Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | August

Hello and welcome another check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like to learn more you can look at my initial post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. This month I read The Comedy of Errors and errors there where!


This book is just a mixture of mess ups and miscommunication. It kinda reminded me of the exaggerated outcome of the telephone game, if you are familiar with that. The main aspect of this play is mistaken identity, which has been present in quite a few of his other plays that I have read this year. In this play in particular it it comes from not one, but two sets of twins and their loved ones having no idea who is who and let the mayhem begin.

I have to admit, that this is one of the better plays when it comes to mistaken identity. There were a few times where I giggled to myself while reading this, which is great because not a lot of his comedies have actually made me laugh or feel humor. Maybe I am finally getting Shakespeare’s sense of humor? Either way, without giving away too much, there is a lot of misunderstandings, surprises, and puns galore!

This review isn’t that long due to the fact that I feel like a lot of the humor would be removed from this play if it is really discussed as much as I normally do. I would rather you read it for yourself and truly get the laugh out of it than being ruined by my review. But, overall I think this is one of the better comedies as I said earlier. I think it is worth checking out if you like his other plays or even has not read any of his comedies before.


Next month I am reading another comedy by William Shakespeare called Much Ado About Nothing, I have heard a great deal about this one so I am excited!

What are your thoughts on this play?

What is your favorite play by Shakespeare?

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Belle Can Read | The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Hello and welcome to my August installment of Someone Picks My Books. This series is where fellow book bloggers pick a book, any book, for me to read and review. This month, as you can see from the title, the book was picked by Belle Can Read. Thank you Belle for volunteering for this series and picking this months book!


One Sentence Review

A determined woman fights for her rights and the rights of her fellow women with a paranormal twist.


Book Description

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First and foremost, I really enjoyed the time period that this book was set in. Not only did it led itself to an enjoyable story, but the author truly did it justice in the historical sense. The suffrage movement in the US was not something that was embraced, and the author really did a great job in portraying this. Showing family turning against family and so forth. In doing this, the novel truly feels historical and does not just have the setting, which sadly can happen with some historical fiction novels.

I really enjoyed the main character in this novel, Olivia is such a strong determined woman and grew throughout the novel. One of my biggest pet peeves is when a character is stuck and is not dynamic. Winters does not do this, their characters are dynamic and show development. Another character that I found interesting was Henry. The relationship with Henry, was done really well, but at first I did not like him. As I read and the more I saw from him, the more I liked him and felt like he was a good partner, key word PARTNER, for Olivia.

What I Didn’t Like

Her father is a jerk and you wont change me mind. But, this is not really something the author did wrong, actually did quite right. It is not often where I actively dislike a character. It might be because I keep reading Shakespeare this year and that fathers are all like this and I get so mad. But, it is the time and it is a historically accurate depiction.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was a really well done historical fiction. It did a great job of representing the struggle of women during the early stages of suffrage in the US. Also, the novel feels like it is consistently within this time period it is set. If you like strong and determined women and sometimes a paranormal twist to your historical fiction, I would suggest looking into this book for yourself because I think you just might like it!


Next month I am reading a book picked by the wonderful Heidi from the blog, This is My Book Shelf Blog. I recommend checking out her blog and other social media accounts!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Goals · Revisiting · Uncategorized

Reflection | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 2

Reflection

Hello and welcome to my second check in for my Read a Shortlist Challenge for 2020, you can find more details in my post, Reading Goals | 2020 Edition. In my first check in, Reflection | Reading a Shortlist Vol. 1 I reviewed and talked about the books entitled Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo. In this post I am going to be talking about the next two books I tackled on this list, which are Quichotte by Salman Rushdie and 10 Minuets, 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak. I am very excited to be talking about these two books, so without further delay, onto the reviews!


QuichotteQuichotte by Salman Rushdie

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Overall, I really liked this book it addressed a lot of issues in our society when it comes to both race and mental illness. I recommended this to quote a few people after reading this retelling of sorts of Don Quixote. But, it is more than a retelling, as I mentioned it address quite a few topics, but does so as a magical realism novel mixed with a couple other genres. This one really really took me for a ride, I honestly really enjoyed this read. This novel is the reason I do this challenge every year, I always end up finding a few gems and this is one of them.

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying that this is one of the most inventive and unique books I have read based upon the idea alone. But, this book is penned by a very talented writing and it just makes the book that much better. The first part of this book follows the 10 min. after death of a woman named Leila, who lived a very interesting life. You learn about her life through various memories that come to her in her last moments of life. It really hits home the “life flashes before your eyes” idea.

The second part discusses humility, society, and just being a decent human and how a system takes that away. How some individuals in life and in death can be discriminated against. It was a very interesting book that not only showed you the life of the characters, but also talked about society and highlighted how friendship can be such a powerful thing. I feel like this is a book I will be rereading because I feel like I can get even more out of it.

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There you have it, my second installment of this year long project of reading the Man Booker shortlist. I have to say that these two books were both really enjoyable, this year I am really enjoying this challenge more than I did last year. I think at this point last year I only liked 1 book I read and this time around I have enjoyed 3! Now, I have two more books to read from this list and I am very curious about them. I will be honest. I did not enjoy the Handmaid’s Tale, so I am not too excited about The Testaments, but I am very interested in An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma.

Liked: 3

Hated: 1


Have you read either of these books? Are either of them on you TBR?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | July 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my monthly wrap up! I missed out on my middle mark post for the month so be prepared for quite a few mini reviews and well as my monthly stats overall. I think I did good overall this month, I even found a few books I love. The main driving force in my reading amount was The Reading Rush that book place between July 20th-26th. In that readathon alone I ended up reading ___ books that week alone. Anyway, on to the books, the reason you clicked onto this post.


Read 2

LGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the NumbersLGBTQ Stats: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer People by the Numbers by Bennett Singer

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Very interesting, the name is very accurate, this book is a lot of questions being answers via data collected via census and polls. It is best read in chunks a little at a time because it reads like a textbook.

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The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the RipperThe Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed learning more about these women instead of just hearing about how they died. It was a very interesting read that I just flew through. I feel like you should give this a try if non-fiction is not really your thing because it does not read like a textbook, which in my eyes is a huge compliment to the author when it comes to non-fiction.

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Civil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent GrantCivil War Wives: The Lives & Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis & Julia Dent Grant by Carol Berkin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A very interesting and good look into the wives of a couple of the most known individuals during the civil war. It was interesting to have a peak into their lives before, during, and after the war and see if and how they supported their partners, but also if they felt the same as their husbands. In addition, you can learn about the efforts made by some of these women on their own. The writing itself is done very well and the extent of sources is encouraging.

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The TempestThe Tempest by William Shakespeare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There are a few things I really liked about this play in particular the first being a ship wreck that reminded me of Odyssey in a way. I am not sure if this was the purpose, but I enjoyed the connection I made. I also liked that in this play there was also magic and magical creatures. As I said about Twelfth Night, I am always a sucker for it. I ended up giving this play 4 stars because I was a bit more into actually reading this and it kept my attention for than Twelfth Night did. It is one of the Shakespeare plays that I actually would not mind reading for a second time, I think Macbeth is the only other one on that list.

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10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to start off by saying that this is one of the most inventive and unique books I have read based upon the idea alone. But, this book is penned by a very talented writing and it just makes the book that much better. The first part of this book follows the 10 min. after death of a woman named Leila, who lived a very interesting life. You learn about her life through various memories that come to her in her last moments of life. It really hits home the “life flashes before your eyes” idea.

The second part discusses humility, society, and just being a decent human and how a system takes that away. How some individuals in life and in death can be discriminated against. It was a very interesting book that not only showed you the life of the characters, but also talked about society and highlighted how friendship can be such a powerful thing. I feel like this is a book I will be rereading because I feel like I can get even more out of it.

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Mexican GothicMexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is just amazing and I really think it is going to be one of my favorites for this year. It was a wonderfully written horror that had me flipping pages faster than I have in a bit. It reminded me of a few movies and novels, but even with that it was unique and all its own. If you enjoy horror I really think that this is something you might enjoy.

The writing was amazing, the main character was wonderfully written as well as the side characters. Usually side characters are just there, but Moreno-Garcia establishes them so well and they truly are part of the story. On top of the characters the atmosphere was spot on. It reminded me of crimson peak, haunting of hill house, and others. But, like I said, this is truly unique to is all the authors own.

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House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City, #1)House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am going to be honest, I really went into this book thinking I was going to enjoy it quite a bit. The idea sounded interesting and the world created sounded very interesting, but I was kind of bored reading this… okay very bored. The weird thing is, things were happening, some pretty intense stuff. So, I am not sure how or why I was bored, but I was. I might go back in the future and give this book another go, I might not have been in the right mood for it.

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The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air, #3)The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful ending to the series, did not disappoint! Holly Black as always does a great job of writing about fae and does wondering with writing in riddles and such. I give her a lot of credit in doing this because sometimes I can’t figure out the loopholes myself. In other books where there are fae characters I usually can figure it out easily.

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Celtic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and HeroesCeltic Mythology: Tales of Gods, Goddesses, and Heroes by Philip Freeman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I never thought that some Celtic Myths would make Greek Mythology seem boring. This was a really well done collection of myths that cover a good deal of time and area. I felt that the author framed them very well with giving some historical context as well as organized them well. I enjoyed reading these tails and chances are I will read them again in the future.

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The Night Country (The Hazel Wood, #2)The Night Country by Melissa Albert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another great story by Melissa Albert. This was a really enjoyable continuation in this series. A lot was going on and it still held the same magic for me as the first one did. The only downside was there were a few pacing issues for me personally. I am excited to see what happens in the next book!

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Don't Touch My HairDon’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I just finished reading Don’t Touch My Hair by Emma Dabiri, it is a nonfiction that discusses racism and prejudice against blanks historically. The main vein that this particular book follows is based upon hair. I found it to be really interesting and it was a general history of racism touching on three different continents (North America, Europe, and Africa), but it was also a memoir of the author as well. I really annotated this book, I wrote on nearly every page.

The blurb said it best, ” intellectual investigation into black women and the very serious business of our hair, as it pertains to race, gender, social codes, tradition, culture, cosmology, maths, politics, philosophy and history”

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Teen Titans: RavenTeen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a really great graphic novel, I really enjoyed seeing this side of Raven. The plot was great, the art work and color scheme was wonderful. I am really glad that the author is adding to this series in September with Beast Boy!

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FirestarterFirestarter by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first I was not into this story in the slightest, but I decided to try for a little bit longer. I am glad I stayed with it because I ended up enjoying this quite a bit. It is almost like a different version of The Institute or a precursor to it. It is very different, but has a similar vibe to it if that makes sense. Charlie was a great character and her dad is amazing.

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Home Before DarkHome Before Dark by Riley Sager

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a very interesting thriller and ghost story. There was a real eerie feeling to this novel, which a horror lover like myself really enjoyed. On top of that the writing was great, you can tell the author really planned this novel out. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future

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The Girl from Widow HillsThe Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such an amazing thriller, I could not put it down once I picked it up. The writing is top notch, they methods used to tell the story and build the world were wonderful. I recommend anyone who enjoys thrillers.

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The Tale of Mrs WestawayThe Tale of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a wild ride of a short story, it was really interesting to learn more about Mrs. Westaway.

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Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 2


Reading Stats


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Reviews

Book Review | Harlem Rhapsody by John Nuckel

2020.06-call for bloggers - JN

*Book given by the frolic blog tours in exchange for an honest review*

HarlemRhapsody-cover-flatDescription: In the days of prohibition and the Harlem Renaissance, Owney Madden, gangster and Cotton Club owner, has a plan to defeat the tyranny of Tammany Hall. He’ll whack mob kingpin Arnold Rothstein. Harlem Rhapsody follows this turbulent era (1927-1937), from Duke Ellington’s debut at the Cotton Club, to the unsolved murder of Rothstein, and the machinations of a secret organization, the Volunteers. Based on true events and real people (The Belle of Broadway; Titanic Thompson; Lucky Luciano) Harlem Rhapsody is the second book in The Volunteer series about Teddy Roosevelt’s band of men who, with financial assistance from J.P. Morgan and John Rockefeller, fight to take down corruption and Tammany Hall.

 


What I Liked

Before I get into this review, I just want to make sure you all know that Harlem Rhapsody is book two in The Volunteers book series. The first book in the series is called Drive by John M. Nuckel. I suggest you check that one out if this review sounds like something you might enjoy!

First and foremost, I loved how researched this book was. This book takes place during the prohibition era in the US, where alcohol consumption was against the law, unless you had a prescription. This book revolves around the corruption of the time period. Some of the themes include speakeasies, crooked cops and politicians, inequality, and organized crime. While reading this book, it was apparent that the author knew a lot about this time period as well as landmarks such as The Cotton Club, which I suggest you click through and learn more about. It is rare where an historical fiction leads me to research new topics and honestly, I felt the extra research added to my reading experience. Also, the references and appearances of historical figures is fun for someone who enjoys history.

As stated, this book showcases corruption during this time period. One of the things that stood out to me was the opening “scene” itself. It showed the political unease and “sneakiness” in not only the US, but also abroad. It showed how horribly people could have been treated. The corruption of the shown in this novel includes people in power being paid to look the other way, especially when it came to illegal alcohol consumption. Some even coming into the speakeasies themselves! But, this book took a look at those who were in charge, who ran the networks that fueled the illegal activities and how they were in a constant duel for power. This book really was filled with action and had a lot going on in it. It was interesting to see the inner workings of these “secret” organizations. I felt like I was reading the equivalent of a mob movie, which for me is good, because I have been on a true crime kick as of late.


What I Didn’t Like

The one fault that I found with this book was from time to time things dragged a bit, but I feel like that will not be the case for everyone. For me, when it did drag it was for a very short period of time.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I felt like this was a really interesting historical fiction set in a very corrupt time period. If you like reading about the prohibition era, groups vying for power, corruption and even true crime I feel like this book might have something for you. Also, a nice bonus is the short chapters! I am a reader who cannot stop until they have reached the end of the chapter, so personally this was a huge plus!

4stars


Author Links

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@johnnuckel
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Book Information

Publication Date: December 20, 2019

Publisher:  Independently published

List Price: $11.99

ISBN: 978-1676954545

Pages: 220 pages


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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Tay from Frayed Books | House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another installment of Someone Picks My Books, this month I had the honor of Tay one of the duo running Frayed Books picking my book! You should check out her work as well as her co-blogger Missy, they are both wonderful! As you can see from the title Tay picked out House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas.


One Sentence Review

An action packed adventure that was inventive and somehow was also boring? kinda?


Book Description

Bryce Quinlan had the perfect life—working hard all day and partying all night—until a demon murdered her closest friends, leaving her bereft, wounded, and alone. When the accused is behind bars but the crimes start up again, Bryce finds herself at the heart of the investigation. She’ll do whatever it takes to avenge their deaths.

Hunt Athalar is a notorious Fallen angel, now enslaved to the Archangels he once attempted to overthrow. His brutal skills and incredible strength have been set to one purpose—to assassinate his boss’s enemies, no questions asked. But with a demon wreaking havoc in the city, he’s offered an irresistible deal: help Bryce find the murderer, and his freedom will be within reach.

As Bryce and Hunt dig deep into Crescent City’s underbelly, they discover a dark power that threatens everything and everyone they hold dear, and they find, in each other, a blazing passion—one that could set them both free, if they’d only let it.

With unforgettable characters, sizzling romance, and page-turning suspense, this richly inventive new fantasy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas delves into the heartache of loss, the price of freedom—and the power of love. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

Sarah J. Maas, credit where credit is due, the world and lore created for this book and series down the line is wonderful. Even within the first chapter you can see the effort and time she put into crediting backstories, magic systems, and a society as a whole. Within this magical society you follow quite a few characters, the most appealing aspect being they are 20 year olds. Can I get a yay for some new adult? I personally love reading books that are new adult because I relate the most with it. I truly wish there were more and this book ticked that box for me.

Another bonus about the characters is the dynamics between them. I really thought the way the characters interacted with one another was portrayed for the most part well. There were even a few parts where I thought to myself, “yeah, I’v seen people do that before to each other” even though it is a fantasy novel.

What I Didn’t Like

Sadly, there were quite a few things I did not enjoy about the book. The first being even though there was a lot going on, I was bored at times while reading. The main reason I ended up giving it the rating I did was because the last section of the book turned it around for me.

Another aspect that stood out to me were the plot twists in this tome. The first one, I can honestly say made me mad. I kinda wanted to just put down the book at this point because I was so mad and reading is not meant to make someone this angry. I did continue though, but the twists weren’t much better. While the rest did not make me as mad they were quite predictable and I figured them out without much effort.

Overall

Overall, I thought this was an average alright read, it had its good and bad points to it. The biggest positive being the world and lore of this world by Maas, I feel like a lot of great stories could come out of it in the future, which is great because this is a series. The dynamics are great as well, even with the slow burn romance, I do hate insta-love so the slow burn was much appreciated. I feel like if you look into this book and you feel like you are going to like it, go for it, get it from the library.

3stars


Next month I am reading a book that was picked by Belle who has a great blog called Belle Can Read. She is very kind and you should all check her out!

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Reviews

2020 Shakespeare Challenge | June & July

Shakespeare

Hello and welcome to my check in for my 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. If you would like some more details about the challenge you can find that in my post called,  Blogmas | Goals | 2020 Shakespeare Challenge. I would like to apologize I missed posting this last night, but better late than ever. I decided to combined the past two months instead of making two separate posts. Anyway, here are my thoughts on Twelfth Night and The Tempest!



Twelfth Night

So, like many of his works, this one starts with a bit of a tragedy. I think this is one of my “ugh” things when it comes to Shakespeare, he reuses a lot of the same plot points, but dresses them up differently if that makes sense? Anyway, more on this specific play. This play was packed with mistaken identity, disguises, and of course a love story of sorts. This play really thrived on a bunch of misunderstandings and a lot happened that I don’t want to go into it because of spoilers. I will say this is not near the low bunch of the plays I have read by him. I cannot say no to some magic into a story, so that alone won some points for me. I also was not completely disappointed as to how it ended as well.

The Tempest

There are a few things I really liked about this play in particular the first being a ship wreck that reminded me of Odyssey in a way. I am not sure if this was the purpose, but I enjoyed the connection I made. I also liked that in this play there was also magic and magical creatures. As I said about Twelfth Night, I am always a sucker for it. I ended up giving this play 4 stars because I was a bit more into actually reading this and it kept my attention for than Twelfth Night did. It is one of the Shakespeare plays that I actually would not mind reading for a second time, I think Macbeth is the only other one on that list.


Next Month

What is your favorite work by Shakespeare?

What are you thoughts on these plays?

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Wrap Up

Wrap Up | June 2020

Wrap Up

Hello and welcome to my June wrap up, wow it feels so weird typing that. Already halfway through 2020. This month was quite an improvement reading wise for me, I actually did some reading. I am not quite sure what happened in May and what put me out of the mood to read, but thankfully it has passed and I ended up reading quite a bit. Here are the books I read, my backlist checkin and my monthly stats!


Read 2

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

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UntamedUntamed by Glennon Doyle

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A very interesting collection of stories to make up the author’s memoir. I found the stories shared to be heart warming and raw. The author really sharers herself with her readers, but also gives them something to reflect on.

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Twelfth NightTwelfth Night by William Shakespeare

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Review to come!

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Prodigal Son (Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, #1)Prodigal Son by Dean Koontz

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Overall, I felt that this novel has a lot of potential, it was dark, twisted and let’s face it inspired by one of the most popular horror novels of all time. I really enjoyed a lot about this book, but what lost me was the characters actions. Sometimes I just felt like, wow, they are meant to be detectives? Their actions just were not believable. That aside, I did enjoy parts of it and I am curious enough to be thinking about continuing this series. That is a big deal for me, because I tend to hate series.

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Full Dark, No StarsFull Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

1922-5/5 psychological and dark real world horror

Big Driver-2/5 the assault is r*ape.

Fair Extension-3/5 – interesting, but I wasn’t really feeling it.

A Good Marriage-5/5 Just when you thought you knew someone completely, another story were man is the true monster.

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Anansi BoysAnansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really interesting story sett in the same world as American Gods. It was a twisting tale and as always Gaiman has a way with words. As always the writing was done very well and the story was imaginative to say the least. The reason I took a few stars off it because there were a few parts I became bored with, but over all I really did enjoy it. If you liked American Gods, I think you will like this as well.

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Before the Coffee Gets ColdBefore the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this and I really want to read more from this author. I really liked how the author mixed the magical with the mundane to create such a heart warming story.

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Middle Mark Books 2


Beat the Backlist 2

Start of 2020: 51

Current: 6


Reading Stats


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Reviews · Uncategorized

Someone Picks My Books | Basement Bookcase | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month Melinda over at Basement Bookcase has picked my read. This month I was given the task of reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which you most likely got from the title of this post. Now, this is very far from what I normally read. It is the start of  series, it’s young adult, and it is fantasy. Now, I do enjoy high fantasy, but I am very finicky when it comes to this genre. Going into this book I was both excited, but worried to say the least.


Book Description

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

First off I would like to say, I am surprised it has taken my this long to give this book a go. I have been blogging for years and this is well loved by many. I have thought that this book is based on a very interesting idea of there being multiple versions of the world, specifically London where some are filled with magic. That is one thing I will give V.E. Schwab a lot of credit for, this idea was thought up by someone with a very entertaining imagination.

The world building on this book was spot on and I felt like it really set the scene for the rest of the series. Not only did Schwab create various versions of London, they came up with a system for traveling between them. Everything they created was unique and intriguing. I kind of wish that there was even more of this because I enjoyed it so much.

Also, I will openly admit I am a sucker for magic being present in a book. If it is even hinted at in a blurb or description I am most likely going to pick it up. As with the world building, the magic is very unique and I loved the way it was used in this book.

What I Didn’t Like

The one thing that stood out to me was I did not care about the characters in the slightest. While reading I was just indifferent and along for the ride. I was more invested in the world created by Schwab than the various people. For me, this is a bit of a bummer because I read more so for the people than anything else. But, if you read for the world building, you will not be disappointed.

Overall

Overall, I felt that this book was average for me. Not amazing and not bad at all, it was just in the middle. I enjoyed the world, but I was not invested in the plot or the characters. I was just someone following along. Now, this could be because as I stated earlier I don’t read a lot of YA anymore and I am annoying specific when it comes to fantasy. I really did enjoy the world building in this novel and I feel like Schwab has a lot of talent when it comes to this. I will say I am happy that I gave it a try and finally read it. I always had the feeling of “Fear of Missing Out” when it came to this series, now that question has been answered. Thank you for picking my book Melinda!

3stars


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Tay one of the duo running Frayed Books! I am really looking forward to her pick and to find out if I will like it or not.

Have you read this book before or is it on your TBR?

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Lets Talk · Reviews

Let’s Talk | BuzzFeed Picks My Jane Austen Novel

Let's Talk

Hello and welcome to a hybrid of a post where I test BuzzFeeds ability to recommend a book and a mini book review. In May I was really in the mood for a classic and I had no idea what I wanted to read. I narrowed it down to Jane Austen and then had no idea what other book of hers to read, so I did what many of us do, I went to the internet for help. Here we go!


Like I said, I decided to go to the internet to see if I could be recommended a book to read of Jane Austen’s, because if I am being honest I didn’t really know about the plot of any of her novels outside of Pride and Prejudice. I ended up coming across this BuzzFeed Quiz called, “Which Jane Austen Book Do You Belong In?” So, I figured, why not give it a go? Here are my results.

As you can see, based upon my answers I belong in the novel Northanger Abbey. So, I ordered it from book depository and waited for it to arrive and then devoured it. Also, a bit of a side note, a lot of her novels are free from amazon as ebooks, as are a lot of classics. If you want a link to this book, you can find that here: Northanger Abbey (AmazonClassics Edition) , p.s. it’s not an affiliate link.


Description

“Catherine Morland is a young girl with a very active imagination. Her entry into the fashionable scene in Bath results in an invitation to stay with new friends at Northanger Abbey, but Catherine’s naivety and love of sensational novels lead to embarrassing and entertaining consequences”. –goodreads.com


My Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. One thing that really stood out to me was the use of novels and story telling throughout this novel and how it impacted the main characters imagination.  I also liked the narrators/authors funny comments about novels as well and how people hide what they are reading if they are embarrassed.

I really liked when our main character Catherine was adventuring through Bath, I felt the character interactions were wonderful and it really set the stage for her actions. Catherine is such a kind person and I really loved her taste in books myself. The second half has a totally different feel to it, which I enjoyed, but was a bit jolting at first because it went from a light and airy bath to a gothic abbey, which I think was the entire point because this novel really just likes to poke fun and exaggerate what the imagination can do to someone.

This was a very good novel and I enjoyed reading it immensely. I decided to keep this novel in my collection so I can reread it again and annotate it. To be honest, I might even like this more than Pride and Prejudice.


What is your favorite novel by Jane Austen?

Did you read Northanger Abbey, what did you think about it?

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