Tag Archives: Books

Series Review: “Monsters of Verity” Duology

This Savage Song (#1) by Victoria Schwab
four-star-rating-black-hiOur Dark Duet (#2) by Victoria Schwab
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I’m so excited to bring y’all another series review! 😀 Yet again, I marathoned through another series and while it was just a duology, it definitely knocked me completely off my feet! 🙂 I am in a major book hangover and in my mind, that says quite a bit about a book. I just finished the “Monsters of Verity” duology and I absolutely loved it!!! Like, LOVED it!!!

First can we just admire the two covers of these books? Major heart-eye emojis!!! 😀 I love when we get simple, yet eye-catching covers that are just so appealing on my shelves.

I will obviously not be getting into “Our Dark Duet” because SPOILERS but I will share a few of my thoughts on “This Savage Song” here before getting into my more spoiler-y thoughts. The main thing that I loved about this first book (and really, the duology) were our protagonists, Kate and August. Kate is the daughter of a corrupt man who provides protection for humans against the monsters, but for a price. Kate wants nothing more than the approval of her father, which causes her to make rash, violent decisions. August is a monster who wants nothing more to be human and not feared by humans. Both are deeply flawed, yet so endearingly relatable.

I also love the world creation and the concept of the monsters in this book. There are three classes of monsters, each born out of different violent crimes which is just a fascinating concept. In doing my research, I found out that the author wrote this book in response to the mass shootings in our country and I think this is an incredibly profound response to all of the violence in our country today.

The last thing that I truly love about these books and all of Victoria Schwab’s writing is her atmosphere creation. These books are incredibly dark, creepy and they just linger with you. I couldn’t help but think of these books when not reading and when I finished “This Savage Song”, I immediately needed “Our Dark Duet”. And I did go immediately purchase the second book.

All in all, I loved this duology!! 😀 I am going to get into a few more spoiler-y thoughts now! 🙂

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Quick Takes: Cruel Beauty

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
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Image result for cruel beautyGoing into this, I thought I was going to end up with a completely different story than what I was left with at the final page. Cruel Beauty is about a young woman, Nyx, who trained her whole life to defeat the evil ruler of their kingdom. When she finally reaches the castle and meets the enemy, things  don’t go as planned. There’s more to Ignifex than meets the eye, and her mission must adapt.

I kept hearing how this is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Though I usually find those cringe-y, I actually think this book would’ve been better off if there were more similarities. I wish it were as simple as that summary, as Beauty and the Beast, as another YA novel with a love triangle and predictable twists and turns. Because my biggest problem with this book was that it was jam packed with all this mythology.

Beauty and the Beast is fine. Mythology is fine. But trying to do both, and so heavy handedly, is trying to do too much. Anytime authors lean too much on another culture/society or whatever, it just starts to feel lazy and gimmicky. The naming, the world-building, the constant myth-referencing, just…ugh. Come on. It was like reading an allegory–am I supposed to enjoy the story, or is this some sneaky way to brush up on my history? Greco/Roman Mythology is great, but you can pull from it without being so obvious about it. The plot would have been way less clunky/cluttered that way.

So this is one of the few instances I’m not complaining about the “meh” protagonist or the love triangle or insta-love. In fact if those would have been my only critiques, I probably would have enjoyed Cruel Beauty a whole lot more.

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In Defense of the Foolish(Romantic)

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauerfive-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

My high school students don’t typically read even when they’re required to, so when one makes a point to recommend a book she’s read multiple times, I stand up and take notice. She brought it up to me so often that I became moved by her love for Into the Wild. I decided to pick it up this summer when I took my solo trip to the Pacific Northwest–a perfect opportunity for this tale of travel and survival.

“As for me, I’ve decided that I’m going to live this life for some time to come. The freedom and simple beauty of it is just too good to pass up.”

I could not have read it at a better time. I was in the right mindset to completely understand and empathize with the characters in this book–not just Chris McCandless, but also Krakauer and the numerous other examples of adventurous travelers he gives. Because this seems to be the key to falling in love with what appears to be a very polarizing book: understanding the mind of the Romantic.

“At long last he was unencumbered, emancipated from the stifling world of his parents and peers, a world of abstraction and security and material excess, a world in which he felt previously cut off from the raw throb of existence.”

Chris was a Romantic, simply put. People quickly paint him into many other things he’s not. He’s not much of an Idealist: he prepares too much for that, though his practicality will fall short. He’s also not a Hero. He made mistakes, we can all agree on that. But he’s not a Villain either, as so many of these mistakes were understandable, especially when we stop trying to be curmudgeonly, self-righteous adults and remember the romanticism of our youth. This leads me to a quick aside, because I have some beef with the people who don’t like this book.

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Series Review: “Legend” Trilogy

I’m here to do my first ever series review on this blog! 🙂 I recently binged the “Legend” trilogy and so I thought legend trilogythat this would be the best and concise way to share my thoughts on the trilogy as a whole! I have been wanting to read Marie Lu’s books for quite some time now, so I thought that this was a great place to start and it definitely was!

I’ve recently done a quick take review on the first book in this trilogy, “Legend”, here on the blog…so check it out before continuing to read on! 🙂 Now, I am going to share my star reviews for each of the next two books and then my overall series rating!

Prodigy (#2)
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Champion (#3)
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“Legend” trilogy
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Since this is a full series review, there are definitely going to be spoilers…so do not read on if you haven’t read this trilogy! Go read them and come back to enjoy the review! 🙂 And I’ll definitely be checking out more of Marie Lu’s book and most specifically, I am super stoked for her newest book coming out in September!!! 🙂

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#TomeTopple Read-A-Thon | TBR

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This is definitely quite belated, but I am going to be participating in the #TomeTopple, which was created by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes! The read-a-thon runs from August 4th to August 17th, and is all about reading big books (those with 500+ pages). I am so excited to participate!! I am always a fan of big books and I am always looking for excuses to read more! 🙂

This read-a-thon has some challenges:

  • Read more than one Tome (500+ pages)
  • Read a graphic novel
  • Read a tome that is part of a series
  • Read an adult novel
  • Buddy-read a tome

I will not be able to complete all of these challenges, but I do hope to complete most of the challenges. With that, here is my TBR for this read-a-thon:

  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor (532 pages)
  • A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (512 pages)
  • Full Metal Alchemist by Hiromu Arakawa (576 pages)

These are all books that I am excited to get to, so why not use this read-a-thon as an excuse to finally read these books? 🙂 I do have another tentative audiobook that I am thinking about getting to – but I’ll update y’all at the end of the read-a-thon if I even get to it.

So, there’s that! 🙂 Are any of you going to be participating in the #TomeTopple read-a-thon? If so, then what will you be reading? Good luck to everyone who will be participating in the read-a-thon! 😀

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BookTube-A-Thon 2017 Wrap Up!!

booktubeathon

BookTube-A-Thon Wrap Up Stats

Pages Read: 769 pages
Books Finished: 3 and like the first part of a 4th
Challenges Completed: 4 – I read a book completely outside, a whole book in a day, a book bought because of the cover and a book about a character that’s very different from me

Overall, I think I did pretty well! I read 2 whole books, a graphic novel and started another novel. I was very happy with everything that I read during this past BookTube-A-Thon. Now, I am going to share some mini reviews of the books that I read this past week!

Matilda by Roald Dahl five-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi
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This is a childhood favorite of mine!! 🙂 This book fills me up with so much goodness, happiness and overall good feelings. This book is what really ignited
my fire for reading as a child. I was very shy and awkward as a child and I had a hard time making friends, so I found friends in my books. As a shy and awkward kid, it was super important for me to see that quality of love for reading in a female character. So, yes – I love this and will always love this! 🙂 ❤

If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo five-star-rating-black-clip-art-hi

I have had this for quite some time and I thought that the BookTube-A-Thon was if i was your girlthe perfect time for me to finally pick this up. I especially thought that with the ridiculous political climate, it was the perfect time to pick up a book that is about a young trans woman. I had such an emotional experience reading this book, but it definitely challenged my own cis-female privilege, as I was reading this book. This was a very light, yet deep contemporary read, which I loved! There was a lot of great character growth in the side characters around our main protagonist, which was also fantastic to read about. This was fantastic and I highly recommend!!

Prince of the Elves (#5) by Kazu Kibuishi four-star-rating-black-hi

It’s definitely been a while since I’ve read this series and this was a great prince of the elvesinstallation to jump back in with! 😀 I adore Kazu Kibuishi’s artwork – it’s like watching a Miyazaki film in book form, it’s fabulous!! The story also really picked up in this book! That’s all I can really say without spoiling the rest of the series. I highly recommend this!! 😀

I had a great time with the BookTube-A-Thon this year! 😀 If any of you also participated, I hope you all had a great run too!!

 

 

 

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2017 BookTube-A-Thon TBR

booktubeathon

Look! It’s back! Back again! BookTube-A-Thon 2017!!!! The BookTube-A-Thon is running this year from July 24th-30th and I am so excited to get started!! I participated, just barely, in the BookTube-A-Thon last year and I didn’t do quite as well as I had hoped. I am definitely hoping for better this year! I definitely have quite the TBR for the week, but before I get into that, let me link the main video with the “Reading Challenges” for the week below!

And now for my overly ambitious TBR for the 2017 BookTube-A-Thon!! booktubeathon2017

  1. Read a book with a person on the cover
    • For this challenge, I will be reading “Windwitch” by Susan Dennard! I am so excited to finally be back in this series again!!
  2. Read a hyped book Continue reading
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