April Book Reviews

A wee bit late, but here’s my April wrap-up! Every month I say time has gone by too quickly, but April in particular just disappeared. Seriously, where’d it go? This has been an interesting month for me. Injuries and lots of life changes have kept me rather preoccupied so I haven’t been posting or reading very much lately. I only got through two books this month, but they’ve been waiting on the TBR shelf for a while. So feeling rather satisfied to check them off the list.

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Read it? Dear Lord, yes.

I loved A Darker Shade of Magic to pieces. Really, really loved it. I was worried AGOS would let me down. The plot pacing was much slower in this one. So much time was spent on the Essen Tasch and various romantic side stories in this one, while the real dangers brewed and festered slowly in the background. Not to say there weren’t some epic moments along the way, but we don’t get much real excitement related to the central plotline until right at the very end when we’re left with an excruciating cliff-hanger. Nonetheless, I was still drowning in feels and I very much enjoyed this sequel. Schwab has a way of writing such brilliant, real, lovable characters that it really makes up for any of the other issues for me. I’ve already started reading A Conjuring of Light and am already sad because this series is coming to an end all too quickly. Please stoooooop.

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Mergenstern

Read it? Sure, why not.

Whimsical, but unsubstantial. The Night Circus is full of vivid imagery, unique ideas and rather curious circumstances. But underneath all the flowery writing and mysterious characters, we just don’t get a lot. I expected a “duel” similar to the Prestige, if you’ve seen that movie. Intense, and obsessive, but it’s all very mild. There’s really hardly a sense of competition at all and the conflict seems kind of forced, the ultimatums full of loopholes.  That combined with all the time skips,  perspective shifts, and various sub-stories, The Night Circus can be difficult to follow and fully grasp sometimes. I’m somewhat tempted to re-read it and see if it changes anything. Overall, I thought it was an entertaining read. Discovering the world of the circus is definitely enchanting, but there’s nothing to invest in here really. You don’t get to intimately meet your protagonists or feel the tension of their struggle. Fun ideas, but it read one-dimensionally to me.

March Book Reviews

Holy cow, has it really already been a whole month already? This year is literally flying by. Please make it stop. This month was pretty uneventful for me up until I sprained my MCL a few days ago. Pretty bummed about that, but at least I don’t need my knee to read. Here’s my wrap-up for March!

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Read it? Stick it out. 

Fayre is prejudiced, single-minded at times and I found her narration to be repetitive at the start. While everything leading up to Prythian was well-paced, the stories slows to a drag once she’s actually there. It picks up significantly once we start to meet the other types of faeries though. Not graceful creatures, but decrepit monsters, which are infinitely more interesting to me. Monsters + more lore kept me in race. And I’m glad I did. While the first 75% of the book is a rather standard retelling of Beauty and the Beast as we know it, the last quarter of the book elevates it to another story in its own right. Action-packed, the end is where I really started to like Fayre as a character. I ended up loving Lucien and the introduction of Rhysand.

So while a little slow at the start, let it simmer and finish it out. I’m glad I did. My only disappointments were that we didn’t get more complexity out of Amarantha as a villain and surprisingly, Tamlin’s character. I found him to be rather flat, he doesn’t grow nor is he memorably characterized. In a way, what happened with Tamlin is what often happens with female love interest characters.

Also as a full disclaimer, the story is surprisingly dark. Feyre endures a fair amount of violence and humiliation. It’ll be interesting to see how those cracks will change her character in the next book, but if any of that is off-putting to you, definitely do not pick this up. There are also a good number of unnecessary sensual or sexual scenes, not all of them consensual, that may not be your cup of tea. While it added nothing for me, it wasn’t a terrible turn-off. Overall, I’m hopeful for the rest of the series and I’m intrigued to see more of the world.

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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Read it? Yaaaaaaaas.

My God, I love this book. I am already sad because I know there are only two more left in the series for me to read. I loved the dynamic between Kell and Lila. Their slow-brewing friendship and respect for one another was a much needed breath of fresh air from all the crazy instalove in NA and YA nowadays. In fact, romance takes a seat on the back burner altogether and I loved that. Their partnership and chemistry made so much sense. Kell, despite being one of the most powerful beings in the world, is rather gentle-hearted, timid with his power and just so good. Lila on the other hand, is at first sight, just a human, a starved weak one at that. But she’s fiery and bold with a reckless desire for adventure and that little something more in life. She gives Kell a sense of fight and urgency. In return, Kell anchors her morality and selflessness, turning her from a wannabe pirate into an unlikely hero. I love the pair. And that’s just our protagonists. I loved all the characters surrounding them, too. Prince Rhy, Holland (oh, Holland), Astrid, etc. I do wish we saw more female characters aside from Lila and Astrid, but nonetheless, I felt like we got a genuine cast of characters.

The three Londons we get to visit are in drastically different universes that combine the best parts of the popular YA genres. In White London, we get that dystopian feel with a militant government and disgruntled, dangerous population. In Gray London, we have a historical, but otherwise real-world setting. And in Red, we get all the vibes of a classic fantasy adventure. I’m hoping we get to see even more of the worlds in the next installation.

The plot was creative and compelling. The treatment of magic was different than most of the fantasy books I’ve read and while I’ve read other reviews, I don’t think the pacing was slow to start. It felt action-packed with the right amount of build up. It’s honestly a great read for all fantasy buffs.

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This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Read it? Skip. You’re not missing out. 

I had trouble getting into this one. I just find Kate unmemorable and I’m kind of detached from the story. The mystery is barely kept me in for the ride, that and it’s a fairly easy read.

I’m so disappointed with this read. I really wanted to become captivated by this mystery and fall in love with the River Point Boys and Kate the way Maggie Stiefvater made me fall in love with Blue and the Raven boys. But the characterization was so poor, I could barely differentiate between the boys. Elston just barely scratched the surface of their personalities and I wasn’t invested at all. Kate was literally the most bland narrator. She was so unimpactful, I didn’t even dislike her. I felt nothing towards her at all. The writing style and the story is so straight-forward. There’s no surprise or twist at all, it just takes a long time to play out. Far from gripping, this lacked all semblance of suspense. Overall, just not a winner in my book.

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WWW Wednesday #5

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I had actually never heard of this book until all the hype about Caraval kicked up, which often referenced this novel. It’s whimsical and intriguing so far, albeit somewhat hard to follow. Eager to see where it goes.

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What did you recently finish reading?

 

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This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Underwhelmed and disappointed by this one. I think it actually put me into a reading slump because I didn’t really feel compelled to finish it. Sad face. That’s it for the past couple of weeks though. Things have been pretty slow on the book front for me.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

A Gathering of Shadows. Rare that I have a definite answer to this part of WWW’s, but my book hangover from A Darker Shade of Magic has finally faded and I’m ready to move on with the series. You guys ever get that? Where you get so sad about a series eventually ending that you refuse to read the next one? So bittersweet when that happens.

Happy Reading!

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WWW Wednesday #4

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

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This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

I’ve had this one in my peripherals for a little while now. It’s popped up quite a few times on other bloggers’ underrated lists and the cover and synopsis sound intriguing. I also felt like I needed somewhat of a fantasy break, but wasn’t feeling a contemporary romance type novel. So hoping the mystery element keeps this intriguing for me.

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What did you recently finish reading?

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Guys, help. I  think I am in love…with this book. I want more, but I’m also stalling at starting the next one because I don’t want it to end yet. I’ll have a full review up in a couple weeks, but it’s basically just gushing. Fangirling over here.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

A Court of Mist and Fury is still on the list as is the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows. I think it’s mainly between those two and I’m leaning AGOS, though there’s been much push from all of you guys to get into ACOMAF already hahaha. So I guess we’ll see!

Happy Reading!

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WWW Wednesday #3

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly MEME hosted by Taking on a World of Words. Simply answer the following questions.

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What do you think you’ll read next?


 

What are you currently reading?

A Darker Shade final for Irene

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Finally starting this series and I am loving it so far. Really quite a cool world Schwab has built. Can’t wait to see where it goes.

 

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What did you recently finish reading?

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Whoo! This one was a slooooow burn for me, but I’ve finally finished it. Full review will be out end of the month as always, but safe to say my feelings on this one are positive.

 

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What do you think you’ll read next?

So many options. Ugh. This section of WWW’s are always super hard for me. I honestly never decide what I’m going to read in advance. My TBR is really only a muggy mental list and I never know what’s coming up until I’ve started. That being said, I want to pick up A Court of Mist and Fury because everyone says the series just gets better, but I also have been reading a lot of fantasy lately. I may need a change of pace, so maybe I’ll look into a NA contemporary novel. Any recommendations?

Happy Reading!

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The Unique Blogger Award

 

Hey folks!

Look, more blogger awards! Whaaaaat. These have been so much fun to be a part of. Not just answering them, but in passing them along and reading all of your responses. All of the ones I tagged for the Liebster Award have been a blast to go through. It’s cool getting to know all of you.

 

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Anyways, I was nominated for the Unique Blogger Award by Evy @ Evy Reads Books Blog! She’s got great reviews happening over there and her gif responses always crack me up, so do visit her site and give her some love.

The Rules:

  • Share the link of the blogger who has shown love to you by nominating you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • In the spirit of sharing love and solidarity with our blogging family, nominate 8-13 people for the same award.
  • Ask them three questions.

Questions:

Which book do have to keep close to you, or have to reread frequently as you love it so much?

I’m actually not a huge fan of re-reading lately. Even when I do re-read, it’s a book that I haven’t touched in years and want to revisit for nostalgia’s sake. So I rarely keep something on hand to re-read often. I do always have my Kindle on me though.

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Which author would you spend a day with, and what question would you definitely ask him/her?

Leigh Bardugo, possibly? Or Maggie Stiefvater or V.E. Schwab. I love the worlds and adventures and character they’ve built and I would interrogate the shit out of them as to what influenced them and what they’ve got up their sleeve next. I would also totally ask them to fancast their own characters. It’s always interesting to find out who they imagine playing the part.

Do you like book to movie adaptations? Which one is your favourite?

While I always feel like I’m disappointed with movie adaptations, I do love them. The actual writing and plot pacing never lives up to my expectations, but I love seeing how well the cast embodies the characters I’ve envisioned in my mind. I also love seeing the sets and worlds come to life especially with dystopian, fantasy or sci-fi novels. I think the Harry Potter ones were spot-on. The Mortal Instruments movie and series were stylistically cool to see, but the acting is just too cringe-y sometimes. The Maze runner was another one that I feel fell short, but loved the casting.

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New questions:

  1. If you could have any animal or mythical creature from a book as a pet, which would you pick?
  2. Who is one of your least favorite characters of all time?
  3. Name a supporting character that you love more than the main protagonist.

Nominations

I am nominating some of my most recent follows and followers. Can’t wait to read all your responses! 🙂 8 to 13 is a lot of people. Forgive me blog world, but I’m gonna stick to six for now!

Tinka @ The Crazy Reader

Brookie @ Brookie Cowles

Kevin @ Bookevin

Kiersten @ Once Upon A Spine

Masa and Nusa @ Whispers of Thoughts

Maxine @ The Rogue Storyteller

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More Covers I Love

I was out exploring downtown this past weekend, when a sudden shower of rain appeared out of nowhere. Luckily, there was a Barnes & Noble right on the corner, so I popped in to browse and sip my coffee. I’ve already got more than I need on my TBR so I was just window shopping. Nonetheless, there were a few really cool covers that caught my eye.

Spindle by E.K. Johnston

The world is made safe by a woman…but it is a very big world.
It has been generations since the Storyteller Queen drove the demon out of her husband and saved her country from fire and blood. Her family has prospered beyond the borders of their village, and two new kingdoms have sprouted on either side of the mountains where the demons are kept prisoner by bright iron…

Gorgeous whimsical typography plus that beautiful color palette. Me gusta, me gusta.

The Education of Margo Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera

Pretty in Pink comes to the South Bronx in this bold and romantic coming-of-age novel about dysfunctional families, good and bad choices, and finding the courage to question everything you ever thought you wanted—from debut author Lilliam Rivera.

I love that pop of yellow on a super cool illustration.

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

I’ve seen this book around, but the cover really is crisp and clean in person. SHINY.

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I’m such a sucker for a good cover art.

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