Book Review

Review: Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

Wildcard

 

Rating: ☆☆☆.5
Audience: Young adult, very little language, some violence, a love scene
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam
Release Date: September 18th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

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

MIXED EMOTIONS.

This book is good, it is, but the author has let me down yet again with the ending.

[*side note: The ending to the Legend series was fine, but I thought it could have been a lot more satisfying. The Young Elites ending also left something to desire for me, so upon reading her third series I’m once again feeling let down.]

I wanted more. More about Hideo, about Sasuke, the Phoenix Riders, everyone. I think an epilogue would have been beneficial and would have satisfied my craving.

My main issue was Emika is so bland. She jumps from the Blackcoats, to the Riders, to Hideo, doing whatever they ask and not really following her own ideas. The action is there and intense, but because she lacks independence it runs dry.

The love story leaves you wanting more. It even says in the description that Emika has to take down the man she loves. I DON’T EVEN SEE WHERE THERE IS LOVE. They are barely in the book together, the one love scene is nice and all…and totally expected. A little extra fluff for the plot to give us what we thought we wanted. My heart was way more invested in Roshan and Tremaine’s story than Emika and Hideo’s.

Speaking of side characters, I missed them too. I missed the Phoenix Riders. Their presence is small and forced. Their dynamic was so fun in Warcross! It would have been nice to see them really all together.

I do appreciate we got all of Sasuke’s story. And that Jax was included. She was a great addition to the book. The plot focuses on Zero’s story and was fascinating for a sci-fi novel! The twist grabbed me and had me reconsidering my opinion on all things data based. That was different and great to read.

A young adult sci-fi novel. There is a few swear words and some violence. Discussion of suicide (no details). The love scene is glossed and small.

 

 

 

Book Review

Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Young adult fantasy, kiss & love scenes, minor violence, no language
Length: 352 pages
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: January 28th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she’s ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex’s secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

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

A RETELLING FOR THE WIN.

I’ve heard for awhile now about this book, but didn’t know if I would like it so it sat on my TBR for a loooong time…

I wish I would have read this sooner!! It is definitely Beauty and the Beast-esque. And this was my favorite part.

While the vibe is definitely there, the story played out a long a much different line. The Kindly Ones (somewhere between Fae and Demon), Hermetic language, and Romana-Graecia period were all unique. There is a lot of talk about gods and their dynamic. This confused me a bit because most of it was superfluous. The stories that were necessary I glossed over and wished I had spent more time understanding them to fully unearth the story. But it was too heavy in the folk-lore for me.

“I knew better: there was no power I could buy or steal that would save me from my own heart.”

I adored Ignifex. SO MUCH. I’m a sucker for sass. Especially sass filled evil with a heart. He reminded me of the Darkling (Leigh Bardugo fans out there?). Nyx also held her own. Corrupt hearts was a big theme and the soul of the book. The acknowledgement and appreciation from the main characters for the malice that lies within everyone made for a dark tale. I loved the idea that there’s two pieces to each of us.

Some of the side characters are easy to push off a cliff. Not very remarkable and stand there convincing you to hate them more. Astraia is the most worthy of a good side, but she still annoyed me a lot too.

Without being a spoil-sport this book is not a love triangle. Even if you’re convinced it is. If I had known that beforehand it would have helped me a lot because I almost put the book down. There are also instances of insta-love. While not great, I get it. The book is a standalone. You don’t have the time to make a little more angst of it all. It still played off well and I was able to enjoy a good love story.

A Young Adult book filled with fantasy. No language and the very seldom love scenes are completely glossed over, keeping it appropriate for younger teens. Minor violence, nothing with gore.

 

 

 

Book Review

Review: A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews

ATPN

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA, no language, child abuse/violence, a kiss or two
Length: 282 pages
Author: C.G. Drews
Publisher: Orchard Books
Release Date: June 7th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

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

BREAKING MY HEART C.G. DREWS.

This book is by a debut author that I follow on Bookstagram. It had to travel all the way from Australia and it did not disappoint!

Loosely based on Beethoven, this book brought all the sadness and hope mixed together that I could barely handle. All I wanted to do was hug Beck, then shake him, then hug him all over again. I JUST WANT HIM TO FEEL BETTER, OKAY?

I enjoyed that each character had their own voice. I wasn’t bored when another person showed up because they all had their own style.

Though I’m going to cut off the Maestro’s fingers if I ever get a chance.

August was sweet, and a truly good character to add the light at the end of the tunnel for this book. I loved her tenacity and wholeheartedness attitude.

The atmosphere of this book was more unique then I’ve recently seen in contemporary YA novels. A nice breathe of fresh air. While sad, there’s a belief that things will get better and can’t possibly end the way they do.

Strongly YA, no language [words in the “low” curse category such as moron are used]. Child abuse and violence present. It made me wince a few times having to read through this story. A kiss or two, nothing heavy.

Book Review

Review: A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir

A Reaper at the Gates

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆.5
Audience: YA+, little language, violence, one love-adjacent scene, a few kiss scenes
Length: 464 pages
Author: Sabaa Tahir
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: June 12th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

MY HEART HURTS.

I’m pretty sure Tahir sat at her computer laughing nefariously over the horrors she brought upon this cast of characters. And I am DEVASTATED because of it. This might be the most appropriate title for a book I’ve seen in awhile.

Yet, I found the story intoxicating. I’m sad for everyone. Though now I am soooooo excited for the next book. She fixes things right? Not sure at this point, but I want to know what happens regardless.

Each character had a moment when my heart broke for them and when, under duress, they broke my heart. Such despair for Elias, Laia, and the Shrike.

Where does the Empire go now?! What will the Nightbringer do?! DOES ANYONE GET A HAPPY ENDING!?!

THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS THAT HAUNT ME.

Side note: While I hate cover changes because I usually can’t afford to get the updated version in its entirety, this cover change was definitely for the better. I love the strength and personas brought out by each new cover and look forward to seeing what the last one looks like!

Young adult book definitely. Only a little bit of language. One scene I will refer to as “love-adjacent,” and a few kiss scenes round out this book. Very good, quick read. Short chapters (my fav) with cliff hangers keep you turning the page for more.

Book Review

Review: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

When Breath Becomes Air

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Teen+, a tiny bit of language, no violence, but does discuss death throughout
Length: 208 pages
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: January 12th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

READ THIS BOOK.

This is one of those books where I truly believe, everyone needs to read it. For what this book translated in 200 pages, I can’t even begin. I definitely shed a few tears upon finishing it.

The way Paul discusses his own life, and his thoughts/opinions on death really make you contemplate how you’re leading your own life. He never got to fully finish his novel, isn’t that how life feels sometimes?

I don’t have a lot to say because my heart is just bursting with how this book made me feel. Sometimes, that’s more important than a lengthy review.

Appropriate for all ages comfortable with the discussion of death and what makes life worth living. A tiny [tiny] bit of language. Touchy subjects, but needed subjects.

Book Review

Review: Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna and the French Kiss #3) by Stephanie Perkins

Isla

 

Rating: ☆☆☆.75
Audience: YA, language, a few love scenes (including intense make-outs), no violence
Length: 339 pages
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: August 14th, 2014
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

NOT AS CHARMED THIS TIME AROUND.

I picked this up to re-read on a Sunday because I have book mail coming Tuesday that I will be reading immediately and I thought this was a cute book!

I like the idea of the “series” not being a “series”. The characters from one book, appear in another, but the main characters get their own story line for each book. It’s creative and fun.

What I realized the second time is that oh my goodness, so many hormones. That’s mostly what Isla and Josh are really dealing with. Not the other external factors, the fact that they are madly in love after less than a month and plot to go have sex. This unfortunately stood out a lot more this time around.

I still think it’s a cute book and I enjoy the way it reads. It’s fast and precise without a lot of extra hoopla that bogs it down. Isla especially would make me laugh with her inner thoughts. She’s a love-struck hormonal teenager just like the rest of us once were.

Definitely some language (including f-words). Love scenes are a little descriptive, but also don’t go over the edge like you’d see in New Adult+.

Book Review

Review: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

AH

 

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Teen+, a tiny bit of language, descriptions of violence, talks of romance
Length: 818 pages
Author: Ron Chernow
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: this version: March 29th, 2005
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

 

I REALLY READ ALL OF IT.

This hands-down has been the longest book I’ve read in a while. I probably won’t read another one like this til KOA (Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas — told y’all I was obsessed).

I am a closet history buff and when I need something new I find the latest history based book on an interesting subject, and what is more interesting than ALEXANDER HAMILTON Y’ALL.

Oh my goodness. I can’t believe how much drama was occurring in the 1700s. I kept laughing to myself that if they had the media we do now, who knows what other juicy details would come out.

I have new respect for the plight that AH went through. Man, he had so much to overcome. Chernow represents him [AH] so well. I also have a new found disrespect for Thomas Jefferson (he’s the worst).

*finds soapbox* ALSO, YOU KNOW WHO ELSE IS THE WORST? AARON BURR. *climbs back-off because I can’t even*

And for Eliza to battle 50 years without Alexander broke my heart. Guys, this was love. For all that AH messed up, he got marrying Eliza Schuyler right. Don’t worry, General Hamilton got a lot of other things right too.

My intrigue really fell upon the stories about him. The political bru-ha-ha was tough at times to read, but whenever I learned stories from his children, Eliza, etc. it was special.

I’m amazed how put together and thorough this biography is. Chernow is able to tell Hamilton’s story and not bore you to death. This is the kind of history I enjoy.

A few minor curse words (mostly the use of scoundrel). Vaguely details the affair. Descriptions of the violence seen from Revolutionary War to his duel with Aaron Burr.