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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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

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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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Lists & Recommendations

Recommendations | Books I Loved with Love

Recs

Happy Valentines day to those who celebrate and happy Thursday to those who do not. Since today is my posting day and I do love a good romance in a book from time to time I thought I would share some of them with you. Now, I know that not everyone is going to agree with my choices, but the great thing about books is that there are so many that everyone can find the ones they enjoy. Now, on to the books I love with love!

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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman-

The Rules of Magic
This books revolves around a family curse where only bad things happen when you find the person you fall in love with. It is the prequel to Practical Magic and I absolutely loved the various relationships in this book. While I was heart broken quite a few times it was wonderful seeing some of the characters find love.


When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon-

When Dimple Met Rishi

This book was so adorable and so cute. I read it in a single day, that is how much I liked this book. I also loved how the relationship started in this book because I can relate to it on some level with my boyfriend. In addition, I felt like I learned a lot while reading it too.


 

The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry-

The Air He Breathes (Elements, #1)

This book really had me smiling at multiple points. The relationship in this starts in such a funny way, but seems to genuine. While they have their share of drama and things working against them I enjoyed it a ton.


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion-

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1)

I fell in love with this book. I found it funny, cute, and I not only enjoyed the romance in this book, but I really liked the friendship and honesty inside of it as well.


Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli-

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)

I feel like at this point this entire book is me just gushing how much I enjoy all of these books, but this book was adorable, but a mystery as well. I highly suggest this book. It is cute, has great characters, and it is just adorable and wonderful.


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott-

Little WomenThis book is a classic I am just in love with. I love the relationship and love felt within their family, Jo and her man, and Meg and her husband. I just really enjoy all of the relationships that blossom in this book and in this series.

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What book romance do you just love? What did you think of my choices? Are there any books you would ad?

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Hauls

Unboxing | Blind Date with a Book

Unboxing

I think about a year ago I came across a website called Blind Date with a Book and I thought the idea was very interesting and fun. Pretty much the company has a bunch of books listed on their website that you can order for (GBP) £7.99 or (USD) $10.17, the shipping for me was only £3.99 or $5.08. The only catch is you have no idea what you are going to get. You scroll through the website and all the books are wrapped up beautifully with a few key words or phrases marked on the front of the book. I eventually settled on one.

  • All the feels
  • Romance
  • Heartbreak
  • Parents
  • Boyfriends
  • Young Adult

With only knowing that I placed an order and awaited its arrival.

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The Unboxing

So when I opened this up I just started laughing. I have already read Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell on November 3rd, 2014 according to goodreads. Kudos to goodreads for keeping track of everything for me! Anyway, I started to laugh because I always try to get my tbr stay lower than 40 books and because I already read this it will not grow. I also started to laugh because I borrowed it from the library when I first read it because I did not have any money at the time to buy it. So not only did I not add to my TBR I was able to add a book I enjoyed in a beautiful edition to my collection.

This blind date with a book is going to be getting a second date in the next few months!

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Have you tried a blind date with a book? I would love to hear what book you ended up getting!

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Goals

2017 Goals Update: First Quarter

The firstupdatetop5 quarter of 2017 is nearly over so I thought I would take this time to do a little update on my 2017 goals, you can find the post here: 2017 Goals! I also thought it would be fun to go through and show my progress of the books outlined in my post called Top 5 Books I Want to Read in 2017

On the right side of the post you will see an image of a few books. If you have not seen my previous post those are the top 5 books I wanted to read this year. There are also large green X’s on some of those books. Those are the books I have completed, 4 of the 5. I am actually very surprised at my progress, I did not expect to get threw them this quickly. If you are interested you can find short reviews for three of the completed books on my post entitled #TBRTakeDown: Wrap Up.

The first goal I had set forth for myself was to give up on series and books I am not enjoying. I have to say that so far I am keeping true to this goal. I have stopped reading two series I was not feeling and DNF’ed one book.

The second goal I set for myself was to become a more critical reading and rater. Once again I feel that I have held true to this, while I have really enjoyed a lot of the books I have read this year, so far 23, only one has been given 5 stars.

The third goal I set was getting my TBR to 0 by the end of the year. Now this one I am having a hard time with. I don’t think I am the only reader with this “problem”. Since January I have read 23 books, so in theory I should be very close to have 0 already. The thing is I am finding books online and in bookstores I want to read and I just can’t seem to help myself. I have managed to get my TBR to 33, up 7 books. If you are interested you can find my TBR on my Libib account.

The fourth goal I have set was to post on my blog at least twice a month. I have crushed this one by posting at least once a week so far this year. In some cases twice a week. Yay!

The final goal I have set myself was getting my goodreads shelves under control. A month or so ago I took time and sat down and created new shelves based upon genre. I have slowly been going through and moving my current reads and previous reads onto these shelves. So I can happily say I am on the right track.

Over all I have to say that 2017 is getting off to a great start. Now to get my TBR and book buying under control… yeah I am shaking my head as well, but I can dream!


 

How are your 2017 goals coming along?

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Reviews

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

4

Holding Up the Universe is the second book I have read by Jennifer Niven. I read All The Bright places with my Penpal Raven so we could discuss it and let me tell you, that book wrecked me. I was left crying and wanted more. Due to the fact I was so affected by this book I set out to read another book by Jennifer Niven.

*Any information mentioned about the characters or plot are mentioned in the blurb.

28686840Holding Up the Universe is a duel point of view book that follows Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby is a strong character, she is fierce, strong, and yet vulnerable which makes her come across as real. Prior to the start of the book she has been through a lot, even has been given the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”.  Jack comes across as someone who just fits in with no problem. He has friends, a girlfriend, and seems to not have a problem in the world. But, that is not the true. He hide a secret from everyone, even his family. He cannot recognize anyone, even when he sees himself.

As you read the book you explore what Jack and Libby are currently going through, but you also learn a lot about their past. You explore the whys of Libby getting the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”. You also  explore Jack’s relationship with prosopagnosia. I have to say the one thing I enjoyed most about this book is that is explores relationships. Not just romantic relationships, which there are, but also friendship, parent-child, and also being a good citizen. When you start the book not all of these are present, but as the characters grow you begin to see the humility and the good that comes from just being nice to one another and respectful.

Additionally, this book sheds light on a topic that is not really discussed. Prosopagnosia, which I have heard about, but I did not understand what it actually was. I am grateful that Jennifer Niven took this and decided to share it with others through her writing. Throughout the book there are definitions, statics, and resources. All of which I found helpful.

Throughout this book there are good times and bad. You see the characters grow and become stronger. My favorite part of this book is not a specific moment, but how it made me feel. Jennifer Niven has the ability to make you so invested in her characters that you cannot help but get excited when good things happen to them, get anxious when something wrong might happen, and mad when something bad happens. Let me tell you I felt all of those emotions. I recommend this book, I enjoyed it from page one all the way until the end. If you enjoy reading about high school romances, a little of adventure, self discovery, explore relationships, and the idea of knowing this book is for you. Once again Jennifer Niven has me wanting to buy another book of hers and read it right away.

5 stars!

P.S. There may or may not be a little shout out to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on page 211.

Here is a link to the Goodreads page.


Book Information

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: October 2016

List Price:$17.99

ISBN:978-0-385-75592-4

Pages: 391


If you have read this book, what did you think? If not do you plan on reading it?

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TBR

March TBR: 2017

1

This month I decided to give a TBR a try. While this list only has 4 books on it, one of them is well over 1,000 pages, by definition a tome. So I decided to keep this list short and sweet, listing the books I am most excited to read. If you are interested I have linked all books to their goodread pages. There you will find a summary and some reviews. Happy reading!

It by Stephen King (Horror)

Patient H.M. : A Story of Memory, Madness and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich (Non-fiction)

Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven (Young Adult)

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon (Young Adult)


What are you reading this month?

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Goals

Top 5 Books I Want to Read in 2017

top52017The Rising Song by Samantha Shannon

I have been looking forward to The Song Rising ever since I finished The Bone Season and The Mime Order. I read both of these during the #TBSReadalong on twitter with some amazing people which made the books even more fun. I received an ARC copy so I want to get it read before its March release date. Eh, I’m not kidding you guys, I just can’t wait any longer!

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I started this book months ago and loved it, but I rented it from the library and it was in high demand so I ran out of time to read it. I finally have a copy of my own and couldn’t be more excited. It can get pretty dark from the 200 or so pages I have already read, but it continues to be a beautiful story. Fingers crossed it continues.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I picked this up at my local bookstore, it just caught my eye. It just seemed like a great mix of fiction and history to me. From the blurbs I read quickly in the bookstore it has promise.

 

The Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King

Last year I finally read some horror… I loved it. So when I saw this collection of short stories by Stephen King instantly picked it up and went to the register. I personally find his writing to be eerie, full of personality, and oddly refreshing. I say odd, because who would feel refreshed about horror other than me? Anyway none of his books have let me down yet so I don’t see how this one could.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This book was another bookstore find. It just caught my eye. Once again this seemed like a great mixture of fiction and history. The little description got me before I even finished it. It seems like it will be an emotional read, which I can appreciate. If an author can take something historical and make someone emotionally invested, I say you my friend are a great author. I hope this book is up to my personal hype.

 


What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

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