REVIEW: SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO

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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

REVIEW: BY YOUR SIDE BY KASIE WEST

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Synopsis:

In this irresistible story, Kasie West explores the timeless question of what to do when you fall for the person you least expect. Witty and romantic, this paperback original from a fan favorite is perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins and Morgan Matson.

When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?

REVIEW

A few days ago I finally got my copy of “By Your Side” in the mail, and despite still being in the middle of reading “The Fill-In Boyfriend”, I couldn’t resist opening it up and diving in. Out of the three books I ordered of Kasie West novels (The Fill-in Boyfriend, P.S. I Like You, and By Your Side) I was anticipating this one the most. And since I have the patience of a five-year-old, I put TFIB on the backburner for the time being and lost myself in BYS.

When I was debating how to write this review, I decided bullet points would be the most straightforward option. So please acknowledge exhibit A and exhibit B down below.

WHAT I LIKED

  • Dax and his silent, cute, and mysterious personality.
  • The whole idea of being stuck in a library. Personally, I think that would be any bibliophile’s dream.
  • How Autumn could be herself around Dax and vice versa.
  • Their playful banter.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

  • Dallin the douche canoe.
  • How Autumn couldn’t be herself around her own friends.
  • The way her friends pushed her to do things because they know she has a hard time saying no.
  • The love triangle.

Overall I really enjoyed the premise of the story. I thought it was an interesting, original plotline that showed a lot of heart in its characters, using real life issues a lot of teenagers face as the conflict. One of the main things, though, that bothered me was how almost the entire book was the conflict, unlike most stories that find it 3/4 of the way in, only to have the last quarter of the book to resolve it. I felt drained reading this because it was a constant struggle with the characters, and I don’t know why, but I absorb even fake negative emotions like a Dyson vacuum cleaner. So for me, this was a stressful read lol. But I enjoyed the simple writing style of Kasie West, and thought “By Your Side” was a unique read.

BY YOUR SIDE BY KASIE WEST = 3.5 STARS

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review/ Happy New Year!

Hello all! I know this might be an odd day to post a review, but I thought what better way is there to bring in the New Year than with books? I really hope each and every one of you had a good 2016, and for those of you who didn’t, then I’m going to pray that 2017 is your year! May we focus on the good rather than the bad and count our blessings every day, being thankful that we are living, breathing, and have books to comfort us when nothing else can. Thank you for sticking with me this year, readers. And I hope more great things are to come in the New Year. Now, let’s write a review, shall we?

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Synopsis:

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

REVIEW

Alright, I’m going to get right to it. When this book came out, I lost my mind, screamed (in that order) and instantly put it on my to-read list. And then a little time went by and other new books came out and I shamefully forgot about it for the time being. But then I came across a review for it one day, and I was like, OMG HOW DID I FORGET! To make up for my fish brain mind, I went to the library, checked it out, and then preceded to read it within eight hours. And now for the results…

Okay, so I could instantly tell that J.K did not write this. I could sense it from the very first page, and not just because it was written in the style of a play. But because the characters’ way of acting, speaking, and overall demeanor were just…off. Still, I powered through despite it reading like a fan fiction and found myself really enjoying the new characters and where their adventures had taken them. I would have liked more descriptions of where they were and what it felt like – maybe even some facial expressions, I don’t know. Yet again, I felt like the play format hurt the integrity of the book. They should have adapted a new manuscript from the dialogue and made an actual, legit eighth book out of it instead of being lazy and sticking with the play style, knowing Potterheads would buy it either way. It just never felt when reading it that it was an actual continuation of the series. Again, it probably ties back to it not being written by our book savior.

Besides all that, I really loved the adventure and the shocking details discovered by two young boys trying to live up to their fathers’ names. And who would have thought I would lose my heart to a Malfoy? But the amazing thing about this book was that you did start to see once hated characters in another light, years after the Battle of Hogwarts, and I liked seeing where everyone had gone with their careers and families. It was nostalgic and I couldn’t help but be sucked back into the wizarding world of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (NOT written by J.K. Rowling) = 4 stars

 

SPOILER! LOOK AWAY IF YOU HAVE NOT READ IT YET. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS IF YOU DO BECAUSE I GAVE YOU FAIR WARNING.

Okay, can someone tell me who’s horrible idea it was to make Snape die again? Because damn, it hurt like hell the first time, and then some idiot must have been like, “No, I don’t believe we destroyed the fans’ souls quite enough. Let’s kill him again, shall we?”

*In a perfect Alan Rickman’s voice as Snape* You, sir, are a sniveling bastard.

 

 

Current Read

So I finally found what I hope is going to be a good YA read that will be something light and funny and help me to recover from reading “Me Before You”. If any of you have read that book, then you understand my need for this current read. *rolls eyes while destroyed heart bleeds all over the floor*

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Synopsis:

Adorkable (ah-dor-kuh-bul): Descriptive term meaning to be equal parts dorky and adorable. For reference, see Sally Spitz.

Seventeen-year-old Sally Spitz is done with dating. Or at least, she’s done with the horrible blind dates/hookups/sneak attacks her matchmaking bestie, Hooker, sets her up on. There’s only so much one geek girl and Gryffindor supporter can take.

Her solution: she needs a fake boyfriend. And fast.

Enter Becks, soccer phenom, all-around-hottie, and Sally’s best friend practically since birth. When Sally asks Becks to be her F.B.F. (fake boyfriend), Becks is only too happy to be used. He’d do anything for Sal–even if that means giving her PDA lessons in his bedroom, saying she’s “more than pretty,” and expertly kissing her at parties.

The problem: Sally’s been in love with Becks all her life–and he’s completely clueless.

This book features two best friends, one special edition Yoda snuggie, countless beneath-the-ear kisses and begs the question:

Who wants a real boyfriend when faking it is so much more fun?

REVIEW: ENCLAVE (RAZORLAND, #1) BY ANN AGUIRRE

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Synopsis:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

REVIEW

So like I said in my previous post, ENCLAVE was a fun look back at a book I had read from about five years ago. And boy has a lot changed in those five years. I’ve read a few hundred more books, many of those being dystopians, so I feel I have a bit more experience with the genre now unlike the last time I rated this story. With that being said, lets get to the review!

ENCLAVE is a book that reminded me much of DIVERGENT and HUNGER GAMES in that it had both a competitive feel as well as a breaking of conformance to the “government” they were to obey and live under. This book also had what I would call “simple writing”. There weren’t over explanations of the world building – confusing you and deviating from the heart of the story – and all of the scenes moved along quickly, as well as the pace of the book. A lot happens in just 259 pages, and none of if was filler fluff or unnecessary additions simply to add length. In that way, I really enjoyed reading this.

Though the characters are younger (fifteen and seventeen) there was much to be said about their maturity and the way they handled themselves as well as hard situations. I could really appreciate how the author managed to combine hardness and cold logical thinking along with a  sense of fragile innocence in both of the main characters. You were reminded every once in a while that though they were brought up in a world without much hope, aging them beyond their years, they would still showcase a bit of their naivety along with having feelings of being lost and unsure of themselves, and wondering what to do next. In doing so, Ann did a fantastic job of keeping it realistic.

If you are a romance fiend like myself, then you aren’t going to find the mushy stuff you’re looking for in this read. Despite there being a touch of romance between the main characters, it definitely isn’t a main focus. We’re more learning about their world and how things are changing for them rather than diving too deep into the relationship side of things. Thoughts of making out and holding hands kind of falls to the wayside when death is knocking at your door with every turn you take lol.

Overall, I thought this was a really interesting story with a good amount of plot expanding potential for the other sequels, which is indeed what the author has done with the series. I would recommend this to anyone who is just starting to get into the apocalyptic/dystopian genre, or perhaps have been wanting to read something of that nature but haven’t found the right one yet that doesn’t look too intimidating. It was a well thought out story, easy to follow, and I’m glad I decided to give it another read.

ENCLAVE BY ANN AGUIRRE = 4 POST APOCOLYPTIC STARS

 

 

Lady Midnight Update

Current Page: 121 (yes, I am aware I am moving at a snail’s pace with this read)

How I feel about it:

Why: Because stuff is just getting interesting ;-p

CURRENT READ: LADY MIDNIGHT BY CASSANDRA CLARE

So my current read at the moment is the first installment in the Dark Artifices series by Cassandra Clare, and it seems like I’ve been waiting for this book’s release a life time too long. At this point, expect many memes in the review to come 😉

P.S.

Let me know in comments if any of you are reading this book at the moment or plan to in the future!

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Synopsis:

The Shadowhunters of Los Angeles star in the first novel in Cassandra Clare’s newest series, The Dark Artifices, a sequel to the internationally bestselling Mortal Instruments series. Lady Midnight is a Shadowhunters novel.

It’s been five years since the events of City of Heavenly Fire that brought the Shadowhunters to the brink of oblivion. Emma Carstairs is no longer a child in mourning, but a young woman bent on discovering what killed her parents and avenging her losses.

Together with her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, Emma must learn to trust her head and her heart as she investigates a demonic plot that stretches across Los Angeles, from the Sunset Strip to the enchanted sea that pounds the beaches of Santa Monica. If only her heart didn’t lead her in treacherous directions…

Making things even more complicated, Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—has been returned as a bargaining chip. The faeries are desperate to find out who is murdering their kind—and they need the Shadowhunters’ help to do it. But time works differently in faerie, so Mark has barely aged and doesn’t recognize his family. Can he ever truly return to them? Will the faeries really allow it?

Glitz, glamours, and Shadowhunters abound in this heartrending opening to Cassandra Clare’s Dark Artifices series.