Book Review

Book Review: Storm Siren (Storm Siren #1) by Mary Weber

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 333 pages
Author: Mary Weber
Publisher: Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins
Release Date: August 19th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“I raise my chin as the buyers stare. Yes. Look. You don’t want me. Because, eventually, accidentally, I will destroy you.”

In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.

As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.

Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.

Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.

But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?

Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.

CONFUSED BY MY THOUGHTS.

I have left this review sitting around for about a week now because I couldn’t decide if it worse or better than I thought. I will say this book got better the further I got into it, but also, why does someone want to wait 200 pages to enjoy a book?

I appreciated the way Nym and Eogan’s (Wow, I don’t like that name) relationship built. There was a bit of an enemies to lovers piece. I was freaked out there was a love triangle flying in, but NEVER FEAR, it was nothing. The bugger from Nym though was that she could not stop talking about how attractive he was. I hate when this is repetitively added to books. They’re more things to think about Nym!

Speaking of no love triangle, Nym’s’ friendship with Colin was stellar. I was practically more invested in that at times. They were a fun pair to watch and had great banter and chemistry (friendistry).

One thing I could not wrap my head around was how the girl with all the powers (and she really could destroy a place) was the one not destroying all those who sought to control her!? I guess I was looking for a bada** type, but got a lackluster I don’t want to be used as a weapon character. You don’t have to be a weapon Nym, OWN THE ELEMENTAL POWER.

There were rotating villains in here, but Adora was the worst of all (not in a good way). I found her silly outfits laughable and her whole demeanor a farce. The real wickedness didn’t show up til the last few chapters and that’s the leg this series needs to stand on.

I missed all of the world-building and politicking I’m used to reading in fantasy. For instance, there were multiple animals in here and I couldn’t tell you what they actually looked like. Nothing was ever described enough to paint a picture. And all of the politics were behind closed doors where Nym never bothered to listen to. This made a lot of decisions by other characters seem empty.

I will say, there was a solid plot twist or two at the end. Where I even wrote in my notes: HOLY PLOT TWIST BATMAN. Reading like every other YA fantasy book left me begging for from the story. That ending has me debating picking up book two though. I’ll keep you posted.

Overall audience notes:

  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: knives, physical, magical
  • Trigger warnings: slavery

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Tag

Book Tag Saturday: The Currently Reading Tag

I’ve seen this tag floating around, but not sure who created it initially. If you happen to know I’d love to credit that blog!

For real though, I am SO SORRY to be slacking on my Saturday tags. Wow, I noticed I haven’t posted any for 3+ weeks. It’s been a rough time in our household. I have depression that gets really bad every few months and with my leg injury + getting sick I have run myself into the ground.

Positive note though is that I have some new options for treatment. Hopefully getting a different blood test and seeing a specialist (we’re pretty sure it’s no longer just a stress fracture in both legs). Anywho, here’s the answers to this tag!

How Many Books Do You Usually Read At Once?

Two to three. It depends on what I’m reading, but I DO keep it to only one per device. So I’ll have an audiobook, a physical book, and a digital book going at one time generally (or audio + e-book OR physical). That way I can keep things straight.

How Do You Decide When To Switch Between Multiple Reads?

When I finish it? I rarely stop reading and pick up a different book. I either finish or DNF before I move on. If I’m involved in a book I don’t want to switch.

Do You Ever Switch Bookmarks Partway Through A Book?

WHAT IS THAT MADNESS? NO.

I have one bookmark. It’s a dinosaur holographic one from good ol’ Hastings (RIP). I’ve had it for a few years, and I hope to always have it.

Where Do You Keep the Book(s) You’re Currently Reading?

Wherever I am. No really, sitting on the couch? My book is underneath (hiding it from toddler). Riding in car? It’s in my lap/purse. I can’t help it. My husband calls them my comfort items. He gets me y’all.

What Time Of Day Do You Read The Most?

Before bed. Baby bedtime is at 7 PM. I usually work on my blog til 9 or so then read until 12 PM. Then I’ll get up before she wakes to read some more. It’s too complicated reading with her awake right now (which is fine! It’s a season of life). I like to make sure she’s getting the attention and communication she needs.

How Long Do You Typically Read In One Session?

1-3 hours. I take breaks every 2 chapters though. Either to scroll through Instagram or get up for a snack, drink, bathroom break, etc.

Do You Read Hardbacks With the Dust Jacket Off?

Do you read with them on?

Do you not fear damaging those beautiful jackets!?

The answer is yes, I take it off before even opening the book.

What Position Do You Mainly Use To Read?

I sit in our chair (with ottoman) most often. Other times I read on my side.

Do You Take Your Current Read With You Everywhere You Go?

I mentioned this in a previous question, but yes. It’s my comfort item. I like to make sure I have a book anywhere I go.

How often Do You Update Your Goodreads Reading Progress?

I update regularly when I start/finish reading a book. I don’t take the time to update my progress as I read though. I think it’s tedious and unnecessary. I want to see book reviews, not random babble as you finish the book so I don’t post mine either haha.

Keeping it simple this week and doing a short tag and not tagging anyone. Trying to get back into a groove so feel free to do this one and tag your answers in it!

What are some of your bookish habits? Lets talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: The First Ten Books I Reviewed

Once upon a time, before I started a blog and an Instagram, I began writing tiny reviews for books I had read.

And thus, my obsession began.

I scrolled back through my Goodreads to find these baby reviews and thought it’d be funny to show them along with the Top Ten Tuesday’s theme.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

My review: ☆☆☆☆

I liked this book! Definitely one of those “finish in a day” types. I thought the story was inventive and it took me awhile to grasp what exactly was going on. Not something I would normally choose, but glad I did for a change of pace. Would definitely recommend to a friend.

Little Women (Little Women #1) by Lousia May Alcott

My review: ☆☆☆

** spoiler alert ** I can’t get over the fact that I felt it should have been Jo and Laurie who ultimately ended up together. I didn’t think this book was anything spectacular. I enjoyed some of the funny quirks from the author through different characters, but I grew tired of the randomness of the stories and chapter and chapter of how they’ll do better next time!

A Different Blue by Amy Harmon

My review: ☆☆☆

While I LOVE all of the other Amy Harmon books I’ve read, I felt this one was almost too much drama. It was one thing after another and I could see each one coming. I’ll still read her books, but for this one I definitely wasn’t as big of a fan as I have been of her others!

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab

My review: ☆☆☆☆

If there’s one thing you can count on from Schwab, it’s that she has no problem killing off characters. Which I actually like because it’s different from how most authors write. Now, I wouldn’t want it this way ALL the time, but it’s nice when there’s a dark side. 😉

I enjoyed this book and thought it was a good ending to the duology. I will definitely continue to read Schwab’s books! It was evil, and filled with internal struggles that gave the characters more depth from the first book.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

My review: ☆☆☆☆

I really enjoyed this book! It as a good historical fiction novel. Kinda Great Gatsby-esque. I loved the way it was narrated (after I got use to it, haha). The characters were intriguing and unique.

Outliers: The Story of Success

My review: ☆☆☆☆☆

Phenomenal book! My husband and I both enjoyed reading this over the weekend and discussing all of the topics. It really makes you think.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My review: ☆☆☆☆☆

I had originally shelved this book as ‘eh, I’ll read that eventually, but I’m not really feeling it right now…”. I’m so glad I finally picked it up because it was SO GOOD. It was heartbreaking, yes, but also told beautifully. I actually enjoyed the way it was narrated, it added an additional layer to the story. All should read!

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brenè Brown

My review:☆☆☆☆☆

I love reading Brene Brown’s books! I always think they’re insightful and current. She keeps me interested by adding stories to the data that helps drive the point home. I often think ‘oh goodness, that IS me!’ over and over when I’m reading. Definitely recommend!

The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

My review:☆☆☆

I really just couldn’t get into this book. I did finish it still because I was intrigued enough to know what happens at the end, but I felt there were a lot of flaws. It drove me batty that she kept going back and forth incessantly about whether or not she loved her father. I get the author was trying to convey the struggle, but it just came off annoying to me. There’s more reasons I could list, but I definitely think I should have just borrowed this book rather than bought it. Oh well, on to the next!

Flame in the Mist (Flame in the Mist #1) by Renèe Ahdieh

My review:☆☆☆☆☆

SUCH A GOOD BOOK. I love a good plot twist. Why do I have to wait for the sequel!?!?

There ya have it! The first 10 books I reviewed. Wow, how time (and practice) can make things better! Have you read any of these? Lets talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Talk

Bookish Discussion: The Lowest Rated Books On My Goodreads

Scrolling through the pages I follow I saw that Ally Writes Things had posted about the lowest rated books (on Goodreads) and what she rated them.

Y’all. THIS WAS A BRILLIANT IDEA.

So here I am, definitely doing this. Let’s go. This will be a handful of the lowest rated books based off of Goodreads and then what I ended up rating them. I hope to do one with the highest rated books from my GR as well, future post alert!

Things I’d Rather Do Than Die by Christine Hurley Deriso

Goodreads Rating: 3.25 || My Rating: 2.50

You can actually find my review for this here. Though please pardon the baby blog formatting as it was one of the first Netgalley reviews I ever did. I could not believe this book at all. It tried way too hard to create drama and purpose, but not. Just no.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (original story from Jane Austen)

Goodreads Rating: 3.29 || My Rating: 4.00

I can’t help it, I thought this book was fun. I even loved the movie (and that never happens!). It’s quirky, ridiculous, but that’s the whole point if you ask me.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Goodreads Rating: 3.39 || My Rating: 2.00

Granted, I read this in high school so it probably deserves a re-read to get a new rating, but I have NO DESIRE to do this.

The Dysasters (The Dysasters #1) by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Goodreads Rating: 3.41 || My Rating: 2.00

If you want to see a rant filled review: click here! My first physical ARC was unfortunately…an absolute dud. Really, a dud. *sigh*

Beowulf by Unknown (Seamus Heaney — Translator)

Goodreads Rating: 3.43 || My Rating: 3.00

This was another read in high school. I remember thinking it was fine overall. Interesting enough.

The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman

Goodreads Rating: 3.45 || My Rating: 3.00

Tried my best to enjoy this because I thought the story was amazing, but unfortunately the way this was portrayed I couldn’t get into the story. I hardly remember it now because I scanned so much of it.

Evenfall (Shadowfire #1) by Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

Goodreads Rating: 3.51 || My Rating: 4.00

This was my version of a tale of two books. The first half almost had me DNF but then somehow the second half was astounding enough for me to think highly of it. I’m actually excited for the second book! (AND ALSO SHOUT-OUT TO THIS GORGEOUS COVER Y’ALL)

Have you read any of these? Did you love them more than their average rating? Lets talk in the comments!

Instagram || Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday, Uncategorized

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Pick Up a Book

Helllllllo readers!

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday. Today we’re discussing things that make me pick up a book. There’s a handful of reasons I decide to read a book. Check them out below!

A beautiful cover.

I am a sucker for a pretty cover. But I’m also not particular about a cover. I think so many covers are gorgeous. I just love all the covers *shrugs*.

A well crafted synopsis.

This is super important. I want the book to suck me in based off of the summary. I want to know just enough to make me want to read it.

A solid Goodreads rating.

I would consider this probably one of my highest factors for me. I will generally pick up anything with a 3.60+ rating. If it’s lower, it takes a bit more convincing for me.

A recommendation from a friend.

If someone I know recommends me a book, I figure they truly think I’ll enjoy it. And they loved it too, so I respect that opinion and want to check it out for myself.

A new book by an auto-buy author.

I have a fairly big list of authors that I will buy anything from them. And if I hear they have a new book coming out, YOU BETTER BELIEVE I pre-ordered that stat.

Seeing it often on Bookstagram/Blog.

If I see a book absolutely everywhere sometimes I can’t resist. And if it also has a gorgeous cover, those photos are going to make me want to read it.

Fear of missing out.

Hype, hype, hype. This explains itself.

Need of an anxiety/stress reliever.

I’m grateful to have a husband that gets me. When I am seriously having the worst day, he takes the babe, goes to the park and lets me read for an hour to detox. It truly calms me and I feel centered again.

Continuation of a series.

This should be a given. You need that next book? YOU GET THAT BOOK.

The perfect weather.

I am a big mood reader. And honestly, depending on the weather the day I’m starting a new book will influence what I end up choosing! Some days call for a long fantasy read, others call for a short rom-com.

What makes you pick up a book? Were any of these on your list? Let’s talk in the comments!

Book Review

Book Review: Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 336 pages
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Fiewel & Friends
Release Date: February 26th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

How do you kill a god?

As her father’s chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying. 

RESONATING.

“Each scar marks me as a survivor. A warrior of the wild.”

This was a book that really caught my attention. A lot of powerful phrasing that really hit home for me. I love this authors writing and the way she builds her characters and the story as a whole.

I absolutely love the dialogue throughout WotW. It was impressive. It felt real and had me flying through the book. I didn’t want to put it down! I vaguely figured out where the book was going, but loved the progression all the same.

I appreciate that the romance was believable. That can be a hard task in a standalone. I adored Soren and his practical, loving nature was precious. Things moved at a steady pace and never went too far, which made absolute sense for the time frame/plot. The banter between Sorren and Rasmira had me chuckling and begging for more.

Each of the main characters (Rasmira, Sorren & Iric) all went through these characters arcs that dove into deeper waters. Conquering fears, realizing one’s true nature and abilities, and learning to communicate were just a few of the aspects broached. I feel like I really got this book. Which is probably why I’m gushing over it now.

The only “eh” thing was the god Peruxolo. There wasn’t much to him so he wasn’t a completely believable antagonist. The scope of the story was so much broader than him that his background took a backseat. I was at least satisfied in the fact that the truth was fully explained at the end.

“My soul has worth, and I won’t let it depart this world just yet.”

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy (vikings)
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: light kisses to barely intense make-outs
  • Violence: ax, knives, physical

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Talk

Bookish Discussion: GoodReads is Hindering My Reading Experience

I know guys, I’m almost being sacrilegious, but here me out.

Instead of a book tag this week I wanted to bring up a discussion I have often: did the review cause me to be swayed before I even read the book myself?

I absolutely adore Goodreads.

I use this app daily. It provides so much content for me. I love keeping up with my reviews, what books I’m reading, what I want to read, what others are reading, and everything else bookish under the sun.

It’s great for people new to reading to help figure out what they enjoy and to start getting into this book community. It’s a platform for all in my opinion.

Where my issues lie, are the reviews.

I look crazy saying this, because I love reviews and love reading reviews, but occasionally I let myself be overtaken by them. I’ll pull up a book I’ve heard about and see that it has a 3.5+ rating. To me, that’s pretty solid (especially if its over 4!), but then I’m wondering, why did some people rate it so low?

I start casually scrolling through reviews, picking out the low-star rating ones and having to know what was said. Thus, the cycle beings. I spin into a vortex of not being able to back out of review after review. So much so, that I convince myself there’s no way I would enjoy it. When I honestly probably would.

What I’m really saying is, don’t let reviews control you.

Book friendships, are forever friendships.

Writing reviews has become a joy in my life. And I love hearing from y’all. I ride on Cloud 9 all day whenever someone adds a book to their TBR because of my review, or they chose to read a book I suggest and loved it. It’s what keeps me reading and reminds me that someone is reading my reviews and getting something out of them.

But also, when you find a book, make sure the reviews don’t overwhelm you! I’ve been trying to stay away until after (doesn’t always work) I have read the book to comment and talk about reviews because I can understand where others are coming from, but can also form my own opinions independently from someone else’s.

Now are reviews worth it? TOTALLY. I have been saved from some iffy books because of reviews, but I never want to miss out on a book because I was overwhelmed with the Negative Nancy’s.

What do you think? Do you enjoy reading reviews? Do you ever get bogged down in the cycle of reading them? Let’s talk in the comments!