Archives for August 2015

August 24, 2015

TLC Read Along Review: Cinder by Marissa Meyers

I initially picked up Cinder because of a read along that is being hosted by Brittney at The Book Addicts Guide for the upcoming release of the final book in the series Winter in November. If you haven’t heard of it each month the participants of the read along are going to read one book from the series each month: Cinder in August, Scarlet in September, Cress in October, and it all leads up to Winter in November/December! This read along is for people rereading or people like me who are reading the series for the first time. So, if you are interested in joining here is the information!

Now on to the review!

I am going to preface this review by saying that by no means am I a fast reader. Actually, one of my biggest issues with starting this blog was the fact that I sometimes read so slow that it might take me half a week to read a book, maybe even a week. I could say that this was because of my kids but it’s not completely their faults. I like to think about what I’m reading, go over it in my head, and form my opinions about what I’m reading or even what the author was trying to say with this book. Why am I telling you this long and seemingly insignificant backstory of mine? Well, I wanted you readers to understand when I say that I finished Cinder in one day that it is a fiat for me!
The biggest thing that I loved about Cinder was even though there were some things that I bugged me about the story not once did I think of DNF. My biggest issue with this book is that it could have been an awesome story without the ever present “Cinderella retelling” hanging over its head. Why was this an issue to me you ask? It made the plot predictable. All of the things that happened in the book I guessed well before they were revealed and usually with me spells the end for most book because I am NOT a good guesser on either books or movies.

The redeeming quality to me with this was I was invested in the characters and some of the things in the story specifically how the cyborgs are treated, is realistic to the society that they live in. Cyborgs are genetically enhanced humans and have the ability to detect lies and other REALLY cool things. One thing about humans though is that we are afraid of anything that has the potential to be better than us. When humans get scared they start to react and in this world it is cyborgs that get that fear. Another thing that I love about this story is the potential. Honestly, there could have been more world building other than the New Beijing that they lived in but I understand why that wasn’t done. There are two books out and I’m sure that my issues with the world building will be wrapped up in the sequels.

ON TO SCARLET!

August 17, 2015

ARC August Review #3: Court of Fives by Kate Elliot

Elliot spins a world similar to the ancient Greece and Roman societies (will win brownie points with me every time because I LOVE these societies) where hierarchy, class, and entitlement reign supreme. Jess, the main protagonist is the daughter of a low-born Patron, elevated to the rank of Captain, and a Commoner mother. In this society this mixing of Patron and Commoner is frowned upon and despite other Patron men’s assistance Jess’s parents remain faithful to each other for twenty years. All Jess wants to do is to run in the Fives, a competition that has great rewards and fame but cannot because of the strict Patron rules confining women. Defying these rules, Jess competes in the Fives but in the process it costs everything that she holds dear. Standing in the ruin of her life, Jess stops at nothing to make sure her family lives and is well no matter the cost.

What made me love Court of Fives was the world-building and how true to those previously mentioned societies Elliot got. In Ancient Greece, especially in Athens, women were treated with extreme sexism and allowed to do anything but keep the household and have children. It is on point as well that male children were the preferred sex of children and if someone had too many daughters it was considered a curse. The world-building was well written and just the right amount of description and character development.

When it comes to the family bound, especially the sisters Maraya, Jess, Bethany, and Amaya I couldn’t help but see some striking similarities between Pride and Prejudice. Some might ask what the heck I am talking about but it was especially apparent in the youngest sister Amaya. She reminded me of Kitty with her obsession with her physical appearance and how things affect her and making the richest marital match. So much so that I cringed every time she talked just as I did with Kitty. I will not go into more detail about the family aspect because it is a HUGE part of the book and I aim to not spoil the story for people reading my reviews. Just know, that I think that Elliot did a wonderful job at creating a story that tugs at your heart strings at how far Jess is willing to go for her family.

Would I recommend it:

Yes, yes, a million times yes! It does have its annoyance but I feel like the story is so engrossing that it makes up for them. I’m definitely going to be waiting for the sequel and reading it as soon as I can!

 

Waiting on the sequel!

August 13, 2015

ARC August Review #2: Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Harman

Final Thoughts:

Ahh, Legacy of Kings. This book was one of my most anticipated reads of this fall and was thrilled when I finally got my hands on this book. This story drew me initially by being a sort of “retelling” of Alexander the Great and how his life was before he became the super awesome king he was. Add a bit of mythology and the little girl in me that wanted to be a historian when she grew up was THRILLED. What I read was both a slow and predictable plot that was bogged down with details that made me skim through some of the book wanting some action!

I will say this, Harman did her research and created an very authentic world and I couldn’t help but love the rich detail that she put into the characters surroundings and the lives they lived.  Loved it!  With that being said, I felt while reading this that at some points the descriptions caused the pace to slow to a creep. For example, in one part of the book it is describing horses and what the horses looked like and how they where used. While I applaud and love the detail the sheer amount of detail combined with the amount of points of view became at points overwhelming to me.

Along with the overly descriptive sections, another thing that I found myself shaking my head at was the predictability of the plot. Not because the things going on COULDN’T have been suspenseful or intriguing but because all of the little intrigues were spelled out for you between the seven point of view characters. This is extremely aggravating to read because I want a little mystery. Who is behind this sabotage? Why are they doing it? This is why I love Game of Thrones so much even though it has multiple POVs and can get a little crazy sometimes.  George knows not to give away things until heads are already rolling and blood has already been spilled.

With that being said, a lot of things in this story happened out of purse convenience for the characters. What do I mean by that? In one section of the book Kat travels to Persia, learns magic lessons, and quickly returns just to save the day.  This does not seem completely realistic as travel in these times took a significant amount of time. This isn’t the first, last, or only time in the book that this happens but some of the ways this happens spoils some of the plot of the story and I would like to remain as spoil free as possible in this review.

Ultimately when I finished Legacy of the Kings I had a feeling that the author had a way of thinking how young adult books should be written and what information could be handled by the reader and what couldn’t. I loved the descriptive prose that the author used to describe the surroundings and the time periods but on the other hand I would have liked to see more of that descriptive flair used to describe the feelings and emotions of the characters.  I felt that a lot of the characters feelings were being told to me and not shown and this is honestly one of my biggest pet peeves about young adult books (and some adult books too). It leads to a disconnection to the characters and when an author is using multiple perspective it is almost the most important thing in the book to do because it is what SEPARATES the characters from each other in my opinion.

When it comes down to it, despite these faults, I can’t give up on this series. The descriptive prose that the author uses is too much and I am still curious at how the Alexander in this story eventually becomes Alexander the Great. So, I will continue this series but with less hunger then I did this one.

Meh….

August 11, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Most Read Authors

 

Top Ten Tuesdays: 10 Most Read Authors

 

It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday brought to you by Broke and Bookish has posed an interesting question this week and it is what are your top ten most read authors! Now, I’ve been reading a very long time and there are a lot of authors out there that I’ve read but there are a few that make this list that are my all-time favorite authors and have a special place in my heart. So, here we go…

 

 

Book-Covers8

1. Tamora Peirce: Oh Tortall how I love you so. The funny thing about this book is that I almost never picked up Alanna: The First Adventure because my school library had the first edition that was published in the 80’s and it looked completely unappealing. Boy was I glad that I decided to not judge this book by its cover!

Harry Potte

2. J.K. Rowling: This is a no brainer in my opinion. I’ve read all of the 7 Harry Potter books multiple times and probably will end up reading them (at least the first few to my kids).

Game of Thrones

3. George R.R. Martin: What can I say, I love Westeros and probably will be forever hoping that this series comes to a conclusion in my lifetime.

 

Narnia

4. C.L. Lewis: I have read all of the Chronicles of Narnia books and…well there are a lot of them if you include the Magicians Nephew.

 

 

kate+daniels+collage+framed

5. Ilona Andrews: If you haven’t read this author and you love urban fantasy it is a must read; especially the Kate Daniel series. It is set in a dystopian world where magic and technology fight for dominance. Might I add kick ass heroine and a sexy lion?

Mercy

6. Patricia Briggs: Like I said above for a long time I loved urban fantasy and devoured a lot of stories dealing with this subject. One of my favorite is the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. It is an awesome series and I recommend it!

Kelley Armstrong

 

7. Kelley Armstrong: This is honestly one of those cases where you should NOT judge a book by its crappy series by SyFi. Yes, Bitten is a show, and for those of you who love the show it IS a book and an awesome series that deals with witches, werewolves, and all sorts of baddy things and all of this is way more awesome in the books.

 

Anita Blake Novels

8. Laurell K. Hamilton: Wow, I read a lot of these books and I loved the Anita Blake series in the beginning. It makes me sad that the later books became so…so….ugh. I wasted a lot of time on this series that I can never get back.

sanderson

9. Brandon Sanderson: Last but CERTAINLY not least is Brandon Sanderson. I have read pretty much every book that he has written solo and I am not going to lie I am going to be a forever fan. The only reason he is last on the list is because I honestly forgot to add him but I think that each of the Reminisce Chronicles counts as two or three books each right?

 

10. I’m leaving blank because past these authors I can’t tell you who exactly I’ve read more of.

August 10, 2015

ARC August Review: Hunter by Mercedes Lackey

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey is the first book that I was approved by Netgalley and I was extremely ecstatic because it was one of my most anticipated books of the fall. Well guys, it seems that I have to say that I failed with this book. I gave this one a fair shake because I felt obligated to read it because of the above but soon and made it to about 50% of the book I DNF.

One of the most irritating things to me about this book is the writing. Normally with a stories writing if the story is good enough I can trick myself into becoming engrossed in the story. With Hunter I couldn’t do that. From the first pages I was both confused about the story and the writing jarred me and made me bite my tongue in frustration (not hard or anything)! The protagonist addresses the reader for heaven’s sake! If that didn’t bother me enough the fact that the plot should be dark and dramatic, the writing of Hunter made it seem unbearably and irritatingly innocent.

I have been reading for about 18 years give or take and one of the things that I cannot stand is being told about things instead of shown. If anything in stories that turned me off to them faster it is never getting the opportunity to get to know the characters fully because their every emotion was just read to me like a script. Hunter did just this and honestly is another reason why I did not finish this book.

The saddest part is that Hunter had so much potential to be an awesome and heart pounding book if so much of the book didn’t consist of Joy and her thoughts and inner jabbering.
If I was to say one thing that I liked about this story it would be the actual world and the idea and concept of the Hunters. When it comes down to it through, I think that what killed this book for me was the 1st person narration. This book is one of those that needs to be told in 3rd to be a truly awesome book and unfortunately because it wasn’t the protagonist’s thoughts got in the way of fully connecting to this book.

not my cup of coffee…