Book Review

Review: Paper and Fire (The Great Library #2) by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire

 

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult fantasy/dystopian, no language, little kissing, some violence
Length: 354 pages
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: New American Library
Release Date: July 5th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Let the world burn.

With an iron fist, the Great Library controls the knowledge of the world, ruthlessly stamping out all rebellion and, in the name of the greater good, forbidding the personal ownership of books.

Jess Brightwell has survived his introduction to the sinister, seductive world of the Library, but serving in its army is nothing like he envisioned. His life and the lives of those he cares for have been altered forever. His best friend is lost, and Morgan, the girl he loves, is locked away in the Iron Tower, doomed to a life apart from everything she knows.

After embarking on a mission to save one of their own, Jess and his band of allies make one wrong move and suddenly find themselves hunted by the Library’s deadly automata and forced to flee Alexandria, all the way to London.

But Jess’s home isn’t safe anymore. The Welsh army is coming, London is burning, and soon, Jess must choose between his friends, his family, and the Library, which is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone in the search for ultimate control…

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

BOOK TWO SYNDROME.

I wasn’t as mesmerized by this installment. It was good, don’t get me wrong. I’ll definitely be checking out the third one, but I feel a little…deflated.

The story is strong and I appreciate the focus on the plot. There’s a goal, I know where it’s going, and we’re not diving off left and right. While the rescue mission is underway I wanted more drama to unfold.

It’s the beginnings of a war and while everyone is running around for this one mission, we’re missing a lot of what else is happening. I felt some character back stories could’ve been further enhanced to really grip what fuels their decisions. Some characters would pop in, say their peace, then die. Like, wait what?

I still love Jess. He’s a great protagonist. I love that, in general, he owns being from a criminal family and uses that to his advantage. I hope his brother, Brendan plays a bigger role soon. In my mind he’s super complex and I think it would be fun if he had a bigger spotlight.

There’s touches of romance here and there between characters. Nothing intense, sweet tiny moments that were cute and added some flair. This gang is really bonding together and their devotion is starting to show more and more. I like the diversity of the group and can notice the differences in their personalities and choices based off of them.

It ended on an odd note with the addition of a new character crew, and a new landscape. I’m definitely interested in what will play out next!

Overall audience notes:
– Young adult fantasy & dystopia
– No language
– Kiss scenes are minor
– Gun violence

Friday Features

Friday Favorites!

Hall (1)

Howdy!

This is a weekly post dedicated to books…and other stuff!

The goal of this is to weekly post some of your favorite things, including:

  • Book
    • Any book that you consider a favorite whether that’s right now or a book you will forever love
  • Song
    • Whatever song is currently on repeat any time you hop in the car
  • TV Show
    • We all know you’re currently binge watching a show right now

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Book: Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

 

I know I just finished this…but I’m having a total book hangover. So it’s getting a shout-out today. I loved it so much. A solid fantasy romance that had me giddy. You can see my review here!

 

 

 

Song: Love You Like That 

Dagny

 

This is just a happy, fun song. You can’t be sad listening to it. It’s been shuffling through my Spotify daily.

 

 

 

TV Show: DWTS Junior

dwts junior

I am a huge DWTS fan, and they added a juniors competition this year. Oh my, it’s so precious y’all. Watching these tiny babes dance. It makes me happy every time I watch.

 

 

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Feel free to considered yourself tagged if you’d like to make one yourself! Please tag me back with the original credit. And make it your own! I would love to hear your answers, let me know in the comments!

CROPPED

Book Review

Review: Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves #1) by Mary E. Pearson

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy romance, kiss scenes, violence, very little language
Length: 508 pages
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Publisher: Henry Holt
Release Date: August 7th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A new novel in the New York Times–bestselling Remnant Chronicles universe, in which a reformed thief and the young leader of an outlaw dynasty lock wits in a battle that may cost them their lives—and their hearts.

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

BRB, STILL SWOONING.

This was everything I’ve been wanting to read lately. A fantasy romance that kept me on my toes, made me laugh and flip out all at the same time.

It single-handedly had one of my favorite boy meets girl intros:

“…”Move along, boy,” I ordered. “This doesn’t concern you.”
  His eyes went from bloodshot to flaming. “Boy?” He stepped closer, and in one swift movement, I brought him to his knees and slammed him up against the apothecary wall, a knife to his throat.”

Copy of C.R. (1)

I mean, is that not great? Go Kazi. She was strong, capable and loyal to her kingdom. I think she and Jase could have both been more open with each other and there would have been less issues, but that’s neither here nor there because I still love this book.

The romance totally made me weak. Jase was an enjoyable male protagonist and love interest that so fiercely loves his family. This attribute rolled over into how he cared for Kazi and I was smitten. Their moments and interactions were everything, and watching them both find ways to help each other be at peace was tender.

I love that we got to stay in the same world and see some of the same characters!! The Remnant Chronicles is a fav of mine I highly suggest reading it before this if you don’t want anything spoiled.

The plot was thick with intrigue. Took awhile (while developing the romance and other connections) to swing back around to it. I couldn’t put the book down though because I could feel from the moment it started I was going to be torn apart before being put back together. There’s plenty of action and family just hanging out scenes that balance each other. I came to care for all of the characters based off of how they interacted with one another.

The evil in this book is hard to pin point. This guy is bad over here, this one os doing nefarious things over there. I think it will definitely be playing a part in the next book. There was a lot of story still there to work with. Overall, it was great to be mysteriously led to the ending…

WHICH WAS EVERYTHING. “swoons again*

Seriously. I needed the book to end this way. I got allllll I could ask for (because I’m a huge “happy ending” sap). Then you’re left on a huge cliff-hanger that had me immediately searching for the release date of book two.

Overall audience notes:
– YA fantasy romance
– very little language
– kiss scenes, mildly descriptive at most
– violence, torture, a bit bloody

Book Review

Review: Ink and Bone (The Great Library #1) by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy/dystopia, no language, violence, a few kisses
Length: 355 pages
Author: Rachel Caine
Publisher: NAL
Release Date: July 7th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In an exhilarating new series, New York Times bestselling author Rachel Caine rewrites history, creating a dangerous world where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived the test of time…

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn… 

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

BURNERS, UNITE.

First…unpopular book opinion alert: I have only read the first 4 books of HP, seen all the movies, and have no current plans to finish reading the books.

That being said, I still felt HP vibes and I wasn’t mad. Essentially a group of students are in a class designed to determine if they are fit to be a Librarian (in many capacities). They’re multiple side characters, a teacher, etc. So you see, a little HP adjacent.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters. They were fun, each was unique in background, and personality. Caine took time to let you get a better understanding of each character along with Jess. My favs by far were Wolfe and Santi. Love them. Love their dynamic. Want more of their story.

This is one of the those books where the friendship dynamics mean everything. They are a group that slowly knits together through experiences. The love angle isn’t heavily present (and this book is totally cool without it).

I am also currently trying to hold back some tears, BECAUSE WHY. WHY. WHY. WHY. My great faith in the goddess of books would have me believe the ending is false, and I shall hold onto that glimmer.

The story continually takes twists and turns, no holy mackerel PLOT TWIST moments, but you’re spurned on none-the-less. It’s a shorter book, perfect for a quick read that I devoured during nap time.

A lot of open ending lines have been cast as this is the first book in the series. I’m super excited to follow along and delve into all of the secrets of the Great Library. I think this is such a fun plot and I haven’t read anything directly like it. It really follows its own story.

Overall audience notes:
— No language
— Violence, somewhat detailed
— Kiss scenes that are definitely safe for work
— A fantasy / dystopian YA
— Friendships > Romance

Friday Features

Friday Favorites

Hall

Howdy!

Today I’m creating my first post of Friday Favorites. The point of this is to weekly post some of your favorite things, including:

  • Book
    • Any book that you consider a favorite whether that’s right now or a book you will forever love
  • Song
    • Whatever song is currently on repeat any time you hop in the car
  • TV Show
    • We all know you’re currently binge watching a show right now

While we all love blogging about books, my hopes is to add some other things as well to get to know each other even better! Make this your own, if you’re a movie watcher instead of TV, great! Is your audio only filled with audio books? Well that counts too.

You’re more than welcome to do your own, let me know in the comments if you do because I would love to read your posts!

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Favorite Book: A Court of Mist and Fury

ACOMAF

 

This is my all-time fav right now. Has been since I first read it. I am SJM trash and I have no shame. This is a book I read a few times a year or whenever I’m in a book slump.

 

 

 

Favorite Song: Head Above Water

Avril

Guys, AVRIL IS BACK!!!! She has been one of my artists and I had all of her CDs (wow, I feel old) growing up. She had a health scare a while back, and hopefully this means she’s doing okay and will give me all the music.

 

 

Favorite TV Show: Survivor

better survivorMy hubs and I are currently watching Season 7: Pearl Islands. We are loving going through all of these. They’re hilarious, cringe-worthy, drama filled and fun to watch. The game only gets more complicated as the seasons go on (we’ve seen new seasons already too).

 

 

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Let’s chat!

Let me know what you guys think and remember, send me a link or tag me back so I can read your favorites too. Or simple, right what you’re up to in the comments!

CROPPED

 

 

Book Review

Review: Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

Muse of Nightmares

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, no language, violence, innuendo and some sexual content
Length: 528 pages
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2nd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In the wake of tragedy, neither Lazlo nor Sarai are who they were before. One a god, the other a ghost, they struggle to grasp the new boundaries of their selves as dark-minded Minya holds them hostage, intent on vengeance against Weep.

Lazlo faces an unthinkable choice—save the woman he loves, or everyone else?—while Sarai feels more helpless than ever. But is she? Sometimes, only the direst need can teach us our own depths, and Sarai, the muse of nightmares, has not yet discovered what she’s capable of.

As humans and godspawn reel in the aftermath of the citadel’s near fall, a new foe shatters their fragile hopes, and the mysteries of the Mesarthim are resurrected: Where did the gods come from, and why? What was done with thousands of children born in the citadel nursery? And most important of all, as forgotten doors are opened and new worlds revealed: Must heroes always slay monsters, or is it possible to save them instead?

Love and hate, revenge and redemption, destruction and salvation all clash in this gorgeous sequel to the New York Times bestseller, Strange the Dreamer.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

GODDESS OF DREAMS.

Yes, yes, yes. This is how you end a duology (series, etc.). All the necessary pieces were there. Action, romance, friendship, family, heroes and villains (and plenty of others). YES.

The addition of Nova and Kora’s story was intense and heartbreaking. My initial inklings (of thinking Kora was Lazlo’s mom) were very wrong indeed. This story line really enhanced what was happening in the citadel and made the ending feel like it really did come full circle. It was placed in the book at just the right times that kept everything moving.

There was plenty of action, violence, and romance. Though, some of the love scenes were full of cheesy lines. While that made me laugh…and cringe…they were still sweet. The fact that Sarai was a ghost the entire time still blows my mind. I personally haven’t read any other books that are like that so it’s nice to come across a new flavor every now and then!

I didn’t love so much that Minya wasn’t in the middle of the story. That girl needs some love. She needs a hug, a nap, and a friend. Her arc did come around, but I felt she could have been utilized more.

The chapter pieces with Thyon, Ruza, Calixte and Tzara were nice, but seemingly random. They unfortunately didn’t play as big a part as I thought (til like seriously the end, and only kinda). It caused me to forget they were there and then not even get to enjoy them. I really like their relationships and sassy convos and thought they needed more spotlight.

What angered me so is that Skathis never had a villianous backstory. Why is he this horrid? It only made me hate him more (probably the author’s intention), but also not be able to understand the villiany. He was an awful (doesn’t even begin to cover it) “god” and should have died long ago.

Nova at least, had this back-story. I got her. My heart bled with her and I was worried for her. The connection with her made the whole group aspect hit home.

The ending is everything you want and expect. I felt satisfied closing the book and am excited to see what comes next for Taylor.

Overall audiences notes:
— No language (WHOOP!)
— Love scenes range from glossed over to lightly detailed, including innuendo
— Detailed violence that is bloody
— Trigger potential: depression and suicide

Book Review

ARC Review: The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

The Wren Hunt

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, language, some violence, a few kissing scenes
Length: 432 pages
Author: Mary Watson
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Expected Release Date: November 6th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

*Note: I was given this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher, Bloomsbury USA Childrens, for the opportunity to read The Wren Hunt. Publication date, length of book, etc. are subject to change. 

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

ADD THIS TO YOUR TBR, Y’ALL.

I stayed up way to late trying to finish this book because I could not. put. it. down.

It initially starts out a bit slow and confusing. There is a lot of discussion of judges vs. augurs, when you haven’t quite been told what those are. The most confusing bit was understanding the Nemeta. I finished this book and still not quite sure what those are, but alas, this book still gets a lot of praise from me.

Once some more lines are established the book increasingly becomes a page turner. The action fluctuates well and it keeps the flow of the novel going steady.

The romance though. It’s always hard in a standalone to play a good romance (in my opinion). Watson does such a great job at this! Tarc and Wren gave me all the feels. There’s a strong push and pull between them that without even realizing it has it’s own consequences.

If like me, you had to read Romeo & Juliet in high school then you can definitely see the parallels. Yet, the approach itself felt new. It is a fantasy book, but with a contemporary edge. I loved that. Threw me off at first, but the longer I went, the more I grasped onto that concept. Pay attention to all of the lines weaving through this book! It was fun to see where they all connected and formed the final web.

The side characters are a little mixed. I personally liked a few, and didn’t like others. There wasn’t an over-abundance of names though. So you aren’t sitting there trying to figure out who’s who. It’s also set in IRELAND! Nifty and different. I love the branching out in story sets I’ve been seeing from a lot of authors I’ve read recently.

Wren is a sound character overall. Her arc allows some depth and growth as she fights to stay loyal in a losing battle only to realize the betrayal around her. She is young and naive about some things, but it was never annoying to me. It played out well and you understand her choices. Wren finally decides to stand up for what she wants and makes the ultimate decision.

Overall Audience Notes:
— Young adult fantasy, set in a contemporary world
— Language
— Kiss scenes are very mild
— Violence in the forms of fists, knives, and guns