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Search tags: bookish-bingo-spring-2015
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review 2016-06-16 21:57
Reread Thought: A Court of Thorns and Roses
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

Reread June 2016 in preparation for reading A Court of Mist and Fury.
Knocking it down a star. I actually liked the story a little more the second time round, but this time I wasn't quite as blown away by the writing and the world building or the Tamlin romance. (I'm leaning more towards Team Rhysand) I didn't love it and I still don't like Feyre much. Just don't. But I still want to know where the story is going, particularly because of some of the brilliant fan art I've seen.

 

You can see my first read review here

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review 2015-05-23 13:59
Review: The Walls Around Us
The Walls Around Us - Nova Ren Suma

This was one very disturbing book. 

 

I read the first ten pages one night, then the next day read the whole thing. I had to stop a few times throughout the afternoon, the book was so intense and disturbing. But before I knew it, I was picking the book up again to read more. 

 

This is a dark book which tells the story of three girls, a mysterious murder, and a Juvenile Detention Center. One of the girls in the Detention center (a last stop before adult jail), one girl is on her way to Julliard. One girl is sent to the detention center. Almost none of the characters are particularly likable. The girls in the detention center are constantly whining about how unfair the guards are, how unfair it is to have their liberties taken away. Sorry, but in this reader's opinion I have absolutely no sympathy. They've obviously broken laws and deserve to be there. They can whine all they like, but they get what they deserve.

 

The story is told in alternating view points, the girl who's free and the girl who's in the prison. All joined together by a girl called Orianna. 

 

Of course with the girl who's POV chapters in the prison, Amber, there's some question about to whether or not she actually did the deed she was locked away for. She's actually one of the saner, less violent prisoners. Some are pretty horrific, some are nuts. In spite of my dislike of these characters, it was pretty compelling though. There's a strange paranormal element to the whole thing. Flashes of the future and flashes of the past. All of which becomes clear. 

 

In the girl who's off to Julliard, she visits the prison, in her chapters, its a crumbling building. no longer occupied. Its down right creepy and mixes in with the other girl's plot surprisingly well. Its so well told and mysterious you're not sure who the ghost of the piece is. 

 

It is clarified throughout what happened to the prison and why the free girl is there. The free girl, Violet, is suffering from some sort of major guilt trip. Violet is a star ballet dancer. Violet had some problems with mean girl bullying and absentee parents. She's off to Julliard and can't wait to get there and away from all her issues. Violet, I did not like at all. Despite her problems, again, I found it very hard to have any sympathy for her because it becomes clear from her plot lines, what she did and why she feels so guilty. 

 

The best bit in her story line, is when she's visiting the ruins of the detention center. Its spooky, and I was actually hoping something bad would happen to her. 

 

Orianna is pretty much the nicest character in the whole book, the only one I liked and had a great deal of sympathy for. She get a really shitty deal. She ties the two story lines between Amber and Violet together. There were quite a few twists at the end, one made me sick to my stomach, and the other made me grin with wicked glee.

 

Overall, while this book had very dark and disturbing themes, it was excellently written.

 

Square crossed off for Spring 2015 Bookish Bingo - Plants on Cover.

 

 

 

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review 2015-05-23 13:33
Review: Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle
The Awakening and The Struggle - L.J. Smith

I've gushed time and time again over how much I loved the first three books of this series. (I found the fourth book kind of unnecessary and even though I've read it as much as the first three I just don't like it as much) I first read them when I was 14 or 15, (many many years ago) and love them and over the years since read them again and again. 

 

Elena Gilbert was just the type of girl I wanted to be - queen of the school popular, with great friends, and lived in an awesome town full of Civil War history. Then in comes sexy mysterious Stefan who Elena becomes entranced with but he's just not returning her interest. Its a complete shock to her system. Stefan's Italian history background is captivating. And of course there is the swoon worthy bad boy Damon. Its all very silly really. And Stefan's somewhat stalkery behavior is of course questionable. Damon is a killer with no conscience and no remorse and not above using vampire powers to get what he wants. This should not be sexy. But it kinda is, even though logically its just wrong. Elena does some insanely stupid things. She can be very selfish and stubborn.

 

I've read series where all these things happen and its driven me up the wall. However, logic does not really apply to reading this series. At least not to me. In spite of the silliness, the friendships, the town itself, the history, the vampires, the magic, the bitchiness of certain characters, the epicness of the romance....I love it as much as grown up as I did a teenager.

 

I will never get tired of reading these books. 

 

Reread Square crossed off for Spring 2015 Bookish Bingo. 

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review 2015-05-23 13:19
Review: A Darker Shade of Magic
A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

When I first heard about this book I wasn't that interested. While the magic aspects of the story sounded interesting enough, the parallel universe and the historical aspects were a bit daunting. But then I needed a parallel universe book for my Bookish Bingo challenge and this one came to mind immediately.

 

So I bought a paperback and figured I'd give a shot. Turned to to be one of the best books I've read this year. I just loved it. Initially it was a little difficult to get to grips with the four different Londons - Red London, Grey London, White London and the mysterious Black London. The book was just so beautifully written the complexities were easy to understand. The descriptions of each different place were just breathtaking. So vivid, so provocative and easy to picture. The magic and the world building was incredible, unique and utterly amazing. 

 

The characters are wonderful.  Kell, the letter carrier, who can move between the different Londons, with his own special brand of magic, and more than a few secrets of his own. And Lilah. Lilah Bard is one of my top favorite female characters ever. I just loved her to pieces from her first appearance. She's completely kick ass in a mostly male dominated world, and can totally hold her own. A sharp tongue, but also, I did find her quite witty as well. And in rare moments, she is not completely heartless. She cares, even though she might not want to admit out loud. I just loved how Lilah and Kell's different plot lines wound up together and how the novel progressed to the two of them working together. The dialogue is delicious. 

 

The villains of the novel are down right creepy. There were certain parts that were very brutal and violent, which is not to be unexpected in a fantasy landscape. While there were some stomach clenching moments, it was still utterly gripping story telling. And surprisingly enough there was no romance. Which, while surprising, was also quite refreshing to see a wonderful fantasy historical without an all consuming romance taking over the plot. 

 

All in all this book was brilliant and I loved it. Can.Not.Wait. for the next one. 

 

Square crossed off for 2015 Spring Bookish Bingo - Parallel Universe. 

 

 

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review 2015-05-23 12:38
Review: Stormwalker
Stormwalker - Allyson James

A great start to a series.

 

This book has pretty much everything I look for in an Urban Fantasy. Kick ass heroine, great mythology and world building, murder mystery side plot, sex on legs love interest, and sizzling romance. 

 

Check, check, check and double check on the love interest and romance. 

 

Janet has a strange superpower from iffy origins...she's a Stormwalker, she can control storms - rain and lightning, etc. The whole thing is steeped in the most wonderful Navajo mythology. On again/Off again boyfriend Mick is sexy and mysterious with a wickedly hot superpower of his own.

 

Starting off with an action packed punch, Janet is renovating an old hotel not far off from where she grew up. Along with being asked to come and investigate the disappearance of a Police Chief's daughter. Right off there's magical trouble, the reader is dropped right into the book's mythology and world building. Which lands her in hot water with the new local Sheriff. 

 

I loved the mythology, the way the magic is weaved into the plot and how normal it is in these people' lives. The only character I really did not like was Nash Jones, the new Sheriff in town. The man is an asshole right from the start and doesn't let up. Refuses to believe Janet no matter what, even when magic and superpowers are used right in front of him. It got very frustrating.

 

Janet and Mick's relationship was well written, intriguing and not without emotional background drama which made the book all the more compelling. Mick has plenty of supernatural secrets and powers of his own. All which come into play as the novel progresses. And there were some deliciously hot sex scenes. 

 

There were parts towards the end of the book where the magic and world building did get a little ludicrous and made me giggle a lot because it got to be so silly. Still, a solid start to a series with great characters. Definitely a series I will be looking forward to continuing.

 

Crosses off a Square for Spring 2015 Bookish Bingo - Rain or Storm in title. 

 

 

 

 

 

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