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review 2018-12-16 19:37
[REVIEW] Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill
Fierce Fairytales: Poems and Stories to Stir Your Soul - Nikita Gill

I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

‘Heroes are meant
to be forged golden
from the blaze.’
(pg. 14)



I was very excited when I got approved for this book. It has all my favorite things in the title: feminism (yay!) and fairytales (yay!). And that cover? Swoon-worthy. The reading experience, however, was more… meh. The concept is good, it’s just not executed as well as it should be. The themes are repetitive, and nothing is structured or cohesive. This is supposed to be about fairytales, but then we take a turn into reality, dealing with eating disorders (that particular poem hit a little close to home) and then we jump back into fairytales. Some of it works, most of it doesn’t, at least for me.

The word choices are also a little bizarre. For example, in ‘Why the Sun Rises and Sets’ she speaks about 'cinnamon people' and that just made me uncomfortable. There’s this entire debate that people of color’s skin shouldn’t be described with food because it fetishizes and dehumanizes them. Another word like “amber,” for example could've been used here instead.

I also struggled a lot in particular with the short stories. The “lesson” behind each is anything but subtle, it hits you over the head with its message over and over again. You see this clearly in ‘Two Misunderstood Sisters.’ She creates backstories for some Disney villains (like Gaston and Ursula and Lady Tremaine) and again, I think this is poorly executed. She plays with the theme that no one is born evil, that evil is learned because of untreated trauma or wounds, and I kinda get it, but it also seems like she’s excusing their behavior? This is particularly displayed in ‘How a hero becomes a villain’ which is Gaston’s poem.

Not everything is bad, though. I enjoyed ‘An Older and Wiser Little Mermaid Speaks.’ This poem is what expected this book to be like. It’s powerful, and it’s evocative, in a way that the rest of the material wasn’t for me.

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review 2018-12-16 19:21
[REVIEW] Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier
Heart's Blood - Juliet Marillier

It's a lovely book. Well written romance, fleshed-out sympathetic yet imperfect characters all around and plenty of tension and scares to have you skip ahead because your poor heart will give out in anxiety. The setting is so vivid you might want to run off to Ireland to see if you can find your own castle filled with the helpful yet scary spirits.

However, and I am frustrated that I feel this way, I didn't love it. I wanted to. It certainly gripped me enough that I read for six hours straight. But I found it way too easy to disengage. Perhaps because I had just DNF'ed Deathless with its ridiculously dreamy prose but a lackluster story. Here, we had a great story but the writing--to me--was so wordy and excessive that I found myself skimming to get to the point. 

The dog dies in the end. I wasn't expecting this, and it made me burst into tears for 15 solid minutes.

(spoiler show)
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review 2018-12-16 18:52
[REVIEW] The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (The Inheritance Trilogy, #1) by N.K. Jemisin
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms - N.K. Jemisin
The priests' lesson: beware the Nightlord, for his pleasure is a mortal's doom. My grandmother's lesson: beware love, especially with the wrong man.
(20%)


I really enjoyed this which isn't hard to believe because I devoured it in 24 hours. 

The worldbuilding is well done (even if I was confused at some points), the prose was delicious at certain points which thrilled me. I fell for the problematic Nahadoth, and my heart broke for Yeine. Don't know if I will continue with the series but hot damn, I really liked reading something so original. I also enjoyed how awesomely subversive it was.

 

 

Reading progress notes

 

1% - My loan from the library expires soon and because of dentist appointments and other things, I totally forgot about it until now.
 
6% - This is legit scary, in a good way. 
 
9% - Hot damn, I'm in.
 
18% - It is important to appreciate beauty, even when it is evil.
 
22% - I am scared for T'vril. Or maybe afraid of him? I don't know yet.
 
70% - There is so much happening that my head is spinning. I feel for Yeine.
 
76% - "Do with me as you please, Nightlord," I whispered.

Holy crap.
 
79% - Love can level the ground between mortals and gods, Yeine. It's something we've learned to respect.
 
90% - WHOA.
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review 2018-12-16 17:08
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
Archenemies - Marissa Meyer
How I wanted to like this book... I liked the first one.
This one had good things about it, but the story kinda fell flat for me.
I wanted more action and adventure with all these really cool characters that have really cool super powers. I got some action and adventure, but nothing like the fast-paced excitement I got last time.
I almost got what I wanted with Nova and Adrian too, but again it was not to be. 
If there is another book, I hope it is more exciting than this one. I still think it's a cool group of villains and heroes. I want to see them do more to save humanity.
 
 
Source: www.fredasvoice.com/2018/12/archenemies-by-marissa-meyer-49.html
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review 2018-12-16 12:37
Review: Legendary
Legendary - Stephanie Garber

I received a copy from Netgalley.

 

I had also pre ordered a hard cover copy after finishing the first book last year. I had to reread Caraval before starting this one to refamiliarise myself with the world and the storyline. I think I actually liked Caraval more after a reread.

 

However, I was very disappointed in this lacklustre sequel.  It took me forever to get through and was frankly, boring.

 

Spoilers for the first book.

 

The sequel takes place just after the first book finishes, the night Caraval ends. The sequel is told from Donatella’s POV. After her sister Scarlett spent the first book trying desperately to save her sister, I was curious to know more about Tella’s character. While Scarlett was quite sensible and almost timid during Caraval Tella seemed to be the more lively sister. Scarlett’s character grew tremendously throughout her story.

 

I didn’t like Tella at all during her book. I found her vapid and irritating. She’s headstrong and acts without thinking, she lies, she manipulates and finds herself in trouble a lot. She’s supposed to be stronger sister, yet I found she whined and pined far more than Scarlett ever did. She makes stupid decisions and doesn’t seem to know how to deal with the consequences of her actions.

 

We find out a little more in this book about the disappearance of the girls’ mother – Tella knows a few things Scarlett never did. She’s kept the secret and makes a bargain with a mysterious stranger to help her find some answers. In the sequel, the stranger wants to collect his payment – Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

 

As it’s the Empress’s 75th birthday, there is a special Caraval game to celebrate, so Tella figures this is the opportunity to get what she needs. The only clue she has to her mother is a special deck of cards – a Deck of Destiny.

 

The story revolves around something to do with Fates who are trapped in the cards and a fiendish plot to release them and wreak havoc. Tella tells a lie to get into an exclusive party and her lie causes her to become involved in a very dangerous plot with a scary evil Prince, with a deadly and dark secret.

 

The writing is beautiful and lyrical just like the first book, the descriptions are vivid and so clear and there were some truly amazing passages. There were moments when Tella’s inner strength shines through but then she’ll go and do something stupid and make her irritating all over again. The romance in this one revolves around Dante (we met him briefly in Caraval) and he seems like the male version of Tella.

 

They flirt, they kiss, Dante appears throughout the book helping Tella out. He can be hot one minute – seem like there’s something more to him than a handsome flirt – then he acts like a total jerk. He has secrets of his own. (Of course) Tella spends a great deal of the book pining over him. She can’t decide how she feels about him and it gets very tiresome.

 

The other problem I had with this story was while the mystery with Tella’s mother and the Fates story was interesting enough, it takes place during a Caraval game. There’s more mysteries to solve, but it felt no different from the first book. It had all been done before and without the magic. It felt boring and long winded.

 

It did have its moments, some of it was pretty good, but there was just too much I found irritating. And it took a long time to get through as well.

 

Though despite the fact that I didn’t like this one much, I will be reading the finale to find out how it all ends.

 

Thank you to Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton for approving my request to view the title.  

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