Friday, August 18, 2017

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Title: Odd Thomas (Odd Thomas #1)
Author: Dean Koontz
Released in 2003
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4.5/5


"The dead don't talk. I don't know why." But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn.

Maybe he has a gift, maybe it's a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out. Sometimes they want justice, and Odd's otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo's sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it's different.

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world's worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd's deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

"His heavy face indeed had the quality of
a fungus, but a meaty variety. Very portobello."
Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock 'n' Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares, and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere (Summary from Goodreads).


This is one of the few fictional books my brother has ever read, and had been pushing me to read it for the last few years. Me, a stubborn panda, had my own plans. Even after seeing the film adaptation a few years ago, which I loved btw, I only just decided to read Odd Thomas.  Side note: I tagged this as "adult," but I think it could be considered "new adult" since Odd is only 20 years old. It makes me feel weird being a year older than this character!  

Odd (Anton Yelchin) being a cute little shit. 
This is such a comfy book to read. It is written like a memoir by Odd, and I adore his "voice." The great characterization is one of the reasons why I loved this book so much. Odd is a likable, quirky, and funny character. Despite his upbringing with two parents that don't seem to care about his well-being, he is amazingly positive. I couldn't help but be charmed by his humorous dialogue and thoughts even in the most suspenseful and serious situations. Despite his macabre humor, you can tell how deeply affected he is emotionally by the traumatizing events throughout the novel. I think his humor is a coping mechanism for dealing with his sixth sense. In fact, he admits he would be emotionally unstable if he didn't lead his life as simply as possible in the small town of Pico Mundo as an amazing short-order cook with three of the same pairs of shoes.

"It takes a while to realize what a lonely world it is, and when you do...then the future looks kinda scary."

Although Odd is the only one with such an "odd" name, every side character in Pico Mundo is quirky in one way or another, and Koontz builds up every characters' background so you feel the same familial connections with them that Odd does.  Even if Odd didn't have his sixth sense, I would still consider him a hero by the way he genuinely cares about the other denizens of Pico Mundo and his overall humbleness.

Gorgeous Stormy Llewellyn portrayed by Addison Timlin.
His relationship with Stormy is beautiful *sobs*. Their dialogue is wonderfully cute, and the chemistry is real. I actually felt so sad after finishing this book for reasons that would be spoilery, but also because I just loved the writing and felt like I was truly experiencing Odd's strange life. I'm looking forward to continuing the series so I can experience more Odd.

RIP Anton Yelchin. When I heard of his death, I was deeply saddened. His performance as Odd in the film adaptation was memorable, and I couldn't imagine anyone else portraying his character. I just bought the DVD so I could watch it again with fresh eyes after reading the novel.

Amazing performance by Anton, and also
my feelings after reading the novel and seeing the film.

Monday, July 24, 2017

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon

Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Released May 30, 2017
Bought on Kindle
Rating: 3.5/5


Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways (Summary from Goodreads).


This book is hard to rate because I REALLY loved the first 75%, but the last quarter was just okay.  As you guys know, I love a good ship.  The building of Dimple and Rishi's relationship was so freakin' cute that I had feels for days! As you can see by the summary, Dimple and Rishi's parents arranged for the two to eventually get married.  While Rishi is 100% on board with this, Dimple has other plans to pursue her dream of becoming a successful web developer and creating a life-changing app (yaaas you go girl).  I won't spoil anything, but the scene where the two meet for the first time was so cute, and I knew from then on that this would be an adorable ship.

The writer did such a great job of building the romance between Dimple and Rishi.  Despite Dimple's goals and initial unwillingness to date Rishi, she could not resist how nice and supportive he is.  I need to seriously stop reading books like this because it gives me unrealistic expectations of men. A lot of reviewers thought the romance built too quickly.  I didn't think this while reading the book, but in hindsight, it did seem rather fast.

I tend to rate higher when I experience a lot of feels, even if I know the writing isn't the best. However, I ended up at 3.5 because some things felt a little off.  For instance, a random talent show in the middle of this app contest supposedly makes winner more likely to win the app contest.  I just think the app contest should be solely based on the app, not the talent show.  The talent show was probably placed in the story just to incorporate an Indian dance between Dimple and Rishi.

After Dimple and Rishi got together, the story slowed down for me.  After all, the best part of a ship is the chase! I did like that we got to see what their relationship was like as a couple, because a lot of YA books end when they get together.  I liked seeing how they made decisions together and worked through problems.  The rest of the story just dragged for me and was a bit predictable.  Something causes the two to fight and split apart, both decide to pursue their dreams, both realize they still love each other, and they live happily ever after.

Overall, it was nice to read another cute and fluffy contemporary with diverse characters.  I liked googling the Indian references and traditions to get a better idea of Dimple and Rishi's backgrounds. I feel like there is more I wanted to say, but this book took me a month to read for some reason and I honestly can't remember a lot of the details.  I think fans of Anna and the French Kiss would really enjoy this!
Monday, June 19, 2017

Saga, Vol.1 by Brian K. Vaughan

Title: Saga, Vol. 1
Author: Brian K. Vaughan
Illustrator: Fiona Staples
Released October 23, 2012
Bought Paperback from Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5


When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.

From bestselling writer Brian K. Vaughan, Saga is the sweeping tale of one young family fighting to find their place in the worlds. Fantasy and science fiction are wed like never before in this sexy, subversive drama for adults (Summary from Goodreads).


So this book reminded me a lot of Game of Thrones. They aren't similar in any way whatsoever in terms of story-line, it's just that both had me hooked because of how, ahem, "adult" some of the scenes were, as well as the violence and overall dark tone set by the illustrations. The art, by the way, is so colorful and captures all my attention.

There are so many weird things in this book.  We have people with wings, people with horns, people with TVs as heads, hipster ghosts, a lynx that senses when people are lying, etc.  I mean, it's weird as hell, but somehow it works.

The characters are witty and multi-faceted.  There are hints in the book that they have history and I feel there is a boatload of info that I can't wait to learn about them.  Already, a potential adversary for our main characters shows he can kill without a thought, yet tries to save a 6-year old from being a sex slave.

The bad thing about graphic novels is that they are too short! I can't tell if I will really like this series until I read more. I definitely want to read the next one, though!! I'm keeping this review short and spoiler-free, but future reviews for this series will probably have spoilers.
Friday, June 2, 2017

Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money

Title: Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money
Author: Dave Ramsey
Released March 3, 2015
Bought from Amazon
Rating: 5/5


Dave Ramsey’s Complete Guide to Money covers the A to Z of Dave’s money teaching, including how to budget, save, dump debt, and invest. If you’re looking for practical information to answer all your “How?” “What?” and “Why?” questions about money, this book is for you. You’ll also learn all about insurance, mortgage options, marketing, bargain hunting and the most important element of all—giving. Now let’s be honest: This is the handbook of Financial Peace University (Summary from Goodreads).


This is actually the first self-help book that I've read in its entirety, because the writing was easy to understand and this book made me feel excited, actually excited, to follow Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps.  Personal finance is a topic that interests me, but I often feel overwhelmed by all the information out there.  I'm always wondering if I'm really reading the right information, or if I'm getting sucked into a scam.

I don't even remember how I suddenly decided to look at Dave Ramsey's books, but I asked my dad if he's ever heard of him.  My dad meets the definition of Nerd in Dave Ramsey's book when it comes to finances, so when my dad told me he liked him, I thought this could be a good guy to learn something from.  You see, when I ask my dad about financial stuff, he just says "I'll get you set up right when you graduate college." But all I can think of is, God forbid, what if he dies tomorrow? I need to know this stuff now or I might not have anyone as financially literate and trustworthy as my own dad to teach me (okay, there are others I trust in my family, but my dad is my go-to person for advice).  I decided to read this book now so I can get some of my dad's input to verify what I was reading.

So, if you are in a similar situation as me, in college or starting a career with little knowledge of how to handle your personal finances, I think this book is an excellent starting point.  You don't have to follow his steps if you don't trust them, but it's great for learning the basic options out there for insurance, retirement, and mortgages.  Personally, I think the thousands of great reviews from the people he has helped is a testament to his advice.  His advice may seem simplistic, but I think over-complicating things is what gets us into messes in the first place.

One of the things that I really liked about Dave is that he stresses giving.  Although he presents it from a Christian perspective (as a Catholic this resonated with me), I think that giving is something that can make most people feel good about themselves and give some purpose to life. Not only that, but he challenges the notion that being financially well-off makes you selfish.  After all, you can't give to others if you have nothing to give!

After finishing this book, I felt empowered.  I'm a big-time worrier, so having a basic plan (the Baby Steps) to follow after college has eased my mind greatly.  If you don't want to purchase the book, but are curious about the Baby Steps, you can find information on his website. There are also several nice infographics floating around on Pinterest.
Thursday, June 1, 2017

June TBR

I finally managed to read the following books last month! Yay!

On the TBR for June:

1. Dave Ramsey's Complete Guide to Money by Dave Ramsey- Not YA. Like at all, but I'm in the mood to read about personal finance.  Don't worry, the YA books are coming!  Besides, a little practical advice never hurt anyone.

2. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon - This has been on my radar all year. It's supposed to be light and fluffy, and Maria likes light and fluffy.

3. Saga: Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan - I really need to catch up on my Goodreads challenge with some shorter books, so I thought I would read some weird-looking graphic novels that have high ratings!  Depending on how much I like this one, I may read other volumes in this series this month.

4. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz - My brother was bugging me to read this book years ago, and I kinda randomly decided: it's time. I'm in the mood for something different, as you can tell by my selection of books for this month 😉

5. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (Audiobook) - When I was looking for good audiobooks to spend my credits on, I recognized the name of this book from the tv show.  It has fantastic ratings and I've been in the mood for a mystery lately!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story by Alexander Freed

~Audiobook Review~
Title: Rogue One (Star Wars Disney Canon Novel)
Author: Alexander Freed
Released December 20, 2016
Listened via Audible subscription
Rating: 4/5


As the shadows of the Empire loom ever larger across the galaxy, so do deeply troubling rumors. The Rebellion has learned of a sinister Imperial plot to bring entire worlds to their knees. Deep in Empire-dominated space, a machine of unimaginable destructive power is nearing completion. A weapon too terrifying to contemplate . . . and a threat that may be too great to overcome.

If the worlds at the Empire's mercy stand any chance, it lies with an unlikely band of allies: Jyn Erso, a resourceful young woman seeking vengeance; Cassian Andor, a war-weary rebel commander; Bodhi Rook, a defector from the Empire's military; Chirrut Imwe, a blind holy man and his crack-shot companion, Baze Malbus; and K-2SO, a deadly Imperial droid turned against its former masters. In their hands rests the new hope that could turn the tide toward a crucial Rebellion victory--if only they can capture the plans to the Empire's new weapon.

But even as they race toward their dangerous goal, the specter of their ultimate enemy--a monstrous world unto itself--darkens the skies. Waiting to herald the Empire's brutal reign with a burst of annihilation worthy of its dreaded name: Death Star (Summary from Goodreads).


I saw the Rogue One film last December and knew that there was something about it that stood out to me more than the other Star Wars films.  As soon as I saw that there was a novelization of the film, I knew I wanted to read it to get an in-depth view of the characters' thoughts.

The novelization is very similar to the film, but has a few extra scenes.  Listening to the audiobook was almost like seeing the movie again, especially during the anxiety-inducing final scenes.  The relationship between Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor really stood out to me on screen, and their relationship is the main reason why I decided to either listen to or read the novelization.  I think the book is successful in developing these two characters up.  We get a better picture of their thought processes, motivations, and character development.  Even Krennic's POV was interesting to read, as twisted as his mind is.

When it comes to the side characters like Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus, the novelization did not add much to their relationship and history.  I think I felt a better emotional connection to these characters on-screen.  Overall, this was a cool novel to listen to.

Audiobook Performance Review
Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
Rating: 5/5

Once again, my history of audiobooks is rather short, but I thought the performance by Jonathan Davis was fantastic.  His voice acting for most of the male characters sounded very similar to the film actors.  This was nice because it made it easier for me to visual the film actors while listening to the book.  I highly recommend the audiobook, as it even has cool sound effects!
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Title: I'll Give You the Sun
Author: Jandy Nelson
Released September 16, 2014
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4.5/5


Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them.

But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else—an even more unpredictable new force in her life.

The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world (Summary from Goodreads).


For some reason I went into this book thinking it would be a light and fluffy read.  Boy, was I wrong. Although it was an easy read, it packed an emotional punch.

The book alternates POVs between twins Noah and Jude. All of Noah's chapters are accounts of the twins when they were 13 years old, and Jude's when they are 16. Both teens are artistic, Noah moreso than Jude which is evident by the super flowery prose in his POVs. I am not a fan of flowery prose, so the plethora of metaphors in Noah's POVs threw me off.  However, as the story developed it became addicting and I didn't mind it as much. The hard thing about the metaphors was decrypting them so I could split apart what was actually happening in the scene versus what the character was experiencing emotionally.

I didn't truly start to fully enjoy this book until the second time I got to Jude's POV.  I think I really enjoyed the way Jude was carrying these random objects because of her superstitions and her relationship with her grandma's ghost. And also Oscar. Who doesn't love a character with a British accent?

A Jude-and-Oscar scene that I loved:
Jude: "A boy boycott."
"Really?" he says with a grin. "I'll take that as a challenge.
As a sibling of a bro that is both my best friend and gets on my nerves on the daily, the dynamic between the twins was relatable except when bro and I fight, it's like it never happened an hour later. I think the story captured the relationship between siblings amazingly with Noah and Jude's banter and emotional moments.

I'm not sure how to describe the ending except that it was extremely satisfying. The whole book I'm feeling tense because Noah and Jude have this rift between them and I'm wondering how they will make amends. The story was weaved in such a way where the ending was, plain and simple, beautiful.
Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Title: The Sun Is Also a Star
Author: Nicola Yoon
Released November 1, 2016
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3/5


Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? (Summary from Goodreads)


I really wanted to love this, but unfortunately I felt "meh" about it.  Oddly, it was too romantic for me.  I say "oddly" because usually I enjoy a good ship and experiencing all the feels.  I've come to realize that I might just enjoy slow-burning ships.  The dialogue seemed too unrealistic.

I did like some of the themes that were dealt with in the story (i.e.controlling parents, figuring out what you want to do with your life, identity, suicide, illegal immigration).  I could especially understand the dynamic between Daniel and his father.  Although my own dad is not nearly as controlling as Daniel's father, he has always reminded my brother and I how good we have it compared to him growing up.  

I also thought it was interesting that we got information about minor characters in some chapters and could see how the main characters affected their stories.  It was a "cute" story and easy read, but it didn't impress me as much as I thought it would.
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


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 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


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).


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!).
Friday, February 24, 2017

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

~Audiobook Review~
Title: Caraval (Caraval #1)
Author: Stephanie Garber
Released January 31, 2017
Listened via Audible subscription
Rating: 2/5


Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever (Summary from Goodreads).


*Review may contain  minor spoilers*

I've seen the cover of this book EVERYWHERE - on Instagram, on peoples' TBR lists, booktube, Reddit...EVERYWHERE.

And it was a huge disappointment.

I didn't feel that way through the first half.  In fact, being on the Julian x Scarlett ship train blinded me to the flaws in the writing.  Three major things bothered me:

1. Metaphors were nonsensical

I have this bad habit of reading negative reviews on Goodreads.  Once a negative review points out something, I start to notice the problem, too.  I probably wouldn't have been bothered by the weird descriptions unless I was reading the physical book (I was listening to the audiobook), but once someone pointed them out, I couldn't stop noticing them.

Can someone tell me what violet feels like? What does midnight and wind taste like? I just can't with these descriptions.

2. The story was choppy

The summary seems pretty dang enticing - A story about magic and getting entrancing in a game! Well, we get magic and a game, and that's about it.  The story lacked structure (much like my reviews).  Most of Caraval is Scarlett reminding herself that she HAS TO SAVE HER SISTER and JULIAN'S MUSCLES!!  Every time Scarlett discovered a clue, it felt too perfect.  Too forced.

3. It was basically a fanfiction

The bridges in Caraval changed direction when people walked on them...sound familiar? It reminded me of the staircases in Harry Potter.  Okay, no big deal right?  Then we discover Scarlett is supposed to marry (*SPOILER*) a dude named Nicholas Darcy. DARCY - a rich dude that kinda acts like an asshole.  And of course I thought of Pride and Prejudice. We meet a side character named Iko and I immediately think of The Lunar Chronicles. At this point, I was starting to get annoyed.  Iko isn't exactly a common name.

But perhaps the most obvious sign that this is basically a fanfiction is the entire premise of Caraval being a mysterious show that doesn't stay in the same place for long and is a competition.  Um....even the cover resembles The Night Circus!! I mean COME ON.  How do books like this get published?

I don't typically give books such a low rating; usually I don't finish books I dislike this much.  When I don't finish, I feel like I shouldn't review unless I read over half of it.  I happened to actually finish this because it was an audiobook and I needed something to listen to while knitting a blanket.  Also, I didn't realize how much certain things bothered me until toward the end.

Audiobook Performance Review
Narrated by: Rebecca Soler
Rating: 4/5

I don't have a lot of experience with audiobooks yet, but I felt that the performance was very good considering how bad the writing is.  I think it was actually the feeling exuded by Soler that kept me from noticing a lot of the writing flaws throughout most of the novel.  I liked that Julian's accent sounded Mexican (I could be way off base so sorry if my ignorance offends anyone!), because the names of the southern islands were Mexican.  The only voice I didn't care for much was Legend's - it sounded like an evil middle aged woman.  I feel like his voice should have had more of a magician's flair to it, confident.  I also like that she didn't try to make her voice sound manly for the male characters.  Overall, the voice acting made the book bearable.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Morning Star by Pierce Brown

Title: Morning Star (Red Rising #3)
Author: Pierce Brown
Released February 9, 2016
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3.5/5


Darrow would have lived in peace, but his enemies brought him war. The Gold overlords demanded his obedience, hanged his wife, and enslaved his people. But Darrow is determined to fight back. Risking everything to transform himself and breach Gold society, Darrow has battled to survive the cutthroat rivalries that breed Society’s mightiest warriors, climbed the ranks, and waited patiently to unleash the revolution that will tear the hierarchy apart from within.

Finally, the time has come.

But devotion to honor and hunger for vengeance run deep on both sides. Darrow and his comrades-in-arms face powerful enemies without scruple or mercy. Among them are some Darrow once considered friends. To win, Darrow will need to inspire those shackled in darkness to break their chains, unmake the world their cruel masters have built, and claim a destiny too long denied—and too glorious to surrender.


**This review contains spoilers**

Wow, so I think I'm just gonna start from the beginning.  I was going into this book with medium to high expectations after experiencing the greatness that is Golden Son.  The writing in the beginning was fantastic.  It captured Darrow's hurt and craziness from being imprisoned and tortured for over a year.  After he was rescued and reunited with Sevro, I was in heaven.  Sevro's lines are so funny, and I think he is everyone's favorite character not just because of his shoot-first-ask-questions-later style, but because he seems to be the best developed character.

While the beginning parts were good...the middle of the book was quite stagnant for me.  In Red Rising, the side characters had some personality, but still felt like cardboard.  There was a lot of action and little twists and turns.  Golden Son improved on this issue of characterization immensely, and had PLENTY of exciting action parts.  But Morning Star turned all the side characters into cardboard, especially Mustang.  I didn't feel any emotion from her in this entire book, even in that cliche epilogue.  Where was her concern when Darrow was getting his freakin' hand cut off? Why wasn't there a better reunion scene between her and Darrow after his captivity?  It felt like the Howlers all had the same personality, as well.

The story wasn't as action-packed, and the parts that did have action felt unexciting to me. I feel like the descriptions are not clear enough for me to imagine the setting, yet also too drawn out to be exciting (if that makes sense).

I have to say that the ending was both good and disappointing.  When Cassius shot Sevro in the chest six times and I thought he was dead:

That's one of my favorite gifs lmaoo.  I was legit about to give this book 2 stars.  But then we find out Cassius and Sevro were acting and almost everything was right again...except, I can't help but wonder what the point of that was?? Why didn't Cassius start kicking ass before Darrow got his hand cut off?? I was just confused.  Even with the plot twist, the end fighting scene just seemed...dry.  BUT, I was still happy with the ending, because my Sevro was still alive (basically the reason I gave this 3.5 stars instead of 3).

It seems like most of this review is a rant, but I did honestly like the series as a whole.  As I was reading Morning Star, I couldn't help but think of how far Darrow has come from his meager beginnings as a Red Helldiver in the mines of Mars.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

Title: Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1)
Author: Marissa Meyer
Illustrator: Douglas Holgate
Released January 31, 2017
Bought Hardcover from Amazon
Rating: 4.5/5


In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity. With appearances by Cinder and the rest of the Rampion crew, this is a must-have for fans of the bestselling series (Summary from Goodreads).


So I'm kinda biased because I love everything this woman writes and I knew I would love this going in.  This is Marissa Meyer's first graphic novel, and my first time reading a graphic novel.  Although I obviously have no experience reading graphic novels, I thought the illustrations were great, and I loved getting into the world of The Lunar Chronicles in a different format.

Wires and Nerve begins after the events of Winter, the final book of The Lunar Chronicles.  I would definitely recommend reading TLC before this graphic novel, because there is no way you could get the same experience without knowing all the awesomeness that came before the events of this graphic novel.

**The rest of this review contains spoilers**

So I absolutely loved all the scenes with Iko.  She still has her sassiness, and she's also a badass as she dishes out sweet justice to Levana's former mutated soldier army.  It's interesting how Iko struggles with her "feelings."  As we know, Iko is an android, but her feelings feel very, very real.  Although the Rampion crew treats Iko like any other human being, she feels lonely knowing she is most likely the only android with a personality chip that's so independent.  Other humans besides the Rampion crew treat her like any other android, and that definitely gets on her nerves (see what I did there? okay I'll stop).

This theme of Iko struggling with having human emotions is also reflected in her relationship with one of Cinder's guards, Kinney.  Kinney seems like a jerk - it appears he only sees Iko as the android she is, and he often makes mean comments to her about it.  However, I just think he is afraid of getting feelings for a robot (understandable), and is taking it out on her.  THAT LAST CHAPTER THOOO. Never thought I would ship an android and a human!

I felt that Iko and Cinder were most like their book selves, but for some reason I didn't feel it with the other Rampion crew members.  Thorne didn't look like how I would imagine, and I felt he wasn't as witty as he normally is.  However, I know this is Meyer's first graphic novel, and I can't imagine it is easy conveying personality into short bits of dialogue. These were the only reasons I decided to rate 4.5 stars instead of 5.  Well, also because I really want MORE.  I'm so happy to have this on my bookshelf, and I can't wait for the next volume! I wonder how many volumes there will be of my sweet, sweet babies?
Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February TBR

January was filled with good books and a great start to reaching this year's reading challenge of 40 books!

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson
Morning Star (Red Rising #3) by Pierce Brown - Review to come

Books lined up for February:

1. Wires & Nerve by Marissa Meyer - I've been looking forward to this graphic novel for a looong time!! I can't wait to get back into the world of The Lunar Chronicles through a different format. Words cannot express how excited I am! That cover looks AMAZING. I finally have my hands on it, and I will probably put Morning Star on the back burner until I finish reading this.

2. Illuminae by Amie Kaufman (The Illuminae Files #1) - I've heard many good things about this series, mainly because of its unique format.  The story is told through documents, emails, letters, etc. rather than the standard novel. I'm definitely intrigued!

3. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicle #1) - I've heard great things about this from two BookTubers, and has amazing reviews on Goodreads.  I've been meaning to get to this for a while, but the size of the book is a little intimidating.  Since I've read bigger books than this, I decided to get over my hesitation and go for it this month!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Lazy Sunday Essentials

Hello readers!  I was contacted by a representative from Leesa, a mattress company, to share with you all my idea of a perfect lazy day indoors (I received nothing in exchange for this). Since I am the epitome of lazy on Sundays, I thought this would be a fun little activity to post today!

Seeing as this is a reading blog, my idea of a perfect lazy day would most definitely include a good book!  During the semester, I definitely should not be as lazy as I am on Sundays.  Part of me always feel a little guilty for "wasting" a day away, but I try to justify it by reminding myself that I deserve it, what with all the hard work I put into college (sure Maria, sure).  Christmas break? It's a whole other story! I am fortunate to be able to work a seasonal job in the summer and live off it for the rest of the year, so basically every day of Christmas break is my idea of a perfect lazy Sunday.  I am a hermit during break, and the perfect lazy day means staying in comfy pj's all day.

Everyone has that favorite reading spot(s), and mine are on the living room couch and my bed, where I can enjoy my comfy mattress.  I like to use one of those cool reading pillows to support my back when I'm reading a physical book.  If I'm reading on my kindle, it's the perfect opportunity to cuddle on my side.  Kindles are great when it's really cold in the house and you want to keep one hand under the blanket.  Speaking of blankets, I love using a blanket my grandma knit for me for my high school graduation a few years ago - it's super soft, and handmade gifts are always extra special.

The perfect lazy Sunday also mean snacks! My go-to snack is usually Tostitos.  If you live in the Northeast and have a Wegmans near you, then you know how addicting their soft chocolate chip cookies are.  If those are in the house when I'm home having a lazy day, you better believe they aren't lasting the whole day.

But nothing makes a perfect reading Sunday like having a warm fur baby be lazy with you.  I think the reading vibes create a super relaxing atmosphere for our pets, and they love to be in the midst of it - my Maximillian certainly enjoys it!

What is your perfect lazy day like? Feel free to comment!
Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Steelheart (Reckoners #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released September 24, 2013
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3.5/5


Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.

Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father. For years, like the Reckoners, David's been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He's seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge (Summary from Goodreads).


I was originally going to give 3 stars, but the action-packed ending made me move it up to 3.5 stars.

I was instantly hooked by the prologue of Steelheart.  Unfortunately, the majority of what came after that did not appeal to me as much.  My main issue was that I felt annoyed by the characters and the dialogue.  I usually have a hard time connecting emotionally to Sanderson's characters, and these characters were no different.  The characters just seem too stereotypical.  We have the geeky main character that knows everything about the Epics, the female side character for him to oogle at, the person in the group that knows all technology, etc.  When the characters are too cookie-cutter, they start to seem like cardboard.

David often used metaphors that were supposed to be bad, and although I think the intended effect was to be funny, I thought it was cringe-worthy.  I was basically reading the second half of the book to get it over with as quickly as I could.

This was supposed to be a young adult book, but it felt more like a middle-grade book (except for the prologue).  It's hard to explain, but that's the general tone I got from the language, and the fact that David seemed to only see a certain female character as a piece of ass.  I just think that an 18 year-old would be a little more mature, but what do I know?

HOWEVER, the story itself was very original (all the characters with superpowers were villains) and the ending was a typical epic Sanderson ending.  A couple big and exciting twists at the end gave me hope for the sequel, but I probably won't be continuing this series.  I think Sanderson's strength lies in adult fiction, and the Mistborn series remains my favorite of his work.
Sunday, January 15, 2017

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Title: Heartless
Author: Marissa Meyer
Released November 8, 2016
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5


Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans (Summary from Goodreads).


Warning: This is going to be a long review because Meyer is my favorite author and the below gif describes perfectly how I feel right now.


My Queen Marissa Meyer has delivered again on a fantastic fairytale retelling - this time it's about how the Queen of Hearts came to be a villain.

And it will destroy your heart.  No pun intended.

First of all, I have been in quite an emotional state since seeing La La Land last Tuesday. While reading Heartless, my emotions were augmented by the fact that both La La Land and Heartless involves characters that have a dream, and want nothing more than to accomplish it.  Every time Catherine wished for her dreams, for not having to marry the king, for being able to openly court Jest, to open her own bakery, was absolutely agonizing.  I could feel ALL the angst, and I realized that the chorus in one of the songs in La La Land fits perfectly.

Here's to the ones who dream
Foolish as they may seem
Here's to the hearts that ache
Here's to the mess we make

"Here's to the hearts that ache" that was basically Catherine and me the whole time.  One part of the song says "Here's to the fools who dream," and that reminds me soo much of Jest (Jester = fool).  Also this bit:

A bit of madness is key
To give us new colors to see
Who knows where it will lead us
And that's why they need us

This is a little unlike me; I don't tend to get quite so emotional over a book, but I think the combining forces between these sources of sadness is getting to me.

Let us think of  more positive things.  One of the things I really, really like about Marissa Meyer's writing is that she makes me feel everything with small descriptions of body language, and of course the dialogue.  Some people think her writing doesn't include enough world building, but her descriptions are just right for me to imagine the setting without getting bored.  For me, I much prefer good dialogue and descriptions of body language.  A simple line such as "his brow creased," or "his gold eyes glinting" (sounds weird out of context) has so much power and shows so much emotion in a scene.  I sound stupid, but a lot of YA doesn't describe nuanced changes in a character's face or body language - those are usually the books I find hard to connect emotionally.

And OH MY GOODNESS, I am such a hopeless romantic when it comes to books like Heartless.  I love a good ship, and this was not a disappointment.  It didn't feel cheesy at all, because the dialogue showed so much chemistry between the two.

Lastly, I have so much respect for how Meyer creates a perfect balance in her fairytale retellings.  I recently read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and even though I didn't care for it that much (a little too 'mad' for my tastes), Meyer's tone aligned fantastically.  There were subtle lines that I recognized from either the original tale or the movies.  In the Author's Note section, you can tell that Meyer really respects and loves the original.  Inspired by the well-known riddle "Why is a raven like a writing-desk?" Meyer included a character, Raven (who is actually a raven throughout most of the novel).  The raven's dialogue is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven," and Meyer liked to think that Raven is the same bird that tormented the heartbroken narrator in Poe's work. This made me love it even more!! You'll know what I mean if you read the book!

I actually did not expect to enjoy this as much as I did.  I'm not really a fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I started reading this book with mixed emotions.  But mid-way through, I knew I needed this book on my shelf.  So, I ordered the OwlCrate edition from their website (LOOK AT IT.  IT'S BEAUTIFUL)!  If you're lucky, they might still be selling it!  Anyway, I need to go sob in a corner
Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Title: Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1)
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Released in 2009
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 4/5


Sisters Vivenna and Siri are princesses of Idris. Susebron is the God King one must marry. Lightsong is the reluctant minor god of bravery. Vasher is an immortal still trying to undo mistakes of centuries before. Magic from individual breath from everyday objects can perform all manner of miracles and mischief (Summary from Goodreads).


When one reads a Sanderson novel, time must be taken to savor all the details.  Sanderson is known for creating awesome magic systems that actually seem legit.  He has a gift for creating thorough, intricate magic systems that have laws and limitations, just like the laws of science we know and study.

It often takes me a while to read his novels, not only because of the length, but also because they really make you think as you try to understand the magic system and the characters.  His novels tend to be rather slow, then the last 10% or so ramps up the speed, and all epicness occurs.  That is the part when your mind is BLOWN.  Also, just know that no character is safe.  In both this book and the Mistborn series, your heart is crushed as major characters die.  It was not too bad in this one, though.

The rest of this review may contain spoilers, since the summary provided by Goodreads doesn't tell you much about the book. They won't be huge spoilers, though.

I think the best way to review this is to go character by character:

Siri - The youngest daughter of the Idrian King, Siri begins the story enjoying her unimportance as the last in line for the throne.  When her father decides to send her to marry the God King instead of her eldest sister, Vivenna, she is forced to give up her luxury of being unimportant.  I thought Siri was an okay character.  She is only seventeen and rather immature compared to her older siblings.  Although Siri is a good person, her naivete can be somewhat annoying (it is supposed to), but as she learns the secrets of the God King and gets accustomed to her life the God King's court, she becomes more confident and likable as a character.

Vivenna - I also did not care much for Vivenna for about half of the novel.  As the eldest Princess, she was destined to marry the God King, and had prepared her entire life for it.  She follows her austere Idrian values the best she can, and holds prejudices against the Hallandren religion.  But when her sister is sent to marry the God King, Vivenna decides to rescue her.  As she experiences Hallandren life and is but in difficult situations, she begins to question her ability to follow her religion.  Vivenna becomes one of the most exciting character views during the second half of the novel!  And it was interesting seeing her character development.

Susebron - I won't talk about Susebron because I don't want to majorly spoil anything for ya'll.

Lightsong - He is my FAVE!! Lightsong's witty dialogue and self-deprecating humor was so funny!! I looked forward to his POVs the most!! Lightsong is a Returned, revered as one of the gods.  Except he does not believe he really is a god, and tries to stay out of the other gods/goddesses' politics. Seriously, he will become your fave.

Vasher - He is the character that has the greatest mystery surrounding him from chapter one.  With his magical sword that has a mind of its own, Nightblood, Vasher is a badass looking to make amends for his distant past.

Throughout most of the novel, you are wondering how all these characters connect together, and when it finally happens it is glorious!  I find Sanderson is great at completely unexpected plot twists.  It is only after the plot twist that you think back to the small pieces of foreshadowing.  The reason I did not give 5 stars was because I find it hard to connect emotionally with his characters.  This has been my experience with his other books, as well. If you enjoy high fantasy, I highly recommend trying out one of Sanderson's books.  They will leave you mentally tired after such thorough storytelling.

Oh, one more thing.  This is most definitely a spoiler!!

I was dying when we found out Lightsong was a freaking accountant before he was Returned.  No wonder he had such amazing self-deprecating humor!! You have no idea how excited I was XD
Monday, January 2, 2017

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
Author: Pierce Brown
Released January 6, 2015
Borrowed from Library
Rating: 5/5


Golden Son continues the stunning saga of Darrow, a rebel forged by tragedy, battling to lead his oppressed people to freedom from the overlords of a brutal elitist future built on lies. Now fully embedded among the Gold ruling class, Darrow continues his work to bring down Society from within.

A life-or-death tale of vengeance with an unforgettable hero at its heart, Golden Son guarantees Pierce Brown’s continuing status as one of fiction’s most exciting new voices (Summary from Goodreads).






Okay okay, I am calm. I swear.  Who am I kidding - this review is going to be a lot of capslock so get ready. First off, YAY for improved writing!! Descriptions were much more detailed and I got a MUCH better picture of the characters' personalities from the dialogue.  I FREAKING LOVE SEVRO HE IS A PRECIOUS LITTLE FIERCE GOBLIN.  The banter between the original characters from book one was amazing and usually made me freak out because I SHIP THEIR FRIENDSHIPS SO MUCH.

There was crazy action, political strategy, brutal deaths, and all kinds of painful betrayal.  A wild ride from start to finish.  The book starts an entire year after the events of Red Rising, and Darrow is now under the tutelage of Nero au Augustus, the same man that sentenced Darrow's wife to death in book one. The feud between House Augustus and House Bellona has more tension than ever.  It makes me think of Romeo and Juliet when Mercutio yells "A plague on both your houses!"

I honestly can't think straight because I'm so emotionally compromised by that ending!! If you read book one and are hesitant to start this, READ IT! You will not be disappointed!  This was all kinds of epic.  I can totally imagine a movie being made out of this series.
Sunday, January 1, 2017

January TBR

A new year means a fresh start! Time to get back on track with my TBR posts.  I probably will not be doing Spotlight Fridays anymore, unless I suddenly get motivated to do them again.  Creating them was too time consuming, and I wasn't having fun making them.

Books read in December:

Seraphina (Seraphina #1) by Rachel Hartman
Red Rising (Red Rising #1) by Pierce Brown
A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes #2) by Sabaa Tahir
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Golden Son (Red Rising #2) by Pierce Brown - Review to come

And now for my January TBR:

1. Warbreaker (Warbreaker #1) by Brandon Sanderson - I don't know why I'm reading the first book when I know the second won't be coming out for God knows how long.  I've been interested in reading this massive book for awhile, and I am hoping it's as epic as Sanderson's Mistborn series.

2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer - Of course I need to read this standalone novel by my queen Marissa Meyer.

3. Steelheart (Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson - I must be in a Sanderson mood because I feel a pull toward this series.  I believe the Reckoners series is actually meant for the young adult audience, so I am interested in seeing how his writing might change to fit the audience.

I thought I would add a little section to my usual TBR post for anticipated releases for the month, if applicable:

Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 by Marissa Meyer
Release date: January 31, 2017

My queen will be releasing a graphic novel focusing on Iko from my all time favorite YA series, The Lunar Chronicles! You bet I've already pre-ordered this baby.  I absolutely cannot wait for this!!

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