April 2017 Wrap-Up

gAnother month has come and gone, and BIG surprise. I only read three books. One was a physical book and one was an audiobook. To be fair, the audiobook was very long. Alright? Don’t judge me. I am ashamed.

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Glitter by Aprilynne Pike
4/5 Stars
*Monthly Book Club Pick*

The book that broke the slump! As an aspiring French historian, I had a lot of fun with this. Since it wasn’t set in the past, but in the future, I didn’t have to look for inaccuracies. All could be explained away when you understand this is a future society imitating the past. The plot was actually very original, surprisingly. They tied in Ancient Regime French culture with a futuristic society very well, and that is not easy to do. The ending actually surprised me with the “hooking twist”, so much that I’m actually pretty excited to see what happens next.

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
4/5 Stars
*Audiobook*

I finally jumped aboard the fantasy hype train. And I have to admit, though I really did enjoy the story and it would have rated it a perfect score if it were’t for the insistence that it’s the holy book of modern fantasy. That and I got a bit bored towards the very end of the book. I really loved the magic school bits where he was with his friends, but when he left the school, I got pretty bored and had to force myself to struggle through it. The writing was beautiful, I will admit to that. Patrick Rothfuss is a master at making even the most mundane of activities sound beautiful.

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber
4/5 Stars
*Favorite of the Month*

Where to even start? First I should mention that this book took me a really long time to read. I was still slumping pretty bad. I think it would have been a five star book if I had read it within a few days. But having it broken up so much made me forget certain details and generally care a little less than I normally would about the characters. The world of Caraval was so magical, much like the Night Circus, I wanted to visit it as soon as the characters arrived. I can see where some could compare the two, but I didn’t instantly fall in love with it from page one like I did with the Night Circus. I did really like that this book COULD have been a stand alone if it wanted to be. That being said, I do want to continue on with the series.

Currently Reading:

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I’m back!

I have less than a hundred followers, but you know what, that’s not going to discourage me. I’m just dropping a quick message saying that I’ve come back from online Siberia. I’ve been horrible about reading and even worse about blogging. (But of course, the horrible habit of continuously buying books hasn’t stopped at all). I’m really going to make an effort to blog at least once a week whether it be wrap-ups, reviews or tags.

January Wrap-Up | 2017

I am the worst book blogger in the entire universe. Seriously. I’ve had the worst reading slump ever and I’m trying so hard to break out of it, but I’m struggling. I only read two books in January and let me tell you, it sucks. We’ve all been there. I keep buying books, but I haven’t been reading them. I have issues, guys.

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
4.5/5 Stars

*Best book of the month*

It’s not that hard to pick a “best book of the month” when you only read two. But I’m giving it to this one anyways. I’ve come to expect a pretty high level of quality when it comes to Victoria Schwab since she is forever my favorite author, and this didn’t disappoint at all. The concept, the characters and the initial hook were all first class. The whole concept that when you commit an act of violence it creates an immediate physical consequence (a monster) is so beyond what a lot of other YA books would even dare to dream up. I only took off a half of a star because there were parts that I found tedious. I really loved reading about a pair of characters that had no romantic involvement with one another even though it could have so easily gone down that path. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel and conclusion of this series.
This Savage Song Goodread’s Page

 


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Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee
3/5 Stars  2/5 Stars
*Audiobook & Montly Book Club Pick*

I think I was being a bit generous when I rated this now that I’m thinking back to it, because my recollections are not very positive. Before I started the audiobook, I tried reading this in it’s physical form. Instantly I was irritated because the book is written as if the protagonist is telling you a story. There are no quotations to indicate when dialogue begins and ends and the grammar is very peculiar to say the least. I knew I would struggle with it, so I bought it on audible, moved on from there. I thought maybe if the story was being read to me, then I would be okay with it. I was very wrong.
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I had so many issues with this book. It took me a month and a half to finish it. It’s a pretty decent sized book, but it should not have taken as long as it did. I was intrigued in the beginning with the start of this opera singer’s childhood and how she joined a circus. That was all pretty exciting and held my attention for about the first quarter of the book, but once you actually start to get in to the parts that actually involve opera, it gets extremely boring and tedious. There are several cases of insta-love with characters that are barely mentioned for more than two pages, a protagonist who clearly has never made an adult decision in her life and  decides to deal with everything by running away from it and then crying about it for almost an entire chapter. The protagonist literally ruins everyone’s life that she comes in contact with in one way or another, then pretends like she’s completely blameless. I seriously was begging for someone to murder her about halfway through the book.

Here’s my biggest gripe. I’m a huge fan of opera, an even bigger fan of historical fiction and am borderline obsessed with French history. This book should have blown me away. It left me so irritated that I probably would give this book away if the spine wasn’t ridiculously beautiful. Now that I’m thinking of it, I’m docking this book a star. Just typing about it is actually making me mad.
Queen of the Night Goodread’s Page


Let me know down below if you’ve read either of these and what you thought of them!
(No spoilers please)

December Wrap-Up | 2016

Another month where I didn’t read as much as I should, another year where I didn’t meet my reading goal. It’s tough when you love stories in so many different mediums. Video games, TV Shows, Movies, etc. All in all, I had an okay month. The books that I did manage to read were pretty fantastic for the most part. Even though I only read two. So I’m going to treat this post more like two short book reviews since there are so few.
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*Favorite Book of the Year*
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
5/5 Stars

Where do I even begin with this book? It put me in a huge slump after I finished it. All I could think about were the characters and how the story left off and how there’s no way there will be another book. I just kind of wanted to lay on the floor for several hours heartbroken after I finished the last page. Even almost three weeks later I’m still kind of stuck in that twisted beautiful world. And daydreaming about the very dashing leading man, Jest.

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I think about halfway through I knew the book was going to be on my favorites list, by the end it was my favorite of the year (beating Stalking Jack the Ripper by the smallest bit). Meyer not only adds on to the already existing lore of Wonderland but she made it even more vibrant and beautiful with her wonderful characters. I especially loved how she created a world of high society within Wonderland that worked so incredibly well and it added so much depth to the plot by weaving in court politics.

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*Audiobook*
The Final Empire (Mistborn Book #1) by Brandon Sanderson
4.5/5 Stars

I’ll be honest, the reason I docked half of a star was because I felt like the book didn’t live up to the hype. I really loved it, but I feel like I didn’t love it as much as I should have. It was a lot harder to actually get in to than I anticipated. I really didn’t enjoy it until about a quarter of the way through the book if I’m being completely honest, which is really unusual for me when it comes to fantasy. I found the magic system confusing and I found the characters very lackluster. Then it took a turn for the better. The characters began to grow on me and the “metal burning” was less convoluted than I first anticipated. In the last part of the book I couldn’t listen to it fast enough, I had to know what was going to happen, I had to know the answers to the burning questions that started at the very beginning.

I’m definitely going to be continuing on with this series, the first book was definitely enough to keep my interest. People have assured me that the second and third books are more interesting since the world building is over to which I have no doubt. Vin definitely started to grow on me quickly, I found her to be very unique for a female fantasy protagonist. I really love how Sanderson wrote a very soft spoken character who didn’t have to change in order to become interesting and powerful. I also love how he makes a lot of his characters very deeply flawed, especially Kelsier.

Let me know in the comments below what you read this month or what you thought of the books I read!
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The Bookish Academy Awards | 2016

A resolution of mine is to actually blog more. I’ve been awful at it in 2016. Let’s be real. But this was one of my favorite posts to do last year. So I figured on the last days of 2016, I’d go over my favorites. Please comment below on your thoughts on any books or opinions mentioned. Please feel free to steal this tag, I didn’t originate it. And keep in mind these are books I READ in 2016, they didn’t all come out in 2016.

Best Male Protagonist
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Jest (Hartless by Marissa Meyer)
Daniel (Shadow of the Wind)
Kazz (Six of Crows)
Rowan (Queen of Shadows)
Kelsier (The Final Empire)

Best Female Protagonist
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Audrey Rose (Stalking Jack the Ripper)
Blue Sargent (The Raven Cycle)
Delilah Bard (A Darker Shade of Magic)
Kady (Illuminae)
Iseult (Truthwitch)

Best Plot Twist
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Illuminae
Everything, Everything
Stalking Jack the Ripper
Before I Fall
The Diviners

Best Book Cover
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The Raven King
Heartless
Everything, Everything
The Witch of Painted Sorrows
Six of Crows

Best Supporting Character
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Noah Czerny (The Raven Cycle Series)
Hatta (Heartless)
Memphis (The Diviners)
Theta (The Diviners)
Manon (Queen of Shadows)

Most Unique World
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A Court of Mist and Fury
Mistborn
The Raven Cycle
Illuminae
Truthwitch

Best “New-to-you” Author
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Brandon Sanderson
Kerri Maniscalco
Melissa Meyer
Emily St. John Mandel
Jay Kristoff

Worst Book of the Year
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Before I Fall
The Nest
My Grandmother Told Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

Best Book of the Year
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Heartless by Marissa Meyer
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
Stalking Jack the Ripper by Keri Maniscalco
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Illuminae by Aimee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Let me know your favorites of this year and if you agree or disagree with my choices down below!
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Top 5 Wednesday | Books you want to finally read in 2017

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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
(Outlander #2)

I’ve been thinking of starting Season 2 of the TV show, but my book loving brain will not let me do so without reading the book first.

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Fallen Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
(Fallen Kingdoms #1)

I recently got this for a friend for her birthday and shocker, I haven’t even read it. It’s almost a finished series and I still haven’t gotten my act together. What is wrong with me.

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This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
(Monsters of Verity #1)

My favorite author wrote a new book. I haven’t read it yet.
Problems.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
(Six of Crows #2) 

I’m afraid. Don’t yell at me.

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Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
(Passenger #1)

At least I’ll read it right before the second one comes out? Does that work as an excuse?

Let me know if you’ve read any of these books and what books you want to finally get to in 2017.

November Wrap Up 2016

Wow, I’ve really sucked at actually writing in my blog. But, I’ve put in notes in my planner to remind myself to post tags and start doing Top 5 Wednesdays again. Maybe some Top 10 Tuesdays as well. Anyways, on with the wrap up.

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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
4/5 Stars

Compliments:
Multiple perspectives that were not hard to follow and ultimately added to the story.
An original and well thought out plot.
Several realistic and thought provoking characters.
Did not give in to common post-apocalyptic tropes.
A very quick and enjoyable read.
Very diverse cast of characters.

Criticisms:
Not enough information/time spent on certain characters.
Abrupt ending.

I would recommend this book to:
People who feel like they need a new take on dystopian.
Fans of Shakespeare and  theater.

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The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
3/5 Stars
*Monthly Book Club Pick*

Compliments:
“Guilty Pleasure” story that focuses on a family full of broken characters.
The story delves in to important adult topics such as grief and fear of poverty.
Has an open ending that leaves you satisfied.

Criticisms:
Extremely frustrating characters.
Story dragged on at certain parts and lacked in others.
Missing that “hook” that’s typically associated with family drama fiction.
Very slow pacing through out the entire book.

I would recommend this book to:
Fans of “Running with Scissors”
Anyone who prefers to read in short sprints.

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Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
3.5/5 Stars

Compliments:
Very much a “pick-me-up” book. If you need something warm and fuzzy to take your mind off things, this can easily do that.
Admirable female protagonist with a sharp mind and a kind heart.
A great example of diversity in YA.
Realistic depiction of teenage romance.
Great balance of humor and drama.

Criticisms:
Unrealistic at times, especially towards the end.

I would recommend this book to:
Fans of “Anna and the French Kiss”
Anyone in a reading slump

Currently Loving:
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Let me know what you thought any of the books mentioned above! Comment below if you want to talk about them, I’m always ecstatic when someone else has read the same book(s) as me.

~The Grisha Lieutenant