Book Review, Uncategorized

Review: The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte

Dinosaurs

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Suitable for YA+, non-fiction, historical
Length: 416 pages
Author: Stephen Brusatte
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 24th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Brusatte traces the evolution of dinosaurs from their inauspicious start as small shadow dwellers—themselves the beneficiaries of a mass extinction caused by volcanic eruptions at the beginning of the Triassic period—into the dominant array of species every wide-eyed child memorizes today, T. rex,Triceratops, Brontosaurus, and more. This gifted scientist and writer re-creates the dinosaurs’ peak during the Jurassic and Cretaceous, when thousands of species thrived, and winged and feathered dinosaurs, the prehistoric ancestors of modern birds, emerged. The story continues to the end of the Cretaceous period, when a giant asteroid or comet struck the planet and nearly every dinosaur species (but not all) died out, in the most extraordinary extinction event in earth’s history, one full of lessons for today as we confront a “sixth extinction.”

Brusatte also recalls compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China.

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I LOVE DINOSAURS.

OH WOW, if you have any love for dinosaurs, read this book. It just hit my my top favorites for non-fiction books.

Y’all, this man LOVES dinos. And you can feel that on every page. You’re dragged in and loving the dinosaurs as much as he does. There was a magnificent flow and pace to the book. It would flow from Brusatte telling a personal story of finding a fossil, adding in pieces of how fossils are studied today, and then tying it all back to how that creature was living in prehistoric times.

It was amazing! I have always been absolutely fascinated with dinosaurs, so that probably is definitely enforcing my love and appreciation for this book. They’re so many places that dinosaurs are still currently being found. It is not a dead science, there’s so much more we can gather from fossils. He describes all of his colleagues and friends so eloquently that you really get an understanding of their personality and character.

All of the scientific analyzing felt like it would fly over my head, but Brusatte does a great job of putting it all into simple terms (I am horrid at math, so this was especially helpful) so anyone can understand.

Lastly, his ability to narrate his take on what dinosaurs lived like was it’s own story. I felt those dinosaurs as he described the asteroid hitting Earth. His use of pretty prose kept me engaged and flipping pages.

Also, guys, there’s pictures!! My biggest struggle was literally (no really, ask my husband) Googling every single dinosaur name that didn’t have a photo. I personally wanted to know what every one of them looked like. It would have been awesome to have more photos, but I understand that it would essentially be a picture book at that point.

Overall audiences notes:
– Non-fiction book, appropriate for all ages
– No language
– Violence is maybe a minor description of a dinosaur attacking another

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September Reading Wrap-up!

A good month for books was had.

September was such a fun month for reading! I finished the last book in ToG, prepping for Kingdom of Ash in October. I was able to read a few off of my TBR and actually narrow it down a bit (okay, maybe I also added more books than read, but I tried!).

I changed my blog name and am almost to 50 followers! This has been such a fun passion project for me and I’m loving getting to know you through comments, so keep ’em coming.

Fall started and it’s my absolute favorite season. So here’s to curling up with a good book, a glass of hot chocolate, and listening to the rain fall.

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What I read this month…

My favorite book this month: The Girl in the Tower

My least favorite book this month: Sapphire Blue

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Have you read any of these? Which ones did you like best? Let me know in the comments!

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CROPPED

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Review: Sweet Black Waves (Sweet Black Waves #1) by Kristina Pérez

SWB

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA, no language, some kisses, one love scene, violence
Length: 448 pages
Author: Kristina Pérez
Publisher: Imprint
Release Date: June 5th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

WHAT. JUST. HAPPENED?

I had to sleep on this review because I had to gather all of my thoughts after that finish (Note: this first part is without reading the legend of Tristan and Iseult).

My mind is so boggled. This book was great! I felt it got better with each page turn. The flow was fairly fast paced and kept you on your toes. For the last 100 pages I felt this horrid sense of foreboding that I couldn’t put my finger on. AND BOY, I DID NOT PUT MY FINGER ON IT AT ALLLLLLL.

Tristan was too cute and I enjoyed his character connected with Branwen. Branny did bother me on occasion because it came off that she was way too focused on not ruining the alliance. I get it’s a big deal, but girlfriend. It’ll be okay.

Essy on the other hand was a tad too bratty for me. While I know her issues must be tough to deal with she continually was so flippant in her attitude and added a lot more sass than was necessary at times.

I have mixed feelings towards the magic portions of this book. It played a part and didn’t all at the same time. I don’t think it was forced, but hopefully with the later books it will intertwine and I will grasp what the author is going for more.

Now that I Googled the legend after finishing the first book…

WHAT? I have so many questions. And I am so curious about this entire series. I think the legend enhanced what I read. I want to know where Branwen will really play her part and am excited to keep reading these books!

Definitely a young adult book. No language [YAY]. A few kissing scenes, with one minor scripted love scene. Violence as two countries are at war with each other. A little gruesome occasionally.

 

 

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Review: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Once and for All

 

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Teen, some language (including f*), one love scene, some kissing, speaks of violence
Length: 358 pages
Author: Sarah Dessen
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

LEFT WANTING MORE.

While cute and charming as a whole, this book left me wanting more to the story.

Ambrose was suuper cute and I really enjoyed his character, but everyone else was a standard Rom-Com story.

The reasons Louna is hurting and resistant to Ambrose are yes, horrible, but I found the execution lacking. It turns out to be more of an instant love for Louna and Ethan. This formatting made it hard for me to feel for her. There was an attempt to build up emotion that didn’t work well for me.

The ending was good, except for how Ben was dealt with. I also thought that addition seemed odd and out-of-place, as if trying to drag the book a little longer to really put the ! on the ending.

Ambrose and Louna were quirky and made me laugh during their encounters. I wish there was more focus on that aspect and that she had the chance to tell her [Louna] story.

Some language, a love scene, some kissing, and does talk about violence.

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Review: The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

The Queen of Attolia

 

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Teen+, very little language, a kiss or two, some violence
Length: 362 pages
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
Publisher: Eos
Release Date: April 26th, 2000
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

 

THE STRUGGLE IS STILL REAL.

I am continually at odds with this series. Maybe it just isn’t my cup of tea?

I once again had a rough time getting through this and flitted over drawn out scene narrations to get to the actual conversation and plot of the story. THAT part I did enjoy. There is some intrigue to the true story that I like, but the rest can be taxing.

The narration is also unique to me as it hops continually from one person to the next as if I’m watching from afar. I’ve gotten used to having a single person narration that I had to focus and make sure who’s mind I was inside of at the time.

While I love Eugenides, and think he’s sassy and clever, his plot ‘twist’ was so out of place!? There wasn’t enough back story for his reasoning and it all felt forced. I’m hoping in the third book this is resolved.

All in all, not a bad book, really. I personally had some issues with it, but don’t let that hold you back! I’m still going to get to The King of Attolia to see what Eugenides schemes up next.

Very very little language, no love scenes, and minimal violence.

 

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Review: Blood and Sand (Blood and Sand #1) by C.V. Wyk

Blood & Sand

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA+, a little language, some kissing and a love scene, gore
Length: 320 pages
Author: C.V. Wyk
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: January 18th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

WE ARE…THRACE!

Oh goodness, I love historical YA fantasy mash-ups. This was one of those books I couldn’t put down.

First of all, bad-a, sword wielding, warrior princesses are my jam. Attia kicked butt and took names, never forgetting who she was and what she was fighting for.

With the help of Xanthus, Attia was able to maintain her cool and enjoy a blossoming friendship after watching her kingdom fall to Rome.

XANTHUS. Oh, I love him. The poor soul who never wanted his position and did what he could to be a friend. He had to prove to himself life was worth living and it made my heart ache every time he wanted to give in.

The turns Wyk throws in there, BREAK YOUR HEART. Fair warning, you’ll yell at the sky and mark your calendar for the release of the next book. I haven’t accepted this novels fate and won’t. Praying these are resolved soon.

Some language, a few kisses that lead to a love scene. Barely counts as one, so appropriate for younger audiences. Since Romans and all there’s definitely unnecessary blood shed, but who doesn’t love a good battle?

 

 

 

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Review: Hunted by Meagan Spooner

Hunted

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Teen+, no language, a kiss, some animals hunted
Length: 384 pages
Author: Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: March 14th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

TALE AS OLD AS TIME?

For a retelling I enjoyed this. Truly reminiscent of Beauty & the Beast with a twist, of course.

Yeva (Beauty) heads after her Father when he disappears from his hunting trip. Once finding him she is taken in by the Beast who needs her to find his query so he can be free.

What was nice in this version is that Yeva is more self-sufficient. She can hunt and take care of herself in the woods. Very different from the Disney princess version.

The Beast chapters increasingly made me sad because HE JUST WANTED TO BE FREE. And Yeva grasped that a bit late, but it wouldn’t be a love story otherwise, right?

Overall, I was entertained. It was simple and understated, but a solid retelling nonetheless.

No language, and no love scenes. Yeva gets tossed about a bit, but violence is minimal (unless you’re a rabbit).