Tag Archives: Book

Quick Take: Girl in the Blue Coat

Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
four-star-rating-black-hi

I have been on an audiobook binge recently and this was my most recent listen! ๐Ÿ™‚ I 29910523definitely enjoyed this and surprisingly enough, this was a great read for October! This story follows a young Dutch girl named Hanneke during the German occupation in WWII. Hanneke trades goods on the black market for people who are willing to pay. In the midst of one of her black market trading with one of her regular customers, she gets asked to do another favor. A favor that is incredibly risky. A favor that could cost Hanneke her life. Her customer had been hiding a young Jewish girl who has gone missing. At first, Hanneke is hesitant to help her as she understands the implications of the task at hand. However, as more and more pieces of the puzzle come together, Hanneke realizes that there is more to the story than expected.

This story was wonderful and beautifully haunting. The narration was done wonderfully! The story ended up feeling more like a mystery, which is what made it an excellent read for October. It was eerie, haunting and heartbreaking. This story touched on family, friendships, betrayal, love and war…and how all of these things are impacted by war. The biggest take-away for me was reading about the way war changes people and what it makes people do.

Anytime I read a story set during this time, it’s always heartbreaking and I’m always amazed by the different POV’s that these stories could be told from. I am always amazed and grateful for the diversity of stories during this time, but also the different angles that these stories take.

This was heartbreaking, eerie and beautiful. I highly recommend it and I highly recommend listening to this on audiobook. The audiobook definitely adds another element to the story making it even more heartbreaking and beautiful.

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Quick Take: Three Dark Crowns

Three Dark Crowns (#1) by Kendare Blake
ijss5ย (.5)

23207027Let me start this review by saying how defeating it feels to pick up a book that you’ve been anticipating for a long time, finally get to it, and then you just feel oh so let down. Unfortunately, this is what happened with me andย “Three Dark Crowns”ย by Kendare Blake. Le sigh…

This book has all the makings of a book that I would normally really, really enjoy!!
1. The sisters each with different magical abilities – an elemental, a naturalist and a poisoner.
2. A fight to the death for the crown.
3. Badass female protagonists.
4. Heavy political intrigue.

Literally, these are all the elements that an author needs to include to draw me in! Unfortunately, this not only didn’t live up to the hype for me, but I just found it so painfully slow. It wasn’t even that the world-building was taking too long or the political story line was too dense…I just found it boring for the first 75% of the book!

The book switches between the three sisters POV’s and occasional pans over to some key side characters, as well. I do find the different communities very interesting and the world set up was fantastic, but I found that the character development of each sister was so lacking. I don’t know if it’s because we’re not really supposed to feel connected to any of them…but you would think that if the three sisters are supposed to duke it out for the throne, you’d want to build each one up to gain a following, right?

Not only were the sisters’ development not really present, we focused so heavily on the side characters, most of which I didn’t like anyways! I definitely enjoyed reading from Jules’ perspective and she is definitely my current favorite character. Everyone else either felt so bland or were just so deplorable that I couldn’t relate.

The last 25% definitely picked up pretty quickly, which also meant that (to me) the climax built too quickly and then wrapped up too quickly. I really wished that she expanded the last 25% as that was what I was wanting the entire book.

This is a 4-book series and I am going to give the second book a try because of the last 25% of the book. It definitely sets up with way more potential for the rest of the books to be better and more action-packed, which was what I was hoping for with this first one.

I am definitely disappointed…but I will give the second book a chance with a lot of high hopes, but if the second book doesn’t capture my attention…there’s a good chance that I won’t finish this series. Le sigh…I have had such a great reading run and then to come up to this was just so defeating!! ๐Ÿ˜ฅ

If any of you have read this and completely disagree with me, please let me know in the comments! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’d love to chat more about the book and maybe what I was missing when I read this first one, but it definitely wasn’t for me!

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Quick Take: The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
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My boyfriend has been on a major audiobook kick, so I was kind of jonesing for an the upside of unrequitedaudiobook myself. Enterย “The Upside of Unrequited”! I got this through my library and after sampling the book, I thought that this would be a great book to pick up after the slight book hangover thatย “Our Dark Duet”ย gave me. And if you’re wondering why it gave me such a book hangover, check out my most recent series review that I did!

Anyways! On to the book! I loved Becky Albertalli’s first book,ย “Simon and the Homo-Sapiens Agenda”, so I had been meaning to get to this next book of hers! This book follows Molly, who is a serial monogamous “crusher”. She has had 26 crushes. And 0 boyfriends. Molly’s twin sister, Cassie, keeps pushing her by telling her to “woman up” and make something of these crushes already. A new girl enters Cassie’s world bringing a cute hipster-boy, that may seem to dig her back? An interesting problem presents itself to Molly, however, in the form of Molly’s coworker (Reid) who Molly couldn’t possibly fall for, right?

Overall I really enjoyed this book! I think the reading of this audiobook was super fun. I think the narrator did a great job conveying all of the different characters and she really won me over. This book is super cute and sweet! Not only is this a sweet book about first love, but also a book about sisterhood and family. I loved the diverse representation in this book, as well! ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re looking for a sweet book, consider picking this one up! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Let the Games Begin!

Warcross (#1) by Marie Lu
four-star-rating-black-hi

warcrossBehold…one of my most anticipated releases of 2017!! ๐Ÿ˜€ And it is beautiful!!! I recently read Marie Lu’s “Legends” trilogy and I loved her writing! So when I heard about this new book – I knew I had to have it!!

Here are some of the main ingredients that make up this incredible book:

1. Badass Asian-American female protagonist that is both a prodigy hacker AND bounty hunter
2. Vivid virtual reality world building
3. Warcross is basically an advanced version of Capture-the-Flag AND I am living for it!!
4. High-intense, fast-paced, heist-like action – YES, YES, ALL THE YES!!

My quick thoughts on how I felt about this book: I loved it! Absolutely loved it! Marie Lu did an incredible job building this world and I quickly fell in love! This was so much fun and it was a beautiful book that celebrates diversity in the best ways possible. I absolutely do not want to wait until next year for the next one! Le sigh… Okay, now I definitely need to get into spoiler-y thoughts, so if you haven’t read this yet…stop reading and go read it now! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Quick Take: Love & Gelato

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
three-star-rating-black-hi

love & gelatoI think this was the perfect transition book from my summer reads into my fall reads. This was a lovely, yet not overly sweet contemporary novel.

This novel follows Lina as she goes to spend a summer in Tuscany to get to know the father that she didn’t know about, per her mother’s dying wish. Despite Tuscany’s picturesque beauty, Lina is definitely in no mood or rush to enjoy what Tuscany has to offer…or really even that interested in getting to know a father who’s never been around. Once Lina arrives, however, she is given an old journal of her mother’s that takes her on a whirlwind romantic adventure. Lina follows along in her mother’s footstep with her newfound friend, Ren, as she gets to know a side to her mother that she didn’t realize was even there.

Overall this novel was sweet and romantic, but again, not in an overly sweet kind of way. There were elements of love, family and grief, that it makes this a great transitional novel between the summer and fall seasons. I appreciated having a contemporary that felt more multi-dimensional than other contemporary novels, so that definitely gets two thumbs up from me!

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Quick Take: Everything, Everything

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
four-star-rating-black-hiย (.75)

Ohย goodness, just all the feels with this book. Val has also read this beautiful novel everythingand has reviewed it, so I encourage you to check out her blog post!! I am going to go into a quick synopsis and then the rest of this is going to be pretty spoiler-y, so if you haven’t checked this out, you need to ASAP! I’ve read another Nicola Yoon book earlier this year (check out my review!) and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors!! She not only writes beautiful books that tug at your heartstrings, but she also weaves in such important themes such as family and race relations. All of which is super refreshing and so important to see represented in YA novels.

Now a quick synopsis: Madeline has just turned 18 and has never left her house due to having SCID. This basically means that she’s allergic to everything, so she stays inside her house with her nurse and her mother. Olly, a cute and interesting boy, moves in next door peaking Madeline’s interest in the outside world. And that is it for a synopsis! And if you are reading the synopsis thinking that you know exactly how this story turns out…I am going to tell you to ignore that voice in your head and read this book! This book takes the most interesting of turns, and while it is the cutest and sweetest love story you’ll probably ever read, it’s also a beautiful and heartbreaking story about family. So now, I’m going to get into some spoilers, so get out of here if you haven’t read this yet!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mini Reviews: Full Metal Alchemist (#1-3)

Full Metal Alchemist (Volumes #1-3) by Hiromu Arakawa
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full metal alchemist 1This is definitely something that I’ve been wanting to read for quite some time now and I am glad that I finally got around to it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I will also definitely be continuing on with this series – pretty excited for it!

Now, quick synopsis: these two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, are alchemists who attempted to bring their mother back from the dead using alchemy, which is seen as the ultimate misuse of the science of alchemy. In the process, Edward lost an arm and a leg and Alphonse lost his entire body, so Edward had to bind his soul into a body of living iron. They now both work for the government as state alchemists. There are other alchemists who would rather use their abilities for evil, however. Ultimately, all alchemists are in pursuit of the most epic of treasures, the Philosopher’s Stone, which would give eternal life.

Overall, I had a super fun time reading this first group of stories. The artwork is wonderful and it was such an easy story to fall into. It was action-packed, full of some deeper themes around religion, life and death, which definitely made it a more surprisingly impactful read.ย It feels weird to break each volume down in order to do mini-reviews, as it really does all make up one bigger story. I will say, each volume definitely felt an episode of a TV show which made them super fun to read. I am going to attempt to break down each volume and give you some of my highlights from those volumes.

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