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review 2016-07-05 01:21
A little lengthy but also amazing
My Lady Jane - Brodi Ashton,Jodi Meadows,Cynthia Hand

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

Some of you might know that The Princess Bride is one of my favorite novels in the scope of reality and others might not. Well now you do. I’ve had My Lady Jane on my TBR since it was first announced. I saw the 3 wonderful authors who had decided to get together to write it and the fact that it was being pitched as being in the tradition of The Princess Bride and I knew I absolutely needed it. I also had no doubts about it being an amazing novel just because of the wonderful authors involved and was glad to fall in love with the book within the first few pages.

To be perfectly honest though, those 500 pages were intimidating as FUCK. I confess that while I have enjoyed many a big book, I prefer smaller books because I can read those in one go so getting through My Lady Jane(amusing or not) was harder than I thought it would be but also completely worth it.

I giggled SO much when I was reading this book and was sucked in by the brilliant narration.  The characters are well crafted and I loved all the shippy feels in the book. I also loved that this re-telling of history that allowed tragic events to become comedic and magical.

The fantasy element in this book was slightly unexpected for me because it had been a while since I had read the synopsis so I kind of just forgot about it. My Lady Jane goes all out with the alternate history and throws in a bunch of shape shifters to add a little magic to history. I love the way the fantasy element is incorporated though because it could easily just be completely random and useless and while there is definitely an aspect of ‘random’ to the magic, it seems purposeful and only adds to the narration and story-telling. After all, My Lady Jane is written in the vein of The Princess Bride .

This book also screams girl power which made so happy. Amazing female lead aside, there are so many amazing female characters to look up to. We may be in 16th century England but the patriarchy doesn’t win this round. There is a variety of female characters in this novel, some not so great but many who are amazing and great leaders. It made me so happy to see that Jane Grey wasn’t the only kick-ass female in this book and I was glad that her supporting crew consisted of a bunch of other kick-ass women.

There are also swoons to be had in this book. Gideon is wonderfully awkward and adorable. Both Jane and Gideon both have their insecurities about their relationship and do spend a bunch of time being angsty but once they realize the truth about one another’s feelings, they don’t let anything come between them. They also just work well together even when they aren’t entirely sure about one another’s feelings.

The plot is also pretty well paced given that the book is gigantic and I was never bored (only intimidated :P). I love the ways in which the novel isn't just about getting the rightful ruler back on the throne but also about self-discovery and even a coming of age to an extent (16th century, alternate history style). 

Since I clearly enjoyed this book, you might wonder why it didn’t get the 5 stars and I guess that’s because the length made it harder to enjoy and there were moments in the book where I really wish there was a little less angst. Otherwise, this book is hilarious and SO MUCH FUN to read.

Note that I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

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review 2015-08-05 12:40
A satisfying, long awaited conclusion
Oblivion - Kelly Creagh

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

It’s hard to believe I waited almost 3 years for this book. The time seems to have stretched out forever but diving back into this series wasn’t hard for me (possibly because I continued to obsess over it for the past 3 years.) As soon as I opened the first page of the book, it felt like coming home; and how could it not when there are so many things to appreciate about this series.

As one can imagine, when one waits for a book for 3 years, expectations build. Maybe to insane amounts. So I am not going to tell you that this book was everything I had hoped it would be. If it had been, I probably would have died from all the awesomeness, but this book was fantastic. It was the finale this trilogy needed and it was WORTHY of this series. I never felt disappointed by the book and I felt so HAPPY with how things were worked out, even if I did have some minor issues.

One of my major issues with the book was the time frame it took place in. I  just feel like these last moments should have taken longer than a day. Especially since there was a showdown involved. They certainly felt like they took a lot longer and I would have just liked it had everything taken place at least over the time period of a week instead of a day. But that's just me, I am weird about time frames and there was a fantastic build up to those final moments so there isn't much to complain about.

My other problem was that Gwen still didn’t get enough spotlight. Gwen is a fabulous creature, let me tell you that. If there is anyone you want having your back, it is Gwen. She is a great friend and she puts up with Isobel even when Isobel takes Gwen for granted. She also calls Isobel out on her shit which just makes me like her better. She is the best best friend ever and I just wished we could see more of her awesomeness like we did in Nevermore.

I also wish we saw more of Isobel’s brother. He is adorable and I love his relationship with Isobel. They fight but they also care about each other dearly and I cannot help but wish we saw more of them together.

Isobel is a great main character. I will say that I think she developed more in Nevermore than in the latter books but I still enjoyed being in her head. She is someone who cares about her friends and family and has definitely matured over the course of the books. She also cares a LOT about Varen. Which also makes me sometimes wonder if this book wouldn’t have been a lot more interesting had it been adult instead of YA (and I am not only saying that because sexy times. :P)

Varen is also the apple of my eye and the person I wrote a Valentine’s letter to last year so we know I love him. And thank the gods he got more page time in this book because my poor heart would have broken otherwise. He did some shitty things inEnshadowed but I will forgive him because he is Varen but also because he caught up right away this time and had faith in Isobel.

This book is full of so many amazing characters and I also wanted to mention Reynolds who is one of the best things in this series.He is a mysterious character and you never know what he is up to but you know he is and never will be Isobel’s enemy. I was so happy with how things turned out with him.

I will miss every single one of the characters in this series but I will also miss the gorgeous world that Creagh built. Her haunting prose brings the creepy, Poe inspired atmosphere of this book to life. My eyes were glued and I was flipping pages, trying to devour this book in one go (but also since I’d be waiting for 3 years, it’s not a surprise I devoured this beauty.)

The epic finale was exactly what this series deserved and made me happy. There was an epilogue to follow and while I am not a 100% sure how I feel about it, I will say that it wasn’t cheesy which made me really happy. It had the kind of sweetness that the characters deserved given everything they had been through over the course of the 3 books.

This series will be missed SO FLIPPIN much but I needed this closure and I needed to know what would become of these characters. For all of those who have followed the Nevermore trilogy as enthusiastically as I have, it’s here. The book is here and it won. LET'S CELEBRATE. For those who haven’t, definitely give it more than a glance (especially if you enjoy gothic reads with fantastic characters and haunting prose.)

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review 2014-08-01 12:54
Haunting atmosphere and beautiful writing combined gives you a wonderful tale
Of Metal and Wishes - Sarah Fine

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

When I first found out that Sarah Fine had a new book coming out, I was over the moon. My expectations soared as I read the blurb, and I knew I needed this book in my life. It was only a couple weeks before reading this that I found out that this book was actually a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. I don’t remember much from the movie (and I’ve never read the book) but I remembered the haunting atmosphere and the chills and how absolutely scared I was at some points (I was also 8 when I watched the movie, so there is that) and I was definitely curious to see how Fine would incorporate all the elements of the tale into this retelling. She aced. While this was not a 5 star read for me, it was definitely a memorable one.

Wen was a very likeable character. I’ll admit there were moments when I wasn’t her biggest fan, but for the most part, she was pretty likeable. After her initial prejudice, she quickly realized that everything she has been told about the Noor wasn't true and perhaps they weren't the savages people make them out to be. She started seeing the injustice they suffered. When she made these realizations, she did her best to compensate for the mistakes she has made and the pain she has caused and that was what made her so likeable to me. She was compassionate, but at the same time, she was guilt-ridden which made her more human and real.

One of the things that really stuck with me throughout the book was the injustice the Noor suffered. To say it broke my heart is an understatement. I was genuinely terrified at times at the ignorance and how easily judgement could be passed to a whole group of people. I was horrified at how at every turn, there were so much bad treatment done against them just for who they were. The sad thing about this is that it isn’t as uncommon in our own world as one might think.

But what really made me happy was how in spite of all the injustices they suffered, they remained strong. They kept their heads up, but they also didn't go out of their way looking for fights because they realized that they would become targets and endanger themselves further.

Melik, their leader, stole my heart. Melik was the kind of love interest I love. He was incredibly sweet, but at the same time he was strong. He stood up for what he believed in and would always protect his own. I am not going to say more about him because I don’t know what to say, except that he was an INCREDIBLE character and a swoonworthy love interest.

The romance between the two could be considered slightly insta-love, but in all honesty, I didn’t mind in the slightest. It was just so sweet. It's the kind of romance I enjoy and the best thing is that it didn't take over the plot. There were so much more going on than just the romance even though it did play an important role, considering the position of the Noors in the society.

Take note, though, that in my mind, there wasn’t a love triangle in this story, although there were hints of one. If you’ve seen or read The Phantom of the Opera you’ll already know what I mean and if you haven’t, I hope you have fun finding out!

What really made this book so incredible was the atmosphere the author created. It was gloomy and there were times while reading the book I felt so overwhelmed, especially in the beginning, but the author weaved in other things to make this book the masterpiece that it is.

Fine marvelously entwined elements of the original tale into this book, and at times I almost wanted to jump up and clap my hands when I noticed something. The world she built based on the original tale shined and I was definitely not disappointed.

Especially in terms of the plot. Fine managed to create something thoroughly original with this retelling and I was always on my toes. I devoured the book and I was so surprised when it came to a somewhat abrupt end.

All I want right now is a copy of the sequel in my hands.

With all that said, I haven’t even mentioned one of the most important characters in this book, the ghost (who shall not be named for fear of spoilers). And I will not be discussing the ghost further because this is a character you need to get to know yourselves. The ghost was exquisitely developed and was definitely a fantastic character. Whether or not I liked the ghost… well, that’s another story.

This is a gloriously written book and I was not let down in the least. With a great set of characters, a gloomy atmosphere and an almost chilling plot, this book is not something you would want to miss.

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review 2014-07-15 14:34
A very interesting collection of re-tellings
Grim - Christine Johnson,Ellen Hopkins,Julie Kagawa,Amanda Hocking

***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This is definitely one interesting collection of tales and I have to say, I definitely enjoyed it on the whole. I’ve had my ups and downs while reading this, but generally, it was pleasurable reading most of these stories. Of course, there are quite a few for which I didn’t know the original tale on which the retelling was based, so I wouldn’t be able to compare and contrast the original with the retelling, but to methey were all unique in their own ways even if not all of them were enjoyable.

The Key 

This short story wasn’t as creepy as I would have imagined it to be, but it sure as hell was fun. After finishing it, I was left with a lot of questions, but the open ending is also something that works for this story. It was enjoyable, but I wouldn’t complain if there had been more to give us a better idea of what was going on.


This one wasn’t scary so much as it was sweet. The characters were all interesting and I definitely enjoyed reading it. I don’t know what else to say in all honesty, because the story left me with such a huge smile on my face. It reminded me of when I was a kid and it kind of just makes me want to give a group hug to all my soft toys (I still have most of them!). Definitely worth it.

The Twelfth Girl 

This short story definitely had the eerie like quality to it that can make your heart beat faster and can make you want to crawl under the covers, but at the same time, I also felt something was missing.  I am not sure what exactly, but I felt like there could have been more - something that would have made the pieces click. Overall though, fun story.

The Raven Princess 

This story was slightly different from the others, and I’d say a little silly as well. While I did like it, I was more tempted to roll my eyes than not after finishing it. It was just so childish in some ways and reminded me of the kind of fairy tales your parents read to you at bed time (even if this is a retelling).

Thinner than Water 

While the story is good, I did not enjoy it. I was repulsed by the idea and couldn’t begin to wrap my head around it. Incest makes me incredibly uncomfortable (like it would most people) and it was just so hard to swallow no matter the outcome so I couldn’t enjoy this story. I have to say though; it IS grim and well written and has a great story arc considering that it’s only a short story.

The Rose Bloomed 

Weird writing style aside (at first I thought it was the formatting but it turns out that’s how the author writes), the story was enjoyable but at the same time there was no spark to it. It was fun, quick, and sweet, but it lacked something that would make it stand apart and make it more than just likeable, something that would make it memorable. Sadly though, it lacked that spark and so while I enjoyed it, there wasn’t much to it.


Rather incomplete, I’d think. When it ended my first thought was its over? Already? I loved reading it (not surprising since I love Beauty and the Beast) but I wouldn’t say it was particularly grim and because of its short length it left a lot to be desired. Still, I loved the author’s writing style and was thoroughly engrossed in this tale.

The Brother’s Piggett 

Holy guacamole! This was a grim take on the Three Little Pigs. I actually kind of expected that twist but at the same time I was still taken a back. I have to say, this one really fits well in this collection because it is so grim. In fact it's almost like everyone was a villain in their own way. With that said, I cannot really find any faults in this tale, it was a short story and it worked well as one.


I LOVE the writing style and the weird twist in the end took me by surprise. I ended up going back to read the story and wow.  I like. I really do like. I am definitely reading more stuff by this author in the future. I just hope it'll be as gorgeous as this short story was.


Uhh, yeah. I didn’t like this one. It has an interesting sci-fic setting so there is that, but I feel like that it was more of a drawback instead of an advantage for this fairy tale. I mean it does give it a unique feel but at the same time, it feels less like a fairy tale.  I also didn’t like the ending. The ending did not work for me in the least and really bothered me. Oh well.

Light it Up 

This one was SO good. I really loved the relationship between Greta and Hansen and I think the author really did do a good job with this re-telling. In spite of its shortness, there is a well defined story arc and I felt pretty satisfied in the end.

Sharper than a Serpent’s Tongue 

I found this story to be somewhat insufficient. There are still some things I don’t understand and I think because of the shortness of it, there are quite a few chunks that just seem to be missing. It’s not developed really well to be honest and I just wish there was more. I think this might have been more interesting as a full length-novel.

A Real Boy 

This story was ridiculous, but I never really disliked it. Not that I liked it, but I didn’t dislike it either. I just thought it was annoying. The romance was pretty meh, and it did have an insta-feel to it. I mean it is a short story but at the same time, the romance really rubbed me in the wrong way. So did the main character. Even with a short story like this, I could not get behind the main character. I did not like her in the least and I wonder if this story would have been better as a novel rather than a short story. It would mean there would be more room for development which this story seems to lack in my opinion.

Skin Trade 

I don’t even know how to describe this story. It was just incredibly weird and not in a good way. My face kind of looked like this...

... after finishing this short story. I don’t even know. It’s less creepy and more question mark inducing.

Beauty and the Chad 

This was the most adorable story ever. It puts a twist on the original Beauty and the Beast where the beast is a modern day frat boy who has been transported to a different time and Beauty dresses up like a dude (if you've read this anthology and this story you'll get this) to help Beast out with his horses. I was laughing the whole time I read reading this story and I could tackle hug Sarah for writing someone so entertaining and so hilarious and SO ORIGINAL!

The Pink 

I don’t actually know where to start with this one. I liked the story, but I felt like it was underdeveloped. Reading it left much to be desired in terms of development. Some may say it's hard to achieve such with short stories, but it's hard to believe that in this case seeing the other stories in this anthology were able to grow and develop their characters.

Sell Out 

This one did not end this collection with the bang one would have hoped for. I am kind of disappointed, in all honesty. All that from a painting? Really? Or did I miss something? It seemed way too rushed and therefore was a huge disappointment, considering that I’ve heard tons of praise about the author’s other works.


The weird thing about this collection is that not all the stories were grim, in spite of what the title of this collection might suggest, but this didn’t stop me from enjoying some of the funner ones. Figment was one of my favorites if not my favorite because in spite of the lightness of it, it just made me want to be a kid again and even thinking about it brings happy tears to my eyes. The Key was also another noteable one for me because there was just something about the way Hawkins wrote it that just made my heart beat faster. The Brothers Piggett was one that definitely caught my attention. It was bursting with originality and put such a unique spin on the original tale and I just adored it. Untethered really got me in the feels though. It was gorgeously written.

As you can tell, this collection will make you laugh, make you feel nostalgic, scare you and perhaps gross you out. It is such an interesting collection of tales and in spite of the fact I didn’t love every single one of these, it’s a collection worth reading.

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