Mini-Reviews: City of Bones, Etiquette & Espionage, The Enchanted Sonata, & The Beast’s Heart

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare
★★★
When I first read this book many, many moons ago, I gave it 1 star. I absolutely hated the ending and it ruined the entire book for me to the point where I refused to read on. In an attempt to see if re-reading it now would change my mind (and also because this is such a popular series, I’m wondering if later books are better) I gave it another shot. And I didn’t hate it nearly as much, but I also didn’t like it enough to keep reading the series. Maybe one day, but also… probably not.

Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger
★★★★
This was such a cute story. It’s not really something I gravitate toward, typically, and I’m not sure that I’ll pick up the rest of the series, but I did enjoy reading it quite a bit. This is actually something that I may read to my girls once we finish the Caraval series because I think they may enjoy it as I did.

The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork
★★★★★
First, I love the name of this book. It’s absolutely beautiful and I would’ve read it no matter what simply because of the name. The story itself was a really interesting retelling of The Nutcracker. I actually read this book this time last year (this is a fantastic Christmas read if you’re looking for one) and I went and saw The Nutcracker ballet soon after reading it and it definitely enhanced the experience.

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross
★★★★
I wanted more from this book than I got, however, I didn’t not like it. I’ve been wanting a Beauty and the Beast re-telling with much more of The Beast’s voice in it, and this is entirely from his perspective. I didn’t fully feel like the Beast was portrayed as I’d hoped he would – he was a little whiny and less broody than I was expecting, but I still enjoyed this book (and the covers are gorgeous). I did, however, read A Curse So Dark and Lonely which fulfilled all my Beast expectations and then some soon after reading this one.

Mini-Reviews: The Cruel Prince, Red Queen, Sythe, Shatter Me, & Time’s Convert

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The Cruel Prince
(The Folk of the Air #1)
by Holly Black

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: Going into this book, I fully expected that it would be a 5-star read, and when I wasn’t completely blown away, I was pretty disappointed. Not necessarily in the story, but in the fact that this book didn’t immediately scream FIVE STARS to me. To be fair, when I read it, I don’t think I was particularly in the mood for a YA Fantasy. At some point I’d like to do a re-read of this entire series and just binge it. On the other hand, the bullying aspect in this book kind of put me off. I tend to hate that particular plot device in contemporary novels and it does nothing for me either even when translated into fantasy.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Red Queen
(Red Queen #1)
by Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: I wasn’t sure what to expect when reading this novel. I don’t think my expectations were particularly high, I’d just seen this book absolutely everywhere when it first came out. Perhaps that is why I liked this book as much as I did. There were a lot of things about this book that I feel could’ve been done better, but overall I really enjoyed the reading experience overall. I, of course, wish the romance was a little more prominent, however, the ending leads me to believe that the rest of the series may have a bit more of the romance in the forefront.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Scythe
(Arc of a Scythe #1)
by Neal Shusterman

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: I was actually surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Given the synopsis, it’s not something I would excitedly reach for, however, the story absolutely sucked me in. Again, I wish there was more of a romance, but it didn’t even matter that there wasn’t. I was also surprised by how emotional this book made me in several areas. I adored the overarching question of morality and ethics and how this book made you question everything.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Shatter Me
(Shatter Me #1)
by Tahereh Mafi

I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I’m more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

Rating:★★★★

Mini-Review: I feel like I should have loved this book. The writing is unique and flowery and I typically really gravitate toward it, however, it felt a little excessive. I’m not sure if it was because it was a little too distracting or if it made the story drag a bit. I almost lost the storyline because of how the book was written. Surprisingly, this book was pretty forgettable for me. I don’t see myself reading on in the series.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Time’s Convert
(All Souls Universe #1)
by Deborah Harkness

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Discovery of Witches–now a hit TV series airing Sundays on AMC and BBC America, and streaming on Sundance Now and Shudder–comes a novel about what it takes to become a vampire.

On the battlefields of the American Revolution, Matthew de Clermont meets Marcus MacNeil, a young surgeon from Massachusetts, during a moment of political awakening when it seems that the world is on the brink of a brighter future. When Matthew offers him a chance at immortality and a new life free from the restraints of his puritanical upbringing, Marcus seizes the opportunity to become a vampire. But his transformation is not an easy one and the ancient traditions and responsibilities of the de Clermont family clash with Marcus’s deeply held beliefs in liberty, equality, and brotherhood.

Fast-forward to contemporary Paris, where Phoebe Taylor–the young employee at Sotheby’s whom Marcus has fallen for–is about to embark on her own journey to immortality. Though the modernized version of the process at first seems uncomplicated, the couple discovers that the challenges facing a human who wishes to be a vampire are no less formidable than they were in the eighteenth century. The shadows that Marcus believed he’d escaped centuries ago may return to haunt them both–forever.

A passionate love story and a fascinating exploration of the power of tradition and the possibilities not just for change but for revolution, Time’s Convert channels the supernatural world-building and slow-burning romance that made the All Souls Trilogy instant bestsellers to illuminate a new and vital moment in history, and a love affair that will bridge centuries.

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: I so wanted to like this book. I LOVE Marcus. I loved him ever since he was introduced in the original series and I was so excited about his romance storyline, however, this book was unfortunately pretty boring. Marcus’s past dragged on quite a bit for me. However, seeing the characters I fell in love with in the Discovery of Witches series made my heart flutter with excitement and nostalgia.

Mini-Reviews: The Girl Who Drank the Moon, This Savage Song, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel, & Saga Vol. 1

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and deliver them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge on schedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: This isn’t the type of book I’d normally reach for, but I’m glad I gave it a chance. I had every intention of reading this with my kiddos, but it couldn’t quite hold their attention. I wasn’t expecting that I would have all the feels that I did while reading this book! The found-family aspect was perhaps my favorite part.

♥ ♥ ♥

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

Rating:★★★★★

Mini-Review: What a great introduction to VE Schwab! This is such a unique story with incredibly interesting characters. I so appreciated the gender-role swap in which the female character who isn’t a monster leans more toward evil than the male monster. I did, of course, want more romance, but the fact that this held my attention despite it is certainly telling!

♥ ♥ ♥

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Saga Vol. 1 (Saga (Collected Editions) #1) by Brian K. Vaughan (Writer) & Fiona Staples (Artist)

When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults.

Collecting: Saga 1-6

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: I liked this one and perhaps would have liked it more if it skipped some questionable phrasing that was a bit hard to move past. I’m not a big graphic novel reader, but after reading this one, I could absolutely see myself reading more graphic novels.

♥ ♥ ♥

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen, Tony Lee (Adapter), Cliff Richards (Illustrator)

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER—NOW AN EYE-POPPING GRAPHIC NOVEL OF MANNERS, MORALS, AND BRAIN-EATING MAYHEM

It is known as “the strange plague,” and its unfortunate victims are referred to only as “unmentionables” or “dreadfuls.” All over England, the dead are rising again, and now even the daughters of Britain’s best families must devote their lives to mastering the deadly arts. Elizabeth Bennet is a fearsome warrior whose ability with a sword is matched only by her quick wit and even sharper tongue. But she faces her most formidable foe yet in the haughty, conceited, and somehow strangely attractive Mr. Darcy. As the two lovers meet in the ballroom and on the battlefield, they’ll soon learn that nothing—not even bands of ninjas, hordes of flesh-eating zombies, or disapproving aunts—can stop true love.

Rating:★★★

Mini-Review: This was just OK. It was nice to have a quick read and to get back into the Pride and Predjudice world I love, however the zombie addition was more weird than interesting or badass, to be completely honest. It kind of made me feel like they only threw zombies in here to make money off of a trend.

 

 

 

After (Books 1-4) by Anna Todd + Movie Review

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Overall Rating: # Stars
Title: After
Author: Anna Todd
Series: After (Books 1-4)
Format: Audiobooks purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Experience the internet’s most talked-about book, now a major motion picture, from Anna Todd, the writer Cosmopolitan called “the biggest literary phenomenon of her generation.” Now with new exclusive material!

There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER… Life will never be the same. #Hessa

Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

GOODREADS

Review

You guys… this entire series was a hot freaking mess and the movie was awkward and barely followed the same storyline, but goddammit if I didn’t read the entire series in a week and watch the movie several times.

Read More

Recently Read Mini-Reviews: March 2019

My house is, yet again, a sick house.

My oldest had a fever on Friday which turned out to be a bad cold and an ear infection that we are treating. Then, today, despite me separating the girls since my 6yo had symptoms, I got a call from my 4yo’s school saying she was running a fever.

And now my throat is scratchy.

Oy.

Wish us luck! At least next week is Spring Break for them, so they can recover.

ANYWAY…

Here are the mini-reviews for books that I’ve read recently!

Continue reading “Recently Read Mini-Reviews: March 2019”

Mini-Reviews {January 2019}

The last couple of months of the year consisted of me binging on books during my Thanksgiving and Winter vacations. It was absolutely glorious and satisfying to catch up with my Goodreads challenge and read a bunch of books I’d been dying to get my hands on for a long time.

With those huge binging sessions, though, came a giant backlog of reviews that needed to be written.

Instead of trying to remember exactly what I liked and didn’t like in all of the novels I read, I decided to do a series of mini-reviews instead!

These are little bite-sized snippets of my thoughts and feelings about these books, along with a star-rating. Perfect for those who like to skim (like meeeeee!)

I hope you enjoy!

Continue reading “Mini-Reviews {January 2019}”

Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {September 2018}

Good morning, book lover friends!

I’m currently trying not to cry because I can’t find a way to watch the Discovery of Witches TV show here in the US! That book series is one of my all-time favorites and it’s killing me not to be able to see those characters come to life.

Anyway…

Here are the reviews that are coming up over the next few weeks + their mini-reviews!

Continue reading “Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {September 2018}”

Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {July 2018}

It’s Sunday and I’m currently listening to late 90’s/Early 2000’s music and avoiding chores, how about you?

As you may or may not know, I pretty much write and post reviews for every book I read. This means that, unless it is a new release, the full reviews I post are of books that I read several weeks prior.

I try to write full reviews right after I read a book, but they won’t get posted for several weeks.

After seeing a few other blogs post spoiler-free mini-reviews (which I love), I decided to give it a try once a month as a little preview for what is to come.

 

Here are the reviews that are coming up over the next few weeks + their mini-reviews!

 

Continue reading “Coming Soon: Mini-Reviews {July 2018}”