Saturday, December 3, 2016

Until I Die

For some reason I thought I'd already reviewed this book, but I guess I read After the End before trying my hand at the second book in the Revenants series. Disclaimer: Paranormal has never been a genre I've lived and breathed. I generally prefer my high fantasy novels or an engaging sci-fi. So you should take my reviews of paranormal books with a grain of salt.


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Kate and Vincent are together and the city of Paris is safe. But now that they have conquered the bad guys, there are questions that need to be answered. How will Kate and Vincent be together if he can't control his compulsion to die to save other? Would it be better for them to stay apart since Vincent will not die? But Paris might not be so safe after all, and the threat may be closer to the revenants than they expect.

Meh. I just can't get behind Kate and Vincent's relationship. It's insta-love-y and much to sappy for my tastes. But then again, I'm not a particularly sappy version. I despise being called things like "dear" or "honey" *shudder* so gazing longingly into someone's eyes every couple chapters wears on my nerves quickly. Also, this book didn't really feel like it had a cohesive plot, but rather episodes of things happening that were stitched together. There were, however, elements that I enjoyed. I liked coded messages through the meanings of flowers (I'm going to have to try that) and the details of Paris made me long to return. It's been far too long. And I will admit, Plum was very brave to end the book the way she did. If there hadn't been that awesome twist (which I honestly didn't believe was real until I read the novella that comes after it) I might not have put the third book in my to-read pile. But as it stands, I will be finishing this series so I can see how Kate deals with the fallout from Until I Die.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Everneath by Brodi Ashton

Reboot

Round two of catching up with my blog posts commences! After the faux dystopia of After the End by Amy Plum, I dove into a true dystopian novel about walking-dead child soldiers. Because I like cheery topics, you know!


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Sometimes when people die, they don't stay dead. Sometimes they wake up. Wren was dead for 178 minutes, and that makes her the deadliest, least human Reboot in the Republic of Texas. It is her job to train new Reboots, and she usually picks the highest numbers as they're most likely to survive the job of policing the towns for vagrants. But when she's goaded into picking a 22, things start to change. Callum is almost completely human, and he questions all the traditions and rules of being a Reboot. At the same time, the middle numbers are starting to show disturbing symptoms after being experimented on. Wren has spent her entire second life ruthlessly following the rules. Now she can't help but question them.

Hm. An intruiging concept, I must admit. It was interesting to see all the surveillance the Reboots were under from the government and people because if they wanted to they could wipe out hundreds so easily. But...is it fair? Yes and no. And I like that ambiguity in my books. Because some of the Reboots are psychotic and really don't care about killing. And some are just kids who are terrified and have been ripped from their parents at a young age. So kudos to Tintera for examining that dynamic. But on the other side, I got bored during the fight scenes and the romance just didn't grab me like I think it was supposed to. 22 was a nice softening personality for cold Wren, but their romance also developed quite quickly. I'm not completely invested in the rebel movement that's trying to save Reboots. But if it explores more of the dynamic I mentioned above I think I will enjoy the second book a lot!

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Until I Die by Amy Plum

After the End

I sort of accidentally started reading two of Amy Plum's series. If you've visited here before, you might know of my opinion on the Revenants series. And before I get into how I feel about this semi-dystopian series, I'll apologize for falling off the grid again. What with work which took me out of town, NaNoWriMo, and trying to maintain some semblence of the social life, I just didn't have any time to work on my reviews. Or read, really, which is a shame because there are so many pretty books waiting on my shelf at the moment. But anyways...


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Juneau is one of the last surviving members of the human race after it was ravaged by World War III. She has been trained from a young age to connect with the Yara, the earth's energy. But when tragedy strikes her village, and she ventures out to find them, she discovers that the world has gone out without her. A world she thought had been destroyed long ago.

So the first couple chapters of this book read like a really confusing dystopian fantasy novel. There's lots of capitalized general terms for things, characters who remind the MC of their childhood, and an MC who is being trained for a leadership role in a weird little village in the middle of nowhere that apparently gets threatened by bandits. If the book had continued that way, I would have put it down. But no! Actually Juneau was unknowingly part of a cult that isolated themselves in the Alaskan wilderness and the world was never destroyed! So this girl with amazing wilderness skills and an intense sense of practicality has to navigate a modern world with stuff like...the internet. There's a romance and people chasing after her because she has magic and stuff, but that's not what made me like this book more than I expected. It was the fact that Juneau is so incredibly capable. I nearly teared up when she had to give up her dogs. And the way she cuts down a scummy pawn broker was excellent. And she manages to elude modern people using her skills, and she adapts to the modern world in her own way. It was awesome. On the downside the magic is weird and the romance, while eventually making sense to me, mostly shoehorned in a plot point that I felt wasn't totally necessary (thought it was fun to watch him freak out when she starts using magic). And those first few chapters are an awkward read. So I have to take the rating down a bit. Overall though, I engaged with this story more than Plum's Revenants series!

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars (more like 3.5)
Up Next: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Midnight Star

Continuing the catching up on reviews with the final installment of the Young Elites Trilogy by Marie Lu. I fell in love with Lu's writing with Legend, and the love did not stop with her new anti-heroine story following Adelina. I've actually had the good fortune of seeing Marie Lu twice at signings, and she's such a nice person, it's hard to believe she comes up with such twisted characters as she does in this series. Onward!


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Adelina is a empress, but she still doesn't have what she wants. Her sister has betrayed her along with her friends. All she has left is Maggiano, her trickster who seems like the only person to understand her heart. He helps quiet the voices that torment her more and more frequently. When Adelina must accept the consequences of the Young Elites' powers, she joins an uneasy alliance to find a cure. But finding a cure could mean losing everything she holds dear. Her sister. Her power. Herself.

If anything, I wanted this book to be longer. The twist that was revealed at the end of The Rose Society was so intriguing, I wanted to know more. Adelina is slowing going mad. Every one of the Young Elites is getting ill. I wanted more origin story for the powers. More Maggiano, more of Adelina's sister. More banter between all of the Elites as they try to find a cure. More insane Teren. Not that I was disappointed in this book. Adelina is a good antihero. She slowly starts to see the world with softer sides, and even though she hesitates, she is given a chance to redeem herself. But what made this book for me was the ending. I am a student of history, and if there's one thing all those classes told me, is that there is no such this as objectivity. Was Adelina a monster or a hero? It depends on who tells the story. And I love that Lu gets that and shows it was such subtelty. I'll definitely read her next series, whatever that is.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: After the End by Amy Plums

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Revenge of Seven

After the beauty and fun that was A Study in Charlotte, perhaps it was inevitable that the next book be a lemon. But here I am anyway, having read it. The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore, the fifth book in a seven book series.


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Five has betrayed them, Eight is dead, and the Garde are scattering for different missions again. Sarah goes off somewhere to find out about a website that's publishing the truth about Mogadorians and the Loric, some other people go attack a Mogadorian community, and some other people try to retrieve Eight's body. And one of them (I think Ella) ends up in space with the Mogadorians.

Okay, I did not try at all with that description, and that's because I have no idea why I'm still reading this series. Seriously, I think my compulsion to finish reading series is causing a misfiring in my brain and making me buy these books. Actually, I am interested to see how this series will wrap up. There are SO many characters that I want to know what happens to them. But it can be very tiresome getting there. In fact, it felt sort of like the majority of this book was just footwork to get to the last few chapters. For instance, I have no idea who each of the characters is anymore, except for maybe Nine and John. And that's because everyone has the exact same voice. Who's Marina? No idea. So the individual stories I don't particularly care about anymore. Even the Mogadorian turned good wasn't that interesting, even though there was an attempt at backstory with a dispassionate father that gets killed before he makes an impression. I won't go on about this book because I really hate giving bad ratings, I really do. I will say though, that the reason this book isn't getting one star is because of the ending. THAT was cool. If the last two books are more like the last few chapters of this one, I would be a happy happy camper. So have two stars, book, because that was a really cool ending.

Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
Up Next: The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

A Study in Charlotte

I am a moderate to big Sherlock Holmes fan. I read the stories when I was a kid (really freaked out when I listened to the Hound of the Baskervilles on audiobook), I tried to watch Elementary when it came out (I might try again soon), I've seen the RDJ remakes, and I've watched the BBC Sherlock probably 3 or 4 times. I've also written about a few of the stories for English classes. I will not pretend I know the stories back to front. In fact, I'd say I've forgotten most of them. But there are several that still stand out (The Speckled Band being one of them). There is something about these characters that keeps drawing me in. So this will be a totally biased review, just letting everyone know.


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Jamie Watson is a descendant of those Watsons. He's always wanted to meet his Holmes counterpart, Charlotte, but his mother discouraged him. But now he's going to boarding school in America, and as luck would have it, Charlotte is enrolled as well. When the two of them are framed for a murder that recreates a Sherlock story, they must figure out who the real murderer is before they are locked up. Charlotte and Jamie must figure out who they are and how they can work together before their time runs out.

Just. Wow. If there was one thing I wasn't expecting from this book, it was how much it would make me smile. The friendship between Jamie and Charlotte is just SO believable. They care about each other so much, even though they can be wildly difficult. Jamie is a worry-wart with a taste for adrenaline and a bit of a temper. Charlotte is a brilliant drug addict (like that Holmes) with some surprisingly human vulnerabilities and who loves ABBA. Any scene between these two made me so happy. On several occasions I laughed out loud. I had no idea who the killer was and I adored all the deductions Charlotte and (eventually) Jamie make. There's some gruesome bits (ewww diamond down a throat) and some heart-wrenching bits (under the porch). But the feeling I was left with after finishing this book was...hope. And excitement for the next installment. GIMME!!!

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: The Revenge of Seven by Pittacus Lore

My Heart and Other Black Holes

I was definitely on a contemporary kick last month, I think totalling 4 or 5 contemporary novels. This is unusual for me, as long-time readers of this blog will attest to. Fantasy is my usual fare, with a smattering of sci-fi, romance, dystopian, historical, and yes, contemporary. But every once in a while I like to sink my teeth into contemporary. My Heart and Other Black Holes is certainly a book with a lot to sink into.


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Aysel wants to die, and she doesn't want to do it half-assed. The last thing she wants to happen is to chicken out halfway through and end up a vegetable or worse...alive. So she needs a companion. And she finds one by the screenname of FrozenRobot. He lives one town over and he's just as screwed up, just as miserable as she is. As they plan their joint death, Aysel starts to have second thoughts about leaving the world behind. But FrozenRobot is determined. She'll have to convince him it's worth staying, and that's an argument she isn't used to making.

This book made me sad. Let's just get that out of the way. Aysel's depression, described as a black slug, is seriously well done. It drags on her spirit, it morphs into a rather twisted sense of humor, and she has a sort of peace when she finds her suicide companion. The story of why Aysel is suicidal is revealed in dribs and drabs, and FrozenRobot (who's real name is Roman) has an equally tear-jerking backstory. The focus on high school here is minimal, which I appreciated. There are some good family moments, and the climax made my heart race and sink all at once. I was urging Aysel to go faster, think faster. And I legitimately did not know which way the story was going to go, which I really liked. There were two distinct paths and I like when I can't tell which direction the author is going to go with it. That being said, I'm not sure how I feel about Aysel's depression being releaved so quickly. I like her moments of discussing how it'll be a struggle, and there will be good days and bad. I thought on the whole it was a good representation of what it's like to be depressed. But it was not perfect. And I think that will be a problem for those reading the book who have had different experiences with this area of mental health. So while I give this book 4 stars, it is a bit tentative because even weeks later, I'm not sure how I feel about the end. I myself have not suffered from depression and I don't want to presume to be able to judge how others will feel and relate to this story.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Extraordinary Means


I am not a John Green fiend (I swear this is relevant). I've read a couple of his books and I think Paper Towns is on my To-Read list. This is not to say that I don't enjoy John Green's books. Not at all. I just this background might be helpful going forward with this review. Sorry I've been posting so sporadically, guys!


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Lane was about to start his senior year before getting shipped off to Latham House. He had big plans to get into a top-tier college, and every waking minute was spent pursuing that goal. But at Latham House, which is part hospital part boarding school, the school part is secondary. There, he reconnects with Sadie, a girl he sort of knew years ago, and whose carefree attitude both scares and excites him. With the looming spector of disease constant around them, Lane both rejects and welcomes these new attitudes, and they threaten to change his outlook forever.

I read a review on Goodreads which presented an alternate title that I think sums up this book in five words: The Fault in Our Alaskas. As luck would have it, I have read both The Fault in Our Stars, and Looking for Alaska. This is not to say that Extraordinary Means is not enjoyable. Now, it's interesting actually. The idea of a drug resistant TB really presents a sad world at Latham House. These teenagers have to confront their mortality on with shocking regularity, but not in a way like it happens in dystopias. No, death from TB is quiet and personal, and it's a slow descent into death. Sadie and Lane have a lovely relationship, and Lane's obsession with perfection which pushes him to try too hard and not actually focus on things he cares about is one that I think a lot of teenagers can relate to. I was an overachiever in school. I took AP classes and advanced math courses I did not enjoy, all so I could plump up my college resume. I burned myself out on many occasions trying to keep up with it all, sacrificing things I enjoyed in order to finish work for those classes. So this book is certainly relatable. But it also has a perfunctory death and teenagers who talk about how unique their tastes are and how that makes them better than everyone else. Sadie and Lane are kept apart by a never-fully-realized plot device which disappears in one conversation. I didn't feel like any of the revelations in this book were particularly new, and I got bored by the end because I knew what was going to happen. Very Fault in Our Alaskas, essentially. All in all, a pleasant, quick read.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars (More like 3.5)
Up Next: My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Tiny Pretty Things

Round two of catching up on my reviews! I was a gymnast for six years. I was nothing special, at all. I took lessons and did the yearly exhibition thing, and then I did a year of it in high school before a badly broken ankle ended my season. This actually turned out for the best because it inspired my short-lived book Balancing Act which dealt with the high school gymnastics world. All this to say, reading a book about the realities of the world of ballet really excited me.


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Gigi, Bette, and June are students at a prestigious ballet school in New York. They compete for everything in a world that says they need to be a single body type. Every year only a select few high-level students are awarded lead roles in the ballets and then possible a role in a company. They all love ballet with a fierceness, even as it ravages their lives. As these girls compete for the top spots, rivalries form, secrets are revealed, and lives torn apart.

I'm of two minds with this book. Firstly, I love all the bits where they discuss the realities of the ballet. How a ballerina's feet actually look, how you have to starve yourself to be the classic ballet body type, the inherent racism in the system. All awesome things to focus on. I loved how each character struggled with something different. How they were still teenagers even though they also had to be adults. I will absolutely be reading the sequel. But there were a couple downsides. 1) No adults anywhere basically and they seemed to have no power. And 2) I wanted more showing, less telling about the characters' personalities. Gigi seemed to scream a lot more than a regular person too, but I'll give that one a pass considering all the stuff that happened to her. This book reminded me a bit of Anna Godbersen's Luxe series in the way the story was told, and I am a-okay with that! Overall, a very enjoyable (though sad) story that left me in suspense of what happens next!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Extraordinary Means by Robin Schneider

The Naturals

Well...I'm super behind on my reviews. Like, incredibly. I've been on a reading binge, and in addition to working full-time and trying to have a social life (moderately successful), I just haven't found the time to review all the books. But now I'll give it a go! I read The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes in early October...well, listened to it on audiobook while I put together a puzzle, but same thing.


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Seventeen-year-old Cassie has always had a knack for reading people. But it isn't until the FBI shows up that she realizes what she has in an insane natural ability, one that other people share with her. She goes into a special training program to learn how to assist in cold cases. Her fellow "students" seem great, but they definitely have secrets they aren't sharing. But when dead bodies start showing up around town, ones that start sharing an eerie resemblance with Cassie's mother's unsolved murder, Cassie is pulled into a situation she  might not get out of with her life.

I really enjoyed this book! I watch a few crime procedurals (White Collar, Castle, Sherlock) and profiling is fascinating to me. So Cassie's ability to get into the victim's head and her friend's ability to get into the killer's head was really cool and legitimately freaked me out on a few occasions. There was a really great enhanced-ability game of truth or dare. A very fun read. And the murder mystery with the bodies showing up was really creepy. On the downside, there was a romance I didn't care about, though that might change as I read the next few books. And I didn't feel like I learned a whole lot about Cassie outside her abilities and her trauma around her mother's death. But overall, a very enjoyable listen, and I'll be reading the sequel!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Empire of Storms

I took over two weeks to read this book. Why? Well, on the one hand I've been very busy and exhausted with work. On the other...I didn't want the magic to end. Because the next book in this series is the last one, and the last book in the ACOTAR series comes out in like 6 months and I'm not sure I'm ready for these series to be done. I will absolutely read anything else Sarah J. Maas writes, but the Throne of Glass series holds a very special place in my heart. You all know my feelings on these books, so if you don't want to read a sappy, gushing review, you should probably read one of my other reviews. So, without further ado!

Aelin Galathynius is ready to claim her place as queen of Terrasen. But dark forces brew on the horizon and what she needs are allies. And they are in short supply. With cryptic warnings from long-dead royals, and her potential friends scattered, Aelin and her remnants of a court journey toward a Lock that is supposed to help save Erilea from Erawan, the Valg king. Obstacles lie in their path, both inside and without. Snares laid millennia ago are closing, and only Aelin and her court might just stand a chance against their enemies, if only they can unravel the riddles.


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This book. Just...wow. I'll admit, the first few chapters were slower for me. And I'll admit that there were a few too many battles for my taste (see: my love of court intrigue and verbal sparring). But, guys, in the end I just did not care. This book is a behemoth, and I read the majority of it over two days. This series, which started as a fantasy series with a love triangle, has involved into this epic fantasy that has my toes curling in pleasure. So many times in series with many POVs, I want to skip through to the main POV (see my review of Falling Kingdoms). But, guys, the secondary POVs here...they blew me away. All the ships in this book could make an armada. Elide and Lorchan, Aedion and Lysandra, Dorian and Manon (I'll admit, that one threw me for a loop). AND, GUYS. When all of these characters finally converge, for the first time since the series started when I wasn't really sure why Manon was featured (HA I was such a sweet flower child), IT WAS EVEN MORE GLORIOUS THAN I IMAGINED. All the intrigue, all the banter, all the secret plans and Lysandra's shifting and Elide's hope and Aelin's snark and, oh man, I can barely talk about it. And that ending. Guys, that ending. The ending of ACOMAF killed me. This book ties as an ending that destroyed me. How in the world am I going to wait a year for the final installment? What am I going to do with my life once this series is finished? Will I be doomed to spend a lifetime writing fanfiction of Lysandra shifting into a ghost leopard and scaring the pants off people by waiting around castle corners? Or about Lyria and Rowan or Dorian learning to fly a wyvern? How will I cope?

Anyway, if you've made it this far in my review, you know my stance. Read this series. Now. What are you still doing reading this review? GO BUY THIS SERIES!

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Wrath and the Dawn

Final post of the night, I promise. After this I will be all caught up from my backlog of reviews. And, little teaser, the next one will be Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas because there's no way I'm not devouring that as fast as I can if it's even half as good as her other books. But in the meantime, here I am, eyelids drooping and alarm set for work tomorrow. But before I succumb to sleep, I want to tell you about The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.


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Every night the King of Kings, Khalid, weds a girl. The next morning she is killed. No one in the city of Rey understands why. Shahrzad intends to find out, and then she'll kill the king. She is the first girl to volunteer to become Khalid's bride, and no one trusts her for it. She must captivate the king long enough to learn his weaknesses and then seek revenge on the man who had her best friend killed. But first she has to survive the dawn.

Ahhh, here is the breath of fresh air I've been looking for. The beautiful world with the interesting dialogue and food porn and characters that aren't cardboard cutouts. I literally had to eat after reading this book every time I picked it up. The tales of Shahrzad mix well with the rest of the story, but don't overtake the whole book in too literal of a retelling. The romance with Khalid was a slow burn that actually made me care about it. The breakaways to other POVs were interesting, though left a bit to be desired in character development. Despina and Shazi made for great banter, and Jalil is a character I'm really excited to see more of in future books. The magic is something I hope is better developed in the next books, but if it is then I'm willing to think of this book as a slow burn like Throne of Glass was. In the end, I liked this book way more an I intended to and I'm incredibly excited to read the next one!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Ice Like Fire

Okay, I'm on a roll tonight! I'm pretty tired though, so this review will probably be shorter than the one for Falling Kingdoms. Oh, I just thought of something potentially interesting to say in my little intro paragraph-y thing! Since all of my stuff is being shipped to my new home, I've been relying solely on kindle books for several weeks now. It's really different for me, reading nearly entirely on a device, though it has allowed me to make a bit of a dent in the huge pile of kindle books that have gone unread so far. But anyways, last week I read Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch, the second book in the Snow Like Ashes trilogy, a fantasy series.


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Winter is free from Spring's control, but the effects linger on. The people are suffering, but everyone is trying to hide it. But Winter might not be as free as Meira and the other Winterians hoped. They're indebted to Cordell for their help in freeing the country, and the king wants the source of magic that supposedly resides in the mountains. When it's discovered, Meira and her friends set out to find the keys to unlock the magic, though she has a different goal than the rest. She wants to keep the magic from being used, for she doesn't truly believe that Angra is gone, or that magic will be used purely for good.

Eh. I enjoyed Snow Like Ashes, though it didn't rise to the top of my list for the year. And this book...was a middle book. I feel like that's happening to me a lot lately. Meira and Mather's perspectives repeated a lot of the same poignant-but-only-the-first-three-times-it's-said things and slowly made progress toward their goals. Meira worries about being a queen, Mather worries about Winter, and everyone talks in broad strokes instead of personal intricacies. There was one character I really liked, who saved this book from getting a two-star review. Ceridwen, though her name confuses the hell out of me, was awesome. When it got to the end of the book I found myself wishing she was the main character, not Meira. She's got turmoil, she's tough as nails, she understands political intrigue, and she's got a bad home life. I'm really hoping she plays a big part in the next book, perhaps as a replacement POV for Mather. Please?

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

Falling Kingdoms

I'm baaaaack with  more backlogged reviews! This time it's for Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes, a fantasy which has been on my radar for a while now. As you all know, fantasy is the genre which finds itself in my hands most often, so I'm a harsher judge than I am of, say, contemporary fiction which I don't read very often. But anyways, I'll get right to the point because I'm tired and need to go to bed soon.

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When princess Cleo witnesses a violent crime, it throws the three kingdoms of Mytica into chaos. magic has vanished from the land and all but Cleo's kingdom seems to be dying. Meanwhile, Jonas seeks revenge on the princess for her part in his brother's death, and Magnus is at the whims of his father's power-hungry desires. The key to saving everyone could be magic, but the keys to unlocking are lost.

I just...don't think I was the audience for this book, even though I thought I was. I love multiple POVs, but I didn't care about any of these characters. Jonas is forgotten for a good chunk of the book, Cleo is whiny, and Magnus was too different between how he acted and what he thought. And there were a few more POVs mixed in that barely registered. There was instalove and over-dramatic death. There was a war with a twist I saw coming a mile away...I could go on and on. There wasn't enough magic for my taste, and it wasn't well defined at all. But if there was one thing that made it so I knew I wasn't going to pick up book two was how overwrought everyone was about everything. There were horrible things happening, but I was never made to care about them. When bad things happened to Cleo's family, I didn't weep because it hurt her on a personal level. When all of the characters were presented with their next challenge for book two, it wasn't earned for me. I know a lot of people loved this series, but I'm going to stop with book one. 

Goodreads Rating: 2 Stars
Up Next: Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

An Ember in the Ashes

It's getting late in my apartment. I'm going to miss the summer when it's gone. I like the long days and that brilliant blue sky. I'll even miss the heat, though where I'm living now it's more like a hot, damp blanket draped around your shoulders. I'm pretty much part cat. I can handle heat, and can curl up with a book and end up falling asleep in the middle of the day if there's a warm breeze and sun on my shoulders. But in the winter I also enjoy sitting inside, wrapped in a blanket while rain pummels the windows. I don't know what made me think about that except I realized recently that I've lived in three states in less than a year. Crazy, huh? And my books have followed me everywhere. And with that horrible segue, here are my thoughts on An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.


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Laia is part of the conquered Scholars. Elias is a warrior of the Martial Empire that did the conquering. Laia's family was killed and she barely escaped with her life. Her brother was captured, and she now has one goal: free him with the help of the rebellion that lives in the tunnels beneath the city. To do so, she allows herself to be sold as a slave to the Martial academy, into the service of the most despicable warrior of all. She's to spy on a woman who has killed servants for looking at her without asking. Meanwhile, Elias wants to desert the Martial Empire. But his only way to freedom is through a contest to become the Emperor himself.

So, weird book, I'll give it that. There are some elements of fantasy that I enjoyed and I think will be good in the next book. I also appreciated how the book moved swiftly past the awkward "try to establish a family and setting when every reader knows it's going to get blown to hell in 20 pages" thing. No, readers don't care about Laia's brother. I cared about her obviously being a terrible spy and still letting herself become a slave in spite of that fact. I cared that she was missing the obvious fact that the rebellion wasn't being honest with her. I did not buy the romance between Laia and Elias. I would have rather heard more about Elias's best friend (once again, I'm so sorry, it's been a few weeks since I read the book, so I can't remember her name) who was the only girl in the academy. I also would like to have seen more of the background behind why everyone just accepted that these magic immortal guys said the emperor's line would fail and there's going to be a competition over a few weeks to determine who's going to become the new emperor. That seemed weird to me. Why would the current emperor allow for it? Why weren't there more people selected to compete? How did those competitions at all prepare people for being the emperor? I enjoyed this book, but I'm really hoping those elements get more fleshed out in the next installment.

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars (more like 3.5)
Up Next: Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

The Infinite Sea

Ah, I've got to learn not to follow a dystopian with a dystopian. Especially if they're both also sorta kinda sci-fi and middle books. And with my mood already a bit soured by the disappointment that was Golden Son, perhaps it affected my judgment of The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey which is, I think, less than half the size of its predecessor. You be the judge.


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Cassie Sullivan has her brother back, but still the world is dying. All that is left of the human race is a few scattered people. And a few who have had an alien consciousness awoken inside them. The Others are still tightening the noose around the Earth's neck, and Cassie and her friends still don't know how far they will go to rid the planet of the human scourge.

See that short description up there? That's because not a whole lot happens in this book, and even less of it makes sense. What captivated me about The Fifth Wave was the elegant writing style. It was poetic, but not in the way that Maggie Stiefvater books are poetic. No, it was compulsively readable, enough that I didn't really start to notice the cracks in the story until I was through with it. That writing style is still present here, but to a lesser extent. And when you have already seen the cracks, it's harder to ignore them. Cassie is annoying. I admired her for a good part of The Fifth Wave. Even if she did get distracted and moony over a boy, I admired her dedication to finding her brother and thr toughness she grabbed onto like a lifeline. In this book she just annoyed me. Her maybe romance with Ben Parish flickered and died and made me sad because Ben is a much better match for her than her alien love interest (whose story I had no interest in here). Ringer was the character I was most interested in. I enjoyed reading her backstory, how she managed to stay strong through literal internal torture. I liked her friendship with her captor/carer (again, it's been a while since I read it, so I can't remember all the names). There were some awesome action sequences with her. Aaaaand then she lost me. [SPOILER] She realizes what's been missing in her life is a boy and sex. And the romance was just...forced. I didn't care for it at all. Maybe if it had been realized in the next book. But Ringer did not need a romantic interest. I just...I'm going to read The Last Star, but from what I've heard it's not fantastic. I'll be pleased though if there isn't as many repetitions of the phrase "last star" in it as there were instances of "infinite sea" in this book. You have to earn using your title in your book. This book abused the privilege.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars (more like 2.5)
Up Next:  An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Golden Son

Hello, strangers! I kind of disappeared there for a month, didn't I? I haven't done that in a while. Well, it wasn't for lack of reading. In fact, even though I'm behind on my summer reading, I'm still rather proud of the amount I managed to read considering the circumstances. This summer I went back to school! That's right! It was only for a short while, but it was fruitful. You see, I'm now working in publishing again. Like, working in a brick and mortar place with a desk and a coffee pot in the kitchen and my own snazzy filing cabinets. It's crazy and I love it dearly. So you see, between school, interviewing, and then moving my entire life (again) to a different state, thing have been kind of crazy. But that's probably not what you're interested in reading about. No no, you want to know what I thought of Golden Son by Pierce Brown, the second book the Red Rising trilogy. As usual, spoilers ahead.


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Darrow is a fully fledged member of gold society now. But he's an outcast. After a defeat at the academy, his own sponsor wants nothing to do with him and everyone else thinks he's ripe to kill. The rebellion against the golds is growing, but not in the way Darrow thinks his wife would have wanted. He has a new mission: civil war. He must pitch the golds against one another so the reds and lower colors can rise in a new world. But tearing the world apart means betraying people Darrow cares about.

Okay, so my description kind of sucks. I did read this book a while ago and honestly...I can't understand why this series made the splash it did. Darrow's narrative is annoying. He's such a Gary Sue. He repeats the same thoughts over and over, moralizing about how all the horror he's doling out is okay because it's in the service of Eo's dreams. Well, I agreed with him until the twenty-seventh time he thought about it. Then I just got bored. I didn't care enough about most of the characters to find their power games scintillating, which bums me out because wars with words are one of my favorite parts of books. Instead, Brown kills off most of the characters who might have been interesting or posed trouble to the cause of the reds. Darrow's boring and Mustang's gone most of the time. Sevro is crazy and probably one of my favorites. The ending got my heart going a bit, but I still didn't know enough about the secondary characters to feel all that invested. Brown can certainly write a battle scene, I'll give him that, and his technology spiels were interesting. If he'd just had a lighter hand with the moralizing I would have enjoyed this more.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars (more like 2.5)
Up Next: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Monday, July 11, 2016

The Crown

It's been a crazy couple of weeks to say the least. So I hope you'll forgive me for writing this review late. Hopefully I'll have some good news for you guys soon! I can't talk much about it now, but in the days to come...who knows. And no, it's not a book deal unfortunately. I am still chugging along with writing Spiral. In fact, I hit 30k last week! And I've plotted out an entire trilogy that's a fantasy retelling of Swan Lake, so that's fun too. But we're not here to talk about my writing endeavors. You want to know what I thought of The Crown by Kiera Cass, the final book in the Selection series which began many eons ago.


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Eadlyn's world has been turned upside down. Her mother has had a heart attack, leaving her father stricken and Eadlyn the acting regent. Her brother is on the other side of the world, and somehow she has to pick between the Elite suitors left at the palace. Eadlyn never expected love, but she loves parts of every boy who remains. But is that enough to base the rest of her life on? When elements outside the palace force her hand, Eadlyn must choose, and it might not be for love.

Sigh. These books. I've never been their biggest champion, but they've been enjoyable. Light, fluffy, with a side of romance. I adore that. If you don't believe me, read any review I've ever written of a Kristan Higgins book. But these last two books which extended the Selection series...they put me in mind of Cassandra Clare's books and how that series got stretched from 3 to 6 books. They seemed unnecessary. And unfortunately, so does Eadlyn's story. If it had been longer, I could have seen it working. The Selection is an interesting premise, and seeing it from the point of view of a girl who must choose could be very interesting. But these books are too short to really delve into it, and I was left feeling like so much was happening that I wasn't seeing that I couldn't connect with the characters. Eadlyn is unpopular and strives to understand how to be better. I want more of it. Eadlyn's childhood friend is trying to steal the throne. I want more of it. Two of Eadlyn's suitors fall for each other. I want more of it. Eadlyn's heart goes to someone else. I want more of it. There are so many good elements in this book, but none of them are fleshed out. There are huge reveals that don't feel earned. I am almost always saying a book can be trimmed. But this one needed fleshing out. The characters deserved it.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Sunday, June 19, 2016

5th Year Blogoversary

I missed it again! My five-year blogoversary was actually on May 19th, but better late than never! It's hard to believe it's been five years. When I started this blog I had just graduated high school and was just starting to dip my toe in the publishing world. I had only just heard of things like Absolute Write Water Cooler and Publisher's Weekly. Had just learned about literary agents and foolishly thought I would sell them my first book. I got a lot of rejections on that query letter.

And here we are, five years later. I've written six books, one of which was briefly published. I've worked for publishing houses and a literary agency. I've lived abroad and become a much more confident version of myself. I've graduated college and had my heart broken. I've moved away from my childhood home. I've discovered a love of cooking and baking.

But some things are still the same. I still binge-eat chocolate. I still wear socks that go up to me knees. I still buy more books than I could possibly read in a year. I love to travel and snuggle with dogs.

I still love to write. It was rough going there after Balancing Act came off the virtual shelves. I wrote two books to try to discover that feeling again. That fun. With Poison Ivy I poured all my bitterness into the main character, letting her fuel my outrage at having my lifelong dream come true only to be ripped away. Masque was written solely for fun. I have no intention of ever trying to edit it or get it published. It's a book just for me, just to remind myself why I was drawn to writing in the first place.

Now I'm writing my seventh book, Spiral, and it's fun and heartbreaking and the first book I might consider sending out to agents since that fateful day Entranced Publishing closed its doors for good.

I'm a different person than the one who started this blog. I'm smarter, wiser, warier. And maybe for the first time in a long while, I feel the excitement and hope that ran through me when I hit publish on my very first post.

A Court of Mist and Fury

I adore Sarah J. Maas. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me that she's writing two series simultaneously because it was torture to wait a year to dive back into her worlds. I was a little hesitant to pick up A Court of Thorns and Roses. I like my retellings but I wasn't positive this one would be for me. Well I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved it. It wasn't perfect, but hey, no book is. So when I got A Court of Mist and Fury I was delighted to see how thick it was, while also being nervous to start reading it. What if it wasn't as good?


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Amarantha is dead. But her death and the things she made Feyre do Under the Mountain broke her, maybe beyond repair. As Feyre tries to hold together the scraps of her life, new powers surge under her skin. Powers that Tamlin wants to quash so their enemies won't hunt them. Evil greater than Amarantha is on the horizon, and then there's the problem closer to home. Rhysand owns one week of every month of Feyre's life, and he's coming to collect on their deal.

There's so much more I want to write up there, but I don't want to reveal anything too important. Because there's so much that happens in this book, even if it takes its time with some things. Like developing the relationship between Feyre and Rhysand beyond what happened Under the Mountain. Like showing Feyre's PTSD around what she was forced to do. Like showing her healing in unexpected ways and bantering with awesome new characters. I will admit that this book takes a long time to get to the climax. But I didn't care. Because I loved Feyre and Rhysand and how beautifully Maas writes. There's a scene in a cottage that felt out of place for a while, but even at the time it had my heart racing and then my gorge bobbing. And there are steamy scenes and other nice things. One thing I really appreciated was the reappearance of Feyre's sisters, Nesta and Elain. So different, yet they leap right off the page whenever they enter the room. But, guys...guys. You know what broke my heart and made me angry and happy and all the things? The climax. THAT is how you do a climax. It wasn't a cliffhanger but it made me want to shriek for the next book because it was that good, because so much happened. Because it made me want to growl and cry at the same time. Damn it, Maas, I thought I was getting used to your books but you got me again. Nicely done.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: The Crown by Kiera Cass

Bramblestar's Storm

When I was a kid I fell in love with the Warriors books. I luckily got into them when there were already a couple series out. I devoured them. And then I stopped. My favorite character was gone and I was ready to move on from them. Until a wave of  nostalgia got to me about a month ago. I started reading a bunch of the novellas. I put holds on books at the library. I wanted to know what had happened to the characters I had left behind oh so many years ago. This is the first of many Warriors books I'll be reading this summer, so prepare yourselves.


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The Great Battle is over, but its repercussions are still being felt all around the lake. Thunderclan lost so many great cats, including its longtime leader Firestar. His deputy, Bramblestar, must take over in a time of healing and new turmoil. The clans used to be united against the Dark Forest, but those bonds seem to be breaking quickly with the threat gone. And then there are forces that can't be prepared for. When a storm comes to the lake, Bramblestar must use all his skills to save not just Thunderclan, but every clan.

Super editions are always tough in a series which revels in slowly pulling its plots out over four or five books. It's self contained, it feels very quick. And there are some more successful than others. Yellowfang's Secret is a good example. It goes into the past rather than serves as a between-series placeholder. I was very interested to see how this book went, as its the first book in the series to take place after Firestar's death, a character who has been around since book one when he was Rusty, a kittypet who didn't even know about feral cats. It was his death that made me realize I was done with the series. Because how could I go on if there was no Firestar? I reveled in seeing all my old friends, in slipping into this intricate world of alliances and betrayal and natural disasters and prophecies. I ached for Dustpelt as he mourned the loss of Ferncloud. But this book lacked...heart. I wanted longer descriptions about how Bramblestar wasn't sure he could take over after his leader's death. I wanted Squirrelflight to share long, sad glances with him because their adopted kit had died but they were no longer together. I wanted...more. I cried when Firestar died, and I wanted this book to mourn with me. And it did...for a little. There is a death that is so glossed over it angered me. And scenes that were so dragged out it annoyed me. And then there's a scene in a twoleg den that made me laugh. This book wasn't perfect. But it was a nice way to put myself back in the world of the clans.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Raven King

This final book in the Raven Cycle is kicking off my summer reading project. That's right! For the fifth year in a row I've collected a bunch of books and will read them throughout the summer, reviewing them as I go, with a deadline of September 30th. I started reading this series four years ago and instantly fell in love. I had previously read Stiefvater's Scorpio Races and knew I would enjoy it. How little I knew then.


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Magic is stirring in Henrietta. A darkness is infecting Cabeswater, one that draws buyers of magical artifacts. Glendower must be found to save the forest, but Noah, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Blue aren't sure how all the pieces fit together. Time is fluid in Henrietta, particularly for the five of them. And still the clock ticks ever closer to Gansey's death, and Blue's kiss will still kill the love of her life.

It is impossible to describe Stiefvater's books so I'll admit I didn't try very hard here. Because this book is not about the plot. It's about the characters. It's about how every glance means something, how every word Stiefvater puts in their mouths is at once poetry and bluntness and reality and dreams. It's something I will never be able to do as a writer. She shows you the beauty in everyday happenings you don't notice anymore. She shows bleakness in a sunny day. It's remarkable. My chest was tight when Gansey gave Gwenllian the order to tell him where her father was. I ached for Ronan and how much he's been broken. I loved Blue and wanted her to go to Venezuela. And above all...I didn't want this book to end. Because it's the end of the series and I didn't want to be disappointed or admit that it was over. If I had one little gripe it would be about Piper. That whole part of the plot needed more attention because it was really interesting and well written. But I'm splitting hairs. I love the Raven Cycle and I'm sad it's over.

Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
Up Next: Bramblestar's Storm by Erin Hunter

Redemption

Okay, I'm insanely insanely late on this review. But in all fairness I have had one of the busiest months of my life. I won't go into it all, but suffice it to say I've barely had time to read at all, let alone sit down and write a review of those books. In fact I think in the last month I've only read two books basically. And that just is...wow. It's hard to believe that's the case. I'm trying to do better now, especially since a ton of books I'm incredibly excited for came out. But I'll get into that later!


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Mila is on the run again, from herself and General Holland. She still doesn't know what the endgame of her creation was, or how to live with the things she's done when technically she doesn't live at all. She hates the pain she caused her first love, Hunter, and wants to protect him and the world at all costs. She just doesn't understand what she's trying to protect them from.

This review isn't going to be the most in-depth because it's been a while since I actually read the book. But I'll do my best. As always, I enjoyed the little things that Mila's technology picked up. There's a scene with a bear that is just really cool because it shows the flaws in having human sensibilities and desires paired with uncaring technology that is based solely on facts. I also enjoyed Mila's relationship with Lucas. She needed someone who saw her for who she was and liked her for herself. It really showed how immature her relationship with Hunter was. Downsides: General Holland never really evolved past the villain he was in book one. And honestly I thought book one Holland was a lot creepier. Plus the infiltration of a school campus to discover what happened to Sarah AKA Mila's brain donor was hit and miss for me. It definitely got my heart going in certain scenes and others felt liked they dragged. And the ending killed it for me. It was just...sad. While objectively I felt like it was a well written last scene I didn't agree with how it went down. How Holland, after killing his way across the country to get to Mila, would just give up. Why Mila would decide that the best way to solve all the problems was to get in the chopper. It wasn't a sacrifice, it was negating the sacrifices of her mom and everyone else who died for her. I was disappointed. Overall, a hit-and-miss book for me, but I was still sad the series was over. That tech was awesome.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars (maybe more like 2.5. I don't know)
Up Next: The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Blood of Olympus

Rick Riordan is always a winner in my book. It was during one of my first Summer Reading Projects that I read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. And never have I laughed out loud so much at such a small book. Kristan Higgins makes me cringe with awkward and snortle, but when I got to the part of The Battle of the Labyrinth where Tyson yells BAD COW at a raging metal bull...I lost it. So suffice it to say I have since read all of the Percy Jackson Books, all of the Kane Chronicles, and just finished off the Heroes of Olympus series.


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The solstice is upon the demigods of the Roman and Greek camps. There's going to be a party in Athens, but not a good one. Gaea is waking, and Hazel, Piper, Leo, Frank, Percy, and Annabeth are the only ones who can stop it. Meanwhile, Nico, Coach Hedge, and Reyna are transporting the Athena Parthenos back to Camp Halfblood in an attempt to stop the Romans from waging war on the camp. The two groups hurtle toward their destinations, battling monsters and their own personal demons as the end of the world approaches.

Woof. So many characters in this book. And while I really enjoyed reading from Nico and Reyna's perspective, I was also sad that in this final book we didn't get Percy's perspective. I liked that Leo was the one who ultimately came up with a plan to defeat Gaea, but the fact that the two major demigods didn't really play a huge role in the battle against the Earth Mother felt odd. But maybe that's because I'm used to Percy being the Big Hero. Additionally, I thought Nico's story was told particularly well, and was nicely wrapped up over two entire series of books. Talk about a slow burn! The romance (excepting between Leo and Calypso) was just weird and cringe-inducing, so I think Riordan should avoid kissing scenes and stick to writing what he's best at: hilarious encounters between demigods and gods. Nike the goddess of victory bellowing anger at everyone receiving participation awards was funny enough to make me laugh just as hard as when Iris the goddess of rainbows opened a health food store. All in all a fun read. I look forward to reading the new series about Apollo!

Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
Up Next: Redemption by Debra Driza

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Considering A Change

If you've been around for a while, you know I go through spurts and dry spells with my blogging. This blog has also changed over time. When I first started, there were no book reviews. I wrote mostly writing advice as I found it helpful for me to put my thoughts into words. But over time (right around the time of my first summer reading project) this blog became mostly reviews. They were incredibly short and didn't have much substance to them. This has changed into longer reviews where I try to delve deeper into books without being so long-winded that it gets boring.

Now I'm contemplating another change. I adore reading. I'm currently reading three books right now. One is my At Home book. One is an audiobook I listen to on the way to work, and another one is the Huge Book That Is Going To Take A Year to Read. I love my books, clearly. I have another passion. It's baking. In the last couple years I have really gotten into cooking and baking, mostly because I was finally out of the college dorms where the "kitchen" was a sink and an ironing board. I make a lot of crock pot meals and I'm building a spice collection. But my true passion is baking. The more complicated the better.

And I've been thinking about changing this blog once again. I want to do book reviews. I really enjoy writing them. But I'd also love to share my baking experiences with you. I'm not yet at the point where I develop my own recipes from scratch, but I do tend to have interesting experiences because I don't have a complete kitchen like a lot of food bloggers. I don't have a standing mixer. I have two spatulas and one set of measuring spoons. I have to read recipes and adjust based on my equipment. I can't make certain things because of it.

So, I'd like to share my experiences with my readers. I'm not sure yet how this could change the blog, how often I would post about it, or if it would just be a background to my reviews. I'd love recommendations! Sound off!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Reasons I Love Raisa ana'Mariana

If you've been on this blog for at least six months you'll know I've read a LOT of Cinda Williams Chima books recently. Like...7 of them. I just started reading The Enchanter Heir. But while I've enjoyed the Heir Chronicles, I tore through the Seven Realms series. The main character in these books? Raisa ana'Mariana, princess heir of the Fells, a little kingdom with a ton of political and magical intrigue. Over 4 books I got to know her pretty well, and I can say with certainty that I love her. Why?

  • She's open-minded. Not to say she doesn't have biases, but she's open to hearing different peoples' perspectives and understands why they look at the world the way they do. There's one scene that truly struck me in this regard. Raisa is checking on someone in the infirmary, and discovers that the best healer hasn't been tending her because he's stretched thin and doesn't use techniques other cultures use. She understands, but cuts him down and puts him in the position to learn about these other cultures and appreciate what they can bring to the table. It was well done without hitting the reader over the head.
  • She allows herself to be a teenager. Yes, she's the princess heir, and yes, she's got a TON of responsibility, and she takes it very seriously. But that doesn't mean she doesn't enjoy kissing different boys and wearing pretty clothes and escaping it all once in a while to be herself. And she doesn't do these things with an annoying "woe is me" attitude. She takes these moments to be herself wholly and truly.
  • She likes learning. This is kind of related to the first point, but Raisa likes to learn. She decides to do physical training and war training when she goes to school instead of focusing on the arts because she's already learned some of those things and wants to be a well-rounded queen. She's got a council of people from all walks of life, and she goes walking in her city as a commoner to see what their lives are like. And she encourages others to learn, even funding schools for people without much money. That's aces in my book.
  • She does not give up. Yeah, I know that's general. But there's this scene where she's running from some people and she's exhausted and just watched people die, and then she gets poisoned, and then she hits a dead end. She's dying and has only a rock, but she never stops fighting. It's admirable and crazy and just what I'd want in a queen.
So yeah, I've read a lot of Chima's books in the last 6 months. And YAY she's starting a new series in the same world as the Seven Realms! I can't wait for it to come out in paperback.


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Reasons I Love Wyatt Enslow

It's been a few months since I read Catalyst, the final book in the Insignia trilogy. Today I want to take a little trip down memory lane with you guys and talk about Wyatt Enslow, a main character in the series. She is the best programmer in the Spire, and close friends with Tom and the gang. I won't tell you more, because the very base of her character is why I love her so much.

  • She's awkward. It might be hard to believe (/s), but once upon a time I was a very awkward individual. I could not wrap my mind around social situations. Every time I had a conversation with someone they would get this *look* that told me I was doing something weird or wrong. Over the years that changed, but I still remember those days. Wyatt is that kind of awkward. She has a hard time expressing what she feels, but has no trouble saying what she thinks. It's so relatable to me because she's not silent because of it. She still talks. And I think that personality type is underrepresented in books.
  • She has crushes. So slight spoiler, she crushed on Tom for a while, and ended up dating Yuri while still having a little bit of feelings for Tom. She even had some suspiciously tense banter with one of the other guys in the gang. And that's fine. She isn't slut-shamed for it, it isn't the only aspect of her character, she is still a good person. And she doesn't fall in love with the first guy that smolders at her and love him for all eternity. Sorry, but that Mary Sue trait bugs me a lot.
  • She's hella smart. Like, ridiculously smart. She's better than everyone else at programming. And it doesn't go to her head. She's proud, yeah, but she's also just good at it. She will help other people with their code and also whip out a virus that messes with them. I like that she's the best at it without being portrayed as arrogant or completely ignorant of how special she is.
  • She's loyal. This pops up a lot in my posts, I know, but seriously, loyalty that isn't blind is so awesome in a character. She is loyal to her friends even after they've done bad stuff. She doesn't let them get away with it, but she also doesn't ditch them as soon as the going gets tough.
So yeah! Those are my thoughts on Wyatt. I can't wait for S. J. Kincaid to write something new because she writes very believable characters with poignant and yet funny stories.