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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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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Meeghan Reads

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another one of my Someone Picks my Books post! This month I had the wonderful blogger Meeghan pick my book, you can find her over at meeghanreads.com. She writes some great stuff and she is very kind. For this month she picked The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I have read the first two books in The Raven Cycle series, but never anything outside of that so I was excited for it!


Book Description

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. – goodreads.com


I will be 100% honest about this, I had no idea what to really expect when I jumped into this book. I mean I obviously read the description and I knew I would be reading about kids riding on water horses, which sound amazing by the way, and there would be a race. I also knew our main character was going to be a girl. I am not sure why, but I got hunger game vibes and for me personally that isn’t a good thing.

When I actually got to reading  I liked the writing style, but I have always enjoyed the style of Maggie Stiefvater. I read the first two books in The Raven Cycle and liked how lyrical and her sentences felt, they just had a good rhythm. This book also had that feeling of magic, if that makes sense? I will say, that this novel was written before The Raven Boys and you can tell. That is not to say the writing is bad in anyway, but you can see how much her writing improved.

One thing I really liked about this story was the fact that the love was not the main driving force of this book, but working together to make it through this dangerous race. Nothing felt forced or just there for the sake of the plot, which annoys me to no when when that happens. The plot overall was good, I enjoyed it from start to finish for the most part. There were times I just wanted to skip a few pages because got bored, but as soon as the thought entered my mind something would happen to pull me back in. I will say, I was slow though even with all the action. Which is a bit confusing for me.

Overall, I am glad read it and Meeghan picked it for me. It was enjoyable and it was nice to read something different from Maggie Stiefvater. Was it my favorite by her? No, I still prefer what I have read of The Raven Cycle. Take that as you may, I still enjoy her style.


Next month I am reading a book that is picked by Evelyn over at evelynreads.com. I am excited for her pick because I have read other books by this author and really enjoyed them, but I have also heard mixed this about the book. I don’t know if I am the only one who does this, but when there is a mixed reviewed book I am more excited to read it to see what side I will fall on.

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

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Reviews

Someone Picks My Books | Misty’s Book Space

Someone Picks My Books

Hello and welcome to another Someone Picks My Books post! I am really loving and enjoying this series so much and I am happy that you all seem to be enjoying it as well. This month I am reading a book that is picked by the wonderful Misty over at Misty’s Book Space. She is one of the nicest people I have talked to online, she is supportive and kind, and has a great taste in books. This month she picked Between Shades if Gray by Ruta Sepetys.


Book Description

Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life — until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father’s prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive? – Amazon.com


So, going into this book I was pretty certain I was going to like it for a few reasons. The first being, as I said earlier, Misty has a wonderful taste in books. So, I felt like I was in very good hands. The second being I love history and historical fiction. The third reason being I have heard a lot about Ruta Sepetys, all good things. I have always heard that she is a very talented writer and her work is well researched and quality. Quality when it comes to historical fiction is important to me since I studied it so when something is off it tends to ruin the entire book for me.

I just finished this book the day I am writing this and I wrote a quick review over on my Goodreads account, but I just wanted to elaborate on a few things in this post. First and foremost is that the author really lives up to the expectations that were set. You can clearly tell she has done her research due to the details that are present within her novel. I have read about this topic countless times and for her to add so much of the real world into this book, just made it is much more powerful and in my opinion a superior historical fiction novel. Her writing of this topic was wonderful and you can tell she was passionate and cares about the topic. I do not want to come out and say this is a beautiful book because the topic is just so heart breaking, but it is written so well.

As stated in the description this story follows a 15 year old girl named Lina who has fallen victim to the horrid campaign of Stalin during WW2 towards his own nation. This book depicts the horrible events that many faced who were educators, librarians, and anyone else who happened to have the wrong career. I don’t want to really say much about what happens in this novel and while I highly suggest this novel, it can be a very difficult read. I suggest doing a bit of research to see if it would be triggering for you to read.

As I said in my goodreads review, this book felt like I was listening to a first hand account of the things that happened because of the not well known actions of Stalin against his own people. Lina had such fight and spirit within her, but this book isn’t just about her. This book shows how a wide range of people responded to the events. It shows how they react and respond to not only the horrible treatment of them, but of others. It really shows the wide range personalities and mentality of human beings. This book is hard to explain and do justice because it is so much more than just a story, it is the story of hundreds and thousands of people. While this was a very heart breaking read, I really enjoyed it. I will certainly be reading another book by this author in the future.


Next month I am excited to say that I will be reading a book that was picked by Meeghan from Meeghan Reads. I am very excited to be reading her pick this April. It is a book written by an author I have read in the past and really enjoyed, but it is not a genre I have read in a while. So, I am excited to see how it goes, but I have high hopes!

Have you read this book? What is another book I should read by Ruta Sepetys?

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TBR

To Be Read | #AnimalCrossingReadathon

To Be Read

Hello and welcome to a very last minuet post. I was scrolling through twitter the other day and came across the Animal Crossing Readathon hosted by @ambooklife, @medusareads and @paperbackjedi over on twitter from March 9th-20th. I am very much looking forward to this game so I wanted to give it a shot! If you wanted to check out the twitter account for this readathon you can see that here: @acrossingread Now on to my TBR!


Prompts

Image

Resetti: Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

K.K. Slider: Audiobook of Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

Able Sisters: Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Tom Nook: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Animal Crossing Gamecube: Leaving Open


Thankfully a lot of the books that were already on my monthly TBR for challenges and such fit into this readathon, which never happens to me. The only prompt I am at a loss for is Animal Crossing Gamecube. I am not sure if I want to reread something or read a the book I have had sitting on my shelf the longest. But, I figure I have time to make a decision and it will allow my mood reading a choice in the matter.


Are you excited about Animal Crossing?

Are you taking part in this readathon?

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Hauls

Blogmas | Book Haul | November & December 2019

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Hello and welcome to my my book haul for both November and December. I fell a bit behind with my haul last month so I decided to just put everything together. I don’t want to ramble too much, so here are the books I picked up in one way or another!


I received A Christmas Carol through Coffee and a Classic Box, which I have been subscribed too for months at this point. The Queen of Nothing I picked up at Barns and Nobel it is a signed edition because I could not resist.  Bonhoeffer is actually my mothers and I wanted to read it for a while so I am borrowing it from her because she is very supportive in my reading habit. Last, but not least is Gwendy’s Magic Feather which was a pre-order and a sequel to Gwendy’s Magic Box.

Great Goddesses is my latest purchase, I feel like Nikita Gill is one of the few poets I auto buy their works. I decided to pick up two of Shakespeare’s plays for a project I am working on for next year, I decided on Midsummers Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. You should hear about that project very soon if you have not already. The Light Between Oceans is actually from my library, but I borrowed it this month for my book from Australia read, Bury What You Cannot Take is also for for that challenge, but takes place in China. Last in this pile is The Glittering Hour, this was my BOTM pick for December, if you want to see why I picked this one you can see my post here:BOTM Unboxing | December 2019.

My Best Friends’s Exorcism I picked up from a library sale, I know a lot of people were reading it during Halloween this year so I wanted to give it a go. I finally caved and picked up Alexander Hamilton that inspired the play. I also have my BOTM from November, if you want to know my reasonings you can see that here: BOTM Unboxing | November 2019.

Lastly I have The Morrigan, which is tales of a Celtic Goddess, I have always loved lure and myths so I wanted to explore more. I also picked up a book called Muse with the Moon, which is almost like a reflection activity book that has specific prompts during a particular phase of the moon. You all will be seeing that a lot, I am thinking about starting a series with what I put in that book each month until it is full.


What was your most recently acquired book?

Do any of these books sit on your shelf or have you read them already?

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Reviews

Book Review | A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

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*Book given for review by Wunderkind PR*

A Constellation of Roses
Description: 

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots. –goodreads.com

 


What I Liked

I would like to start off with something some might not see as a positive, but this was one emotional book. It felt like a roller coaster, but in a really good way. It did not feel like a soap opera. This book follows a young girl named Trix who has had a very hard life. She was stealing to survive and life, she really didn’t trust anyone but 2 friends, one who liked like her and another who was in jail.

This book starts off right away and slowly you see the world build and Trix. She is a really complex character with a ton of development, which I loved. I was rooting for her the entire time and I just wanted her to begin to trust people and connect with her family. The author wrote her in an amazing way. The world she built was believable, and tangible even though there was a few magical elements tossed in. I had genuine emotional reactions to a few of the events in the book, I don’t want to get too specific, but I cried and I wanted to smack a few characters in the face. On the other hand there were some I just wanted to hug and celebrate with when things went right. I will note that even the side characters of sort made an impression on me.

Another thing I really enjoyed the book was the little magical element. This element was woven into the story is such a believable way. It is subtle and well thought out due to the diversity of magic help by some of the characters. These little gifts are listed in the books description and I knew they were coming up, but I really loved how they fit into the characters personalities and were presented.

Honestly, I could go on and on, this is pretty much a gushfest and I am totally okay with that because this book earned it.


What I Didn’t Like

Honestly, nothing. I loved every page of this book. It was beautifully written and constructed. This, I do not say often.


Overall Thoughts

I thought this was an amazing read, it could easily be one of my top books of the year. As I have said the author is very talented. Her writing is well balanced and easily creates a world and characters that the reader can fall into with out a problem. I was engaged in the story from page one and I wanted more when it was over. I highly recommend this book to anyone.

5stars


Author Links

fullsizeoutput_3c2.jpeg


Book Information

Publication Date: November 5th 2019

Publisher: HarperTeen

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9780062747105

Pages: 336 pages

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Reviews

Book Review | Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

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*Book given for review by Wunderkind PR*

Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)Description: 

Evie is happiest when she is healing people, diagnosing symptoms, and prescribing medications, with the help of her devoted friend (and test subject) Wormy. So when Wormy unexpectedly proposes to her, she kindly turns him down; she has far too much to do to be marrying anyone. And besides, she simply isn’t in love with him.

But a certain meddling fairy named Lucinda has been listening in, and she doesn’t approve of Evie’s rejection. Suddenly, Evie finds herself transformed from a girl into a hideous, hungry ogre. Evie now has only sixty-two days to accept another proposal—or else be stuck as an ogre forever. –goodreads.com


What I Liked

I want to start off by saying I have not read Ella Enchanted, which I know many love. This is my first time reading a book set in this world and also by this author, so please keep that in mind. I will say, I found Gail Carson Levine writing enjoyable. It flowed nicely and when I did pick up the book to read I was pulled in a usually for long chunks of time. The world is one you fall into.

Outside of Levine’s writing style I really enjoyed the world she created as well as the characters. When it came to the main character, Evie, I really liked how she wrote a character that was very much herself. While this book has a beauty and the beast type feeling with a marriage proposal leads to someone being turned into a monster. I felt that Evie turning down her proposal due to her dedication to healing much more interesting and compelling instead of just being interested in physical appearance. I found it to be a really interesting turn on the idea. It also added a lot to the characters personality in my eyes.

While Evie is young, she has a passion, and at times she read a bit older due to this. Even after she is cursed the fairy, she has graphic thoughts, which come with being an ogre. The other side of the coin is that at times she does very much read like a young girl, which makes sense. At times this could be jarring, but it never took me out of the story too much. It was more like, “Oh, right”.

When it came to the idea of what an Ogre is I really like the way Levine handled it. I feel like she could have taken the same route as shriek and hidden a lot of the cruel side of an ogre. In Shrek an idea of what an orge was more lent itself as a cover to keep humans away. Instead I feel like Levine showed the more traditional, at least in my eyes, view of an ogre. Where they like to eat humans or are overly hairy among other grotesque things. I appreciated the author being more aligned to this idea.


What I Didn’t Like

While I did read this book in only a few sittings, I will say that there were points in the book that dragged. Nothing that was too bad, but they were there. On top of that, as I stated earlier, there were times where the main character acted older than she was and this could be a tad bit jarring if you are sensitive to that. This point really comes down to preference.


Overall Thoughts

Overall, I really have to say I enjoyed this book. I really like the twist on the fairytale of declined marriage proposal where someone turns into a  monster. I also really like the writing style and the main character and her protrayed as an ogre. I feel like the author did an amazing job merging the idea of the ogre with such a dedicated, self assured character. In my eyes if you read and were interested by the description you should give this book a try. It is an interesting story in a really interesting world created by a talented writer.

4stars


Author Links

Gail Carson Levine


Book Information

Publication Date:  October 16th 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

List Price: $17.99

ISBN: 9780062561213

Pages: 352 pages

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Hauls

Book Haul | October 2019

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Hello everyone and welcome! So, it has been a while since doing a “traditional” book haul in a few months since I have been doing my Read 5, Buy 1. I have decided to pause this for the remainder of the year due to the holidays coming up and such.

Even though I did not buy a ton of books this month, I still wanted to share the ones I did pick up. I am pretty surprised I didn’t buy even more since I let myself “off the hook”. Anyway, On to the books!


Books Added 2Bought

Subscriptions

Gifted


OWNED TBR COUNT

34 books!

Even with all of my book buying, I am still down a book from last month and quite honestly, that is a lot better than I thought it would be. I thought it was going to go up overall, so a small victory!


What book are you adding to your TBR? How many books are on your TBR?

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TBR

TBR | November 2019

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Hello and welcome to my TBR for the 11th month of the year! I cannot believe how quickly this year is now going since we are in the home stretch. This month I was thinking I was going to really keep an eye on my reading challenges, but I wanted to read so much I had to go to twitter and ask for some volunteers to send me some numbers so I could narrow my TBR down in addition to reading a book that was on my post Lists | Top 5 Books I Want to Read Before 2020. Anyway, on the to TBR!


I am going to go a little out of order here, but Middlemarch was the only book on this list I picked for myself. It is the last classic on my shelf and I honestly am very much in a classic reading mood. It is also one of the five books I want to read before 2019 comes to an end. I picked this book up on a whim at a local independent bookstore because I never read any of Eliot’s works and I felt like I would really enjoy this one.

Next up is The Bone Season, which is number 27 on my TBR. This number was picked by Rosie, you can check out her blog by clicking here. I am really happy that this number was picked because I picked this book up in October, but I didn’t get a chance to read it and I was bummed out.

The next number that was picked was number 10 by Katerina, you can find her tweet below. Number 10 was It Would Be Night in Caracas, which I was given when I went to BookCon earlier this year. I am excited to have this on my TBR because the story sounds so interesting.

The next number is 25, picked by Emma, you can check out her blog by clicking the link here. Number 25 is Nothing to See Here, which was my Book of the Month from last month, so I guess Emma is trying to get me to catch up on those books. I am excited to get to this one though, I mean the cover has an illustration of a person on fire… I need to know why!

The next book I am going to be reading this month is The Toll with Reg, Jenna, and Amy as part of our buddy reading group. I am so excited to be reading the final book in the Scythe series by Neal Shusterman. All of us have pretty much loved this series since we read the first one together.

Well, there you have it the 5 books I am planning on reading in the month of November. I want to take a moment to thank everyone who sent me numbers, but there was no way I would have been able to read 16 books this month. I wish I could though!


What books are you planning to read this month?

Have you read any of these books? What were your thoughts?

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Hauls

Read 5, Buy 1 | September 2019 Fail

Read 5 Buy 1

Hello and welcome to my admittance of my Read 5, Buy 1 failure. This past month I have read a lot, but I had the itch to buy a bunch of books as well. I felt so bad about this, I actually did a bit of an unhaul so my TBR didn’t grow to much and I might even unhaul some more. I feel like I am in a spot where my reading tastes are changing again so a lot of the things on my shelf are not calling to me quite so much. Anyway, here are the books I read and the books I added to my Owned TBR.


Read 2

 

 

 


Books Added 2

-Gifted-


OWNED TBR COUNT

35 books!

Thankfully, only up 2 books from last month, so not totally horrific. I do think an unhaul is going to be in my near future though. Like I said earlier in the post my reading tastes are shifting and some of the titles are just not doing it for me anymore.


What’s the last book you added to your TBR?

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