Category: Book Reviews

Reviews: Ice Like Fire and Frost Like Night

Posted February 20, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Reviews: Ice Like Fire and Frost Like Night

I enjoyed Snow Like Ashes but I didn’t see the series becoming a new favorite or anything. I’m pretty hard to please with fantasy books, generally speaking, and listening to an audiobook and often zoning out on what was happening definitely didn’t help my case. Regardless, my book club continued on the series after we all liked the first book in our December meeting. This book follows Meira – with a handful of chapters from Mather’s perspective – as she travels to various kingdoms to find some magical keys and shit like that. I was really hopeful that the world would expand in this book and she would travel to other places, so that was a huge win for me. It was interesting to see what the other kingdoms were like, what they valued (fun, learning, etc.), and how their leaders were. I enjoyed the few chapters from Mather’s POV because it provided some insight as to what was happening back in Winter while Meira was on her journey with Theron. I absolutely grew to love Mather more and I really hope she doesn’t end up with Theron. 🙄 My ship selection was on the fence after book one, so I’m glad I have a clear guy that I prefer now. Overall, this book was slightly more interesting than the first just because we met other rulers and saw other kingdoms. In terms of actual plot? I’m not sure. Both were slightly boring at times and to be completely honest I […]

Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Dreamland Burning

Posted February 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 3 Comments
Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Dreamland Burning

Hello friends! I’m here today for my stop on the DREAMLAND BURNING blog tour. (If you’re visiting my blog for Top Ten Tuesday, you can see the belated post tomorrow!) This book has some really important and interesting connections to previously overlooked historical events, so I hope you like what I put together today. You can find more information about the book and a mini review from me at the bottom of the post. It’s no secret that I’m obsessed with book covers. I love the colors, the typography, the different designs that cover artists can create. I even have a guest post feature where people share their favorite book covers and bookmarks! I decided to start up this random feature where I draw color inspiration from my favorite book covers. I may create an outfit, pick out some nail polish, or design a quote graphic. Today’s cover is… Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham I’ve never done such a muted cover before for this feature, but I love how these colors use the sepia tones to imply history. I don’t read a lot of historical fiction, but the connections between past and present for this story really intrigued me. I pulled colors from the backgrounds, text, and hair to create the old-timey palette. I grabbed the above quote from a section of the synopsis before even reading the book. This quote could not be more relevant to feature here, both from a historical perspective and from the book itself. This book is […]

ARC Review: Rise of Fire

Posted February 9, 2017 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Rise of Fire

Initial Excitement The reviews for REIGN OF SHADOWS were incredibly mixed. I was very happy to fall on the “loved it” side of the spectrum. I was so addicted to reading it and was eager to read RISE OF FIRE. The cliffhanger from the first book was Cruel with a capital C. I loved the twists and turns and hoped for much of the same in book two. Needless to say, I hopped at the chance to read this one early… aka ASAP. Warning about this review: The previous book ended with a cliffhanger, wondering if Fowler was going to survive what happened to him. The synopsis of this book gives this away completely; you know before even starting whether he survives. My review is going to operate under the assumption you already know THIS because you read the synopsis. Quick Summary This book picks up right where the previous story left off. Thank god, after that cliffhanger! I actually did forget quite a bit that happened in book one, but the beginning of RISE OF FIRE did a great job of setting the stage and reminding you what just happened. The story follows Luna and Fowler as they travel away from the dwellers with a group of men that find them. Fowler is in bad shape and she decides getting him medical attention should be the #1 priority, so she decides to go with these men. The two end up in Lagonia with a king and his two children, caught […]

Review Roundup | Take the Key and Lock Her Up, One Paris Summer, and Hope Was Here

Posted February 2, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 7 Comments
Review Roundup | Take the Key and Lock Her Up, One Paris Summer, and Hope Was Here

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-3 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’m a big Ally Carter fan… You can tell from all the books listed above that I’ve read by her. While the Gallagher Girls series is one of my favorites, Embassy Row didn’t really disappoint until this final book. Many people were annoyed with Grace before but I kind of liked her closed-off ferocity. She had been through SO much; I really understood why she was so hardened to the world and how she didn’t trust easily. That was a non-issue for me in the first two books, but really took a turn in TAKE THE KEY AND LOCK HER UP. I will admit that SO much of this had to do with the audiobook narrator. She over-acted and over-exaggerated her reactions to everything, so Grace was even more whiny, irritating, and hardheaded. The story itself was lacking in some areas, but my issues with Grace really distracted me from anything else going on. She jumped headfirst into really stupid things… and then didn’t understand why certain people would be mad at her for them.  Seriously, such a moron! Her selfishness in this book astounded me. I don’t know why it surprised me so much, but it did. I thought the first half of the book dragged on a little bit because they were essentially on the […]

Pottermore Presents Short Stories from Hogwarts

Posted January 26, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Pottermore Presents Short Stories from Hogwarts

Like many people, I was starting to feel the Harry Potter burnout. It’s hard when the world is EVERYWHERE, with new movies and books and plays still coming out. Half of me feels so excited to experience that world again, but the other half of me wonders when enough will be enough. Regardless of those mixed feelings, I embarked on the three novellas JK Rowling originally published on Pottermore. I decided to binge them during Bout of Books to kick my reading year off and get ahead on my Goodreads challenge. Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship, and Dangerous Hobbies This little collection of stories and bits of information was really fun! McGonagall and Lupin are two of my very favorite Harry Potter characters, so I absolutely welcomed more information about them! I felt like neither were explored as deeply as I would have liked during the books. It was cool to read about their pasts with their parents, childhoods, heartbreaks, and careers. I loved it so much. The extra information about being a werewolf or an animagus was really cool. The other two stories – a little bit on Trelawney and Kettleburn – didn’t seem as necessary. Trelawney was definitely an enigma during the books, but these stories didn’t do anything to clear that up really. Rowling didn’t give her as much of a history as I would have liked. Same goes for Kettleburn, but at least I knew who Trelawney was before reading this novella! These parts […]

Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

Posted January 23, 2017 / Book Reviews / 10 Comments
Last Book of 2016 & First Book of 2017 | Reviews: The Night Circus and The Secret of a Heart Note

I thought it would be appropriate to put my reviews for my last read of 2016 and the first read of 2017 together. I ended up cutting it very close with my Goodreads goal because I decided to be lazy with my final book. I ended up finishing it 20 minutes before I had to leave for New Jersey for my NYE plans… whoops. That’s what happens when you tell yourself to meet your Goodreads goal exactly – no more, no less. I started my first book of 2017 on New Years’ Day while Chris and I were hanging out at home before bed. I was hoping to spend a good portion of the day reading but I ended up watching lots of football (duh). In any case, here are the books that ended one year and started another! I had pretty high expectations for this book. It ends up on a LOT of people’s all-time-favorites lists. I bought this on Scribd forever ago with one of my credits, solely because it was narrated by Jim Dale. The story itself intrigued me because I find circus settings to be fascinating, but I really only went through with the purchase because of Jim Dale. He is perfection. His narration did end up being a major highlight for me. It was jarring at times because he used similar voices to the Harry Potter characters (like one character in this book sounded a lot like Dumbledore) and the book had some similar words I […]

Review: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

Posted January 19, 2017 / Book Reviews / 8 Comments
Review: Sometimes We Tell The Truth

Initial Excitement I’ve been yelling about this book for a while. The Canterbury Tales is one of my all-time favorite classics. I love the book’s setup, how each character told a story that was some kind of lesson about what was currently happening at the time. I was hoping that this book would be a close retelling and use many of the same elements in each individual story. Andi let me borrow her copy because she’s the best, and I didn’t waste much time before starting! Quick Summary As I mentioned, this is a YA retelling and modernization of The Canterbury Tales. The teacher on the bus decides to make the kids tell fictional stories and whoever tells the best one gets an A in his class. Each student was pretty quick-thinking, which impressed me. I would have stood there like a moron with no story at all. I was curious to see how closely the book would relate. Would the setup be the same, but not the individual stories? Or would the author modernize each individual story from the Tales and spread them around to the kids? Well, from what I could tell, it was the latter… and I loved that! The first few stories were obvious, direct correlations to the originals. Even the in-between segues, prologues, and interruptions were the same. After finishing the book and reading the Afterword, the author explained all of the tales and how each kid correlated to them. I wish I flipped to the back to see the […]

ARC Review: Caraval

Posted January 12, 2017 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Review: Caraval

This book was insanely cool. Completely lived up to the hype for me. I went in expecting an atmospheric, magical story, and that’s exactly what I got! I absolutely loved it. There were a few things that bugged me a little that prevent it from getting a full five stars, but I would still count this among my favorites. The plot, in a few words: Scarlett, our main character, had been writing to the creator of Caraval, an insane traveling circus (to put it mildly), for years, in order to try to get him to come perform. Her grandma had gone years ago and told her and her sister, Donatella, all about it. The girls finally receive invitations, plus one for her fiance, and decide to sneak away from her father before her wedding. A sailor named Julian comes along with them for the final ticket because Scarlett hasn’t actually met her fiance. Her sister essentially gets kidnapped when they arrive and the mission of this year’s game is to find her. Loved It Magical Setting and Atmosphere The setting was easily the best part of this story. I loved learning about Caraval and trying to understand how it all worked. They warn you that it often feels real – and it partly is – but it’s mostly a game. It was amazing to follow Scarlett along as she tried to figure out what in the fresh hell was going on up in there. The atmosphere and magic of the story was […]

ARC Review: History Is All You Left Me

Posted January 9, 2017 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
ARC Review: History Is All You Left Me

I’m not totally sure where to begin with this review, but let me just say – Adam Silvera is now on my list. (That sounds bad, but I obviously mean must-read-all-this-author’s-books list.) HISTORY IS ALL YOU LEFT ME is the first book I’ve read by him, but I’ll definitely be going back and reading his debut sometime soon. Do yourself a favor and do the same, if you haven’t read him yet. I’m already predicting I’m going to love that one too. The synopsis honestly wasn’t super appealing to me, compared to the books I usually read, but I decided to try it out for some reason. I’m obviously glad I did. Griffin has OCD (something I was kind of nervous to read about) and recovering from the sudden death of his ex-boyfriend/best friend (something I also don’t do as well with). I like reading books where characters are moving on from grief, but those books generally take place months later when the person has had to some time to cope. This book completely exceeded my expectations. Literally within the first paragraph, I loved his writing style. I don’t know why but there’s just something about it that clicked with me instantly. The rest of the book was very much the same – such an engaging style that’s easy and enjoyable to read. Griffin was an interesting character. His OCD was actually quite interesting to read about and wasn’t overwhelming *there* to make it feel like a book exclusively about […]

Reviews: Monstrous Beauty and Snow Like Ashes

Posted January 5, 2017 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Reviews: Monstrous Beauty and Snow Like Ashes

This book was a very spur-of-the-moment choice! I needed a book to fit the “sea creatures” square on my fall bingo card, and Carrie recommended this one to me. I found it on Hoopla and started right away before Thanksgiving. I found myself drawn to it, turning the audio back on in the office while I worked (since I was alone that week). I rarely read blind recs like this because I’m more likely to add them to my TBR and maybe read them eventually, but I’m SO glad I listened to Carrie and went for it. The story was very interesting, as it alternated back and forth across time. I’ve read maybe one book about mermaids and am definitely thinking I should get going on a few more now. The audiobook narrator was SUPERB with all of her accents and the ability to sound like both time periods she was narrating. She was seriously a difference-maker for this book. I predicted a few elements throughout, but was overall very impressed with how the author wove together the story and both timelines. There were mermaids and ghosts and all sorts of things I didn’t see coming! I don’t want to give too much away about the plot itself, but I thought there was a good mix of action throughout. I was always eager to see what was happening in the other timeline, which kept me enthralled most of the time. It’s really hard for an audiobook to consistently keep my […]