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review 2018-04-24 14:51
The End of Armand?
Glass Houses - Louise Penny

I think I am being overly generous with four stars, but honestly, when I read a ton of books over a few days, I just go back with my gut feeling about books. So for me, this was not the worst out of the Armand Gamache series, but it was definitely not the best. I felt myself just rolling my eyes at another book looking at the opioid crisis. Maybe because I feel a bit tired of reading about how predominantly white families are torn apart and how countries (the United States and Canada) need to do something. This book just felt a bit samey in parts is the big reason why I didn't give it five stars. We have Jean Guy betray Armand again, Armand forgiving him again, Three Pines being at the center of something massive again, the villagers involved again.

 

"Glass Houses" appears at first to be another murder mystery, but something else is going on in this book. We have Gamache on the stand as a witness at a murder trial. We don't know who died (and it takes a while to get there) but something is going on with Gamache. He seems to be hell-bent on making sure the trial is a cover for something else. And once again it takes the readers a while to figure that out. 

 

I have to say that Gamache's reasonings in this one made absolutely no sense to me. I think that Penny threw it out there to once again have some conflict between Gamache and Jean Guy. At this point, Jean Guy is freaking Thomas from the Bible. He always has doubts about Gamache, but we are supposed to believe he loves Gamache the most. A real life human being (Gamache) would be sick of it at this point and have an actual human reaction instead of constantly turning the other cheek. 

 

We get more interaction with the villagers in this one. The last one they felt thrown in the plot half haphazardly. This one makes more sense. I actually didn't want to strangle Ruth or Clara in this one either.  

 

I did like how the villagers even called out the things that they have done that they still have regrets over. We have Clara regretting not listening to Gamache that led to Peter's death, Ruth regrets her mother choosing her over her cousin, Olivier admitting that he used to steal from people by omission, etc. 

 

The book jumps back and forth between Halloween and what led to somehow being found murdered in Three Pines along with the murder trial which is taking place in the present day. I have to say that the back and forth in the book was hard to take after a while. I just wanted to either read about the trial or the murder. I was sick of trying to figure out what was going on. The flow was up and down a lot. Once you are finally graced with knowing what is going on though, I just found myself bored until we get almost to the end of the book. 

 

The ending leaves things up in the air with a major character. I don't know if Penny plans on writing another book, but with the events that went down in this one, I don't see how Gamache can come back. At this point another character needs to be the focus of the series. 

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review 2018-04-23 01:26
Book 5 is sexually explicit, and Chaol is 22. Goodreads censored this review.
Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass) - Sarah J. Maas

UPDATE 09-12-17: Tower of dawn is one of the MOST read NEW ADULT READ THIS WEEK , MAAS HAD ALSO ONE OF THE MOST READ BOOKS IN THE EROTICA GENRE LAST WEEK 
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I took screenshots, because those lists change every week. THRONE OF GLASS ISN'T A YOUNG ADULT SERIES even though they toned down the erotic scenes for this book. Young adult hasn't ever been a sexless genre contrary to popular belief, but Maas books are NEW ADULT and her content is erotic, not just graphic, it's erotic. 

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UPDATE 09-15-17
Please check my friend Emer's review. I agree with her review
in so many accounts
Emer's A court of wing and ruin review

ORIGINAL RANT

NOT A SINGLE SERIES WRITTEN BY SARAH J. MAAS IS REALLY A YOUNG ADULT SERIES. All are new adult/adult and, in the case of A Court of Mist and Fury, erotica/erotic romance

Don't let some booktubers, Kirkus reviews, common sense media or some goodreads users tell you otherwise. They might have their own reasons to lie about this issue but trust only the reviews where the reviewers are willing to mention that this book isn't young adult or that mention the sexual content.

I repeat

NONE OF SARAH J. MAAS SERIES IS YOUNG ADULT. Perhaps book 1 and 2 of the throne of glass series have some young adult elements, but the rest of the book in the series is new adult. 

One more time I'll say this just because I still get reports of 12-13 YO kids reading A Court of Mist and Fury and also several libraries and bookstore have shelved Maas books in the YA section.

THRONE OF GLASS IS A NEW ADULT SERIES EXCEPT FOR THE FIRST TWO BOOKS, the rest is heavy on adult content. If any BOOKTUBER, Book blogger or Goodreads user (PLUS COMMON SENSE MEDIA AND KIRKUS REVIEWS) tells you otherwise it's because they are lying through their teeth. Don't trust them. Do your own research. You can start by reading pages 21, 22, 530, 531, 532, 533 of the harcover american version of A Court of Mist and Fury


Be careful if you're planning on giving any of Maas series as a book gift to an underage reader. It will make you look like a pervert because it's like giving Fifty shades of Gray. No I'm not exagerating. Several HONESTgoodreads users have mentioned Sarah J. Maas sexual scenes in their book reviews. Of course those reviews aren't visible as honest reviewers are rarely popular.

If sexual content doesn't bother you or you are of age then I think you are okay reading both series. I think A court of thorns and roses is the best one of the two. 

If you don't feel comfortable reading sexual content, or you aren't of age yet to read sexual content avoid the Throne of glass series and the A court of thorns and roses series.

If any teacher or librarian is reading my review, please be aware that trusted websites like Goodreads, Common sense media and Kirkus reviews have covered up the information regarding the sexual content and genre of Maas books.Maybe by mistake. But don't let them fool you. 

A COURT OF MIST AND FURY (book 2 of ACOTAR) A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (book 3 of ACOTAR) EMPIRE OF STORMS (book 5 of Throne of glass) and TOWER OF DAWN (book 6 of Throne of glass) AREN'T SUITABLE FOR UNDER 18 READERS 

All Sarah J. Maas series are new adult, meaning that they portray certain themes of the young adult genre but their characters are older and the violence and the sex are more in tune with adult reads. Most libraries and bookstores don't have a new adult section so Maas books should go to the adult section even though they are new adult. 

More on what New adult is HERE (Notice that SJM books are among the most read of the new adult genre)

description

New Adult fiction bridges the gap between Young Adult and Adult genres. It typically features protagonists between the ages of 18 and 30.

The genre tends to focus on issues prevalent in the young adult genre as well as focusing on issues experienced by individuals between the area of childhood and adulthood, such as leaving home for university and getting a job.

New adult is typically considered a subcategory of adult literature rather than young adult literature. Some popular new adult titles include The Magicians by Lev Grossman, A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas, Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowel


Bloomsburry Children, the publishing company, has added some warnings in some editions in some countries. Those warning aren't present in all the editions of Maas books so be careful. If possible, Spread the voice, because pornographic content is often used by child abusers to lure their victims. Please don't let these books stand in the children section of your local bookstore.

ADDITIONAL NOTE: Some GR librarians will tell you that content and age of a book won't matter for a book to be considered as long as a young adult imprint is behind the publication of said book. 

Don't believe them. Fifty shades of grey and in this case Fifty shades of fae won't ever be young adult books even if there's a "children" imprint behind it. Besides Children and young adult are different genres so the deceiving name of the publishing company doesn't count if they are going to publish erotic content.

Also please don't comment in my review telling me "I'm x years old and I'm not disturbed by erotic content" or "I'm a parent and I let my kids read fifty shades of grey". Good for you but even if what you said was true, everyone is different. Some kids can handle adult content others can't, some 9-13 YO will keep buying books in the YA section of the bookstores and libraries because parents have the wrong impression (maybe because there are so many YA books turned movie) that YA is a sexless genre safe for 9-14 YO to read. Which in the case of Sarah J Maas and other New adult authors isn't the case.


description
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I took those screenshots from this list:
https://www.goodreads.com/genres/most...

UPDATE 09-19-17
Thanks to Belle for sharing this picture, but how come an EROTIC/NEW ADULT series is a CHILDREN'S best seller? 
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People please don't get decieved. Honest reviewers, please do your research and post a HONEST REVIEW that mentions the erotic content of the series (not this particular book) so parents, librarians, teachers and readers can make informed decisions about this series. Stop covering up for the publishing company.

04-22-2018
I understand Goodreads censoring my review to hide it from the main page as it seems they are playing into Bloomsburry agenda. But why hide it from my friends? I think it's responsibility of parents and readers to research what the content of a book is before buying/reading.  That's not a responsability of authors or publishers. But how are we the readers supposed to do that when Goodreads, Common sense media and some booktubers are so bent into hiding the information? Please Goodreads employees and editors, don't make it difficult for us the readers to find the appropiate information. Your DECISIONS should be considering ALL goodreads members's best interests in mind, not just a few authors and publishers interests in mind.

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/2068533915
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text 2018-04-21 03:48
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Glass Houses - Louise Penny

I don’t know if I liked this one or not. There were some plot holes, but I found it interesting. The way this book ends though one wonders how there can be another book in this series though.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-04-14 22:46
Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (2016 Review)
Storm Glass - Maria V. Snyder

Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Four years attending the Magician's Keep, and Opal believes she's nothing but a disaster and a disappointment. Instead of being able to learn and practice new powers like other students, her one and only ability is placing a thread of magic within the glass figures she creates, which can then be used as a means for cross-country communication. Definitely not combat related, thus she is shocked to learn the Master Magicians have an assignment for her.

(WARNING: This reviews contains MAJOR spoilers.)

I quickly fell in love with the world of the much conflicted Ixia and Sitia all the way back in Poison Study. Not only was the book a perfect reminder of why I love immersing myself in works of fiction, but it created pleasant excitement for the future instalments penned by Snyder. It was then unfortunate that the following segments of the series only declined, leaving me disappointed and pessimistic. What my gripe essentially stemmed from was the character development of Yelena, and how she evolved drastically into a famous, almighty Soulfinder than could accomplish everything and anything. But whilst Yelena's magic varied to the extreme, Opal's was very limited... At first. It offered zero offensive and defensive capabilities, but it was extremely useful and beneficial to the Sitian council and magicians as a whole. This, after the sheer extent of Yelena's power growth, was refreshing and I welcomed the unique simplicity. Imagine my irritation that as the book progressed, new magical discoveries were made, each more powerful than the last. It's an easy assumption to make that history will repeat itself.

Opal suffered through quite a lot in her ventures, and made more one than one mistake along the way. Her insecurities could've been endearing, but I felt they became a little too much when she continuously refused to accept praise or compliments of any kind. She also displayed a hunger for power, which in itself was slightly off-putting, though to be fair, if I were considered a "one-trick wonder", I'd probably feel sour about it as well. Despite these faults, which definitely threatened her likeability, I thought she was an average protagonist with the potential for improvement. Perhaps if she was given room to breathe and grow into her own person, and not overshadowed by Yelena, which of whom played a part in this book and was mentioned regularly.

Of course the love triangle ticked me off, as they usually do. I just don't understand how they can appeal to anyone. It seemed, at least to me, that Opal settled with Ulrick because Kade didn't reciprocate her interest - it's ALWAYS selfish, in one way or another. It doesn't matter which one I favoured (Kade though), it just becomes unbelievably tedious.

However in regards to the other characters, I believed there to be a satisfactory variety. I actually became a little fond of Leif, whereupon I initially hated his immaturity. Zitora I liked, Pazia was a tad annoying, as was Ulrick. Kade was a delight, and I immediately wished him the love interest. The plot itself was eventful, yet at times confusing as it veered off into different directions. I don't think it needed to be as complicated; sometimes a straightforward story does the job just as well. I very much liked the in-depth look at the Stormdancers in particular, and I would've loved if they were focused on a little longer. Hopefully they make appearances in the next two books of the Glass trilogy.

Speaking of glass, I enjoyed the detailed scenes of craftsmanship found throughout the pages. I never thought I'd find an interest in such a thing, but the writing was very well done and inspired me to perform some additional research. I do appreciate when an author can ignite enthusiasm on a certain subject otherwise ignored.

In conclusion: Looking forward to delving into more Chronicles of Ixia, but let's hope they rise to the standard of the very first. It just strikes me as the protagonists get overly powerful, which takes all the fun out of them struggling for their survival.

Notable Scene:

The roar of the wind and sea ceased the moment the monster wave engulfed me. For one heartbeat, my world filled with gurgling sounds and foamy green light. Then the force of the crashing water slammed me into an unyielding object. The sea grabbed my limp body and tossed it about. Confusion dulled the pain until my forehead smacked into a jagged rock.

© Red Lace 2016

Wordpress ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter

Source: redlace.reviews/2018/04/14/storm-glass-by-maria-v-snyder-2016-review
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review 2018-04-14 15:01
Rough Riders Vol 2: Riders on the Storm Review
Rough Riders Vol 2: Riders on the Storm - Patrick Olliffe,Adam Glass

Source: Netgalley

 

Even though there had been several books between me experiencing Rough Riders Vol 1 and Vol 2, I found myself quickly remembering how much I liked some of the characters, and laughing at the dialogue. And, of course, anticipating a certain one's return - which I was given rather swiftly. However, unfortunately, I feel like this one had a serious case of try-too-hard-itis going on. While I loved a lot of the action and the witty repartee between Annie and the rest of the Rough Riders was awesome, the repeated twists and turns of the plot had me sighing.

My main problem with Rough Riders, Vol 2: Riders on the Storm were the parallels to America today. I read to escape, so finding myself plunging into a version of our current situation had me wrinkling my nose. And from a certain word to the characters that were obvious stand-ins for some of our politicians in office today, it was impossible to not see the similarities. However, the dialogue between the Rough Riders about democracy, anarchy, and frustration with the system was very plainly put and easy to relate to. And the end of this issue, well, let's just say it was believable as well. So while I didn't like that aspect of things, I still appreciated how the writer laid things out.  I do want to comment on a lot more than I currently am, simply because I lack the skill to get my point across.

The other thing is that while I can suspend quite a lot of belief in logic and abilities in search of a good story, Rough Riders Vol 2: Riders on the Storm, just had a few too many cases where I felt like it was pushing the envelope of realism a bit too far. There was a scene in particular involving one of the characters and four horses that had me rolling my eyes.

My favorite line comes from Roosevelt in the first issue (#8) of Riders on the Storm. It's just an awesome insult.

"For a civil war veteran, I found age and fear had given him the spine of a chocolate eclair."


As for the individual issues themselves, while I liked the The Big Burn (#8), Maiden of the Mist (#12) was the stand-out winner for me. Mostly because I love Annie, in case I haven't mentioned that three times already. Strange Days (#13) was my least favorite of the bunch. Given the way Strange Days ended things, I can't say that I would be interested in picking up any more volumes from the Rough Riders' series. 

Overall, just can't recommend this volume, sorry. It had it's high points, but not enough to make it worth spending money on.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher for review consideration
 

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