Sunday, July 31, 2016

ARC Review|| Tell the Wind and Fire by: Sarah Rees Brennan

{A huge thank you to the publisher for providing me with and ARC of Tell the Wind and Fire!}

For those who don't know, Tell the Wind and Fire is based off a Tale of Two Cities by: Charles Dickens. Since I haven't read A Tale of Two Cities I couldn't compare the two books but if you have read ATOFC then you may notice similarities.
With that being said...

I really enjoyed the book! 
I found the world to be... enchanting. The story mainly takes place in New York, except it's New York with a twist. 
The world was what really sold me on the story, if I'm being completely honest. I thought the magic system was well flushed out and I loved the different settings in which the story took place.

After thinking about it for a while I realized that the characters weren't something I particularly liked about the story. Yes, the female lead is strong and there was a romance of sorts. However, I never really connected with any of the characters. When the tragic finale of the story came I found myself not being THAT sad. (Okay I was a little sad but I got over it quickly.)

Going back...

The story begins on a train, and since I don't want to say anything about the story I'll be as vague as humanly possible.
Two of the main characters are in a wee bit of a pickle so a seemingly random person... helps them out. 
I found it to be annoying when the girl lead keeps talking about said person that helped her and the male lead out. I get that it was a kind thing to do, but you barely know this person and you're obsessing over them.

Anyways, I loved the sass coming from one of our main characters, Carwyn. He's overly sarcastic and I LOVE IT.
He has lines like:

"'What are you doing here?"
"I thought we covered that," Carwyn said. "Mommy and Daddy loved each other very much, so they did a dark ritual...?'"

Everyone else was serious, for obvious reasons. So I'm glad Carwyn brought the comedy to the table.

Without going into much detail, let's just say the ending had me like:

*That moment when you realize the conflict isn't actually resolved*

While the ending wasn't ideal for the characters I can tell you that the story was wrapped up nicely.

I would recommend this book to people who like worlds filled with magic and political conflict.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Friday, July 15, 2016

Review||| The Museum of Heartbreak by: Meg Leder

The Museum of Heartbreak by: Meg Leder

Series: Standalone

Page Count: 279

Published: June 7th, 2016

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a finished copy in exchange for my honest review!


"In this ode to all the things we gain and lose and gain again, seventeen-year-old Penelope Marx curates her own mini-museum to deal with all the heartbreaks of love, friendship, and growing up.

Welcome to the Museum of Heartbreak.

Well, actually, to Penelope Marx’s personal museum. The one she creates after coming face to face with the devastating, lonely-making butt-kicking phenomenon known as heartbreak.

Heartbreak comes in all forms: There’s Keats, the charmingly handsome new guy who couldn’t be more perfect for her. There’s possibly the worst person in the world, Cherisse, whose mission in life is to make Penelope miserable. There’s Penelope’s increasingly distant best friend Audrey. And then there’s Penelope’s other best friend, the equal-parts-infuriating-and-yet-somehow-amazing Eph, who has been all kinds of confusing lately.

But sometimes the biggest heartbreak of all is learning to let go of that wondrous time before you ever knew things could be broken."

{Minor side-character personality spoilers}

I've mentioned before that I don't tend to gravitate toward contemporaries. Not that I've read a horrifically bad contemporary to make me feel this way, it's just that I'm more of a fantasy reader.
But I do have to say that I enjoyed The Museum of Heartbreak.

I could definitely relate to the main character, in more ways than one, and the pacing of the story was good.
Being me, I got distracted while reading so it took me longer to get through. However I would definitely classify the book as a short and easy read. 

Though at times I found myself getting frustrated with the characters. Penelope, our MC, stays with a guy that is obviously king of douche land for the majority of the book. Yes, their relationship paves the path for the ultimately cute ending but their relationship also made me want to pull my hair out. (Not really but kind of.) Listening to some sexist snob manipulate a decent girl was not fun. At. All.

He couldn't of been that bad....

Let's look at some quotes. Shall we?

"'Eh, lady writers, not really my thing."

"'You're totally mad, aren't you?'"

(Okay that quote doesn't sound terrible but he says that 3 times every chapter and he's using it as a form of manipulation.)

"He clicked on his computer, and the Flaming Lips started filtering through the room like a subtle headache, one that won't leave. I told him I hated this band."

Though I think what really made me hate him was when he turned down a piece of birthday cake because "Artificial coloring." He turned down cake. Cake!!!!

It was great to see how Penelope and her friendship with Audrey and Eph developed throughout the story. I can definitely relate to the feeling of not wanting your friend group to change. I'm not the biggest fan of change so I felt that I could relate to Penelope in that aspect of my life.

Like I said the ending was ultimately cute and I was happy with how things turned out. I'm definitely happy I ended up picking up this story.

I would recommend this book to people who enjoy contemporaries following high-schoolers. As well as a few cliche's thrown in here and there.

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Discussion||| Why I've loved writing reviews lately *she says indecisively*

Today I wanted to discuss the bane of many bloggers' existence's: Writing reviews.

Aka something I've been loving lately.

(I'm pretty sure I actually have a post on how much I despise writing reviews that I wrote a few months ago.)
So basically I have an ever changing opinion when it comes to reviews...

Will I ever make up my mind? 

*le sigh*


So why is it that I've been loving writing reviews so much lately?

Well, something about writing and posting is just really... satisfying. For me, at least, it feels like finding the right things to say in a review is like having to overcome a mountain. When I write and post a review it feels like I've overcome said mountain.

Not the best analogy out there but watcha going to do...

Not only this but I've been getting more interaction on my reviews (which is absolutely amazing!) 
Having a review out in the world means that other book lovers have the opportunity to comment and tell you their thoughts on the book you've just reviewed.

Also, the feeling I get when I find out that I've convinced someone to read a book I've really enjoyed is incredible. 
Knowing I've helped out an author makes me feel amazing as well. Authors work really hard and promoting their book is almost like... a payback for the beautiful words they've written.

So I'll just end on that note.

I know this wasn't the longest post ever but I think I got in everything I wanted to say :)

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day!

Friday, July 1, 2016

ARC Review ||| And I Darken by: Kiersten White

Series: The Conquerors Saga (#1)

Page Count: 496

Published: June 28, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Thank you to Brittany from Brittany's Book Rambles for the ARC!

"No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point."


And I Darken was nothing like what I thought it would be. Not that that's a bad thing. I had assumed that the book would be a fantasy novel with lot's of action and maybe a little bit of romance in the mix. Instead I was given a historical fiction ( I just accidentally wrote fantasy instead of fiction *SIGH*) novel that heavily dealt with religion and politics. Oh, yes, and the romance was a gi-freaking-normous part of the plot.

I'm not going to lie, I hesitated picking this one up because trusted book friends weren't enjoying it. 
And though I definitely see why someone may not enjoy the book I definitely did end up enjoying the book.

Since I'm a huge lover of history I found myself immersed in the story. While the story & its characters may have been fictional, readers still get to learn a thing or two about life in the Ottoman Empire (which I found to be pretty interesting.)

I'm not really sure how to feel about the characters. Lada may have been badass but she definitely wasn't my favorite. She's horrible to everyone and I'm not sure I agreed with her decision that she made at the end of the novel. Then again, she's a female version of Vlad the Impaler so...
Then we have her brother, Radu. Who I really liked, until he has a bit of a personality flip. His feelings towards his sister were totally justified... but I found myself not agreeing with them? 
I'm very confused about my feelings.

I definitely liked where the story took place. It was great to read a story that took place around Romania. (Since most YA novels take place in super popular, cliche areas in the US/Europe.) I also really loved the vivid descriptions of architecture in the novel. The setting of And I Darken was a breath of fresh air that made it stand apart from other YA books.

Something else I really appreciated was the addition of lgbtq characters. I feel there's lgbtq characters in contemporary books but when it comes to other genres they just... disappear. 
There's a scene in the book where a pair of lgbtq characters, I won't say who since I don't want to spoil, have a great moment that gave me all the warm fuzzies. Just saying ;)

The conclusion of the story was just UGH.
Who do I root for? Who do I trust in book 2?

Overall, I really enjoyed the story and I'll definitely be continuing the series.

I would recommend this book to people who love History and YA books that focus on politics.

I also created a Pinterest board for the series recently! I'll be adding to it as I continue on with the series. View it here!

Thanks for reading and have a lovely day!

Review|| A Court of Wings and Ruin (and lot's of cringe) by: Sarah J Maas

I don't usually like to review sequels because then the review can't truly be spoiler free (which is a huge bummer). BUT I ha...