dystopian, Horror, young adult, Zombie

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

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Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Length: 322 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Dystopian, Zombies
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
In Mary’s world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Review:
So this is the first zombie book I’ve read and honestly I didn’t know it was about Zombies when I picked it up from the library. I just thought it was a weird fantasy/dystopian and it looked really interesting. I was definitely surprised and I can’t tell whether it was a good or bad surprise.

I appreciated Mary as a character. I both like and dislike her. It was interesting to watch her point of view but she’s definitely an unreliable narrator. I don’t often read books with an unreliable narrator but it was interesting and I finished the book the same day I started it.

My thoughts on this book are a little muddled. I have nothing to compare it since I don’t read the genre often. Some of the characters fell really flat and some were just plot devices. I feel like you don’t really get to understand any of the characters including Mary. You’re in her head but it feels really distanced.

The plot itself was interesting but also, there was no real climax. It felt fast paced but there wasn’t really a climax or a resolution. I think I’m going to read the sequel only to see where this story is going. I’m curious about how Ryan is going to continue the story and whether Mary will continue to be unreliable.

My review is all over the place but long story short. I think I liked it but I’m not 100% on that. I both liked and disliked Mary and I think the story/characters could have been fleshed out more.

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DNF'd Books

DNF’d books [2]

It’s time for another round of DNF’d books. I have no time for books that I’m not enjoying. I try to give books a chance so I typically don’t DNF until I’m at least a quarter through it. These are books that I just COULD NOT finish.

DNF’d Books [1]

Click book titles to go to it’s Goodreads page.


 

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The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

This book started off so promising. I was really enjoying it but when Cora traveled to England I lost interest. It got super boring and cliche. I actually got pretty far in this book and thought about continuing but I don’t want to waste my time and at this point I’d have to just start over because I’ve forgotten the details. I think the writing style just wasn’t for me because the premise is normally right up my alley.

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A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn

I really enjoy Alex Flinn as a writer, but I cannot stand this book. I don’t like either of the main characters. I find them both too annoying to continue with. Sleeping Beauty has always been my least favorite fairytale as well. I actually sold this book to Half Price books because I bought it when I decided to buy a bunch of Flinn’s books. So far this is the only book I outright couldn’t finish from her.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I am an avid Asian Drama watcher and when I read the back of this book it sounded like an Asian Drama in book form so I was super excited. Unfortunately, that’s not really what I got. Instead I got confusing writing that jumped characters and introduced too many people at once so by 30-40 pages in I had absolutely no idea what was going or who was who.

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Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones

This is a technical sequel to Howl’s Moving Castle, one of my favorite books. I reread Howl’s Moving Castle at least once a year but I just did not like this book. I was bored basically from the first page. I forced myself to get about 40 pages in and I sort of wish I didn’t. I find Jones writing style endearing in Howl’s Moving Castle but for this book it was just bothersome. I also didn’t care for the plot at least what I could see of it from how much I read. I definitely won’t be going back. I ‘ll stick to the book I like.

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Rebel by Elle Casey

I have never in my life met a more annoying, entitled, bratty, inconsistent main character in my life. I got 30% in according to Kindle and I’m surprised I lasted that long to be honest. My inner monologue was disbelief at Teagan basically the entire time. Her best friend was just as annoying. There were also so many plot holes and things that obviously just did not make sense. This book frustrates me so much because I just wanted it to be good.

 

historical fiction, paranormal, romance, steampunk

Novella Review: Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger

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Title: Poison or Protect (A Delightfully Deadly Novella)
Author: Gail Carriger
Publisher: Self Published
Length: 150 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Steampunk, Romance, Historical, Paranormal
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Warning: This novella contains explicit scenes not for people under 18.

Note: I received an Ebook Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

Blurb:
Lady Preshea Villentia, the Mourning Star, has four dead husbands and a nasty reputation. Fortunately, she looks fabulous in black. What society doesn’t know is that all her husbands were marked for death by Preshea’s employer. And Preshea has one final assignment. It was supposed to be easy, a house party with minimal bloodshed. Preshea hadn’t anticipated Captain Gavin Ruthven – massive, Scottish, quietly irresistible, and… working for the enemy. In a battle of wits, Preshea may risk her own heart – a terrifying prospect, as she never knew she had one.

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Review:
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know I read Carriger’s first three Parasol Protectorate novels last Summer. I loved Soulless and enjoyed Changeless and Blameless and because I reviewed previous novels, Carriger reached out to me to read and review her newest novella set in the same world.

I really enjoy Carriger’s world building. Even without reading previous works, the world is really rich. It’s full of steampunk and supernatural elements that made Soulless so endearing in the first place. A favorite character of mine even made a (brief) reappearance.

Preashea is my kind of woman; fierce and stubbornly independent. Her character made it all the more satisfying to watch the romance unfold. I liked being able to see the various depths of her character which is difficult to do in the short amount of time a novella provides.

Carriger seems to share my weakness for muscley Scottish men as well. First Lord Maccon and now Captain Gavin. Both of them are very swoon worthy but I think I actually like Captain Gavin more. He was sweet and understanding. I enjoyed that he was able to intuitively figure out what Preshea needed from him.

The romance was such a satisfying and slow build and the perfect read to pull me out of the reading slump I’ve been slowly falling into (again, I know!). I actually read the entirety in about 3 hours because I just couldn’t put it down. I now feel the urgent need to continue reading the Parasol Protectorate series. I forgot how much I enjoy Carriger’s writing, especially when it comes to the romance aspect.

I’m sure I would have read this novella eventually since I plan on working my way through all her books, but I’m so glad I got to read it now. It’s probably going to end up being one of my favorite books that I read this year and I’m excited to see future novellas from Carriger.

Uncategorized

Book Review: Coming in from the Cold by Sarina Bowen

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Title: Coming in from the Cold
Author: Sarina Bowen
Publisher: Rennie Road Books;
Length: 246 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Romance
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Warning: This book is not for those under 18 since it includes explicit scenes.

Blurb:
He can’t have her. And he can’t tell anyone why.

Ski racer Dane “Danger” Hollister does not do relationships, though he keeps his reason a secret. The real-life curse he’s inherited from his mother will eventually cost him everything: his place on the Olympic ski team, his endorsement income, and his ability to fly downhill at top speed.

Reluctant country girl Willow Reade meets Dane by accident. Literally. Her skidding truck forces him off the road during a blizzard. Stranded together in his Jeep as night falls, the two loneliest people in Vermont find themselves sharing more than they’d planned. And not just conversation.

Yet neither can guess how their unlikely tryst will threaten Dane’s frightening secret and Willow’s tentative peace with her own choices. Only mutual trust and understanding can end their pain and give them a hard won shot at love.

Review:
I was scrolling through Tumblr the other day when I happened to see someone I follow recommend Bowen’s books. I was in the mood for a good new adult-esque romance so I picked this up. It’s currently free on Amazon, as an ebook, so I had nothing to lose.

Willow is very relatable. She’s been given a kind of tough lot in life and she makes do with what she has. She also isn’t annoying and didn’t try forcing herself on Dane. Dane had his moments. Sometimes I really liked him and sometimes I really didn’t. But I think that’s what the author wanted and it made his character more interesting.

The writing was good. I’m not sure why but I tend to expect bad writing in free ebooks. It’s an (unjustified, probably) expectation I go into free ebooks with but I can’t seem to help it. Bowen’s writing, however, is my favorite kind of writing. Just descriptive enough to let you get an image in your mind without being so descriptive that it disrupts the flow of reading.

If I had to say one bad thing about this book, it’s that I don’t quite care for how Bowen builds suspense in it. This is the first book I’ve read by her so maybe it’s just this particular story, but I found it annoying rather than suspenseful.

Either way this book was a super quick read. I finished it the same day I started it and it has definitely put me in the mood for more like it.

unpopular opinion

Unpopular Opinion: Tropes [6]

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I’ve decided to bring back this series! I’ve missed interacting with people on my blog and I think my Unpopular Opinion series is a good way to start more interaction!

Today’s topic is Tropes. Specifically tropes I LOVE but a lot of people seem to hate.

Side Romance

I’m the kind of person who really enjoys romance. I romanticize everything and I have a hard time consuming media that doesn’t have at least a little bit of romance in it. I’ve noticed recently a lot of people are sick of romance in stories especially if the main plot of the book isn’t romance. I personally really enjoy when my science fiction, fantasy, and/or mystery books have a side plot of romance.

Female Characters Obsessed with Books and/or Nerdy Things

A lot of female characters recently are obsessed with books or nerdy things. Personally I really enjoy this. It’s nice to have relatable female characters. Sure the field is saturated with them right now but it’ll die out soon and I want to enjoy it while it lasts.

Hate to Love Relationship

Even if I know hate to love relationships/romances aren’t realistic and can sometimes be extremely unhealthy in how they are presented, I shamelessly love them. It’s one of my favorite things about watching Korean dramas and I get giddy every time I’m reading a novel and that sort of relationship is presented.

Various Love Interests

This is a little different. I think most people describe it as a love triangle but triangles infer person a likes person b, person b likes person c and person c likes person a. I enjoy plots with various love interests for the main character if only because it makes it interesting and more true to life. Most people don’t find one person and stay with them forever. YA has a hard time with this. Various love interests tend to turn into wishy-washy protagnists wondering if they should be with this person or that person. But various love interests can be done well and right. I want to see more of this trope if only in hopes that an author soon will do it justice.

What tropes do you love but everyone else seems to hate? Do you disagree with any of the tropes I love? Start a discussion below. I want to know your thoughts on the matter. Am I the only one who has these opinions?

Wrap Up/TBR

May 2016 Wrap up

 

may 2016 wrap up

 

I keep forgetting to do my wrap ups!! But it’s better late than never at least. I didn’t read too much in May, mostly because of the move but I did get some reading done so onwards.

 May Wrap Up

Book Reviews

Books Rated 5 Folded Pages:
  • None 😦
Books Rated 4-4.5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 3-3.5 Folded Pages:
  • None.
Books Rated 2-2.5 Folded Pages:
Books Rated 1-1.5 Folded Pages:
  • None!!
Books I’ve given up on (when I get 5 books total I’ll make another DNF post):
  • None!!!

Total books for May: 5

 

science fiction, young adult

Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

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Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Length: 240 Pages, Paperback
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Rating: 5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Review:
It’s amazing how much of this book went way over my head the first time I read it. I think was about 15 at the time and I remember enjoying the book but not really getting why everyone praised it so much. This is my second time reading and wow this book packs a punch.

I think my favorite thing about The Giver is Lowry’s writing. It’s to the point but still descriptive enough to give you the whole picture. It’s the kind of writing I aspire to have. I never felt bogged down by meaningless details or unnecessary information that just muddies the story. I enjoy when things are straight to the point especially when it’s a story like The Giver. The message would not be the same if it was written in a more flowery way.

The character’s themselves are kind of 2D except for Jonas and maybe the Giver. Normally this would bother me but for the world it makes sense. They don’t have a reason or a need to be more than that.

I read this book in about 2 days. It was quick but it resonates with me as it does with the thousands of other people who have read it. My version of the book also has an introduction by Lowry that I found extremely interesting. I won’t give anything away but if you have a chance to read the introduction by her, you should.

I think it’s pretty obvious that I really enjoyed The Giver. It has all my favorite things about books aside from romance. It was funny sometimes and extremely sad others. It had interesting characters. It wasn’t trying to be poetic with the writing. Basically, I need more books like The Giver in my life.

Fantasy, romance, young adult

Book Review: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

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Title: Truthwitch
Author: Susan Dennard
Publisher: Tor Teen
Length: 426 Pages, Ebook
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Warning: Might be slightly spolier-y. I can’t tell, but better safe than sorry.

Blurb:
On a continent ruled by three empires, everyone is born with a “witchery,” a magical skill that sets them apart from others. Now, as the Twenty Year Truce in a centuries long war is about to end, the balance of power-and the failing health of all magic-will fall on the shoulders of a mythical pair called the Cahr Awen.

The biggest thing on Safi and Iseult’s minds is saving money for their planned future in the Hundred Isles. Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the emotional Threads binding the world. Safi, on the other hand, is a Truthwitch-she always knows when a person is telling a lie. A powerful magic like that is something people would kill to have on their side-or to keep off their enemy’s side-and so Safi cannot even admit what she truly is.

With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and a ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must rise above their doubts and fight to learn who they are and what they are made of, if they are going to stay alive and preserve the balance of their world.

Review:
I’m not sure if it was just me or not but I found this book a little hard to get into. Once I got past the first 100 pages or so I couldn’t put it down but it didn’t hook me like I thought it would from all the reviews I’d read up to this point.

Let me start by saying that even though the story jumped into the action from page one, the beginning was boring. I had no reason to be invested in the characters or care about why they were in that predicament so I didn’t really want to read it. I also had a hard time differentiating between Safi and Iseult for the first 100 pages or so. I think this is a world and book that could have used a bit of build up instead of jumping straight to action.

I do appreciate the connection Iseult and Safi have. It’s refreshing and fun for the main story line to revolve around a female friendship and have romance be the side thing instead of the other way around. That being said, I had expected more of this because of the hype. The majority of the book Iseult and Safi spend apart. I hope the next book can showcase them as friends more and have them actually be together so I can get more of their dynamic.

I also think that the romance involved is very insta-love. Even more so, it feels, because it’s such a side thing. There’s not love confessions and I appreciate that. But there unavoidable attraction to each other is weird.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Dennard builds out this world and how the story continues. So far the Truthwitch series is a definite improvement over Something Strange and Deadly which I DNF’d before 50 pages. I can definitely see an improvement in her writing.