Book Review

Book Review: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult contemporary romance
Length: 421 pages
Author: Jenn Bennett
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: April 3rd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars? 

CUTE & PREDICTABLE.

I am a total mood reader. I’ll look at the books I have in hand and choose purely based off of what I’m looking for. In this case, it was a fluffy, predictable, romance that called my name. And this is one of those cases where, predictable is good and welcome.

This group of high school kids absolutely annoyed me to no end. Luckily, the only two I liked happened to be the main characters, Zorie and Lennon. I was actually excited when they ended up on their own because I was completely invested in their story of friends/lovers to enemies and back again.

I also appreciated that this book had positive anxiety rep. I personally struggle with anxiety and really felt for Zorie and how she coped with it. One of the best parts was how Lennon never faulted her for this. He continually checked on her, helped her plan to smooth her fears, and ohemgee Lennon became my favorite immediately.

While I was rooting for them to get together, I think it went a tad overboard. I was amazed that somehow within 18 hours (give or take) they went through a whole sleeve of condoms and called the time sexlation. Cool, cool, cool, cool, and all, but mmm, a bit of a nope for me. If I take out that piece though, the witty banter/flirting and coming to terms with what separated them initially was solid. Nothing felt rushed and everything was laid out as it should be.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Romance: discussion of kisses and the fact so-and-so had sex and that they want to have sex || descriptive make-outs and a somewhat detailed love scene(s)
  • Language: quite a bit, including a homophobic slur
  • Violence: physical and verbal
  • Trigger warnings: suicide, loss of a parent, cheating spouse, homophobia, anxiety and depression
Book Review

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (ACOTAR #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: New adult fantasy
Length: 699 pages
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Release Date: May 2nd, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places. 

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could dstroy them all.

Note: Below is a very spoiler filled review. I have re-read this series multiple times, but wanted to get a review onto my blog, but I also have a hard time being vague when it comes to ACOTAR, so spoilers it is.

This series really has my whole heart. I highly recommend it to everyone looking for a fantasy filled with romance, friendships, actual feelings, and so much more.

What I love most about re-reads (though I don’t get to do them as often as I’d like) is that I notice all of the other pieces I normally wouldn’t if I was reading it for the first time. The first time through this I was ALL about Feyre & Rhysand, but now I have really come to appreciate all of the other characters (yes, even Tamlin) from reading this again and again.

Feyre and Rhys are my OTP, and I mention this frequently. I am so happy that their relationship grew and that they got the blissfully ending they needed. A lot of random sex? Maybe, but Rhys also has a mate and is 500 years old, I understand. Feyre has grown so much over this series and I loved how her arc came to an end.

I absolutely am team Elucien. YOU CAN NOT CONVINCE ME OTHERWISE. I desperately hope they get their own spin-off in the coming years. He deserves happiness and I need him to be happy. Azriel will get his own story and first needs to have a reckoning with Mor. So after that, we can focus on him.

Tamlin made me so bitterly angry in this book (but yet I feel for him in ACOFAS, who am I?) I think he took his jealousy to a whole new level and being an immortal, somehow never learned how to cope with his issues and being told “No.” In this case, I was all for destroying him, and will let him stew awhile before he gets his story.

Now, I’m struggling with Nesta. I LOVED her here, but had a hard time connecting in ACOFAS. I think her and Cassian would be EVERYTHING. I can’t wait for 2020 to get this entire novel. I think Nesta is going to have this amazing character line (i.e. makes me think of Manon from ToG, but different, of course). Cassian is my favorite sassy Illyrian and I need him to be happy too. His friendship with Feyre is my favorite non-romantic plot line. I love how they appreciate and help each other when they are working through their demons. Feyre is a wholy better sister than Nesta AND, AND Elain deserve. There, I said it.

Fact: I need everyone to be happy. Though, low-key felt like sobbing when the Suriel died. That moment was the saddest the book made me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult/New adult fantasy
  • Language: some
  • Romance: a handful of detailed love scenes, kisses, innuendos
  • Violence: physical, swords, knives, magic, verbal
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.