Writing Update…

Trying to get back into the swing of things after taking a writing break for a while, due to some health issues – both mental and physical. Hopefully I’ll make some more progress this week on “The Scars That Made Us”. One of the more personally connected stories I’ve written in a while.

Enjoy the teaser!

Advertisements

Reading Challenge Update!

I just finished reading “Tiger’s Curse” last night, and I realized that means I only have one book left to read to complete my Goodreads reading challenge of 15 books. I know 15 isn’t very impressive, but for me, that’s progress compared to last year’s list which was probably half that.

But what about you? Did you set a goal for yourself this year? And if so, how close are you to reaching it? I’d love to know the answer, so leave me a comment down below! We can cheer each other on : )

Image result for cheering gif

REVIEW: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

5

Synopsis:

Harry Potter’s third year at Hogwarts is full of new dangers. A convicted murderer, Sirius Black, has broken out of Azkaban prison, and it seems he’s after Harry. Now Hogwarts is being patrolled by the dementors, the Azkaban guards who are hunting Sirius. But Harry can’t imagine that Sirius or, for that matter, the evil Lord Voldemort could be more frightening than the dementors themselves, who have the terrible power to fill anyone they come across with aching loneliness and despair. Meanwhile, life continues as usual at Hogwarts. A top-of-the-line broom takes Harry’s success at Quidditch, the sport of the Wizarding world, to new heights. A cute fourth-year student catches his eye. And he becomes close with the new Defense of the Dark Arts teacher, who was a childhood friend of his father. Yet despite the relative safety of life at Hogwarts and the best efforts of the dementors, the threat of Sirius Black grows ever closer. But if Harry has learned anything from his education in wizardry, it is that things are often not what they seem. Tragic revelations, heartwarming surprises, and high-stakes magical adventures await the boy wizard in this funny and poignant third installment of the beloved series.

MINI REVIEW

As stated before, I’m only going to do small reviews for the Potter series since there are so many books, and only so many ways to explain why I liked them. And with that out of the way, let’s begin!

Every time I open to the front page of these books, I’m astounded at just how eager I am to read them, though I already saw the movies and know what happens. But with “The Prisoner of Azkaban”, there were twists and turns and little details of the story I hadn’t been aware of before, due to their lack of screen time in the movies. And because of this, I would say that book number three so far has been my favorite.

The only thing I couldn’t stand? This man.

Image result for snape gifs

I thought Snape was a dick in the other books (forgive my language), but he brought it to a whole other level in this installment. So much so that I can’t see much redemption for him. Bullying is one of the worst things you can do to a person, but being an ADULT and terrorizing CHILDREN is unacceptable. No way in today’s world would this kind of behavior from a teacher be tolerated. It was terrible, and my heart went out to Neville, Harry, Hermione, and Ron when they were yelled at or given unfair punishment from this jerk. And because of that, I’m knocking a star off the rating. Sorry, but it upset me that much.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling = 4 stars

 

 

REVIEW: Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer

26860475

Synopsis:

For the first time in a stand-alone paperback comes Stephenie Meyer’s Life and Death, a compelling reimagining of the iconic love story that will surprise and enthrall readers.
There are two sides to every story….
You know Bella and Edward, now get to know Beau and Edythe.

When Beaufort Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edythe Cullen, his life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With her porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edythe is both irresistible and enigmatic.

What Beau doesn’t realize is the closer he gets to her, the more he is putting himself and those around him at risk. And, it might be too late to turn back….

With a foreword and afterword by Stephenie Meyer, this compelling reimagining of the iconic love story is a must-read for Twilight fans everywhere.

REVIEW

First off, I want to start by saying the NOSTALGIA WAS SO INTENSE YOU GUYS. And if you’re wondering why, it’s because Twilight was my first ever paranormal read when I was a kid (and also contraband since my mom didn’t approve of bloodsuckers lol). Like every other fourteen-year-old, Twilight was my fav read for quite awhile until I started to explore other series in the paranormal genre. But still, it holds a great place in my reading heart today, which is why reading this reimagined story was like revisiting a part of my childhood.

So…I had not idea what I was getting into when I bought this, not really. I knew the sex of the characters were switched, but I didn’t know just how much of the story Ms. Meyer would change to fit the new theme. And to a degree, all was relatively the same. Except one part, one VERY BIG PART, which I’ll get to in a minute.

I thought it was interesting, getting the same story but from a male perspective. Honestly, when I heard about this anniversary edition, I was really hoping we would get Twilight told from Edward’s POV. I think that would have been super interesting to read. But alas, it was taken in a different direction, and according to Meyer, it was because she wanted to shut down the haters that were saying that since Bella was a girl, her overwhelming feelings for Edward were because of just that, her sex. This new retelling was supposed to disprove that theory. And I agree, it would have been the same whether Bella was male or female. But one thing bothered me about this, and that was the hero worship Beau had for Edythe. I remember that Bella was incredibly in love with Edward, maybe a little too much. But I NEVER remember this kind of, he-can-do-no-wrong, crap. It was kind of annoying, if I’m being honest, for him to flaunt over her looks on every page. Especially when she would get mad at him for no reason, and he would just freaking apologize. A relationship should be about equality, mutual respect. This was idol worship, and it left me feeling kind of awkward, which I’m sad to say.

Now, on to what I really want to talk about.

SPOILER ALERT Y’ALL

GAHHHHHHHH THAT ENDING! Dude, I was thrown for a serious loop, thinking it was going to be the same as the original, because everything else had been up to this point, so why would that change? But oh, HELL, no. Instead we got to see what would have happened had Edward let the venom spread through Bella in the dance studio, turning her into a vampire, and essentially eliminating the need for the next three books in the series, and honestly, I was shook. I loved that I got to see how it could have ended had Twilight been a standalone, because really, that one moment of hesitation could have taken their lives in a completely different direction. No Jacob love triangle, no Renesme, no Voluri nonsense, NOTHING. It was bizarre, satisfying, but also sad to experience this alternative ending. In this version, Charlie and Renee think Beau died in a car accident, the werewolves still hate the vampires, and that’s how it ends. Just…done. Over. He’s gone, the Cullens move to another town a year later, and blah blah blah.

I’m not surprised to say that I liked the original better. Your first love is your first love, book or person, and I don’t think any version of retelling could have changed that for me. But I did enjoy this book and the nostalgia it brought back, the memories attached to it.

Life and Death by Stephenie Meyer = 3.5 stars

REVIEW: Daughter of Smoke and Bone By Laini Taylor

8490112

REVIEW

Boy, it’s been a long time since I’ve read an angel themed romance. But it doesn’t feel right to put that label on “Daughter of Smoke and Bone”. It was more a demon vs. angel thing, and yet both sides were neither all good or all bad. It was a weird toss up, one that had me constantly guessing.

I’m going to be honest, this thing had me confused until about half-way through. I felt like the author didn’t leave us enough bread crumbs to figure out Karou’s story on our own. It all kind of hit at once, near the end, and I was left slightly dumbfounded and a tad overwhelmed. Not to say I wasn’t drawn in by the beautiful world building and the immaculate descriptions of Prague and every other place mentioned in this book, but I’ll admit: I was kind of hoping for more. I don’t know. I feel like I’m going to get some backlash from this one because everyone kept telling me how much they loved it. And that was one of the main reasons I bought it in the first place. I guess you could say it was an alright read, but not one of my favorites, sadly. I was really hoping to fall in love with this one. I keep looking for my next ride or die series, kind of like how I felt with The Infernal Devices trilogy by Cassandra Clare. I want the characters to suck me, make me think of them well after I’ve put the book down. Who knows, maybe I’m asking too much. But I’ll keep looking for it anyway 😉

In a nut shell, I wasn’t hugely fond of the characters but I was really impressed with the writing style of this author. Everything was described so well – places, smells, feeling. It was beautifully constructed to create this fantastical world of chimaera and angels. In that I give it a lot of props. But unfortunately, I don’t see myself picking up the second book. Overall, though, this was an interesting and different read for me.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor = 3 stars

 

Currently Reading: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

8490112

As the title suggests, I’m currently reading the first book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. I’m on chapter 26 and I won’t lie, I’m having a hard time getting into it. And I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been busy with everything else in my life, or if it’s because I have this terrible curse of not liking what the rest of the world seems to adore, but I’m hoping to focus on it this week and get it finished. Is anyone else like that, though? Have a running problem with not liking books that are super popular? If so, tell me which book/series had you casted out by the rest of the bookish community. Maybe we can form a support group lol 😉

 

REVIEW: SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO

23437156

Synopsis:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

REVIEW

Holy crap, I haven’t read something this good since…jeez, I’m going to say the Sweet Evil series. And I read that a LONG time ago. There was something special about this book. I don’t know if it was the characters and their multiple POVs, the world building, or just the irony of all these misplaced teenagers coming together to pull off the impossible. It was a really fun and entertaining read for me, and I’m kicking myself right now for not having picked it up sooner!

You have a kid from privilege, an ex-soldier, a prison inmate, a girl who makes no sound, a sharpshooter with a gambling problem, and the mastermind criminal. Alone they’re not much to fear. But together, they’re the only crew that has a shot at pulling off the most important ( and INSANE ) heist anyone will ever face. With a little humor, a smidgen of romance, and a lot of danger, “Six of Crows” was a seriously heart pounding read at times, and I absolutely loved it. Each character had their own back story, a personal reason for going through with such a risky task. And I was amazed at the details the author gave them, the descriptions she built, the world building… It’s astounding to me that this was created in someone’s mind and not a retelling of an actual historical event. Though I will admit that at times it was a little too detailed, and I couldn’t properly pronounce maybe half the names of the towns/villages/countries etc. But other than that this was a flawless story, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves high fantasy. And suspense. And subtle romance. And… screw it. EVERYBODY READ THIS YOU WILL LOVE IT.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – 4.5 Barrel stars