death. I used to love Tamlin, I did, but I also saw his flaws. I loved his flaws because I’m a sucker for a Beast retelling, but Maas shows that some people can’t fight their inner Beast and it can hurt those around them.


BIGGEST SPOILER OF YOUR LIFE FOR THIS SERIES (But is it really a spoiler on BookTube and the Internet at this point?)

Feyre finds solace with Rhysand. The man who is painted to be vicious, brutal, and have no care for others. This is not the man that Rhysand is at all, but a mask that hears to protect the city of Velaris, a city that has gone untouched by enemies and many do not know of its existence. Maas does an excellent job at brining Velaris to life and it is a place I’d love to visit. The Night Court is mesmerizing and Maas really shines at creating a world hidden from the world. Rhysand’s love for this city is so beautiful and it heals Feyre.


Whimsical Writing Scale: My Soul is Crushed, BYE.

Feyre is broken. She’s disjointed and disconnected from the world streaming by her and it is so sad, but so realistic. I’ve never been able to buy that characters are invincible and able to keep fighting and not deal with their mental grief, but Feyre is desolated by what happened Under the Mountain. It has destroyed her and she has to learn to heal, but it takes a very long time to heal. It is hard for her to heal in her own home because she’s essentially a prisoner within the Spring Court and with Tamlin’s watchful eye, he won’t allow her any freedom. When she’s whisked away, or as she puts it, stolen away she becomes the guest of a hated enemy in the Night Court. In my review of ACOTAR, I compared Feyre to Katniss Everdeen and in this book, she becomes Feyre Acheron, Cursebreaker. She is no longer in the shadow of literary heroines and she steps out of the mold to become her own character. Feyre is strong and she has weaknesses. She is selfish, brash, impulsive, but she cares for those who win her heart and she is able to wield power that most main characters would give up at learning how to control.


“I was not a pet, not a doll, not an animal.
I was a survivor, and I was strong.
I would not be weak, or helpless again. I would not, could not be broken. Tamed.”


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 5


“You say I should be weapon, not a pawn— they seem like the same to me. The only difference is the one wielding it.”

Maas can write a hero like no other writer. We are lead to love Tamlin because Feyre loves Tamlin and despise Rhysand because Tamlin hates him, so Feyre hates him. Rhysand is alluring and so much more of person than a pawn in a story in this book. Rhys does things Tamlin didn’t, like teach Feyre how to read. He’s also sensual and sexy in a way most heroes aren’t and where can I sign up for a Rhys? Rhys doesn’t manipulate Feyre, he lets her heal and try to make her decisions (which is hard for her because she does everything with Tamlin in mind, instead of herself). The thing I love most about Rhysand is that he knows Feyre is his mate. He doesn’t force her to love, in fact, he was willing to let her marry Tamlin if it would bring her joy. The only reason he stole her away before it could happen was because Feyre was freaking out and didn’t want to marry him. He never once is that typical alpha male ready to dominate and force his mate to become submissive to his desires. He breaks the trope. 


“There are different kinds of darkness,” Rhys said. “There is the darkness that frightens, the darkness that soothes, the darkness that is restful. There is the darkness of lovers, and the darkness of assassins. It becomes what the bearer wishes it to be. It is not wholly bad or good.”

Swoon Worthy Scale: Broke My Scale


“I’m thinking that I was a lonely, hopeless person, and I might have fallen in love with the first thing that showed me a hint of kindness and safety. And I’m thinking maybe he knew that— maybe not actively, but maybe he wanted to be that person for someone. And maybe that worked for who I was before. Maybe it doesn’t work for who— what I am now.”

The Villains- Tamlin is a douchecanoe. Major douchecanoe. I want to push him down a river and hope an Attor comes and eats for dinner. UGH. He boils my bones and makes me rage. I can’t stand him and his actions at the ending just prove that he is the scum of the earth. He sells the Spring Court to Hybern in alliance to win Feyre back. Allows Ianthe to kidnap Feyre’s sisters and throw them in the Cauldron. Complete RAGE.

“I realized how badly I’d been treated before, if my standards had become so low. If the freedom I’d been granted felt like a privilege and not an inherent right.”
More reasons why Tamlin is a douchecanoe and has be stopped from smothering women with his alpha male bullshit. Don’t get me started on Ianthe’s annoying insufferable ass. She has got to go. I think I liked her at the beginning of this book, but by the end I was ready to fillet her on a grill and after ACOWAR, I hate her more. Do not like her at all and she has got to. Hybern isn’t nearly as scary as Amarantha, but he comes in and starts fucking shit up. He has also got to go.


Villain Scale: 5 (these bitches have got to go)


The characters in this series warm my soul. Amren, Cassian, Azriel, and Mor all have a special place in my heart and I love them so much. I have never connected to a friend group (other than the Golden Trio) in the way that I connect to those in the Night Court. They are wonderful souls and who have lived long lives and seen horrors. The Bone Carver is one of my favorite creatures Maas has introduced. He is so unsettling and I love him. There are also Feyre’s human sisters, Nesta and Elain. Very different from one another, but both have equal places in Feyre’s heart. I can’t lie and say that I love these two because I don’t, but they have grown on me more. I like them much more than I did in the first book, especially Nesta, who I initially hated. I’m conflicted about Lucien. I love him, but he didn’t help Feyre and he saw her suffering. Dude, break bro code and save a sister from slowly sinking into nothingness.The Suriel, is also a creature that holds a special place in my heart because this creature shows up again and presents the news that I love that Suriel. That creature is always showing up and dropping truth bombs.



If you haven’t read this book, I pretty much spoiled everything for you except the ending. I’ll be here to spoil that in my review of ACOWAR. I hope this review made you squeal in agreement with my rampant fangirling because it took me three hours to write. I love this trilogy, I’m calling it a trilogy because it is and those extra books are just that, extra. If you read all this and haven’t read this book and have no clue who the characters are that I’m talking about, you should go buy a copy.



Plotastic Scale: 5 This plot y’all… one of the best I’ve encountered in a sequel.

Cover Thoughts: Tbh, this is my least favorite of the covers so far. I do like the subtle illusions to Illyrian leathers and the tattoos on Feyre’s hand give the story away. Still it’s a great cover, just not the best in the trilogy.

What are your thoughts on ACOMAF? Are you a fan or do you hate it? Let me know down below in the comments!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Books I've Read in 2017: #1-5

 
Hey, everyone! I'm back with a video talking about the first five books I read in 2017. 

The Books:
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All the Ugly Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood- 5 stars I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book so much. It's taboo and a topic I wouldn't recommend for everyone, but this book touched my soul. 
Glimpse by Stacey Wallace Benefiel- DNF @ 41 pages See my review here as to why.
BIG by Emme Rollins- DNF @ 12% See my review here as to why. 
Herbert West-Reanimator by H.P. Lovecraft 4 stars This is a really creepy story, but it's a lot of fun and is a strong Lovecraftian story.

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Any that you're interested in picking up? Let me know down below in the comments!

Monday, May 8, 2017

The Pocketbook of Sunshine and Rain

35049619The Pocketbook of Sunshine and Rain by Nenia Campbell

4.5 stars

I'm new to poetry. The only poetry I've really read before this year was Edgar Allen Poe and Frost, but this year I tried Milk and Honey. I liked Milk and Honey, but something about it felt forced and fake in certain areas. My biggest problem with the poetry was just a couple of random words strewn together to create a meaningless sentence. This on the other hand was a poetry collection that really spoke to me. I've been wanting to get into poetry, but never really know where to start. I'm a friend of Nenia's and was excited to check out her poetry collection since I've known her on GR for so long and remember when she started working on the collection.


These poems are beautiful. There are a few hit or miss ones, but the majority were gorgeous and had me shaking my head in agreement or saying, "THIS!!" while reading. I don't really know what else to say about a poetry collection other than that this is definitely one that you should check out. I'll leave a couple of my favorite poems down below and hopefully that will convince you to buy this because I think it's absolutely brilliant and a lot of these poems touched my heart.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.5

This is my favorite:
we buried the corpses of our arguments
beneath the dining room table
picked over the bones, emergent,
and threw them at each other
a knuckle bone here
a rib there
no prayers were said
no flowers laid
only a hailstorm of finger bones
to lard our dinner conversation
picking the shards out of our teeth
we spit them at each other
always hoping someone would choke


Another great one:
a path of stars
growing, spiraling
swirling in the darkness
not everyone sees a path of stars
spinning above them
feels the light pouring down
drowning the world
a path of stars like whirlpools
conceived by separate suns
a starry night


I hope I convinced you to pick this collection up. I'm not a poetry buff, but I do know emotions and Nenia's emotions were spoken in this collection beautifully. All empathetic souls should pick up a copy.


Cover Thoughts: It's adorable and it really fits the tone of the collection.

Are you interested in picking this collection up? What's some of your favorite poetry books? Let me know down below in the comments.