Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

Title: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Released May 2, 2017
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 3/5

Summary

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places (Summary from Goodreads).

Review

***Review contains spoilers***

Time to FINALLY review ACOWAR, which has been all over the YA book community since its release. Going in, I forgot almost everything that happened in ACOMAF. All I knew is I wanted more Rhys! Maas did a great job bringing me back up to speed on previous events.

I'm debating where to start when reviewing such a huge book with so many characters...

I'll start with what I liked. At first, I found the beginning chapters exciting because Feyre was going all spy mode and taking down Tamlin's court. But upon reflection, I realized it was kind of stupid on Feyre's part, knowing that she would need his army later when fighting Hybern. Still, it was badass until she was caught. I also particularly enjoyed one of the war scenes toward the end when we had great descriptions of Cassian raining destruction upon Hybern's army. We are told how glorious the crew is at fighting, but it was nice to finally have a scene showing it.

Now, three stars means I liked it but there were numerous problems that prevented me from really liking or loving it. My first problem is the size of this book. There was no reason for these books to be this long, especially when they are filled with scenes that provide nothing for moving the story along. There really shouldn't have been so many sex scenes between Rhys and Feyre. I would't mind if there was one, but this book is supposed to be high fantasy and is long enough without these useless scenes getting in the way of story progression. Another part that bothered me was the scene where Rhys and Feyre were hosting a meeting to recruit the High Lords to join their forces in the war with Hybern. This scene felt ridiculously long because it was as if they were teenagers bickering rather than High Fae that have been alive for hundreds of years.

I like to read other reviews on Goodreads because they get me thinking about some elements I wouldn't have thought of on my own. One three star review mentioned that ACOWAF would have benefited from multiple POVs, and I totally agree. You could tell Maas had Feyre on the sidelines in some scenes just so that she could watch and describe what the other characters were doing. For instance, there was a scene where Feyre got into Lucien's head which was basically done just so the reader could see how much Lucien was obsessed with Elain. Which leads me to another point: wtf happened to Lucien? Maas built up his character in the beginning chapters only to throw him completely out of the picture! Again, this would have been an excellent opportunity for multiple POVs! We could have seen what Lucien was up to or the sweet exchanges between Cassian and Nesta from one of their POVs.

There were other things that bothered me as well, such as the fact that Feyre didn't even think about finding the Suriel until the worst possible time. The writing was definitely better than the first book, but a step down from the second. Not sure if I will continue the series...maybe if the next books are shorter!
Friday, May 5, 2017

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Title: Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1)
Author: Neal Shusterman
Released November 22, 2016
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5

Summary

Thou shalt kill.

A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own (Summary from Goodreads).

Review

Hey readers, sorry it's been awhile since I've posted anything! I didn't even bother posting a TBR for the month because I was still reading two books from last month's TBR.  The last month has been crazy busy and stressful because of school, but I only have one more exam tomorrow and then it'll be time for extreme reading.  Last May, I read 6 books in 2.5 weeks!

On to the review.  After much deliberation, I ended up rating this 3 stars because I liked the concept and the main characters, but didn't love the writing.  What I really liked about Scythe was that the idea was original.  I haven't seen any YA books remotely similar to this, except for the competition factor between the two main characters.  Our main characters actually seemed to have common sense in their actions and thought processes, unlike a lot of YA main characters.  I also liked that the beginning of each chapter had an excerpt from the Scythe's journals, which gave me a better idea of what they thought about the morality of being a Scythe and the politics in the Scythedom.

However, I couldn't help but be bored by the flat writing.  There were many times when my eyes kinda glazed over and I had to go back to reread.  Since the book was set hundreds of years into the future, there was an opportunity to do a lot of world-building and descriptions of the technology, but it lacked both.  Not only that, but the side characters were rather dull, and I would have liked to see more descriptions of how characters said things or what their facial expressions looked like.  This is another book that I think my younger middle-school self would have enjoyed more.

While I would have liked a more surprising ending, it was good in that the author could have left this a standalone book or added sequels. It looks like there will be a sequel, but I'm not sure if I'll actually read it...
Saturday, April 1, 2017

April TBR

So it appears I epically failed at my TBR last  month.  The reason I had no reviews posted is that I reread two books: Pride and Prejudice and Clockwork Angel.  I tried reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss which was on my TBR for March, but it wasn't for me.  School is kind of stressing me out, and high fantasy was the last thing I needed for my muddled brain.  Thus, I turned to rereading my old fave to prevent a reading slump.

Unfortunately, I'm at the point in the semester where shit is starting to hit the fan, and I'm finding motivation to do - well, anything - hard to come by.  I am hoping to read the following this month, but keep your expectations low:

1.  The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh - I was actually going to pick up The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon, but it was checked out at the time I visited the library.  Since this was also on my list of eventual reads, I decided to pick it up.  I'm not sure about the writing so far, but I'm hoping I will come to like it.









2.  Scythe by Neal Shusterman - This was on my TBR last month.  Obviously I was failing at everything, but I have the book in my possession and hope to finally read it soon!












3.  Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed (Audiobook) - This was also on my TBR last month.  I am currently in the process of listening to it and absolutely LOVING every minute of it.  The audiobook has sound effects, which makes it feel like I'm watching the movie all over again.









Thanks for being patient with me, guys!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017

March TBR

Phew! Made it to the halfway point of the semester.  I managed to read two books last month:


Notice I didn't end up reading Illuminae last month; it was a DNF for me at around page 130.  While the unique format was cool, I found the characters to be too annoying to continue any further.

I'm hoping my reading won't slacken too much this month, what with the Nintendo Switch coming out tomorrow! I'm SO EXCITED for the new Zelda game!! If I manage to get my shit together, I'll be reading the following this month:

1. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - I'm currently reading this chunker of a book.  Hoping to finish it within the week!











2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (Audiobook) - I've read the book, watched the Keira Knightley movie probably over 10 times, and seen at least 2 other screen adaptations of my fave classic! This time, I'm listening to the audiobook narrated by Rosamund Pike (she played Jane in the 2005 movie!!).  I love listening to the elegance of her voice.  The ability to count rereads on Goodreads means I can finally reread my faves without feeling anxious about meeting my reading challenge!


3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon - I feel it is time to read a contemporary novel for a change! I've been reading so many high fantasy and science fiction novels lately that I really need something more simplistic.

4. Scythe by Neal Shusterman - I have to admit that I'm basically reading this for the cover and great reviews on Goodreads.

5. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed (Audiobook) - I spent a few hours today trying to decide what audiobook I was going to spend my audible credit on! I went to Reddit r/YAlit for advice, but nothing appealed to me.  I then took to browsing audible and came across this! I thought about reading the novelization after seeing the film and shipping Jyn x Cassian like cray, but for some reason decided against it.  The audiobook, however, seems too good to pass up (it even has sound effects!).
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