Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

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The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton

3 stars DNF

I read an excerpt, an incredibly long and misleading excerpt that must have been around 200 pages, of this novel. If I had known that I was reading an excerpt and not the full novel I would have DNFed it. However, I will be considering this novel read because I have no desire to pick up the entire novel. I’m massively peeved about this and I feel like I wasted a large chunk of my time reading a novel that I thought was the first in the series and now I know why I felt like I was reading so much exposition. I was wondering why new characters were being introduced 98% into the novel and it’s because my ARC copy was only excerpt. I have a lot of problems with this novel that goes beyond feeling betrayed the publisher and mislead because when I downloaded the copy it did not state that was excerpt until AFTER the publication date did this become a subtitle on my Netgalley dashboard.


Moving on, this is a standalone retelling of King Lear by William Shakespeare. I am a massive King Lear fan and I think it is one the easier plays of Shakespeare’s as well as being overall brilliant in concept and themes. I have a great passion for Lear and so when I saw that there was a fantasy retelling coming out for this novel I was excited and intrigued.


A Breakdown of the Pros and Cons of this novel:
There are talking trees and magical elements that are vastly fascinating. However, if I’m being honest these magical elements did not seem fully expanded upon and they lacked believability within the world created.
Gaela, Regan, and Elia sticking close to the original characters, but being heavily expanded upon. I always associated Goneril with gonorrhea and she was easily my most hated character of the original play, but Gaela is much more human and she is a force to be reckoned with. I also greatly dislike her, but I dislike her actions not her character and that is a huge plus. Regan stays true to the original Regan, but she is much more fleshed out. Regan struggles with miscarriages and failed pregnancies and it really makes her devotion to Gaela real and understandable. Whereas in the original play, it just is. Elia does stay true to Cordelia in a sense, but she is easily the most boring of the sisters. I loved Cordelia, but I can barely stand Elia. I think Gratton struggled with this character.
The best thing about the original play is the Fool. Gratton stays true to the Fool’s wise, but confounding phrases and it is so enjoyable.
My favorite line from King Lear is in the opening scene when Cordelia tells Lear “Nothing, my lord.” When she is asked how much she loves him. I loved the way the scene was done in this retelling. It’s told from the PoV from the Fool’s daughter (who does not exist in the play) and it is done so brilliantly. It was the part of this entire excerpt I read. The problem is that it occurred 50% through the 200 pages I read.
The lyrical prose is trying too hard. I love lyrical prose, but I also know that not all writers are able to capture this style with grace and ease. Gratton is one of those authors who struggles. A vast majority of her descriptive language is redundant and pointless. Early on, I considered DNFing because of the style, but I pushed on because I love King Lear and wanted to see how it would end. I didn’t even get a conclusion, so I should’ve just DNFed.


I’m mainly disappointed because I don’t know how Gratton approaches Gloucester losing his eyes, the Edmund obsession that all the sisters eventually acquire and the death of everyone. I really just want to know how everything is handled so send me spoilers because I won’t be seeking out this novel to find out.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

Character Scale: 3.5

Plotastic Scale: 4

Cover Thoughts: It’s so wonderful to see PoC hands on the cover of an adult fantasy novel.


Thank you, Netgalley and Tor, for providing me with an excerpt of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
Have you picked up The Queens of Innis Lear or plan to? What are some of your favorite Shakespeare retellings? Let me know down below in the comments!

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Journey Into Anne Frank and the People Who Saved Her

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Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold
Narrated by: Barbara Rosenblat

5 stars

The story of Anne Frank has been told for many decades and is one that resonates with a lot of young people. Anne’s story of survival in the Annex of her father’s business along with her family, another family, and a doctor is famous for being a story of growth and hope. The world outside of the small prison keeping the Franks safe was horrifying and wrought with murder, starvation, and abuse. Miep Gies was one of the people who helped hide the Franks in the Annex and this is her story. We follow Miep as a young girl in Vienna, her love for the Dutch, her journey to become an official Dutch citizen during the Natzi regime, her relationship with the Franks (before, during, and after the war), her plight to feed the Franks and retain enough food for them as well as her and her husband, and the fear that lurked in her heart for the Franks and countless others she helped hide or knew were in hiding. I'm going to keep this review short because it's a nonfiction narrative I fidn those incredibly hard to review. This audiobook is fantastic. Rosenblat does a stellar job of capturing the emotions of Miep and those around her. It is important to note that this story will probably break your heart. Towards the end, I found myself crying a lot. My heart completely breaks for these people and the plights that were dealing with in the Annex and after in the camps. This story is just as important as Anne’s because we are seeing the work that went into hiding these people from the Nazi Regime and the horrors of concentration and death camps. This novel is filled with sorrow and I will admit it made me quite depressed, but it also filled me with hope for humanity. Miep Gies never once saw herself as a hero, she saw herself as someone trying to save her dear friends’ lives and that to me makes her one of the most heroic people in history. Her deep love for the Franks shined through this story and I was moved to laughter and to tears. This is a novel that I think everyone should read alongside The Diary of a Young Girl. It is important not only to history, but in inspiring people to put others before themselves.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 5

Character Scale: 5

Plotastic Scale: 5

Narration Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: The cover is nice, but it’s weird to critique the portrait of a young girl who changed the world.


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The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Narrated by Selma Blair

4.25 stars

“Where there is hope, there is life. It fills us with fresh courage and makes us strong again.”

When I think of Anne Frank I think of a young girl whose life was taken too soon. After reading/listening to her diary for the first I also think that she was a young girl who started out with a lot arrogance, cruelty, and entitlement, but grew into a young woman wise beyond her years who wanted to change the world.


“I don't want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”

This quote impacted me so much upon hearing it. Anne Frank went on living after her death in a way that many don’t. Her diary is read in schools, has been turned into films and plays, she has a museum dedicated to her, and she has become an inspirational hero when people think of World War II, the Jews, and the Nazis. Anne Frank’s narrative is one that is a little hard to get through when you are an adult because she embodies all the worst aspects of early adolescence. It’s weird because if I had read this a young girl I would have been completely alongside in every rude observation and complaint, but as an adult I see this as someone who has been forced into this horrible situation at a very young. Anne hasn’t grown up yet, she is so young when she is forced to go into hiding and it blatantly obvious through her writing that she is still very childish, but longs to be mature. By the end of this novel, Frank’s musings and thoughts became incredibly insightful and were much more philosophical than I expected. Towards the end of the diary, one really sees how much of a woman she has become and how the experience within the Annex has forced her to grow up at an incredibly rapid rate. However, as much as I love reading and listening to Anne’s story, I must confess that this isn’t an amazing, mind-blowing novel for me. It is beautiful, but a lot of Anne’s narrative is cruel and it made the listening experience uncomfortable. I wasn’t always enamored or inspired by Anne. It wasn’t until the very end that I became a fan of her writing style and an admired her character and strength. Due to the way that I felt during certain entries, I cannot give this novel 5 stars. It is historically a 5 star piece of importance, but as a novel I feel that 4.25 stars is superb especially since this is a diary.


“Women should be respected as well! Generally speaking, men are held in great esteem in all parts of the world, so why shouldn't women have their share? Soldiers and war heroes are honored and commemorated, explorers are granted immortal fame, martyrs are revered, but how many people look upon women too as soldiers?...Women, who struggle and suffer pain to ensure the continuation of the human race, make much tougher and more courageous soldiers than all those big-mouthed freedom-fighting heroes put together!”

Whimsical Writing Scale: 4

Character Scale: 4

Narration Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: It’s always weird to give an opinion on a picture and so I won’t give one. :)
 
Have you been inspired or touched by Anne Frank's story? What are some of your favorite historical heroes or figures? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

The Price Guide to the Occult Releases Tomorrow, March 12!!
 
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The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton

4.25 stars

“The link between the Blackburn daughters and the island was so strong Nor often imagined that the veins that ran underneath her skin and the tree roots that ran under her feet were one and the same.”

The Blackburn women have lived on Anathema Island for nine generations and are plagued by a curse. Rona Blackburn was scorned and left abandoned by a lover who felt guilt over having affair. To assuage his guilt, he decided to take it out on Rona, but she fought back. In retaliation, she put a curse on the Original Eight founders of the island who helped participate in the crimes against her. However, the curse had effects on the Blackburn women. There powers are not once they once were and are now focused to only magical talent instead of the multitudes that they once were. Nor Blackburn is the ninth generation on Anathema Island and is content with her ability to her animals and the earth. Her past is clouded in blood— forced from her body at the hands of her mother obsessed with power and from herself by cutting herself. Things on the island are calm, that is until her mother, Fern, releases the novel The Price Guide to the Occult and it quickly becomes a bestselling sensation. Nor knows her mother is uses magic at a price—the blood and pain of others. Things of Anathema Island are shifting and things are ramping up to magical heights. I greatly enjoyed Leslye Walton’s debut novel, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Since reading an ARC of that novel, I’ve been anxiously awaiting another novel by Walton. Imagine how excited I was when I received an ARC for her sophomore novel. Walton uses her lyrical prose to create a magnificent story seeped in magic and dealing with pain. It is quite different from Ava Lavender, but it sticks to the same dark themes of abandoned love, pain, women in families, and interconnected histories. I do wish that Walton had used her talents for genealogical storytelling to paint each Blackburn woman and give further context into the story (and it would have been incredibly interesting so that the reader would have a full understanding of all of Nor’s powers). This is not a perfect novel, but it is a wonderful story that is full of heartbreak, sorrow, and overcoming the past and oneself.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 4.75

“Some pain did not want to be healed: it had to be convinced, compelled, coerced into submission. No pain was alike.”

The main female character is Nor. I greatly appreciated how delicately Walton tackled a heroine who has suffered with self-mutilation. As someone who has also been there and done harm to myself, my heart broke for Nor and I greatly wanted her to see her worth and break free from her fear. When she does become fearless, it is a moment of victory. Nor is a character I easily rooted for and she has a quiet strength and desire to survive. She is an admirable character and I greatly appreciated seeing her narrative come to life.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 4.5

The Villain- Fern Blackburn is scary. She starts a cult through chain letters and preying on peoples’ emotions. She knows that people will flock to a poor pregnant girl without “love” and trapped on an island. Her cult starts before Nor enters this world, but her thirst for power grows greater after her novel becomes instantly popular through a YouTube video. She is horrifyingly manipulative, sadistic, and will stop at nothing to gain ultimate control. It is incredibly interesting how Walton interweaves Nor’s nightmares into the reality of Fern’s monstrous murder sprees. It’s scary and heart-stopping.


Villain Scale: 5

There is some romance in this novel, but it is not the focus and I greatly appreciated that. I felt that if Nor had become hopelessly in love with someone then it would have ruined her own journey of strength and overcoming her fears. Reed seems very sweet, but I wasn’t really all that in to him and Nor. There was also a trope that I greatly despise: the let’s make out/kiss before I go into battle trope. I hate this trope with a fiery passion, but surprisingly it occurred with a character that Nor had a lot of tension with and I thought from the beginning that they would wind up together.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 3.25

My favorite character is hands down, Savvy. She is an enduringly fun character with a fro that always changes colors and is not afraid to speak her truth. She is light and a nice contrast to Nor’s darkness for the majority of the novel. They contrast each other’s as best friends so nicely. I was also a fan of Judd and Apothia, Nor’s great-grandmother and grandmother. I just wish that there was more development and conversations between all of them.


Character Scale: 4

Overall, I highly recommend this novel to fans of witches and Walton’s prose style. I think that this will be popular with a lot of readers and I’m so glad that I enjoyed it. Also, I want a sequel because that epilogue left so much to be desired for the world and the aftermath of the havoc Fern wreaked upon humanity.


Plotastic Scale: 5

Cover Thoughts: I love this cover! I love it even more after knowing how evil Fern is and the use of the fern plants. *shivers*


Thank you, Netgalley and Candlewick, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
Did you enjoy The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender? Are you planning on picking up The Price Guide to the Occult? Have you already read it? Let me know down below in the comments! 

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe

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Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe, Stacy King, and multiple artists

4 stars

This is a collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous tales. I have never thought about what Poe’s work would be like it were translated into a manga medium, but I’m glad that I decided to request this on Netgalley because I have been a fan of the Manga Classics series, but I am also a fan of Poe. The two combinations cohesively melded together and made this collection very enjoyable. There was only one story in this collection that I did not like seeing brought to life, but besides that one failure, this collection is incredibly impressive and does a fantastic job of bringing Poe’s ominous style to life through haunting visuals.


The Tell-Tale Heart (Illustrated by Virginia Nitouhei) – 4.5 stars
I loved seeing this one brought to life, but it didn’t translate the lyrical suspense Poe relies heavily on in the story. I think that visuals took away from that hysterical maddening pace. I still really enjoyed the art in this one and there were times where I was chilled to the bone.

The Cask of Amontillado (Illustrated by Chagen) – 5 stars
This is one of my favorite Poe stories and it was so fun to see this brought to life. I’ve read this story multiple times now, so seeing it in a new medium really enhanced my appreciation for this tale and it was horrifying to see in images.

The Raven (Illustrated by pikomaro) – 4.5 stars
I don’t think that poetry translates well into manga. However, the final scene was incredible and it encapsulates the entirety of the story. That final image pretty much won me over and I can’t give it a lower rating because of that.

The Masque of the Red Death (Illustrated by Uka Nagao) – 4.25 stars
This was my first time reading this story and I think that because I have not read the original material the manga formatting confuddled me a bit. I was particularly confused by the plot, but I still really enjoyed reading this and I think it’s a haunting story.

The Fall of the House of Usher (Illustrated by Man Yiu) – 2 stars
I love this story, but it does not translate well into manga. There is a massive amount of description in the original story and it was attempted to be included in the panels. This made the experience very overwhelming and chaotic.

Art Scale (Overall Collection): 4

Overall, I definitely recommend this collection especially if you love Edgar Allan Poe. There were a lot of wonderful illustrations sprinkled throughout the pieces and it really captures Poe’s macabre vibe.


Cover Thoughts: It’s a nice cover, but it only uses art from The Tell-Tale Heart. I think if it had pieces from each story that would be much more inviting.

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

Are you a fan of Edgar Allan Poe? Are you interested in picking up this manga adaptation? Let me know down below in the comments. 

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Books I've Read in 2017 #77-79

 
Hi, everyone!! This is the last video of the reviews consisting of the books I read in 2017. All my videos from here on out will be 2018 reads!

THE BOOKS:31819 22544764 17235026
Harry Potter and Philosophy: If Aristotle Ran Hogwarts edited by David Baggett 2 stars This collection is sadly swamped by inadequate essays that jump the gun on the overall context of the Harry Potter series. This only follows the first five books and that is this collection's weakest point. Out of the sixteen chapters, I only recommend seven of them. It was kind of a bust. Check out my review here
Uprooted by Naomi Novik 5 stars I absolutely loved this one. I know it's not a favorite for a lot of people, but for me it was the kind of fantasy mixed with horror that I enjoy immensely. I can't recommend this one enough. Check out my review here.
The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey 3.25 stars This one had a lot of potential, but fell short for me. It was fun, but I wasn't absolutely enthralled by it at all times. However, the zombie takedown scene that occurs early on in the novel was one of the best aspects of this novel. Check out my review here. (I received this book for review from the publishers.)

Recommend the Most:
Uprooted!! It's about a wood that can possess people and houses praying mantises that eat people. 
STATS:
Books Reviewed: 3
Books Rated Over 4 stars: 1
New Favorites: 1
Books That Changed My Life: 1
Owned: 2 physical  

Have you read any of these books? Do you plan to? If you have read them, what were your thoughts? Let me know down below in the comments!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran

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The Sins of Lord Lockwood by Meredith Duran

The sixth book in the Rules of the Reckless series

3.75 stars

Lord Lockwood once lived a charmed life, but his life was drastically altered on the night of his wedding and became a nightmare when he was kidnapped and thrown into a boat headed to Australia. Branded a convict and forced to work as a slave, the things he sees and experiences forever changes him. The wife he left behind, Anna, has always thought they Liam abandoned her. When they are reunited it becomes obvious that things are not what they seem and that Lockwood’s quest for revenge is reaching its highest peak. Will Lockwood survive or be defeated once more by the man who ruined his life? This was a fun historical romance that I was not expected to really enjoy. I thought that I might like it, but it far surpassed my expectations. I think what makes this novel so enjoyable is the topics that Duran tackles. She doesn’t shy away from the darker aspects of history and her incorporation of the Australian convicts was incredibly fascinating. I’ve never seen an author bring this aspect of history into a historical romance before and it was a hard subject to read about, but one that I greatly appreciated because it was a new aspect to a story that has been told numerous times in this expansive genre. Duran’s writing style is also fast-paced and gripping. This is always, in my opinion, the best style of writing to have for this genre. I don’t want to read a HR novel that is boring and feels like I’m slugging to get through. HRs should be fast-paced in Duran excels in this area. In fact, I would say she excels too much and at times, completely misses informing readers of important sections. It could be jarring every now and then, but her pacing was done well enough that it wasn’t too troublesome.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3.75

The main male character is Lord Lockwood. I think Lockwood is a very strong character. He has a hulking presence within the story, but also a character. I really admired the direction his character took and how he was struggling to cope with the events he experienced. It was an interesting look into PTSD, but my biggest qualm was the his PTSD seemed to be cured by one conversation at the end of the novel and that just isn’t realistic and it also sends out the message that love heals all wounds, so find yourself a partner and that’s just unrealistic. I did really enjoy Lockwood’s character and he was my favorite thing about this novel.


Swoon Worthy Scale: 4.5

The main female character is Anna. Anna isn’t nearly as likable as Lockwood, which is odd but this novel is very centered on Lockwood and the page that Anna gets portrays her to be slightly annoying and insufferable. She isn’t horrible and I’ve come across worse heroines in romance stories, but she isn’t particularly strong and I believe if this novel wasn’t so heavily centered on Lockwood and more so on her, it would be a bland one.


Kick-Butt Heroine Scale: 3

The Villain- We know who the villain is from the start, but that doesn’t take away from this novel’s plot. It’s really fun to see Lockwood’s quest for revenge and the power struggle that occurs between these two characters. Plus, the final showdown was not at all what I expected it to be.


Villain Scale: 3.5

There aren’t a whole lot of prominent side characters in this novel. There are side characters, but none of them really shine and I would have loved if a couple more of them had been fleshed out and given larger roles.


Character Scale: 3.5

Overall, this is a really fun historical romance novel that tackles darker themes and focuses on more than just the romance. The romance is there, but it wasn’t what sold me on this story and I think many readers will feel the same way. I definitely recommend this novel to romance fans looking for something fast-paced and less romance-centered.


Plotastic Scale: 4.25

Cover Thoughts: Her feet look awkward, but I want that dress.


Thank you, Netgalley and Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
Are you a fan of darker historical romance novels? What are some of your favorite? Let me know down below in the comments!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

the witch doesn't burn in this one by amanda lovelace

the witch doesn't burn in this one Publishes on March 6, 2018
 
The Witch Doesn't Burn in this One (Women are Some Kind of Magic, #2)
the witch doesn’t burn in this one by amanda lovelace

Second book in the women are some kind of magic series

3 stars

“haven’t you
ever wished

you could
dance

in the ashes
of everyone who

ever doubted
your worth

& scoffed at
your words?”


I’m new to Lovelace’s poetry. I know that this is a sequel in a poetry series, but I didn’t think that it should stop me from picking up this collection and I’m glad that I finally gave Lovelace a shot. Some people adore her and some absolutely hate her because her formatting isn’t enough to call a poem a poem. I’m going to disagree with those haters because a poet has free reigns to do whatever they want with the formatting of their poetry. This means that if a poet wants to write solely in prose and call it a poem they can, so Lovelace is doing exactly what poets for centuries have been doing. I actually like her style, but I wasn’t blown away by her poems.


My favorite thing about this collection is that it focuses on witches and the burning of women, so it feels very reminiscent of The Crucible (and it is chalked full of literary odes to novels like Wintergirls [a fave], The Handmaid's Tale [one of the most profound novels I’ve read], and The Hunger Games [which is a fun favorite]), but Lovelace goes from striking imagery to interspersing the narrative to a modern day phrase. For instance, there is a fantastic poem about how men are burning women up because they are women and in the middle of the poem is the line
“they don’t even know what’s coming. how cute.”
The “how cute” portion was completely jarring and it threw me out of the narrative and the purpose of the poem. It does not work well it context to the poem itself and just that one phrase could have been cut and I would have adored the poem.


Also, I have a huge problem with one of the titles of a poem about a man drowning his partner titled “rip to the women who lost these games” and instantly I thought of Laci Peterson and felt sorrow. Not only is the poem very close to the narrative and the tragic murder of her and her unborn baby at the hands of her husband, but Lovelace has the audacity to call this gross tragedy a game that was lost. I get what she is trying to convey, that men and women are in a constant game for power and when a woman finally throws down the towel and refuses to submit she is killed, but I just can’t get behind the crass wording of the title. It deeply saddens me and it makes me uncomfortable. Again, I’m sure this wasn’t Lovelace’s intention, but Peterson and other women like her were not participating in games but trying to survive or find ways out of a situation that could give them just one more day.


Other than there were a handful of poems I really loved, but I wouldn’t say that this is an amazing poetry collection. I did really love the themes and narrative that Lovelace tackles, but I still think certain words and phrases are just unfitting for the narrative she is trying to convey. I do think Lovelace is a talented poet for our time, but she isn't a favorite.


Whimsical Writing Scale: 3

Plotastic Scale: 3

Cover Thoughts: I love white covers with red on them and this striking.


Thank you, Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing, for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
 
 Are you a fan of Amanda Lovelace? Do you love poetry? Are you excited for Lovelace's newest poetry collection? Let me know down below in the comments!

Friday, March 2, 2018

February Reading Wrap-Up

Hi, everyone! Today I'm going to wrap-up my reading for the month of February. February was an incredibly busy and stressful month for me and I'm happy finally be done with it. March is looking to be just as stressful, but I'm on a media fast and it seems to be helping my spirits (surprisingly). So, let's dive right in!

Books I Read in February
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Manga Classics: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, Crystal S. Chan, & Julien Choy - 2.75 stars This manga contains stories from The Jungle Book, Rikki-Tikki Tavi, The White Seal, and a few others. I really enjoyed the art, but I'm not a huge fan of Kipling's stories. I did love The White Seal immensely and it was so much fun revisiting Rikki- Tikki- Tavi, which was a childhood favorite. Check out my review here. (Netgalley ARC)
Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies & Alison Leslie Gold Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat 5 stars This was such an emotionally moving audiobook. I can't recommend it enough. It further expands upon the famous story of Anne Frank, but it is told by Miep Gies, the woman who helped hide the Franks and another family in the Annex. It was amazing. I also highly recommend the audiobook!
Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen - 5 stars I read a lot of amazing novels this month, but I think that this was my personal favorite. It's one of my newest fantasy novels and I feel like it could outrank the ACOTAR series for me. Check out my review here. (Netgalley ARC)
Flawless by Sara Shepard - 1 star This is the worst thing I've read this year. I will not be continuing with this series and I have a lot to say when I write my review. This is an increasingly problematic series that glorifies statutory rape and makes it seem hot, sexy, and cool. It sends bad messages to younger readers who may be the same age as these girls. Also the narrator sucks.
The A.B.C. Murders by Agatha Christie - 3.5 stars After the fiasco of Flawless, I wanted a decent mystery novel to listen to and my library happened to have this Agatha Christie novel, so I decided to download it. It follows Hercule Poirot as he tries to catch a serial killer who is killing people alphabetically. It wasn't amazing, but I had fun listening to it. Not Christie's best, but I do recommend it.
Starlings by Jo Walton - 3 stars This short story collection is a fun and entertaining time, but a lot of the stories are lackluster. I only gave one story 5 stars and it was amazing, but everything was sub-par or confusing. Check out my review here. (Netgalley ARC)
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys - 5 stars I was a huge fan of Between Shades of Gray when I read it ages ago and I was ecstatic when I was able to get this audiobook from my library. The audiobook is amazing, but the content is heartwrenching and real. This is a wonderful novel that I think everyone needs to read because this is a part of history that is forgotten and overlooked. It was emotionally moving and it really resonated with me. Highly recommend it!
Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe, Stacy King, and a bunch of artists - 4 stars (overall) I haven't written my review for this collection yet, but I plan to soon. I really enjoyed the majority of these adaptions (especially The Cask of Amontillado), but The House of the Usher was horribly adapted. I figured it would be because that story heavily relies on description. (Netgalley ARC)
 Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman - 5 stars I was blown away by this adventure story. It is a spin-off to Seraphina (which I haven't read), but I was deeply moved by Tess' story. This is a fantasy novel that I think many will appreciate. Check out my review here. (Netgalley ARC)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - 5 stars I'm so happy that I was finally able to pick this one up. I listened to the audiobook and I loved it so much. This was an emotionally gripping novel that focuses on the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement and police brutality.

2018 Goals
 -I want to finish at least three series (five doesn't seem doable). NOPE I did attempt to finish the Pretty Little Liars series, but I won't be continuing with that.
-I want to read five sequels (I don't have to finish the series). 1/5 Flawless by Sara Shepard is book 2 in the PLL series.
-I also want to read four short story collections. 3/4 So far I've read Harry Potter and Philosophy. This month I read: Manga Classics: The Jungle Book, Starlings, and Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe.
-I want to read three classics that are not Stephen King novels. 4/3 Manga Classics: The Jungle Book, Anne Frank Remembered, The ABC Murders, and Manga Classics: The Stories of Edgar Allan Poe. In retrospect, I read at least ten classics a year so three was a low number. LOL
-I want to read five Stephen King novels (I've already read one in 2018). 1/5  The Long Walk (5 stars)
Read 2018 ARCs. Read 7/8!
Books I Posted on End of the Year Survey. NOPE.
 
Currently/ Hoping to Finish in March
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Netgalley ARCs: The Sins of Lord Lockwood, A Darker Shade of Magic
Eldeweiss: Amity
I'm still reading The Fiery Cross, Helter Skelter, A Wilderness Station, Amity, A Darker Shade of Magic, East of Eden, and Against Forgetting. I started The Sins of Lord Lockwood and The Master Plan of Evangelism. I'm listening to Ready Player One on audiobook.

Have you read any of these books? What was your favorite book you read in February? Let me know down below in the comments!