Feral Youth – Shaun David Hutchinson (and Nine other authors) – Review

31556153.jpgTen teens are left out in the wilderness to learn how to come together as a team and make their way back to the Zeppelin Bend an education camp for delinquent children. On the journey they begin to tell stories in order to not only learn more about each other, but to also stay sane.

Interesting thing is that stories tend to help you learn about the people around you, even if they don’t mean to let anything about themselves be known. As they journey they realize they have more in common then first thought. Connections are built as they work to survive this final test.

 

What I Loved_-4
I picked up this book because Shaun David Hutchinson was one of the authors. I don’t know if I would have picked it up otherwise, the story itself didn’t seem all that interesting to me but I figured I would give it a shot. I am glad I did. While it didn’t amaze me it was an enjoyable read.

I really loved the use of storytelling in this book. Each character gets a chance to tell a story, whether it is about them or about something completely unrelated. We learn about the characters through each of the stories. I loved how stories are used to get to the heart of the characters. We don’t have to just watch them trapeze through the woods and make assumptions.

We get stories that tell us something about all the characters. We don’t learn everything but we do learn that they all have something to relate to. They all are put into this situation because they are perceived as a problem. They made poor choices and are labeled as problem child. In the end we learn that they are all young people trying to figure out what they are doing in life.

While it is a cliche the characters do form a connection to one another. We know that at the end that connection is not going to last but it was a nice element to the story. I liked that each of them realized that they weren’t the only ones to have hit a rough patch.

What I was just okay with
There was nothing surprising or out of the ordinary in this story. It was a classic understanding one another story. They all had issues, tell stories and come to understand that they are alike. There is nothing that I couldn’t have predicted from reading the summary.

The journey through the woods was just the backdrop to the story. They hit a few snags but I never felt like they were at risk. I didn’t feel like this was much of test of survival for them. It was just a place for them to tell the stories. I kind of wanted a bit more from the walk.

What I Wished was Different_
I enjoyed the story but as I said there was nothing out of the ordinary in the story. It was pretty simple. I kind of wished for a twist. Maybe not to have a feel good ending. Maybe even though they tell each other their stories they don’t form an understanding. Maybe having one person or a few of them just not find a place would have made it seem different.

I gave this book four stars on Goodreads. I enjoyed the storytelling aspect of it. I liked that this was how we learned about the characters. I just wished for a bit more depth or twists to the story.

 

Copy of What I was just okay with
“And sometimes when you’re telling a story, you can’t let stupid shit like the truth get in the way.” (pg. 1)

“It’s not that they lie intentionally, but when people describe themselves they’re really describing what they see in the mirror, and most mirror are too distorted to show the truth. If you listen hard enough, there’s more truth in fiction than in all the other shit combined.” (pg. 6)

“I guess what I like are stories that don’t just make you scared of what’s out there, waiting to get you. I like the ones that make you scared of what might be hidden somewhere inside of yourself. Not knowing one’s own secrets, never mind anyone else’s.” (pg. 161)

“None of that makes a difference, though.[…] Not if all people see is what we’ve done rather than who we are.” (pg. 266)

“You could spend a lifetime exploring the vastness between a person’s words and still never really know them. ” (pg. 305).

Thunderhead- Neal Shusterman – Review

91mya47EdnL(Since this is a review for a second book in a series there will be spoilers for the previous book. )
Citra has been given the role as Scythe, taking the name Anastasia. She is determined to be merciful and respectful to the lives she chooses to end. She will not take a life without giving them the proper time for that person to come to terms with their death. She is determined to make the Scythe purpose closer to the original purpose, taking life to help society but to never enjoy the act.

Rowan was not give a ring, though he does have one. He is out for revenge. He is out to take down those he believes are destroying the Sycthedom. He has taken on a name fitting to his purpose.

When an old threat resurfaces and is determined to destroy all those in its path it is up to Citra and Rowan to save the society they have come to respect and hold dear, even if it costs them everything.

What I Loved_-4
I was curious where this story was going to go in this sequel. I thought I had an idea, and I was partially right but it was much deeper than what I thought it was going to be. We got to see Rowan’s character develop as well as Citra’s.

I again felt partial to Rowan’s story. I think it is because his is a much more complicated storyline. I have always been partial to the storyline where someone tries to be good while doing bad things. I love to see the way their mind twists and tries to keep a moral high ground while doing things that we would normally find reprehensible.

Rowan starts this book as a vigilante. He is out to take down all the Scythe’s who abuse their power. He is ruthless and he even adopts the name Scythe Lucifer. I understood his point, he knew these were the Scythe’s that were destroying the true nature of the work they were supposed to be doing. The way he stalked them and killed them though was hard to read at times.

I wondered if he was going to end up a god-like figure. Someone certain people admired for his work but that wasn’t the case. He was feared, he was understood but never admired. I liked that part way through he understood that what he was doing wasn’t going to solve anything. He was helping to take out part of the problem but wasn’t solving the problem. I liked that this distinction was made.

I liked too that Citra seemed to come into her own in this book. We saw her decide to give her targets time to get their affairs in order. We saw her take great respect in taking a life. I liked how she was understanding enough to do what needed to be done while also still having the fighting spirit when necessary. I think her character plays well against Rowan’s character.

I also really enjoyed the addition of the Thunderhead as a sentient character. In the first book it was just a concept but in this one the in-between portions gave the Thunderhead a personality. I found myself feeling bad for it. It just wants to help the world. It wants to save humanity and yet it isn’t all powerful. I liked that it got frustrated and upset while, making it feel very human.

I am very curious how its character will develop in the next book. I can see it really becoming human like which will be interesting. The storyline of AI becoming human has been done many times before but I am still very interested to see where this one goes.

I also really enjoyed the ending, while the middle again felt a little slow the ending threw everything out the window. I have zero idea how this is going to play out. I am very curious where the story will go. How much time will pass and how this will all end?

What I was just okay with
I am still not a fan of the romance between Citra and Rowan. It is still feeling forced to me. I think a lot of times authors feel like YA books have to have a romance storyline but that isn’t always true.

These two feel very much to me like best friends. They care about each other but there is no real romantic feelings between them. I want to see them bond as friends who will go to any lengths to protect each other. I want to see them center their relationship on their shared experience and their shared desire to bring respect to death. I don’t need to see them try to find a way to be romantically involved, that would change the direction of the story which would hurt the story I think.

What I Wished was Different_

There was nothing that I really found out of bounds or threw me out of the story. I enjoyed the pacing. I enjoyed the story itself. I enjoyed the characters. I am eager to see where the story goes from here.

I gave this four of five stars on Goodreads. I loved the continuation of the story. I enjoyed seeing the characters evolve and loved the ending. I just hope this doesn’t swerve into a romance story.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Did people miss the dizzy extremes of imagination as they lived their endless, uninspired lives?” (pg. 15)

“Simply put, humanity had a need to be bad. ” (pg. 99)

“While freedom gives rise to growth and enlightenment, permission allows evil to flourish in a light of day that would otherwise destroy it.” (pg. 176)

“Faith is an unfortunate casualty of immortality.” (pg. 241)

“….finding an easy scapegoat for complicated problems had been a human pastime since the first mob of cavemen struck someone down with a rock.” (pg. 326)

 

 

Leah and the Offbeat – Becky Albertalli – Review

x500Leah knows drumming and she understands music. Everything else in her life? She has no idea how to handle. It is her senior year and the world feels like it is slipping through her fingers. Friends are fighting. In the Fall they will all be entering into a whole new stage of life, without one another.

On top of all of that she is struggling with a secret crush, one that she is sure will destroy her life and hurt her friends. How can she find her way in the world when at every turn it seems like everything and everyone is against her?

 

 

What I Loved_-4

I adored Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda. (You can read my glowing review here). In that book Simon and Blue were the two that captivated my attention. The rest of the cast was interesting but they didn’t make me wonder too hard about them. They were just Simon’s friends and I liked the role they played in that story.

This as Leah’s story and I actually loved learning more about her. She was probably the least developed in Simon. I loved her character. She is unapologetically herself. She is crass, she is loud and she doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. I found her character refreshing.

I have read reviews that see Leah as too whiny but I thought her issues and her complaining were very relatable. Leah is struggling to figure out where she belongs in her world. She is also someone who overthinks everything. I related well to this issue.

As someone who constantly thinks her choices are the wrong ones I understood Leah’s issues. I understood why she would be upset half the time and why she was constantly fighting everyone. She wanted to belong but she wanted to belong her way. She wanted to stay true to herself while also evolve without seeming phony or fake. Leah was a complicated character and I loved that about her.

I also really enjoyed a very short conversation that was held about being Bi and what labels can mean. One character classify themselves as “Kind bi” and Leah gets upset at them. She points out there is no “kinda bi,” there is you are Bi or you aren’t. The other character pushes back stating their confusion and how they don’t know where they quite fit in.

I thought this was a very important discussion. We sometimes think that we have to have a label for ourselves. We then have to fit into everything that label entails. This creates a serious issue because no one will ever fit one specific label or idea exactly. We all are different. We all have different ways of defining ourselves and I think if a label makes that difficult you shouldn’t have to use one. Labels are good if they help you but if they don’t, don’t worry about them. Anyone who fights you is too busy trying to live their life in one defined way and that is not your problem.

I thought this story did a good job at showing the uncertainty that comes with senior year of high school. It is exciting and terrifying all at the same time. You are going to be an “adult” even though you have no idea what that means. I liked how true to life some of the fears and issues explored in this book felt.

What I was just okay with
I loved Simon vs. because of the connection between Blue and Simon. I also loved it because the plot was easy and precise. This one was missing both of those elements.

I felt like Leah’s story was missing the growing connection between two people. The relationship in this one was wrought with indecision and confusion, which made sense but it never felt like the two characters were getting any closer. I didn’t feel like Leah was learning anything about the other character. I felt like it was more annoyance that eventually evened out. I didn’t feel like she was becoming closer with the person she was crushing on.

The plot in this book was also just about trying to get through this crush. Simon was about Simon coming out and finding out who Blue was. There was more story than just the romance. This one was about her senior year and romance, but it was all around this back and forth relationship. I wanted more to the plot.

I also felt like Leah’s drumming and music were underutilized in this story. There were a few metaphors made but she didn’t really play drums often. I wanted to see her develop as a musician and see music help her find her way. I think if that had been added in this story would have been stronger.

What I Wished was Different_
The biggest issue I had with this story was the ending. It was too quick. In Simon vs. we learn who Blue is and there is a bit of Simon and Blue developing their relationship. We get some scenes we rarely see in books, them just being together. In Leah we got none of that.

In this book we got the big kiss and reveal and then a quick wrap up email to let us know what happened to everyone else and that was it. We don’t get to see the two characters develop their relationship at all. We don’t get to see them talk as a couple. We don’t get to see anything meaningful between them. I wanted more like what Simon left us with, a giddy and happy feeling. Instead I felt like I do often in these books, almost indifferent. I think it would have just been nice to see a bit more of these two together as a couple at the end.

I ended up giving this story 3 stars on Goodreads. It was a good read. I enjoyed learning more about Leah, I just wish it had felt deeper and more meaningful like Simon vs. did.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“But it sucks when life moves along without you.” (pg. 17)

“That has to be the best part of being in love – the feeling of having a home in someone else’s brain.” (pg. 43)

“Like, I call myself an ally. […] But then the second it gets personal, it all flies out the window. I’ll never forget that I said that.” (pg. 286)

Scythe – Neal Shusterman – Review

28954189Death has been conquered. You hit your head on the sidewalk, fall off a building or end up in a car crash and you are taken to a revival center. You body is mended and you are able to live your life again. Humans are immortal.

Death has been conquered but the world is not perfect. The population has to be controlled, a job left to an elite group known as Scythes. They are charged with “gleaning” or killing people in order to keep the world’s population under control.

The Scythedom appears like a well oiled machine on the outside but on the inside it is falling apart. Something that two new apprentices Citra and Rowan begin to learn quickly. They can become masters of death but is that something they want? What does it mean to be the one that controls if people live or die? What does that do to a person? Can you keep your moral heart and do this job?

What I Loved_-4

The concept of death being conquered is what drew me to this story. I loved the idea of a story that centers around reapers or scythes. This group is not one that you find in stories very often and I was eager to find out how this concept was interpreted.

I thought the idea of no one dying and what that means for the people was really interesting. It is pointed out numerous times that without the fear of death and an end to life, people have become complacent. They just live to live. They don’t work towards anything. They know they have literally eternity and no one really strives to make anything of themselves. They are all alive to be alive.

There are no more issues to conquer. There is no hunger, no war, no real crime and no death. All of life is controlled by an AI called the Thunderhead. Life is literally perfect and simple. But without anything new to discover and no problems to conquer what does life mean then? What do you do when you can’t change anything? What do you do when your job is to just keep you from being bored? What does life mean in this world? I loved exploring that concept.

I also really enjoyed Citra and Rowan’s journey’s. In this book Rowan stood out to me more than Citra did. I think it was because Rowan was thrown into a situation where he had to find a way to keep the good side of him alive. I really enjoyed watching him struggle between two sides of himself.

Rowan gets caught up with a group of Scythes that love to kill. They enjoy bringing death to people. In our world they would be classified as Sociopaths. They show no care or remorse for their actions. They take in Rowan and we watch as he struggles to not become them though that is not an easy task.

For a character who has always felt invisible or like “lettuce” as he puts it, he finds his new role enticing. There is power at his fingertips. There is meaning to his actions. People notice him. He is caught up in that feeling at times and we watch him struggle to keep himself from falling down a wormhole. I love watching characters struggle with their darker sides.

At first I thought I had an idea of what this story was going to be about. These two apprentices coming to terms with their new roles and then fighting to right any wrongs. It had some of that but there were some serious twists throughout the story. I actually found myself shocked at points. Any book that can throw me for a loop is one that I will enjoy.

What I was just okay with
There was a middle chunk where Citra was running away, for a reason that I won’t state to no spoil anything, that I thought was not necessary. It was there more to give her something to do while Rowan was completing a part of his story. It was also an update on another character.

I thought it felt like it was just there to buy time. There was no real consequences of the whole ordeal other than some character development. For the plot thought it really didn’t do to much. I think there are other ways for those moments to happen without needless running around.

I also had a little issue with how resolute Scythe Curie was about Rowan having turned dark while he was with his tutor. She was firm that he was not on their side anymore and that Citra could not trust him. I thought that seemed harsh. They didn’t even talk to Rowan at first. It was a decision made quickly without thinking about why he did what he did.

I think Curie’s character was smarter and could have seen that some of the things Rowan did was to save himself and Citra. I just felt like her character was not the right character to have this doubt. It just didn’t fit with what we knew about her.

What I Wished was Different_
The only true issue I had with the book was the romance aspect. I did not feel any chemistry between Citra and Rowan. I thought of them more as best friends. There was no reason for them to have a romance storyline. I think it would have been better to keep them as close friends and nothing more.

 
I highly enjoyed this book and went out at ten o’clock to Target to get the next one to continue the story. I ended up giving it four stars on Goodreads. It is a fun story about what life and death mean in this “perfect” world.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“So then, if we are no longer human, what are we?” (pg. 110)

“The sanctity of the law… and the wisdom to know when it must be broken.” (pg. 114)

“Immortality has turned us all into cartoons.” (pg. 191)

“Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy. The best we get is pleasantness.” (pg. 244)

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace of comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we were lose that.” (pg. 386)

How I See Myself as Fictional Character Tag!

I saw this over on Bookish Wanderer. This just seemed like a lot of fun to do. I tend to put partial traits of myself into my characters but I have never fully sat down and thought about myself as a fictional character.

I am going to take this form the angle of making some changes to myself that would be fun to do. I’m not going to use this as a way to complain or make changes about things I dislike or have an issue about with myself. I just thought it would be fun to think of an alternate version of myself.

Name:

Callie

(I have been obsessed with this name lately. I have no idea why but I do love it for some reason)

Appearance:

Purple streaks in dark brown hair, multiple tattoos in random places, earring up whole ear

 

Style:

Jean jacket, simple, darker colors, casual

Personality:

Broadway Singer, Writer, Outgoing, Adventurous

Likes:

Book (No version of me would not like books), Animals (same with animals), time with friends, family, new experiences, spontaneity

Lives:

London, England

Quotes to Live By:


So there is my fictional self. I had fun kind of reinventing myself. I like to think of myself being able to sing and be on Broadway when in reality I could never get anywhere close to being that. I had fun taking parts of myself and adding others in. It was a fun exercise.

What do you think of my fictional self? Who would your fictional persona be?

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness – Review

8621462Connor’s life is in turmoil. Everyday is uncertain and he is beginning to become lost inside his world. He is expecting one type of monster to rampage through his life but ends up with a much different one. This one tells him he will tell him three stories in exchange for Connor telling him one.

Connor is apprehensive, not knowing what to expect from this new force in his life. As he hears each story he realizes how to deal with another part of his world. A world that is slowly crumbling and not even a monster can stop it.

 

What I Loved_-4
I have heard about this book for a while. It was recently made into a movie and that sparked my interest further into reading it. I knew the atmosphere of the story.  I knew that Connor was dealing with his mother being sick and her inevitable death. I also knew that this was going to be a  tough one to read and I was not wrong.

The atmosphere of this book is somber and haunting. I felt like I was almost in a fog while reading it. I felt his somber air hang over me as I went through the story. Connor is trying to deal with his mother’s illness, his grandmother stepping into his life, his father stepping father away from his life and the rest of those around him tip-toeing around his every move. He is lost in a  fog of his own, trying to figure out what life will be like and I fell right into that same pit.

I knew where the story was going from the very beginning. You know that his mother is not going to beat her cancer. We know this is a story about dealing with that pain. I thought it was interesting how the monster tied into all of it.

The monster is a manifestation of all of Connor’s fear and frustrations. Each one of the stories is about him dealing with a piece of his life. Whether that is his grandmother and how he relates to her. Or his anger at the situation he finds himself in or the invisible feeling he has to those around him at his school.

I loved the way the stories were used to explore these ideas. One of the reasons I love books and stories so much is because they give us a way to see situations and the world around us in a new way. We get a chance to come to terms with things that can hurt or harm us. We come to term with ideas or feelings that are building up and that we can’t necessarily explain in a concise way. The monster’s stories did that for Connor. Gave him a way to deal with things he couldn’t otherwise deal with.

I also found the parts of Connor at school and how he is treated at school interesting. While he is at school his teachers and other students kind of treat him as if he is untouchable. They are all afraid of doing anything to him because they don’t want to hurt him. In the end they are shunning him, making him feel even more disconnected from the world that he already is.

I thought the way this idea was explored was done well. By trying to help they were actually hurting him worse because they left him no one to turn to. They didn’t want to upset him and yet gave him no one and nowhere to vent his frustrations and pain.

I also liked the addition of the pictures in this version as well. I thought the pictures really enhanced the story itself. They kept the atmosphere darker and most somber. It also helped me visualize the monster better.

What I was just okay with
I wasn’t a huge fan of the father’s character, which I don’t think we were supposed to be. I found it hard to believe that he would not try to be there more for his son. His son’s mother is dying and going to leave this kid all alone and he was barely there for him. He seemed more concerned about his other life while Connor was just a side issue.

Personally that bugged me because I have parents for who we (their children) are  their whole world and I could never see either of them doing that. I thought it made the father shallow but then again it did enhance the grandmother’s character. We saw how caring she was. When you juxtapose the two of them you definitely come out rooting for the grandmother and are thankful for her taking care of Connor.

What I Wished was Different_
I can’t think of anything that stood out as a real issue for me. The story flowed well. I understood what each of the stories were about and how they connected to the rest the situations at hand. I liked the metaphor of the yew tree and the monster itself. It was  quick read that was emotional, poignant and powerful.

I gave this one 5 stars on Goodreads. It was an emotional story that was told well and did the story matter justice.

Copy of What I was just okay with
“Stories are the wildest things of all. […] Stories chase and bite and hunt.” (pg. 35)

“Storis are wild creatures. […] When you let them lose, who know what havoc they might wreak?” (pg. 51)

“Belief is half of all healing. Belief in the cure, belief in the future that awaits.” (pg. 109).

“Stories are important. […] They can be more important than anything. If they carry the truth.” (pg. 141)

April Wrap Up

April was a decent month for me. I read give books and a short story. I also made some progress on a short story I am working on. I want to push myself writing more in the month of May.

April was a super busy time at work for me, we have three huge events between April and the first week of May so I have been coming home quite tired and with no drive to do much but relax. After the first week of May though work life should calm a little which will allow me to have more energy to do more work when I come home.

I am still 5 books ahead of my Goodreads challenge which is exciting. I am currently at 18 books read for the year. I also went only a small book buying binge this month.

51LlOUzjzYL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_38464776Origin

86214622895418991mya47EdnL

Books Read:

The Raven King –  Maggie Stiefvater- This was the final book in the Raven Cycle series and I enjoyed it. I found the ending a bit odd and vague which left me a bit indifferent to it. I did enjoy the way the character wrapped up but the story itself left me feeling a bit up in the air.

Opal – Maggie Stiefvater – This was a short story about Opal. I enjoyed this one a lot. I think it provided some answers I was missing form The Raven King. I also really enjoyed the deeper look at Ronan and provided a bit of an idea of what his series is going to look like.

Origin – Dan Brown – I had high hopes for this one. In the end it let me down in a lot of ways. I missed the ties to the historical aspects of his previous novels. I also missed the sense of adventure and the ‘”twist” at the end was predictable.

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness – This was a somber read. I liked it and thought the way it deal with a very heavy subject was great. I think it gave real humanity to situation that can feel so uncontrollable.

Scythe – Neil Shusterman – This was so much fun to read. I loved the concept of the reapers and exploring what it truly means to be immortal. I also loved the look at the moral dilemma of taking lives and what that means for the people who have to do it.

Thunderhead – Neil Shusterman – This was a ride of a book. That ending left me dying to know what happens next. I don’t know how I am going to be able to wait until the last book gets published!

Blog Posts:

Love Simon – Movie Review
Reading Helped Shape Who I am
Down the TBR Hole #4
Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater
Origin – Dan Brown
The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
Book tag: How deep is your book addiction?
How Well Does Goodreads Know Me? 

 

Books Bought:

Leah and the Offbeat – Becky Albertelli – This is a sort of sequel to Simon and The Homo-Sapiens Agenda and I am super excited to read it.

Dread Nation– Justine Ireland – I have been hearing fantastic things about this one and I am eager to see how it holds up to the reviews and recommendations I have read.

Circe – Madeline Miller – I am a sucker for anything related to mythology. I think is going to be a fun and different read.

Game:
mystery game.jpg

“Hogwarts Mystery” – I downloaded this on my phone and have been playing it off and on all week. It is fun though I do see it starting to get a bit repetitive. I am interested though where the story goes. It is one that requires “energy” to do things so  you have to wait for it to recharge before you can continue with the game. This is a great feature for me because it forces me to put the phone down and accomplish something while waiting.

How was your April? Any new books you recommend? New TV show? New movies? New games?

How Well Does Goodreads Know Me?

I saw this over on Never Not Reading. I have never actually used the Goodreads recommendation feature. I usually just add books from blog posts, Booktube recommendations or what I see my friends reading on Facebook. I am curious how close this will be to what I would really enjoy reading.

The idea is to go to the Goodreads recommendation page and see if you agree with what they recommend. Mine is broken up based off the different shelves I have on my Goodreads profile so I will go through the first three for each shelf and see if I agree or not. I will either decide on “What to read” or “Not Interested.”

First three are based off my “To Read Shelf” which is pretty vague Goodreads. I mean my shelf has a number of different types of books on it but we will see what you think should be added.

61i58xDQ3YL._SX328_BO1,204,203,200_Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) – Amie Kaufman – Based off my adding A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab

I have actually heard great things about this one. I know it has a unique story telling formant, using “found” files from this invasion. I am curious about it. I haven’t had the desire to exactly pick it up yet but I do think I will want to read it sooner or later.

Decision: Want to Read

 

51S-OSUUyzL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)- Tahereh Mafi – Based off my adding Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I have not heard of this series yet. It sounds alright, though nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary. I think this would have appealed to me more when I was in my dystopian phase. I still enjoy those kinds of stories but I haven’t been in the mood for one in a while.

Decision: Not Interested

 


61XfS2XCw3L._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) – N.K. Jemisin – Based of my adding A Gathering of ShadowsVictoria Schwab (Glancing through the recommendations on this shelf it seems to use either A Gathering of Shadows or Cinder, which is interesting since neither are on my “To Read” shelf anymore. I have hundreds on that shelf and yet these are the two books repeatedly used to make recommendations).

The book itself sounds alright but again it is dystopian. It seems to take place in a completely fictional world and nothing popped out as making me want to read it now. It seems pretty simple, mother wanting revenge for her murdered husband and to get her kids back. Doesn’t jump out to me as something to read anytime soon.

Decision: Not Interested

Next up books on my Paranormal Romance Shelf. I mainly have this shelf for the Gena Showalter books I read but I do have a few outside of her series that I enjoy. I am curious if Goodreads can get me interested in a new series.

51ReKfqa1fL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_First Grave on the Right – Charley Davidson #1 – Darynda Jones – Because I added Darkest Promise By Gena Showalter
The summary of it is extremely intriguing. I like the twist of grim reapers and other “entities.” I don’t think I would have picked this up in the store because the cover doesn’t look all that interesting but I do think I will have to add this to my “To-Read” shelf. I am all for some romance between grim reapers!

Decision: Want to Read

 


42899Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1) – J.R. Ward – Because I added Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter  

The main focus of this one is vampires and I am honestly not interested in vampires anymore. I have watched enough tv shows and read enough about vampires for a while.

Decision: Not Interested

 

 


2355575Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1) – Patricia Briggs – Because I added Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

This one is all about werewolves and again that is at topic I am tired of. I have read enough about vampires and werewolves. Nothing about it appeals to me at the moment.

Decision: Not Interested

 

 

The next ones come from my additions to my “Fantasy” Shelf.

244572Charmed Life (Chrestomanci, #1) – Diana Wynne Jones – Because I added Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Amulet of Samarkand (Bartimaeus, #1)

Honestly the summary could not get more generic. Girls are orphaned, end up in a castle of witches, get upset and change things. Nothing about this sounds interesting or different to me. Just sounds like a very generic tale and doesn’t hold any appeal to me.

Decision: Not Interested


18667112The Copper Promise (The Copper Cat, #1) – Jen Williams  – Because I added A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab. (Is this the only book that Goodreads knows how to use to make recommendations?)

I am torn on this one. It sounds like a fun adventure but it also doesn’t sound like it has anything different to offer. Part of it sounds like these are some type of anti-heroes which  intrigues me. I may add it for now and see what I feel like down the road.

Decision: Want to Read (For Now)

18670336Fallen – Traci L. Siatton – Because I added The Refelections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

I like the idea of an apocalyptic Earth where people have psychic abilities. I also am intrigued by the whole “when their love it at its sweetest moment” something horrible happens idea. I am not sure I will rush out to read this one but I wouldn’t say no in the future.

Decision: Want to Read 

 

I am going to stop this post here. I have about 5 more shelves so I think I will make this into a few parts so it doesn’t get too long. As I wrote this I thought it was funny how this post is basically undoing the work I am doing with my “Down the TBR Hole” posts. I am taking books of my TBR there and adding them with this one.

Anyway I think the recommendations were decent. I do think more books could have been used to create the recommendations. I felt like only four or so books were used when I have a good amount on each shelf. I didn’t see anything that was blatantly wrong which was nice.

What are your thoughts on the books I chose to read versus the one I choose to mark as
Not Interested in?

Book tag: How deep is your book addiction?

 

 

1280px-Stipula_fountain_penI saw this tag over on queenpea77. I liked the questions and thought it would be fun to do.

What is the longest amount of time you can comfortably go without picking up a book?
Probably about 12 hours or so. I read before work and before bed just about every day.  I can hold off longer right after I finish a book because sometimes I need time to digest the story. It is extremely rare that I will go a day or more without picking up a book and that is usually because of life events that get in the way.

How many books do you carry on your person (kindle) at any one time?
I don’t usually take my book with me to work because I just don’t have time to read while I’m at work. I will take one with me though whenever I go to an appointment or when I think I will have some extra time on my hands. Usually it is just the book I am currently reading but sometimes I will bring two if I think I may finish the first one and still have some time left.

Do you keep every book you buy/receive or are you happy to pass them on to make space for more?
It all depends on the book. If I enjoy the book then yes, I keep them. I love having bookshelves full of books I enjoyed. I love knowing I always have something around to read. If it is a book that I was just alright with then I will put it in a pile to donate or give to someone.

How long would you spend in a bookshop on a standard visit?
I could spend hours in a bookstore. I can spend the whole day browsing and finding something new and fun to read.  My family and friends know that they need to keep an eye on me or else I will spend every dollar I have on new books.

How much time per day do you actually spend reading?
I would say at least 2 but sometimes more depending on where I am in my book. Sometimes it is less if I am too tired to read before bed, but on average it is at least 2 hours.

Where does the task “picking up a book” appear on your daily to-do list?
It is just implied. I don’t write it on the list because it is just part of my every day life. Reading is part of who I am and it is not a task to complete but a way that I live my life.

How many books do you reckon you own in total (including e-books)?
That is a tough questions. I have 5 bookshelves full. I think though it has to be at least 200 if not more. One day I will actually try to count them and see.

Approximately how often do you bring up books in conversation?
Depends on the conversation. If it fits in, I will add to the conversation. I do work somewhere where reading and writing is a main topic of conversation so books do come up much more frequently in conversations then they used to.

What is the biggest book (page count) you have finished reading?
I think that would probably be “Gone With the Wind.” I remember it being at least 1000 pages and I read it in 7th or 8th grade. I remember it taking me a while and my school librarian getting mad because I wasn’t returning it. My parents got annoyed because there was few people who were taking that one out and she should have just been happy I was reading something that much higher than my reading level.

Is there a book you had to get your hands on against all odds i.e. searching bookshops, online digging etc?
I was always eager to get the newest Harry Potter book when it came out. I also remember the newest book in the Lord of the Underworld series coming out when I was in London and having to email and search bookstores for it. Whenever I finish a book in a series though I always have to find the next one to continue it.

A book you struggled to to finish but refused to DNF?
Most recently that would be Origin by Dan Brown. I only finished it because I wanted to see if the ending got better but it never did. It was a tough one to get through.

What are your 3 main book goals for 2018?

  1. Get through most of my TBR
  2. Try to go over my Goodreads goal by at least 5 books
  3. Read books with more diverse topics and authors

Have you ever had the privilege of converting someone into a reader (maybe via inspiration or incessant nagging)?
I don’t know. I think most people I know do read though I may have helped them find a new book. I hope to get the kids I work with more interested in reading.

Describe what books mean to you in five words.
1. Power
2. Freedom
3. Happiness
4. Knowledge
5. Life

 

The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater – Review

51LlOUzjzYL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe end of the search for Glendower is here. All that Gansey and his friends have been  searching for will reveal itself. Will they get their one favor? Will the prophecy about Blue and her true love come to pass? What will become of Cabeswater? More importantly who will everyone be after this adventure is over?

 

 

 

 

 

 

What I Loved_-4

The character development in this series was fantastic. I fell in love with Ronan, Adam, Gansey, Blue and Noah in the first book. The way they grew throughout the story was great. They all started out as pretty simple people but they gained more and more depth throughout the story.

This series is a character story. There is mystery, adventure and romance but none of those trump the character’s journeys. Each one of them find themselves throughout this hunt for Glendower. They all find their strengths and weakness. They learn who they are as individuals and as a group.

I think one of my favorite parts of this story was how each one of them learned that they can be individuals as well as a member of this friendship group. I think that was most evident in Adam. He was so desperate to be his own person he pushed people away. He thought any help was only going to make him feel weaker. We saw him learn how he can stand on his own two feet, as with his power over Cabeswater but he also needed the support of his friends. They were what kept him grounded and whole.

Gansey’s growth was interesting because we saw  how in the beginning it was all about him finding Glendower and taking care of his friends. As the story moved forward we saw him question his long time need to find the sleeping king. We saw him come to terms with the fact that he can’t live his friends lives. He had to let them make their own choices. He can support them but he can’t force them to be anyone they are not.

Ronan as my favorite throughout the series. He was so rough at the start but we learned quickly why he was that way. He slowly began to open up and let others help him. I liked seeing him getting control over his dream power and seeing him use it help. I am eager to see how he continues to grow in his own trilogy.

Blue was great as well. She was separate in the start of the series. She was the odd one out and she pretended to be okay with that. I enjoyed watching her open up, accept who she was and find people who accepted her. She gained more confidence and it was great to see that journey.

I also loved the slow burn romance in this book. I spoke about Gansey’s and Blue’s in the last review. It continued to spark in this one. Again there was no huge revelation or anything, it was just as if it was another character. It grew and we saw it become part of who they were as characters. It was natural and gentle and I liked that.

The other romance in this story (which I won’t mention to avoid spoilers) was great as well. It was built up over time and again so subtle yet powerful. There was no hesitation about it either. It was accepted and taken forward. It felt as if it was always meant to happen and I loved it.

What I was just okay with

I am not sure what I thought about the ending itself. It was very tough to follow and for me it left me wondering what exactly happened. I got the main points of it but it felt vague. I liked it because it fit the story. The story itself was vague and not detail heavy.

I had a bit of an issue with it just because I was expecting a bit more. I wanted a few more answers form the ending. I got some but not as many as I initially wanted. I think I would have been more upset over it if it wasn’t for the way all the character turned out.

I mentioned in my review for the first book that if I didn’t love the characters so much I probably would have disliked the plot. That same thought goes for the ending as well. I was satisfied with where everyone ended up. I didn’t get held up on the ending as much as I am sure I would have in a different book with different characters.

What I Wished was Different_

My only major issue with this book was Henry. What was the point of him exactly? The talk he has with Gansey could have happened with anyone. He appears, becomes fast friends with Gansey and that is it.

His robobee invention helped but I am sure there could have been a different way of dealing with that problem. Or Henry himself could have been introduced earlier in the series. I liked him but he felt unneeded. I think if we had gotten him earlier he could have grown like everyone else and that would have been interesting to see.

Also we kind of lost the women of Fox Way in this story. I wanted a more satisfying resolution to them. I liked their involvement in the other books but I think they got pushed to the side of the ending. I think they could have been utilized and made the ending a bit more dynamic.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads. I found it a great end to the characters. I do wish the plot ending was a bit tighter.

Copy of What I was just okay with

“It’s not always running away…..to leave.” (pg. 79)

“It was easier to tell hero from villain when the stakes were only life and death. Everything is between gets harder.” (pg. 121)

“If you can’t be unafraid…..be afraid and happy.” (pg. 210)

“I stopped asking how. I just did it. The head is too wise. The heart is all fine.” (pg. 338)

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