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Old 09-17-2017, 07:00 AM
  #76
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Friend Request by Laura Marshall.

I thought this was gonna be a action packed thriller, but I found it quite slow paced and not what I was expecting. The plot was.. alright I suppose but I found myself getting bored in the flashbacks and wanted something to happen.
The reveal was predictable really

3 stars.
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Old 09-30-2017, 05:49 PM
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These are books I read/gave thoughts to over the last few weeks or so.



The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh – After hearing all the hype about this book I sadly ended up not liking it. I was so excited about it because it sounded so interesting, but I didn’t believe in the romance. After a few nights of storytelling she started to get a flutter in her stomach? The guy who has killed her best friend and countless others? :\ They barely talked or had moments that would make this relationship grow. It just felt flat to me. It was all talk about her strength and no show. It wasn’t a bad read, but I have no desire to read the sequel. **


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – I really like the writing style of this book. I wished it was fleshed out a bit more. The characters were fine, but didn’t fall in love with them. There were some moments were it got…I guess I should say a bit slow, but from that I went through it pretty quickly. Those last few chapters really kept my eyes glued. I don't really have any desire to read the sequels. **1/2

Also I know some spoilers about the next few books, but I’ll talk about them under tags.

Spoiler:



The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan – This was a tough one to figure out what grade I was going to give it. It was an easy going read, finished it in a day, with some great characters and development, but the story overall fell a flat and was a bit slow especially in the middle. The last few chapters were great. So on one hand some great characters on the other not a very compelling story. Though I loved the characters the story not being strong enough pushed me to give it a three and half stars. I will read the sequel for sure. *** ½


Scarlet by Marissa Meyer – I wasn’t planning on reading this book any time soon, but I saw it as I browsed my library and thought what the heck. I got over hundred pages into the book and couldn’t get into it. I’m just not a fan of the writing style or the way this author writes characters. It’s been DNF. :/


The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien – I should have waited before I wrote that bit about detail in my review of The Fellowship of the Ring. LOL This book had some paragraphs with too much detail about the landscape. Other than that I thought it was a good read. Not as good, in my opinion as the first one even with those two chapters. Reading these books I wouldn’t blame the fans of them being a bit tiffed with the way that some characters were portrayed in the films namely Pipin and Theoden. Also some of the criticism of the book is warranted in regard to how he wrote women, which the book had little to nothing on them and some of the undertones regarding race as well. He’s wonderful with words and the story is layered and intriguing. I give this book four out of five stars. So far I wouldn’t say these are some of my favorite books I’ve read, but they are well written. ****


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon – This was a really sweet book, such a lovely romance. I loved how the author gave us both their point of view. I did want to strangle Dimple sometimes. LOL There was some storylines parts that seem contrived, but overall I enjoyed it. I definitely check out some of her other books when they are released. *** 1/2


Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – The premises was so intriguing and I think it lived up to it. I really, really liked this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat. Some of the moments were gut wrenching. I liked how the book was formatted and written. I enjoyed the characters, the layered they had where you didn’t know who to trust. You couldn’t help caring about some in way you maybe shouldn’t, and how things aren’t black and white. Yael is such interesting character and I loved how we delved into her past to get more understanding of her present. There were parts that got a bit slow, but I might have been because I was reading when I was a bit tired. lol There is a twist that I’m not 100% how I feel about right now. Overall a GREAT read. I’m definitely going to read the sequel. ****


Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin – One the hardest pills to swallow is the bitter feeling of being let down by a sequel in a series and it ruining the previous books to different degrees. That’s the feeling I felt when I read this book. What a complete letdown. There were plots I didn’t care about and one that I did not like how it played out or ended. Also the dumbing down of the main character. I speed read/skimmed the last chapters. I was so disappointed. **



Lost Stars by Claudia Gray – I was so excited about this book being a Star Wars fan and I’ve heard some great things about it. I liked the writing style, but it ended there. The characters from this book especially one of the main characters were ridiculously stupid especially Ciena. The writer was clearly trying to give a grey layered effect to the story and characters, but all it did was make me cringe and gag at the way it tried to excuse or make sympathetic Ciena. The poor and contrived excuse for her choices. The way that they tried to justify genocide and slavery. Don’t even get me on the love story they’re trying to sell, which was lackluster and underdeveloped. It was just poorly written. I couldn't finish this book. DNF Also after reading another Star Wars book a few years back that was painfully boring and reading this book I think I’m done with Star Wars books. DNF














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Old 09-30-2017, 07:15 PM
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You read Scarlet without reading Cinder? I do wonder if that is part why you couldn't get into it

Yeah I didn't like Wrath and Dawn either, but I have the sequel, and her new book because she was at Book Con and I got them signed. So I may try the first book again.
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Old 10-05-2017, 10:02 PM
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No, I read it before Scarlet. I didn't care for it, but I heard the books got better, so I thought I give the next book ago because I saw it at my library.
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Old 10-06-2017, 05:45 AM
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Ahh, right. That's fair enough.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:06 PM
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The Diviners by Libba Bray - ….I liked the writing style and the premise of the book, but it got all sucked down by its length, which made the book boring quite a few times, and it had one of the worst protagonist. A selfish, self-center, spoiled, frivolous, immature, and annoying character that made me rant and roll my eyes. I also didn’t like how the book was trying to make me feel sorry for her after her poor behavior, as though those she hurt were in the wrong. I like flawed characters, but this when beyond flawed. She’s not the only one who acts like she’s better than anyone else either. Also there were too many characters and to many directions. It could have been cut down and made into two books. Either way that one character really turned me off. I’m surprised I finished it. * ½


The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I really wanted to like this book. I loved A Monster Call and was excited about the film with Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley, but in the end it was some hits and a lot of miss. The main narrator was interesting, the mystery was a bit interesting, and don’t get me started on Manchee.
Spoiler:
In the end though the mystery was a bit flat, the journey became a bit boring and felt a bit what’s the point, like some of it could have been cut. I didn’t really believe in the relationship between Todd and Viola either. I didn't think they had a deep connection like the book wanted me to believe in the end. Also the villain was ridiculous. The conclusion didn’t make me want to get to the next book. * ½


The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – This book was weird, slow, and boring. I mean I love corky, but this wasn’t the good kind of corky for me. I was really close to DNFing the book, but it seems to pick up when I was going to stop. In the end I just couldn’t connect with it, the characters or the romance. * *


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir – I liked the writing style. That’s pretty much it. I didn’t care for the world building or lack of, I didn’t care either way for the characters except for minor ones, and the romance of any kind was flat and forced. Even with the action it was a bit dull. It was also unnecessarily graphic. * *


The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima - I don’t need every book I read to be massive world building or something completely new, some of those books don’t always end up the best. I can watch/read certain story types/arc over and over again as long as the execution is done well and I care about the characters.
This book sort of lands somewhere in the middle for me because on one hand the characters weren’t memorable, lack depth, and the story was filled a trove of clichés and old story lines that really didn’t give a refreshing new look at it, but at the same time it was a fun read. The writing style wasn’t bad either. Do I have plans to read the sequels? No, but if I’m up to wanting a easy going read I’m might pick them up. * * ½ I have heard her other series is way better, so I think I’ll read the first book in that one.


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Henning Koch (Translator) – The book is heart wrenching, charming, and funny. Ove is a grumpy character that you can’t help loving along with the nuisance (as Ove might call him) the cat. It’s a very character driven book than a plot driven. It’s well written.
It’s a solid * * * ½ I would read more of this author’s work.
If you don’t mind being spoiled I feel a need to mention this trigger warning.
Spoiler:



The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend – A sweet and charming book that was slow at some places. It did go over some familiar story elements ala Harry Potter and Percy, but it also had a few surprises. It ended up being a whimsical read with potential. I’m going to read the next book in the series. Solid * * * 1/2


Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer - What a wonderful book. Well-developed flawed characters, good writing, intriguing story premise, and it’s well paced. It’s such a moving story about lost, complex relationships, and coming to terms with life. I liked both of the main characters who were connected in a wonderfully entwined way. I loved how their journey through the book was written and the deep relationship they developed. The side characters were also very interesting and added to the main characters and the story. I give this book four out five stars.* * * * I can't wait to read the companion book.
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:29 AM
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Sorry you didn't like The Diviners and Ember in the Ashes. Love those books. But I get what you mean about The Diviners being huge
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Old 12-12-2017, 08:51 PM
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The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson – It wasn’t bad it was just dull. None of the world building was interesting, the characters weren’t interesting, and the romance and the love interests weren’t interesting. You get the idea. lol. It got good at the last part of the book, but it wasn’t enough to make me give it a higher rating. It was too little too late. * *

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson – This is the second book I read this month that was two-thirds boring than got interesting in the last part. It seems to be a pattern. Insta-love is a tricky thing to write and most of the time it doesn’t work ala this book. The whole of those moment was rushed to fast and I didn’t connect with it or the characters. Instead of well-developed growth or story it just hits you at the last moment. Same with The Kiss of Deception.
The book was just odd. I quite honestly couldn’t wait to get over it. Thankfully it was a slim book. * *

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - I love the way he writes, and how he has sets up the chapters going between two, and sometimes four different characters. You complete feel like you’re in the situations that the characters are in. A powerful story of childhood and the effects on it in time of war. The effects of war in general. The book is long, so it a bit to go through, but the writing helps you get you past that pretty quick. At times the time jumps get a bit confusing too. I had to go back a few times to figure out where I was in the timeline. In the end it’s a superbly written book that stays with you and makes you think about history and life. * * * *

Wonder by R.J. Palacio – What a wonderfully written book full of hope, tears, and great characters. Again a book that employed the multi-point of view well, in my opinion. I love how the writer gave voices to the characters made them human with understandable flaws, but also showing the best side, showing the growth and change even with Auggie. How can you not love that kid? It an easy read, got in done in a day. I also really liked the layout of the book. I gave this book * * * * *

Lemons by Melissa Savage – This turned out just to be an okay book. Kind of on the boring side. I ended not believing in the relationship between the characters. The book is from the perspective of a girl named Lemonade who goes to live with her grandfather and she met a neighbor named Tobin. Their scene weren’t written in a way I believed in that relationship. Tobin was really mean to her and it made me wonder why she was friend with him or why she let him walk all over her. It was only at the end that I sort of warmed up to him. Also I figured out part of the mystery less than half way through the book. At the end I just I didn’t hate nor loved it. It was meh. * *

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – I wasn’t really sure, at first, what to grade this book. It wasn’t dull, but it didn’t really capture me either. Some of the things I liked about it was how they added the art, and how you really get in the mind set of anxiety. On the other hand didn’t really connect with the characters, or the romance. Also I didn’t understand why Eliza treated her family the way she did when they were really trying to connect with her and weren’t awful to her. If it was about anxiety it wasn’t written well nor was it address later on in a satisfying way. I did like how the whole twist was handled in the end with her family. * * ½

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk – What a wonderfully heartbreaking book. When I started reading it I could see why it was compared To Kill A Mockingbird because it definitely echoed a lot of the same theme of coming of age, of misjudgment, a bit of mystery, and about the unfairness that is in the world. The difference, at least for me, was that it was handle in a much more satisfying way. Balancing the coming of age story with the mystery of an allusive character that is talked about in town. Annabelle, the main protagonist, has become one of my all-time favorites. Her heart, her cleverness, and real voice of her age. I loved how the author wrote her.
Now there was something I didn’t like, but it might have been her way of writing character flaws, but I felt frustrated because it could have prevented a lot of issues, and the just the way that people didn’t speak up and stand up against misinformation. It might have been the mindset of that time. Also if the author’s intent was for me to feel sorry for a certain character it didn’t work.
In the end it was a great book. * * * *

The Shadow Society by Marie Rutkoski - My thoughts on this book won’t be as detailed because I didn’t put them down right away. You see some echoes to her later works The Winner Trilogy. I know there were somethings I wasn’t a fan of, but I can’t remember. lol The romance was okay. It really felt like it was going to be a series, but I remember not being unsatisfied by the ending. I know I gave it a grade of * * * stars.
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Old 12-14-2017, 06:47 AM
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I've been hesitant to read an enchantment of Ravens.
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:28 PM
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Bonfire by Krysten Ritter

Quote:
Should you ever go back?

It has been ten years since Abby Williams left home and scrubbed away all visible evidence of her small town roots. Now working as an environmental lawyer in Chicago, she has a thriving career, a modern apartment, and her pick of meaningless one-night stands.

But when a new case takes her back home to Barrens, Indiana, the life Abby painstakingly created begins to crack. Tasked with investigating Optimal Plastics, the town's most high-profile company and economic heart, Abby begins to find strange connections to Barrens’ biggest scandal from more than a decade ago involving the popular Kaycee Mitchell and her closest friends—just before Kaycee disappeared for good.

Abby knows the key to solving any case lies in the weak spots, the unanswered questions. But as Abby tries to find out what really happened to Kaycee, she unearths an even more disturbing secret—a ritual called “The Game,” which will threaten the reputations, and lives, of the community and risk exposing a darkness that may consume her.

With tantalizing twists, slow-burning suspense, and a remote, rural town of just five claustrophobic miles, Bonfire is a dark exploration of the question: can you ever outrun your past?
I received an ARC from Book Con 2017 so I can't say how this differs from the final printed version.

My friend borrowed my ARC and read it first. She's a fan of Krysten's acting work but was disappointed in her first novel. She said there was too much environmental stuff. She just wanted the hometown story.

That lowered my expectations about the novel. I thought I would be bored with environmental jargon. I felt the opposite. Abby leaves most of the environmental research to her team, and 3/4 of the way through they go back to Chicago to continue investigating there. Abby becomes more and more obsessed with what happened to her friend, Kaycee, ten years ago, and the scholarship conspiracy at Optimal.

Spoiler:


I know this was an ARC but the action scene at the end of the novel could have used more detail. I found it hard to picture the scene playing out.

Bonfire is not a terrible start for Krysten's first book but she should keep writing to improve this skill.

3 out of 5 Optimal Scholarships. (I was tempted to give it a 2, but since I was able to finish it quickly it gets a 3.)
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Old 12-31-2017, 11:19 PM
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Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo – Just for your information I know nothing about Wonder Woman other than some clips, and some basics.
I found the book to be quiet dull. The story felt boring and to be honest a bit silly. It tried to be grander than the actually story line. The characters weren’t interesting either. Some of their choices came off stupid and contrived instead of understandable. I know the whole twists were supposed to be an exciting shock, but to me it made me roll my eyes. It felt flat, weird, stuffed. It wasn’t built up well. It tried to be deep in its themes, but it has poor execution. * ½
This another book by this author that I wasn’t the biggest fan of, so I won’t be reading any more of her work.

Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson – This was a hard one to grade because there was a lot great moments (it’s mostly the last third of the book), but also a lot that just meh. There are points, story beats and themes that came off like a watered down version of The Last Empire (The Mistborn Series), but then it has moments that really surprised me. The characters weren’t bad, but they weren’t flesh out enough for me either. I didn’t really connect with any of them. One thing for sure this author knows how to write action sequences. I bounce back from one grade to another, but overall I give the book ** ½ stars. No plans to read the sequels right now, but I know I’ll pick them up at some point.

The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits by Les Standiford – Another hard book to grade. The beginning of book was very slow, but picked up more in the later chapters. While it kept me somewhat interested it wasn’t really engaging. It stayed on topics that I wasn’t that interested in and glossed over things I wished the author had stayed on more. Maybe there wasn’t enough information… The writjng style was okay with some parts that stood out. In the end it wasn’t a bad read, but not as great as I hoped it would be. ** ½ Last book I read for 2017.





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Old 12-31-2017, 11:46 PM
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I too wasn't fond on the wonder woman book also.
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:30 AM
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Hopefully the other ones will be better, especially the Superman one. I'm most excited for that one.



The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla - Opps forgot to add this book. I enjoyed it and thought that this is how Lemons by Melissa Savage should have been written. There is a similar storyline that is dealt with way better in this book. There are some moments that annoyed me in regards to some characters, but I think it was meant to be written that way. lol I gave it ***
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Old 01-01-2018, 12:34 AM
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When it's real by Erin Watt.

I loved this so much, I took my time with it, so I can savour it. I loved the characters; even if the male I didn't like at first, but since he grew up in hollywood and in the spotlight, thinking highly of yourself being a teen pop singer was probably normal, I didn't think less of him for that. But I knew from the moment the girl was introduced to him, she would change and rock his world. And that she did. Not to mention I love how the authors added in the whole fandom thing with fans, there was tweets how fans act, and I definitely see that kind of thing today. So love how realistic that was.
5 beautiful stars!
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Old 01-02-2018, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Experience Star Wars: A New Hope from a whole new point of view.

On May 25, 1977, the world was introduced to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, C-3PO, R2-D2, Chewbacca, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, and a galaxy full of possibilities. In honor of the 40th anniversary, more than 40 contributors lend their vision to this retelling of Star Wars. Each of the 40 short stories reimagines a moment from the original film, but through the eyes of a supporting character. From a Certain Point of View features contributions by best-selling authors, trendsetting artists, and treasured voices from the literary history of Star Wars:

Gary Whitta bridges the gap from Rogue One to A New Hope through the eyes of Captain Antilles.

Aunt Beru finds her voice in an intimate character study by Meg Cabot.
Nnedi Okorofor brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.

Pablo Hidalgo provides a chilling glimpse inside the mind of Grand Moff Tarkin.
Pierce Brown chronicles Biggs Darklighter's final flight during the Rebellion's harrowing attack on the Death Star.

Wil Wheaton spins a poignant tale of the rebels left behind on Yavin.
Plus 34 more hilarious, heartbreaking, and astonishing tales from Ben Acker, Renée Ahdieh, Tom Angleberger, Ben Blacker, Jeffrey Brown, Rae Carson, Adam Christopher, Zoraida Córdova, Delilah S. Dawson, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Paul Dini, Ian Doescher, Ashley Eckstein, Matt Fraction, Alexander Freed, Jason Fry, Kieron Gillen, Christie Golden, Claudia Gray, E. K. Johnston, Paul S. Kemp, Mur Lafferty, Ken Liu, Griffin McElroy, John Jackson Miller, Daniel José Older, Mallory Ortberg, Beth Revis, Madeleine Roux, Greg Rucka, Gary D. Schmidt, Cavan Scott, Charles Soule, Sabaa Tahir, Elizabeth Wein, Glen Weldon, Chuck Wendig

Narrated by a full cast, including:

Jonathan Davis
Ashley Eckstein
Janina Gavankar
Jon Hamm
Neil Patrick Harris
January LaVoy
Saskia Maarleveld
Carol Monda
Daniel José Older
Marc Thompson
All participating authors have generously forgone any compensation for their stories. Instead, their proceeds will be donated to First Book - a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need. To further celebrate the launch of this book and both companies' longstanding relationships with First Book, Penguin Random House has donated $100,000 to First Book, and Disney/Lucasfilm has donated 100,000 children's books - valued at $1 million - to support First Book and their mission of providing equal access to quality education. Over the past 16 years, Disney and Penguin Random House combined have donated more than 88 million books to First Book.
Quote:
In celebration of Star Wars’ 40th anniversary, Del Rey is going to shine the spotlight on those unsung weirdos, heroes, and villains with a unique, new anthology. Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View, coming October 2017, will bring together more than 40 authors for 40 stories. Each will be told from the perspective of background characters of A New Hope — from X-wing pilots who helped Luke destroy the Death Star to the stormtroopers who never quite could find the droids they were looking for.

This was a New York Comic Con 2017 special edition cover.


I bought the NYCC edition and read most of it, but mostly I listened to the audiobook. Sometimes I followed along as I listened.

I'm trying to decide how to write up this review. I loved the stories, so this is not a negative review. It's just I feel like I have to talk about all 40 stories.

Overall, I enjoyed every one of the stories. Mostly the stories are told in chronological order of the movie, though some jump back and forth to set up a character or setting. You can feel the authors' different personalities and styles. You can also tell the authors didn't communicate because events in the stories of the same setting (e.g. the Cantina) contradict one another. However, this is just for fun. A chance to see <i>A New Hope</i> from other characters' eyes and it's a beautiful way for fans to relive that feeling of experiencing ANH for the very first time again.

I hope they do this for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the prequels for their anniversaries!

5 out of 5 Galaxies.


If you are curious about my thoughts for each story, all 40 of them, read it here.

Here is a video from NYCC of the panel about the book.
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