Book Reviews

Hunted – Book Review

IMG_7258

I have said it before and I will probably say it once again, but I am a little tired of the fairy tale retelling trend in Young Adult. Mostly because I think sometimes the books have NOTHING in common with the original fairy tales :: cough :: A Court of Thorns and Roses :: Cough:: I have been disappointed one too many times and thought I was completely over the retelling craze. Then I heard about Hunted by Meagan Spooner. I haven’t read anything else by Meagan Spooner, but this had me intrigued. Hunted felt closer to the real Beauty and the Beast fairy tale than any others I have checked out, so I decided to get it and read it.

I was so pleasantly surprised. I for one loved the fact that the main character Yeva, or as she’s also known in the story as Beauty, was incredibly close with her sisters. It was a nice change of pace to not see every female character at each other’s throats all the time. When their father goes missing in the woods, Yeva takes it upon herself to set off into a forest that she knows deep within her bones has secrets and possibly even magic. Sticking true to the tale of Beauty and the Beast, she becomes the Beast’s prisoner…or does she? She begins to question many things, including the beast’s intentions.

That was part of the magic that made me love this story so much. Anyone who loves the original will have an idea or glimpse into what happens next on Yeva’s journey, but Spooner was able to give it a twist of her own, and it had me hooked right away. Meagan Spooner also has a wonderful way with words. Hunted is the Beauty and the Beast retelling I have been waiting for.

I highly recommend this novel if you’re looking for a fairy tale retelling to read.

I gave this one four out of five Metal Horns.

ratefour

Books

May Reading Wrap Up

ReadingWrapUp

In the month of May I read a total of 10 books. Yup, I was a little sad in the month of May and had some free time to really read whatever I wanted. So let’s go through it.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

EveryHeartI really enjoyed the idea behind this novel. It deals with all those children that went through magical portals into other lands but don’t know how to live within the real world anymore when they return. It’s a little gruesome in some parts but I really liked the writing. It left me wanting more, and the shortness of this novel is what made it lose a star. I really wish it had been a full book.

I gave this book four out of five metal horns!

ratefour

 

Grit by Gillian French 

Grit was a good little mystery novel following Darcy, her cousin, and her sister as they work in blueberry fields during the summer. GRITThe story includes the mystery behind her best friend who went missing the summer before. It has a wonderful cast of characters, but I had some issues with the writing. All in all it was still a good story, and if you’re looking for a YA mystery then give this one a shot. I have a full non-spoiler review on my blog as well.

I gave Grit three out of five metal horns:

ratethree

The Iron Trial by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

One thing you should know about me is that I absolutely cannot stand Cassandra Clare. 23299980I will leave it at that because I know so many of you love her. I gave this book a chance because I have been looking for a fun middle grade read. This was fun, but not a fresh idea (surprise surprise) I also didn’t care too much for any of the characters. I tried to focus on the fact that someone other than Clare also worked on this novel because if I focus too much on Clare I realize just how much she doesn’t have a single creative thought that is all her own.

I gave this three out five metal horns.

ratethree

The Copper Gauntlet by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare

I continued onto the second book in the series hoping it would get better but I was in for 13612962a rude awakening. This second book felt like such a blatant copy of Harry Potter (flying car included) that it made me cringe the entire time I was reading it. Once again proving that anything written by Clare is just not for me. I despised this second book with every fiber in my body. I have read many magic school books that have received great reviews from me (Black Magician Trilogy and The Name of the Wind) This isn’t a case of “you compare every Magic School book to HP” it’s a case of lazy writing.

ONE out of five metal horns for me

RateONE

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb 

This was one of my absolute favorite reads this month! The world that Robin Hobb has 77197built is so fascinating and beautiful. This is the start to her massive series that is made up of a few different trilogies if I am not mistaken. The Farseer trilogy is the beginning of it all. It’s where you meet Fitz for the first time and become so engrossed in his life and story. I loved every page.

I gave this a full five out five metal horns!

ratefive

 

Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley &others

This graphic novel has been popping up all over the place in the book community. In snotgirlother words, it’s been really overhyped, and maybe that’s why I didn’t like it so much. The story follows Lottie who is famous online. She’s also vapid and shallow beyond belief, and I understand this is a flawed character but she irritated me and made the entire story less enjoyable. This story has some potential, so MAYBE I will continue it later on, but for now I am not that interested.

I gave this three out of five metal horns.

ratethree

How to be a Bawse by Lilly Singh

This is not a self help book, but it is a wonderfully empowering book from a female 31202835who’s had to overcome her own issues and obstacles to reach the top. While some aspects of this novel were repetitive, I think Lilly Singh’s advice is coming from a place of love and experience. Her success didn’t happen over night, and she let’s you know that right from the beginning. Anyone who’s trying to follow their dreams should give this a shot.

I gave this four out of five metal horns

ratefour

Chew by John Layman

This graphic novel follows Tony Chu who is cibopathic, that basically means he gets chewpsychic impressions from what he eats, and as a detective he starts to eat bits of people to solve crimes. SOUND FAMILIAR? yea, to me it’s iZombie without the zombie factor. Chew is a great graphic novel on it’s own, but the idea isn’t fresh. It takes a pretty gruesome turn, and if you do not like really graphic stories with tons of blood and such I would keep away from this one.

I gave this four out of five metal horns.

ratefour

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

I needed another mystery/thriller in my life this month so I picked up The Woman in Cabin10Cabin 10. In the story you follow Lo who is on a small cruise ship for a job assignment as a journalist. It is on this trip that she wakes in the middle of the night to screams and witnesses a body being thrown overboard. Or so she thinks? She is supposed to come off as an unreliable narrator and she certainly is, but I had the ending figured out about half way through, which took the fun out of the book.

I gave this three out of five metal horns.

ratethree

Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb

This is the second book in the Farseer Trilogy and we now follow Fitz as he’s getting a bit RoyalAssassinolder. The political intrigue of this novel has grown a lot and had be hooked right from the start because I was so desperate to know what happened after the ending of the first novel. I have to admit that I am ashamed that it has taken me so long to become a Robin Hobb fan, but a fan I have definitely become. I have started the third in this trilogy now, and I can’t wait to read them all!!!

This was a five out of five metal horns for me

ratefive

 

That’s what I read in the month of May. Tell me what you read in May, or comment and leave links to your own wrap ups!

Book Reviews

Grit – Book Review

GRIT

I received this book from the publisher, this in no way impacted my opinion of the novel. 

Grit by Gillian French follows Darcy as she deals with an “easy girl” reputation and the aftermath of the fact that her ex-best friend Rhiannon went missing the previous year. The story follows Darcy as she works the fields with her sister and cousin raking blue berries. Within this story line comes an interesting message because the owners of the fields always hire foreigners and outside help, which Darcy’s aunt seems to have an issue with when someone states that the migrants need the money:

“So do the people of this town. People who live here year round and pay their taxes.”

“You see about as many year round residents turning out for berry raking as you do ditch digging. It’s hard work, and most people don’t want to do it.” 

This made me smile, because it is the most true statement I have seen in a YA novel in a while. While the book had a few “hell yeah!” moments, something about French’s writing kind of muddled the important messages within the book. The plot felt a bit disconnected  at certain points, not just disconnected but it felt like there was A LOT happening with a lot of different characters which made me unfocused.

The writing was good, but I think some more editing could have been involved to make it better. Still I would say the story is a good mystery and I enjoyed it for the most part.

This book will be released on May 16th. I gave it three out of five metal horns!

ratethree

Book Reviews

Exit West – Book Review

IMG_6894

Summary: In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.

Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.

Review: The relevance of this book is why I decided to read it, and I kept reading because of the beautiful story. It’s poetic in a way I have never seen before. Exit West has an element that feels a bit like magical realism, but what was gripping was following Saeed and Nadia through their journey. Journey feels like too light of a word to use here though. The book isn’t very long and I flew through it. It’s heartbreaking, horrific, and motivating all in one go. The talks about refugees are so prevalent right now, especially here in Europe, and I have felt empathy beyond words for everything that’s been happening, but this book opened the flood gates. It may be a fictional story, but good fiction will further open our eyes to the truth that surrounds us.

This book got four out of five metal horns!

ratefour

 

Book Reviews

A Monster Calls – Book Review

monstercalls

I bought a copy of A Monster Calls last year at a used book sale for 1 euro. It was the first Patrick Ness book I bought, but after reading this one, it certainly won’t be the last. It took me so long to finally pick this up and read it because sometimes when people hype up books too much my interest in them sort of wavers. I know I sound like a hipster that feels like they’re just not into anything mainstream, but the truth is I have had bad luck with overhyped books in the past, so I am always afraid that I am going to really hate something when all the hype is built up around it.

THIS IS A SPOILER FREE REVIEW

I was wrong in this case. A Monster Calls was an amazing story. It’s short and anything but sweet. The story follows Conor who is a 13 year old boy who wakes to find a monster outside of his window. The monster has seen the passing of time, as it is ancient and it has stories to tell. The Monster doesn’t wake just to tell Conor these stories, but to also get something from Conor in return–The truth! It’s a dark and twisted tale, and yet beautifully poetic. The idea for this story is actually from Siobhan Dowd, who passed away before being able to write the book herself, and so Patrick Ness finished it, and he did such a beautiful job with her idea.

It is heart wrenching and it will grip you in a way that not many books can. I loved it so much more than I ever expected to, and it made me so emotional while reading it. I think if you’re looking for something different to read, something that will touch your very soul, then you should give this a read.

I give A Monster Calls 5 out of 5 Metal Horns!!

ratefive

Books

The Dramedy of Book Twitter

anastasia-zhenina-90079

Man, I hope I write this in the best possible way. Intent  doesn’t mean shit if you trample over everything like a drunk giant. Get ready for a rant.

I haven’t updated my blog in a while because of LIFE. I already promised myself I wouldn’t apologize anymore for this. I started this for fun, and it will only continue to be that way as long as I don’t feel like I HAVE to update this place all the time. Sure I’d like to be more consistent with my blogging, but I am merely human and truthfully, I don’t give a shit what you think about my lack of updates.

shrug

I have been active on Book Twitter and it’s kept me informed of all the book releases, conflicts, drama, and comedy. It’s also made me laugh, frown, and made me want to rip my hair out all in one go. That is the dramedy that is Book twitter. I follow some great people. They’re intelligent, they’re fierce, and they are also opinionated. I am here for all of it. I want to know what people think about different books. I want to see people point out when things bother them in a novel and I want to listen and learn.

Recently though something has made me want to throw books around. TWO things have crept up on book twitter like the plague. One of those is the super fangirls who attack like little trained minions whenever you comment on their favorite books or authors. You see it A LOT with Sarah J. Maas and Cassandra Clare fans, but also with JK Rowling and others. People have yet to learn that you may love something dearly but that does not mean the entire world will feel the same. I have yet to finish the throne of glass series and her other series. You can love those books till you’re blue in the face but if you call me an idiot for the fact that I don’t find them as interesting as you do, you’re not doing Maas any favors. Stop bitching at people for their opinions. Also, this goes for you people on the other side of the coin too, whether you just didn’t enjoy the story or find it problematic don’t tell people they are morons for reading it. I am at fault for this too once or twice but I am learning how to just let people enjoy things.

The second thing that’s crept up on book twitter, is the conflicting and hypocritical talks about problematic content in books. To clarify, I absolutely stand with people reserving the right to call authors out on their problematic content. I think if something is bothersome to you, there is a way to reach out and speak politely and openly with an author about it. Being more critical of the books you are reading is a good thing. What has bothered me is that the same people who were out there with pitchforks, yelling for the book The Continent to be reedited because of its problematic content, are seemingly okay with Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth who’s book apparently has similar problematic content. Not only is the issue similar, the authors’ explanations and “apologies” are similar too and yet only one of them has their book on hold, and the other one was on the NYT best sellers list. I will let you guess which one.

I haven’t read either one, but I am commenting on the hypocritical bullshit that comes out of book twitter quite often these days. I think diversity is important, But I also think a lot of the white people yelling about diversity use the term loosely and only use it when it suits them. Many of them were ready to stand up for Roth when just a few months ago they were vowing to burn copies of The Continent. Diversity and respect for marginalized voices isn’t a bag of trail mix, you can’t just pick and choose the parts you like.

I like the book community and especially book twitter, but there are some aspects of it that have started to mold the way I read things and what I choose to read. I think I would have continued with the Throne of Glass series had the overly aggressive fans not annoyed the shit out of me. I had no interest in reading Carve the Mark or The Continent but now because people have been such hypocrites about these two books, I want to read them so I can compare and contrast and form my own educated opinion.

I think a lot of the Book Twitter drama could be minimized if we could all just stop calling each other names and respected one another. I think people need to start thinking before jumping on the mob mentality that takes over twitter sometimes, and I really do think we need to let people enjoy things. Truth is a person can find something problematic but still enjoy its entertainment value, and I don’t see an issue with that.

This of course is MY opinion, and you may not share the same view, but please comment down below and share it anyway.

Book Reviews

History is All You Left Me – Book Review

allyouleftme

This book was sent to me by the publisher as an eARC, this in no way influenced my opinion on the novel.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera took me by surprise. In the best and yet most emotional way possible. This is a SPOILER FREE review so please feel free to continue reading. It follows Griffin who’s first love and ex-boyfriend Theo died in a drowning accident. This breaks Griffin apart as expected. The story bounces back and forth between the present where Griffin is dealing with his grief, and to the past (history) where his relationship with Theo grew and blossomed.

I loved this style of going between the past and present. This story also shows Griffin’s struggle with mental illness. This hit home for me. When I was 14 I had to deal with a form of grief I had never experienced before, and it shot my anxiety to places I could never put into words, but Adam Silvera certainly tried for me. People deal with Grief in very different ways, and when you experience something of that magnitude at a young age, it stays with you forever. Surely it stays with you at any age, but when you are young and you feel so invincible … it strikes you down hard.

At the core of this novel is a story about friendship, love, and loss. Adam Silvera writes in a way that makes you truly believe these aren’t just characters in a novel but real people. I love that so much because I could feel what these characters were going through. The way Griffin and Theo come together and how they’re torn apart feels so real that it hurt my soul to read it. In the end this novel is also about healing.

This took me on one hell of a ride, and if you haven’t read this book, then I don’t know what you are waiting for. It may seem like a heart breaking story, and yes it is, but it’s just so much more than that. The themes and messages in this novel are incredible.

Originally I had given this novel 4 stars on Goodreads, but it’s been a couple of days since I read it, and I just keep thinking about it and that’s a sign of an important book. I changed my rating on there.

This novel gets 5 out of 5 Metal Horns from me!

ratefive