Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I LOVED with Fewer than 2,000 Ratings on Goodreads

Howdy to everyone! Hope your day is going splendid and that your week has started off well.

This weeks theme is all about finding those diamonds in the rough. Though upon looking through my Read list I realized, most books I have read have way more than 2,000 ratings. It honestly makes me want to find more books where fewer people have heard of them.

With so few to choose from, these weren’t all books I LOVED, but at least 4 stars and enjoyed overall. Here’s to Top Ten Tuesday!

Evenfall (Shadowfire #1)

By Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

Number of ratings: 161

I called this book, a tale of two stories. It was almost a DNF til about half-way, then I felt like I was reading a whole new tale and it ended really well! I was lucky enough to receive this from Netgalley and I am looking forward to book two.

The Cenote

by: Chelsea Dyreng

Number of ratings: 177

Unfortunately, I read this four years ago and hadn’t gotten into review writing quite yet. From what I remember it was a romance filled with a lot of allegories. A big theme of redemption that will tug at your heart strings. I even hosted this as a book club book at my house!

The Wren Hunt

by: Mary Watson

Number of ratings: 675

I read this through Netgalley and thought this was so stinkin’ good! (Review here). I’m actually really surprised it has such a small amount of ratings. It was loosely based on Romeo & Juliet. I found it a unpredictable and stayed up way too late flying through this book. Did I mention the romance is my favorite trope? Hate to lovers!!

What the Wind Knows

by: Amy Harmon

Number of ratings: 1,327

I finished this a few weeks ago, this was one on the list that I LOVED. Oh so good. Swoon-worthy romance, beautiful writing and a heartfelt story. Makes me want to discover my own history.

Sweet Black Waves (SWB #1)

by: Kristina Pérez

Number of ratings: 777

I happened to go into this without knowing the legend behind it, and honestly, I think that made me love it even more. I had no expectations. And wow, holy twists Batman! I saw none of that coming, and can’t believe I still have to wait til the fall for the next book.

Where the Watermelons Grow

by: Cindy Baldwin

Number of ratings: 821

This book is all about mental health. This sweet daughter struggles to deal with her Mom having schizophrenia. A lot of poignant moments and tough conversations. Books like these are important, and as this is a children’s book (recommended for 8-12) , I thought it was all approached in a thoughtful way.

A Thousand Perfect Notes

by: C.G. Drews

Number of ratings: 1,774

Ooo, this book will make you want to throw things. It is a heart-breaking, growing-up story that was fabulous. It was her debut novel and I am stoked to order her next one!

The Lost Queen (The LQ Trilogy #1)

by: Signe Pike

Number of ratings: 1,830

A little known historical fiction/fantasy based off of the wizard Merlin, but focusing on his sister, Languoreth. If you take this as a fantasy only, I think you’ll really enjoy it. There’s romance, war, and making hard decisions.

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1)

By: Emily A. Duncan

Number of ratings: 521

While I figure this will actually eventually have more than 2,000 ratings since it isn’t out yet, BUT that means I can currently use it for this TTT. Y’all, this book is good. I’m excited to see where the series goes. A solid foundation has been built.

Pride & Prejudice: Baby Counter

by: Jennifer Adams & Alison Oliver

Number of ratings: 1,239

Okay, adding this because it is totally adorable. If you have kids and love P&P I would definitely look into this board book! My babe loves it and I found it really clever. [I was also basically out of few ratings books too *shrugs*]

Have you read any of these? What’s one of your few rating favorites? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: Flamecaster (Shattered Realms #1) by Cinda Williams Chima

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 535 pages
Author: Cinda Williams Chima
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A burning vengeance.

Adrian sul’Han, known as Ash, is a trained healer with a powerful gift of magic—and a thirst for revenge. The son of the queen of the Fells, Ash is forced into hiding after a series of murders throws the queendom into chaos. Now Ash is closer than he’s ever been to killing the man responsible, the cruel king of Arden. As a healer, can Ash use his powers not to save a life but to take it?

A blood-based curse.

Abandoned at birth, Jenna Bandelow was told the mysterious magemark on the back of her neck would make her a target. But when the King’s Guard launches a relentless search for a girl with a mark like hers, Jenna assumes that it has more to do with her role as a saboteur than any birth-based curse. Though Jenna doesn’t know why she’s being hunted, she knows that she can’t get caught.

Destiny’s fiery hand.

Eventually, Ash’s and Jenna’s paths will collide in Arden. Thrown together by chance and joined by their hatred of the king, they will come to rescue each other in ways they cannot yet imagine.

Set in the world of the acclaimed Seven Realms series a generation later, this is a thrilling story of dark magic, chilling threats, and two unforgettable characters walking a knife-sharp line between life and death.

DRAGONS Y’ALL.

If that word doesn’t drag you in, the fact that Chima is an amazing author should convince you. I love her writing and her books. This series is setting up to be added to my favorites.

This book is filled with so much evil. I mean whoa, within the first few chapters I already felt like sobbing. I mean HOW, JUST…how. But this, in a weird way, is one of the better things about Flamecaster. I hate the antagonists. I mean, with a passion. I love that I feel that deeply because it goes to show just how enchanting the writing is.

The only real big reason I went with 4 stars is the insta-love. It’s not terrible, I wasn’t overly frustrated with it, only perplexed. There could have been a lot more build-up to it. A scene where magic is used to “see” each other (as vague as I can be without spoiling) tries to make-up for the attraction. I’m still boarding the ship, but I imagine I’ll get there.

My favorite was the handful of minor twists that tie in from the previous series. I kept thinking to myself, how did I miss that? The book is a little slow, but all of these enlightening moments will definitely be involved in further installments. The dynamic conglomeration of different cultures and people throughout this world is amazing.

All of these characters are strong and realistic. They’re young, they make mistakes, and have a lot of feelings. You’re on their side from the get-go. I love, once again, how strong and independent the female leads are. I’m excited to see how these heroines grow and adapt.

Shout out to my tagline, there’s dragons you guys!! An actual dragon, who could even speak some. Oh I hope we see it even more! There’s a big story-line here that is waiting to burst.

“Oh, I see. This situation isn’t bad enough, so you’re going to try and make it worse.”

This quote is a direct picture of how this book went. A lot of diving into sketchy situations without thinking them through. Plenty of action and political maneuverings. I am so excited to read Shadowcaster.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Important to read Seven Realms series first
  • Violence: physical, swords, knives, poison, attempted suicide
  • Romance: some kisses, an intense make-out
  • Language: some
Book Tag

Book Tag: Wonderstruck (Taylor Swift)

It’s Saturday: Book Tag day!

I was tagged by Arini from Her Ineffable Reads! I’ve recently started following her blog and have been really enjoying her content. If you’re following me, you should definitely be following her!

She originally found the tag from Olivia at Purely Olivia. And she is the creator of this tag.

I’m a closet Taylor Swift fan, but that won’t stop be from doing this tag. I love her work. I can’t deny it.

1.

You’re Not Sorry

A book that unapologetically broke your heart

I apparently don’t read many books that try to break me. Tender-hearted much? (It’s being a mom, it makes you soft). The Great Alone really tore me up. Leni deals with SO MUCH CRAP and all I wanted for her was to be happy. And when she had it, it was ripped away and given back in this bittersweet, my heart is breaking, kinda way. Happy ending used loosely.

2.

Back to December

A book you still think about even after you finished

I mention in my review that I truly believe everyone needs to read this book. A doctor, dying from cancer, writes a memoir that will make you cry. I contemplated how I was handling my life and it still comes to mind on rough days. What is a bad day, or a bad five minutes?

3.

If This Was a Movie

A book you really want to become a movie

I think a million+ books I’ve read should be movies, but this is the most recent one in my mind. Imagining some time-traveling and old-timey 1920’s Ireland makes me want to swoon. This was a magical read.

4.

Gorgeous

A book with the most beautiful cover

I am so bad with pretty covers. I tend to not even notice the cover and buy it for the summary or hype. In this case I remember picking To Kill a Kingdom specifically for the gorgeous, dark cover. It promised sea battles and plenty of stabbing. And it did not disappoint.

5.

Shake It Off

A book that gets hate but that you still love

It’s actually recently come to my attention that the Shatter Me series gets some hate. For me, it’s one of the few dystopian-based book that I’m invested in. The jaw dropping plot-twists, the swoon worthy romance, and the loyal friendships have made this a great series. Jury is still out with the “addition” of the next three books, but I loved Restore Me so there’s hope!

6.

Never Grow Up

A book that gives you childhood nostalgia

Oh yes, yes. The A Series of Unfortunate Events brings on all the nostalgia. It was one of my first series that I read all the way through. I only vaguely remember the details now, but I can’t wait to read them with my children in the future!

7.

Sparks Fly

A book that you instantly clicked with

This book was so stinkin’ cute. I immediately was captivated and it’s one of the few contemporaries I adore. The setting (Tuscany, Italy) and precious high school love was all I needed. It was a perfect summer read.

8.

Style

A classic that will never get old

I may not have time to re-read this all the time. But this book (more the movie) never gets old to me. I love the story and it’s classic style will always captivate.

9.

End Game

A book with a romance you love

My dear sweet pair: Kestrel and Arin. They were so frustrating and I couldn’t believe half the actions that went down, but boy I was on their side from day one. There’s SO MUCH LOVE HERE. It’s one of my favorite series. Now I think I need to go do a re-read.

10.

I Knew You Were Trouble

A book you couldn’t help but become obsessesd with

I may not talk about this series a lot, but I like doing tags to really branch out on my choices. So in this case, I was IMMEDIATELY obsessed with this series. Shusterman is a wizard with this story. It’s such a thinker. I continually panic over WHAT IF THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENED? And you know what, I obsess over this anytime I remember the books.

11.

Bad Blood

A book where you loved the first one and hated the sequel

I’m totally using Arini’s answer because oh how I agree. I got through RQ (honestly wouldn’t say loved, but I liked it), decided to keep going. Made it through GS and thought, eh I’m not having fun, but I also want to know what happens. Then KC came out I skimmed read this and never bothered with WS. These progressively got worse with the cliches, the awful twists and more. I still haven’t read WS, but from a spoiler review I’ve seen, I’m okay with my decision.

I’m tagging:

Xandra @ Starry Sky Books || Jess & Teagan @ Fiction No Chaser || Sara @ The Bibliophagist || Purple Manatees

Even if you weren’t tagged, totally feel free to do this! And if you don’t like TS, that doesn’t matter either! It’s a clever tag that was fun to do. Tag me in the comments if you happen to do this, would love to see answers.

Book Review

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 527 pages
Author: Kevin Kwan
Publisher: Anchor
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. 

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA.

Do you remember growing up when you were home sick from school and you got to watch The Price is Right? Then after that was over you occasionally would let Days of our Lives play after before realizing you were glued to the TV with the drama?

This. This is how I felt about CRA. The hilarity of the wealth and drama that unfolded kept me turning pages for reasons I can’t explain. It’s not a book to ponder deep thinking. This is purely entertainment.

It takes a little bit to get into because of how many family members are in the story. Once I had a handle on who was who things cleared up.

There were a lot moving parts and I was distracted away from the story between Rachel and Nick constantly. I didn’t care about half of the people the chapters would flip to and was frustrated that the focus really wasn’t on them. The only other character I could bother to care for was Astrid.

Surprisingly, there were footnotes in this book! I actually appreciated them [most of the time] because it defined the language and food better. I now want to travel to Singapore just to eat, because holy cow everything sounded delicious.

I don’t really have much to say for this review. I couldn’t put it down, but I also am not interested in books two and three. I felt this one ended in the RomCom way, I was fine with it, and don’t need a continuation of the story.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Language: a lot of f* bombs, very derogatory words and inappropriate conversations
  • Violence: verbal
  • Romance: kisses, some glossed over love scenes
  • Trigger warnings: racism, cheating husband’s, dog fighting scene, verbal child abuse, depression
Book Talk

Thank You Followers & Instagram Reboot!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

I hit 100 followers this past week and I am so grateful to y’all! This hobby of mine keeps me going and makes me feel like more than a Mom. I hope to keep growing and expanding things here and I appreciate all the support from your comments and likes. It truly means so much to me.

My Instagram is back!

I had a rough 2017-18 with 6 (yes you read that number right) moves within two states and having a baby. I ended up stopping my Instagram posts while my books were in storage and I was focusing on getting our family settled. Now that things have finally cooled down, I’m back!

My aesthetic is simple and minimal. And if you’re interested in following please click here! It’s the same name as my blog: goodeyreads.

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books

Happy Valentine’s Week!

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is all about couples. I have so many favorites that it was hard to narrow it down! I at least kept myself to only one couple per book series since occasionally I happen to love everyone.

I could rave deeply about these couples, but here’s a highlight of my top choices:

Feyre & Rhysand (ACOTAR)

It is absolutely no surprise this is my favorite couple. My OTP.

Han & Raisa (Seven Realms)

Thinking about them gets me every time. I love how strong they are independently, and how even better they are together.

Elizabeth Bennet & Mr. Darcy

Need I say more? I am still obsessed. And still watch the movie every couple weeks (Kiera Knightly version, of course).

Vin & Elend (Mistborn Trilogy)

While I wish there was a little more couple-ness between them they still make my day. Elend always supporting Vin makes me happy. Note: I have not finished Hero of Ages yet, so NO SPOILERS PLEASE! I have faith they survive.

Cress & Thorne (The Lunar Chronicles)

This a series with multiple couples I adore, but Cress & Thorne are my top favs. I love how protectively sweet he is to her.

Aelin & Rowan (Throne of Glass)

Some people may have mixed feelings towards them, I am not one of those. I absolutely adore these two and their unyielding faith in one another. This is another series where I have multiple favs (Elide & Lorcan) being in that mix.

Kestral & Arin (Winner’s Trilogy)

I have been dying to do a re-read of these books. I don’t remember them well enough anymore. Other than the fact that I LOVED the way Kestral & Arin’s story played out. It made me so angry at times, and then so utterly happy in the end.

Vasya & Morozko (Winternight Trilogy)

Y’all, they care about each other so much but both are so used to not dealing with their feelings they can’t cope. AND IT IS SO CUTE. This was one of my favorite pairings to watch grow over the series. It was completely amazing.

Tess & Will/Jem (The Infernal Devices)

AH. These guys are so great. And the way the love spans decades and time because they all love each other so much they gave each pair an opportunity to be together. I can’t, I just can’t.

Lark & Tiras (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles)

This is such a sweet, slow-burn love. Their relationship evolved over helping each other through personal struggles. And together became a King & Queen worthy of their kingdom.

Lots more love on my shelves, because I love love.

Have you read any of these? Are some of these couples your favorite too? Or do you actually hate them? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 416 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: February 1st, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything….

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make? 

LYRICALLY BEAUTIFUL.

Once again, I was swept away by the way Amy Harmon writes.

This book is steeped in the magic of studying family history. Harmon draws heavily from her own travels to Europe and the time period from which her great+ grandparents lived. It is so important to know and understand where we come from and WtWK convinced me (and I know that wasn’t the point) to look at my own history.

The romance is yet again so precious. How understanding is Thomas? Because you better believe I would be freaking out a lot more if “Anne” showed back up, 5 years missing from her time period, without a clue as to what happened. Their story flowed at a good pace and I was shipping them forward continually.

I was really caught up in how this book would resolve. It was unclear if everything was going to fall into place, but never fear Harmon brings things full circle leaving me completely happy with how it came together.

My only reasoning for giving it a 4.5* is that there is a lot of history put in there. Discussions about the rebellion, civil war, political meetings, etc. Yes, they helped me understand what was happening, but it was thick with this information. I felt it was taking away from the fact that this is a romance novel at it’s base.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Very little language
  • Romance: some intense make-outs and glossed over love scenes
  • Violence: guns, fire