Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: September 2019

Okay okay.

Apparently I got real crazy this month. My life was a bit out of whack so I retreated to my books. That means I ended up reading twenty-five books. Hopefully October will chill out a bit and I’m planning on picking up some spooky reads (which is out of character so we’ll see what happens!).

And I would like to apologize ahead of time that none of the reviews are posted. They’ll be out in October though so please come read them then! Or ask in the comments if you have questions, I’m more than happy to discuss the books.

On a kind of sad note, I only gave TWO books a full five stars this month. Wish there had a been a few more!

  • Sword and Pen (The Great Library #5) by Rachel Caine – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Crown of Feathers (Crown of Feathers #1) by Nicki Pau-Preto – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • When the World Didn’t End: Poems by Caroline Kaufman – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Dire King (Jackaby #4) by William Ritter – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • One Day in December by Josie Silver – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Waking Gods (Themis Files #2) by Sylvain Neuvel – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • A Kingdom of Exiles (Outcast #1) by S.B. Nova – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Wild Savage Stars (Sweet Black Waves #2) by Kristina Perez – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Need by Helen Phillips – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Only Human (Themis Files #3) by Sylvain Neuvel – (RTC – ☆☆☆)
  • American Royals (American Royals #1) by Katharine McGee – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1) by Mindee Arnett – (RTC – ☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Shadows of Self (Mistborn #6: The Alloy Era #2) by Brandon Sanderon – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] The Silvered Serpents (The Gilded Wolves #2) by Roshani Chokshi – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • A Curious Beginning (Veronica Speedwell #1) by Deanna Raybourn – (RTC – ☆☆☆☆)
  • Lifel1k3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff – (I haven’t finished, but will today; probably ☆☆☆☆)
  • The Vine Witch (Vine Witch #1) by Luanne G. Smith – (I haven’t finished, but will today; probably ☆☆☆ 1/2 or ☆☆☆☆)

Favorite of the month: Serpent & Dove

Least favorite of the month: The Need

How did your month for reading go? What was your favorite book? Least favorite? Curious about any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Essence (The Essence Chronicles #1) by Hayley Gabrielle

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Young adult fantasy
Length: 406 pages
Author: Hayley Gabrielle
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 22nd, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Abbey Shader is summoned to Ethra, a land where human qualities roam free in flesh known as Essences, her life and the universe as she knows it splits open before her.
With the expansive secrets of humanity at her fingertips, Abbey’s strength of will and heart are put to a test no amount of time or meticulous study could have prepared her for.
Left to decide between the comfort of the familiar and the potential enlightenment of the strange, Abbey is thrust into a journey that demands more of her at every turn. She must learn to trust what she sees, and trust what she can’t.

Essence marks the first installment of the young adult fantasy series, The Essence Chronicles. 

Thank you to the author for sending me a digital copy of the book. All opinions are my own.

AN INTERESTING CONCEPT.

This was interesting! I didn’t know quite what I would be getting into when I started this book. The author reached out and asked if I would like to review a copy and upon checking out Goodreads I accepted the offer because it did sound up my alley!

Do y’all remember the movie, Inside Out? With all of the girl’s emotions portrayed as actual creatures/people? THIS WAS THE BOOK FORM. The further I read and the more characters I met that embodied different essences, the more it reminded me of that movie. This isn’t a good or bad thing, I just saw the similarities. I rather enjoyed having characters completely polarized in their personalities. It made for fun conversation and some solid banter. Combining Joy, Pride, Good, Honesty, and Pessimism (the ones we met in this book) was a squad to watch.

Abbey grew on me over the book. At first I was shaky with her. But what I appreciated was that she didn’t run off and agree with everything everyone was trying to tell her. I hate when characters don’t question what the heck just happened and loved that Abbey asked all the questions. It gave her time to understand and slowly grasp what was happening around her.

The love story with Zac is cute! Even though it was over a shorter period of time it didn’t feel rushed. There’s still a lot of feelings to convey and bonds to form. I liked watching them interact and learn more about each other. Zac is charming and has a deep background that I want to know more about.

As far as magic systems go, this one was rather confusing. I felt as frustrated as Abbey sometimes trying to understand the Earth, erodosphere and Ethra interactions. Then throw on top the Melder, and the Breathing and it left me all sorts of flipped around. The more I read, the clearer everything became and I’m happy that by the end I better understood what was everything meant.

At times this book read more like a prequel. Not a lot honestly happened. Abbey and the crew around her went on an adventure to meet the Overseer who brought Abbey to Ethra in the first place. That scene lasted a whole 2 pages. Instead, we really created a background for the lands and an understanding of how Ethra works in conjunction with Earth. While I wished it had a bit more substance, I’m still really interested in book two. I always found myself wanting to pick up my Kindle to keep reading this and am curious where Abbey will take us next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: some minor language throughout
  • Romance: a few kisses
  • Violence: knives, animal attacks, not super gory, but moderately descriptive

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Book Review

Book Review: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy + mythology
Length: 377 pages
Author: Rick Riordan
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: June 28th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school… again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’ master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’ stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

I CAN’T BELIEVE I WAITED THIS LONG TO READ THIS.

This was so good I didn’t even bother taking notes for it (like I do with most reviews) because I didn’t want to stop reading to make a note of anything major.

It’s simple. It was a great more youthful read.

I love Percy and Annabeth. I already know they’re endgame and I am so here for this development. It was cute because I felt like they were twelve, but never so immature that I was distracted by it. The way Riordan presented them made them seem like characters you could love and understand. I felt they were relatable in many ways.

There were a lot of twists and turns and the action kept continually flowing (not to mention the funny chapter titles). I was actually a bit surprised when it came out who was the current bad guy. I didn’t see it coming, which is always a nice break. I thought the gods were fun and found it whimsical to picture Poseidon in a Hawaiian shirt and Zeus in a suit.

Don’t take this short review as a bad thing, it was a highly enjoyable read that kept me interested and intrigued for book two.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult (leaning towards middle-grade) fantasy + mythology
  • Language: none
  • Romance: none
  • Violence: never gory or overly detailed, knives physical, fire

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Tag

Book Tag: What’s On Your Heart

Since I seem to love every tag Sara (The Bibliophagist) posts, I have done this one too! I like that this is more than books.

So without further ado, here’s the What’s On Your Heart tag.


HERE ARE THE RULES:

  • Thank the person who nominated you to participate.
  • Link back to the original post (Purple Rose’s & Dollfaced Writer’s)
  • Attach an image that inspires you regarding the month’s theme (or use the original).
  • Talk about what this month’s theme means to you.
  • Answer the questions.
  • Nominate 3 people to participate.
  • Enjoy the rest of your month 

WHAT’S ON MY HEART:

I have a lot weighing me down right now, actually one specific thing. Both of my legs have stress fractures. And it’s been four weeks. And I’m still not progressing. It’s been a big weight on my family.

But in regards to my family. Gosh darn, I love them so much. It overwhelms me often. I look at my husband and toddler and can’t even handle how much joy they bring. I’m a seriously lucky gal.


THIS MONTH’S QUESTIONS:

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I believe in attraction at first sight. Of course you can look across the room and think someone is stunning and want to meet them. I wouldn’t call it love though. I feel like that takes a deeper understanding of each other.

Do you believe in soulmates?
In a way. I believe that there’s a small handful of people on the planet that are your personal soulmate. And depending where you are in life and ready to be with someone that’s when you might come across them.

What’s the first thing you notice about a person?
Their smile. The way it lights up their face.

What’s your ideal date?
Dinner, walking around talking and coming home to a baby already asleep *wink wink*.

What traits do you look for in a friend/significant other?
I mean, I guess the same things? Loyal, dependent, honest, easy to talk to. Probably a couple other things I can’t really think of right now.

What are your thoughts on being friends with an ex?
It’s fine depending on what degree. I don’t think (especially if you’re in a serious relationship with someone else) that you should talk to them every day. But I don’t think a dramatic break-up has to be necessary. Things can be amicable.

If you’re a believer, when did you give your heart to the Lord? If not, what in life keeps a bounce in your step?
I am a Christian. Have been my whole life. Not only does that keep a bounce in my step, but my family in general does. My husband is my best friend y’all. Seriously.

And since I love that Sara added some photos, here’s two of us!

Since I wasn’t formally tagged, I’m not tagging anybody! Feel free to do this. I love seeing your answers.

Instagram || Goodreads