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review 2019-01-13 20:15
Seventh Born
Seventh Born - Monica Sanz

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.]

This novel was partly a good surprise: I expected to see romance in it, but after so many YA books where said romance is just rushed in, let’s say that I’ve become pretty jaded… and fortunately, here, the romance was of the slow-building type, and not the be all-end all it too often is. Mostly the story focuses on Sera’s life at the Academy and on her collaboration with Barrington in his investigating gruesome witches’ murders—in other words, it was more about the mystery than about the usual ‘true love’ stuff that (just as usually) detracts from the fantasy plot. This definitely endeared me to it.

Getting into it was a bit of a strange process: the novel puts the reader in medias res when it comes to both world-building and characters. It’s something I tend to appreciate, rather than having to contend with history lessons/typical fantasy prologues, and I quickly found my marks. As for the characters, while the main chars were alright (with a sort of Rochester/Jane Eyre dynamic, e.g. Barrington’s way of infuriating people), the secondary ones really felt more on the cookie-cutter side: the bully, the teachers who generally blame Sera just because she’s a seventhborn, the best friend obsessed with boys, the cute and wealthy love interest, etc. So I didn’t care much for them; some more development was needed here, especially regarding two of them, since they become more important in the second half of the story.

The love relationships have their problematic sides, too, whether the boy who’s in love with Sera and keeps pushing (including stealing a kiss a couple of times when obviously Sera isn’t interested), or the potential student/teacher relationship (granted, she’s 18 and soon out of school, buuuut… it’s a YA novel, after all). On the other hand, it could also have been much worse, whether it came to the boy or to the ‘forbidden romance’ (that one, at least, moved slowly enough as to be believable, and they didn’t just fall into each other’s arms out of the blue by the end of the first third).

I would also have liked more details about the magic system and the world itself, particularly when it came to seventhborns. We know they are disliked because when they come into this world, their mothers lose their powers and die, and that they were linked to a plague, so people disliked them and still do… However, I can’t help but wonder: why do people in that world keep having seven children, since the (well-known) outcome is so bad for the families? Why don’t they stop at four or five: because they can’t? Or because they don’t want to? Couldn’t a witch use her powers to prevent herself from even conceiving this seventh child? This is the kind of ‘curse’ that could be easily avoided in a world with magic, so I have no clue why these kids are still born, and… that is a major plot hole here.

This said, I did enjoy the mystery/investigation part. Its direct impact is solved by the end of the book, so we get some resolution, but at the same time, there are still mysteries lingering in the characters’ backgrounds, that would make good material in a next book.

Conclusion: 2.5 stars. This novel has its problematic sides, but others I did like nonetheless. I might pick the second volume at some point to see if there’s more world-building there.

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review 2019-01-02 02:21
Thinking About You (Forever Yours #2) by Monica Murphy
Thinking About You - Monica Murphy

 

 

We all have a story that makes us who we are. Thinking About You is an exercise in finding out facts without letting preconceived notions get in the way. Cannon and Susanna may exist in different circles socially, but it is an injustice to judge them by their backgrounds. These are people who deal with real insecurities despite the celebrity world they reside in. With Murphy the characters become more than just a story to be told, they serve as a looking glass into who we are. Thinking About You allows humanity to stare us in the face and shine a light on the best and worst in us all. Bravo, Ms. Murphy, Bravo!

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text 2019-01-01 19:27
Goodbye, 18. Hello 19.
Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus - Monica Murphy,Bill Wasik
Children of Blood and Bone: The OrÏsha Legacy (Children of OrÏsha) - Tomi Adeyemi
The Book of Essie: A novel - Meghan MacLean Weir
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock - Imogen Hermes Gowar
Meg - Steve Alten
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender - Leslye Walton
The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple - Jeff Guinn
Jim Henson's The Power of the Dark Crystal Volume 3 - Phillip Kennedy Johnson,Nichole Matthews,Kelly Matthews,Simon Spurrier

2018 was a wild decade, am I right?....oh wait, it was only a year. Damn. I feel like I aged 20 years. 

 

Anyway, here's my list of top reads in 2018. 

 

Rabid

Children of Blood and Bone

The Book of Essie

The Astonishing Color of After 

The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

Meg

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

The Road to Jonestown

Power of the Dark Crystal v3

 

I didn't read as much as I would have liked this past year because of being so sick, but I am hoping to do better this go around. I have lots of ideas for monthly themes and I got the popsugar challenge.

 

Possible themes:

Star Trek September 

Ebook Beginning (to start off the year)

Memoirs May

Dinosaur December

 

I have so many books I can't even decide where to start. I will knock out my Dark Crystal book and then read Circe since it was voted the Book of the Year. Then who knows. It's all wide open.

 

 

Happy New Year from chubbygirl and co.

 

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review 2018-12-12 00:57
Damaged Hearts (Damaged Hearts, #3) by Monica Murphy
Damaged Hearts - Monica Murphy

 

 

How can anyone survive living at the center of a time bomb? Rhett and Jensen are on the cusp of having the life of their dreams, when their happily ever after starts to unravel. Is their love strong enough to weather the storm clouds that are closing in? Murphy dares to explore love at it's most flawed. Damaged Hearts sorts through the ugliest of baggage to create something beautifully reborn.

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review 2018-11-25 07:47
His Wasted Heart (Damaged Hearts, #2) by Monica Murphy
His Wasted Heart - Monica Murphy

 

 

Were they more than friends, less than lovers or just a hot mess? The quest continues. Murphy re-enters the mind and heart of two damaged souls. His Wasted Heart is another piece to an already heartbreaking puzzle. In his own words Rhett seeks the answers to a tragic situation. His pain leaps off the pages like a dagger to the heart. Love is what he seeks, but anger bubbles just below the surface. It's complicated, but no less emotionally impactive.

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