Posted in Books, Fantasy

April Book Wrap-up and Review!

Damsel by Elana K Arnold 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Overall, this book was decent. I was expecting a fairy tale retelling story but I got the opposite of that. The author used this book to write about male domination of women and the ugliness that can happen when a woman fights that domination. This book is a dark allegory and I think it achieved its goal of making the reader angry and disgusted by the male characters within the story. Be advised if you pick up this book, there is some explicit sexual content and abusive relationships. 

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Autobiography 
  • Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses and when I found out that she had a memoir out, I knew I had to read it. This memoir was clever and hilarious. I loved learning about her life before she became famous. 

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This was a surprising favorite in the month of April. This book is considered grimdark fantasy and even though I am a fantasy fan, there are some grimdark books that just were not for me. The Blade Itself was definitely a book for me! I loved all the characters and I loved seeing how flawed they are and I can’t wait to see how the rest of the First Law trilogy goes! 

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fiction, Thriller
  • I don’t know even what to say about My Dark Vanessa. Really quickly, a brief summary: This book follows two timelines; first: where Vanessa, 15-year old girl, goes to a board school and ends up in a relationship with her English teacher, the second: Years later, Vanessa is an adult and allegations about this teacher are coming out about how he has been abusing several girls over the years. Vanessa as an adult has a hard time accepting that these allegations are true because she remembers her relationship with him being mutual, consensual, and about love, not abuse. This book is so powerful with an important subject matter that needs to be talked about. Warning: There are several difficult scenes to read in this book. A lot of sexual abuse and gaslighting. Take your time reading this novel, it is worth the read. 

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance, Contemporary
  • This month was apparently the Rainbow Rowell month because I ended up reading 3 of her books. Her stories have always been enjoyable and this one was just as great as I was hoping. After reading My Dark Vanessa, I needed a light, sweet love story and this book was perfect for that. 

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • This was an easy and simple read that I enjoyed quite a bit. Definitely wasn’t my favorite of the month but for a basic YA story, it was good. The reader follows this girl, who comes from a line of witches connected to the woods next to her house. When walking through the woods one day, she finds a boy that had been missing for a couple of weeks and he should have been dead by now. It was a decent fantasy mystery with a cute love story. 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Retellings of Beauty and Beast are very popular in TV, movies, and books so I was nervous about reading another one but wow! This book is PHENOMENAL! I absolutely loved the world, the characters, the pacing. Probably the best Beauty and the Beast retelling I have ever read. I plan on reading the sequel in May and I am so excited! 

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • I had been considering reading this book for so long and I am so glad I finally did! This story is set in Auschwitz and we follow a man who “volunteered” to go with the Nazis so that his family didn’t have to. Once he arrived at the concentration camp, he got sick and since he survived that sickness, the tattooist took him under his wing to help protect him. Eventually the main character becomes the main tattooist and the story follows him for years as he meets the love of his life, tries to survive, and save as many people as he can. Highly recommend if you enjoy reading historical fiction and stories about survival, specifically from the Holocaust.  

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Romance, Contemporary
  • I am usually not a fan of contemporary books but this one was really fun and an adorable read. These characters felt real to me and the world was believable. Sometimes the main characters were a bit judgy and prickly but overall, I understood why they were acting like that. Not to mention, I did like how anxiety was described within this book. Quick and fun read.

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapakowski 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This is the first book in the Witcher series after the two short story books. I watched the Witcher series on netflix before reading this book and played a bit of the Witcher games. I really enjoyed this world where we follow a witcher called Geralt of Rivia and a special girl named Ciri. There are sorcerers, magic, elves, dwarfs, and monsters everywhere in this series and I think it’s amazing. I’m excited to continue on with the Witcher books. 

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Psychology
  • I connected with most of the ideas in this book about introverts and I found myself nodding awhile with several points. If someone asked me if this is worth a read, I would say yes but I would need to add that there weren’t many eye-opening revelations so don’t go in expecting that. 

Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
  • Permanent Record was probably the most disappointing reading from this month. I was expecting to like this book because I enjoyed Emergency Contact  by the same author but wow, was I wrong. I just could not connect with the main character at all or his love interest. I didn’t like the slang and dialogue within this story either. If you want to read Mary H.K. Choi’s book, read Emergency Contact,  not this one. 

Star Wars: Thrawn by Timothy Zahn

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy
  • I read the original Thrawn trilogy years ago and it became my favorite Star Wars trilogy of all time. When I heard that it was no longer canon and the author was rewriting the Thrawn storyline, I was upset at first. But this book exceeded my expectations! Thrawn’s political rise within the Empire was insane because of how brilliant he is. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the series! 

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance
  • This was another good book by Rainbow Rowell but I will say, it was probably my least favorite book by her. This story follows a married couple from meeting in college, to starting a relationship, marriage, having children, to where they are in the present day. They are having some problems because the wife, at first, is very focused on her career. We follow her journey during a week without her family, where she discovers her mistakes and realizes what she needs to be happy. It was a sweet story overall. 

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Where do I begin with this book?! I LOVED IT SO MUCH. Not only is it my favorite Rainbow Rowell book ever, but it was a fan fiction type story besides on the world from the Harry Potter books. I haven’t really talked about my love and obsession with Harry Potter on my blog yet but when I heard what this book was about, I knew it was for. I read it almost all in one sitting because I just couldn’t put it down. Best way to finish the month of April. 
Posted in blog, Books, fandom, Fantasy, geek, poetry

January Book Wrap Up

Earlier this month, I posted my January book review and I thought I wasn’t going to get through any other books the rest of the month because of school. But LUCKILY, my school work hasn’t been that bad yet! So I went a little crazy and read A LOT more books after those from my last post. 8 more books to be exact!

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • I LOVE this book and when I found out there was a sequel to it, I got real excited. This book creates a beautiful world of magic with hints of the Latino culture which I loved since I grew up in the Mexican culture. Best way to describe this book is think of the show Charmed but with Latinx witches (brujas)!

The Power of Self-Compassion by Laurie J Cameron 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Self-Help
  • Audible
  • I liked this audiobook but I didn’t think it was anything new or revolutionary. I enjoyed some of the exercises within this book to help with calming anxiety and that negative voice that can affect your brain.

You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Autobiography
  • I knew even before starting this book that I would absolutely love it! If you are a fan of Felicia Day, the gaming world online, or just geek stuff, read this book.

The Book of Sam by Rob Shapiro 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • The world described was so vivid that I felt completely immersed and the descriptions in this book about Hell were different from others I have read so I appreciated that. As you read this book and meet new character, you will just never know if that person/demon is good or bad.

Hold Me Tight by Jason Schneiderman 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Very different from other poetry books I have read before. This book addressed anxiety from a world filled with technology and violence.

Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • Sequel to Labyrinth Lost and it did not disappoint at all. Again, if you loved Charmed, love witches, and strong female characters, read this series. I can’t wait for the third book in the series to come out later this year.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
  • This was an easy and fun young adult book that makes you invested in the character’s lives and dreams. The romance in this book was simple and was built nice and slow from the beginning. I don’t like when authors introduce character, give them little interaction together and then they were somehow in love. This book’s romance made sense.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy
  • It takes a lot for me to cry at a book or movie but this book truly made it easy to cry because of the heart-wrenching storyline. The author tackled the ideas of death, grieving, loss, and healing after the death of a loved one.

I am so proud of myself this month. I got through 19 books total this January! Started off this year strong for sure. We shall see how February goes. I am currently working on three books, Towers of Midnight (Wheel of Time book 13) by Robert Jordan, Glass Sword (Red Queen book 2) by Victoria Aveyard, and The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians book 2) by Rick Riordan. I am excited to see what other worlds I discover this month! What are you guys reading? Do you guys have any recommendations? Leave me a comment. Until next time, bye everyone!

 

Posted in blog, Books, Fantasy, geek

January 2020 Book Review

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • I enjoyed the world that was created in this story and the characters were decent. I gave it a 3 out of 5 because it was just average to me.

Imaginary Friend by Stephen Chbosky 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Horror Fiction
  • I had high hopes for this book and it lived up to those hopes. I loved the symbolism throughout the story and all the horror elements.  

Infinity Son by Adam Silvera 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction
  • This was a brilliant book full of characters that you could connect with and relate to. By the end of this book, I wanted to be in this world and I can’t wait for the sequel.

No Judgement by Meg Cabot 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Romance 
  • I usually don’t like Romance books because I personally feel that they are all very similar but I decided to give this one a chance since I had enjoyed previous books by Cabot. I do not regret picking up this book, it was truly enjoyable and simple

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Historical Fiction 
  • I knew I would love this book even before I started reading it. I love history and learning more about the Tudors. This was a great book to see more of the relationships that we have heard so much about

The Gathering Storm by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • This is book 12 of the Wheel of Time series and the first book where Brandon Sanderson took up the challenge to finish the series for Robert Jordan. The middle books in the series were a slow and difficult read for me but this one held my attention from the start. Can’t wait to read the last two books in the series 

The Diary of a Hounslow Girl by Ambreen Razia 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fiction 
  • This was an audible book and I liked how it was performed and the way the author made it easy to relate with the main character 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Juv Young Reader Fantasy
  • I think most people already know about the Percy Jackson books so all I will say is if you haven’t read this series, go read it. It is worth it especially if you like mythology and Greek mythology specifically

Simon vs the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Young Adult Fiction
  • I had watched the movie based on this book before reading it so I knew the general story. I definitely enjoyed the book more than the movie because several changes were made in the movie that I don’t think should have been changed. 

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐
  • Genre: Fantasy, Fiction
  • This will probably be my most controversial review and rating. So many people love this book but I just did not like it. I hated the writing style, way too flowery. I felt like there was no true plot and no conflict. The characters were bland with no direction or true reason to do anything  

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo 

  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
  • Genre: Self-Help, Nonfiction
  • This book has changed many people’s lives, so I was curious about it. I did like several of her suggestions and have started implementing them into my life. The main point that I completely disagree with was in regards to what books to keep and how many you should keep. I love having a ton of books at home even if I never reread most of them. I won’t get rid of them, that is for sure!