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review 2016-09-29 06:00
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas

This book was not what I expected. From all of the hype I had heard about it over the past two-ish years, I expected a retelling of 'Beauty and the Beast' with more mystical/modern concepts. To be honest I don't believe that assumption wasn't entirely wrong but it wasn't exactly correct either. 

 

The story followed our protagonist of Feyre, a mortal human who makes a big mistake and now has to go to the land filled with Faeries, people her kind had grown so much to hate over the years in order to fulfill her debt. Towards the beginning, the novel seems very repetitive with Feyre's thoughts and motivations as to constantly being on edge and wanting to leave, which she keeps up for the majority of the novel. Although those thoughts are warranted it does become the overall focus of the book for a time with constant thoughts to what traps she could set and different things she could do to protect herself should she be in danger.

 

I personally found the book to be very slow towards the beginning with few things happening in the middle, and the bulk of the excitement occurring in the last 100-150 pages of the book. This does not at all mean that I did not like that book at all, even though I found it difficult to get into, to begin with. 

 

The portion of the storyline that held similarities to 'Beauty and the Beast' became fairly obvious within the first quarter of the novel, but only held vague similarities continuing on. However, with all of my criticism, the novel as a whole was very well written and I look forwards to picking up the 'Throne of Glass' series.

 

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review 2016-09-09 09:20
Glass Sword Review - Victoria Aveyard
Glass Sword (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard

One thing I will say about this book series is that I am slowly growing to find the protagonist more annoying that I thought I would when I started on Red Queen. She keeps going back and forwards about what she wants with little to no regard for other characters, who she is willing to treat like dirt in exchange for doing what she hopes is right.

 

In exchange for her foolish actions, she lets others be hurt in their place and tells herself that the present moment is not a good time to feel guilt or remorse for their fates, even though sometimes you could say it's almost entirely her fault. Paired with this Mare keeps asking for others to save her when she wouldn't think twice about the possible repercussions of her actions on the ones she cares about.

 

Although the book itself is a good read that has a lot of things happening, I personally feel as though the back and forth of it all drags the book on for longer than it needs to be. I am glad, however, that the author kept up with leaving a little bit of predictability in the book, but left us guessing as to how certain events would turn out. In all of this ranting, it may not seem like it but I am looking forward to reading the next book when it is released as Victoria Aveyard writes awesome (for the most part) cliffhangers!

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review 2016-07-03 10:41
The Raven Boys, Not for Me
The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater

Unfortunately no where near as good as Stiefvater's other book, Scorpio Races. Though The Raven Boys certainly was interesting.

I have mixed feelings about the use of magic in this book. On one side it made things unpredictable, which I didn't mind, but there also felt like there was no solid footing - the rules kept changing to fit the circumstances, and I did notice a couple of holes in the story that I suppose may, or may not be explained in the following books.

I did like how all the characters had failures but I didn't in particularly like any of the characters, they for me where just.... meh. Blue was strange just for the sake of it (I suppose knowing people are going to judge you anyway why not just run with it) the boys sounded similar when reading from their POVs.
I'm disappointed Adam turned out the way he did, also what of that 'thing' toward the end - will it have a lasting impact?
I felt fairly meh about Gangsey, though I suppose for a teenage boy he was interesting enough.
Ronan was definitely the most fascinating - he also stuck the most clearly to his 'defined' personality which I like, even if his personality wasn't great. He didn't flip-flop around like the others occasionally did.
The bird was certainly fun and a good look for Ronan.
Noah was alright, his relationship with Blue was cute.
So while non of the characters particularly floated-my-boat I do appreciate the uniqueness and backstory of the four main characters. They were ....complex in comparison to a lot of YA characters, with broken families, domestic violence, suicide and death and Blue's family (an all female & not completely blood related) was certainly different to any other family I have read about which was nice.

Overall still a so-so read for me, even if I do find myself deeply fascinated with what Ronan's secret could be, but possibly not enough to continue reading the next book.

3 stars.

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review 2016-05-19 21:19
Status Update by Annabeth Albert
Status Update - Annabeth Albert

Maaaaan, I wanted to like this book so much! Unfortunately, I didn't.

 

Usually Annabeth Albert is one of my favorite comfort/fluffy authors, but this one didn't work for me. And it started out so promising! But then made me uncomfortable fast. Let me tell you a story to explain why.

 

In 2011, I was a heartbroken university student who needed a way out and fast. So after corresponding with a woman online, I packed my bag after barely 3 months of writing back and forth, and borded a plane. 18 hours later I arrived in Durango, Colorado, USA and was picked up by a lady that was 20 years older than me and nothing at all like I expected. And vice versa. My attraction pracitcally evaporated after 2 hours in the same car with her. Things went downhill fast, but we committed to 3 months of staying together and hopping around the country as house sitters, so what could we do? If she would have been a little more like Adrien's online date, I'm pretty sure she would have left me high and dry with a hitched ride in New Mexico. It was only my insane luck that she didn't. So I could emphasize with Adrien a lot when he was stranded on that camping ground somewhere in the middle of nowhere, in desperate need of help. That beginning really drew me in, because... yeah. I got it.

 

But back to my travels. At one point, we weren't able to find a new house sitting gig in Colorado, so we started to look elsewhere. We stayed in a hostel during the time, both sitting around with our laptops trying to find a new place to stay. After three days a guy arrived and checked in. He was from Texas, home from deployment and traveling through the country on his own. I found him somewhat attractive, least of all because I have a thing for military uniforms (I know! Bite me.). He and I ended up talking a little bit in the smoking area - which was fine until he started to press me for information I just didn't want to give. I left him to his own devices and went to bed. The next day he was RIGHT THERE at breakfast, talking to me, flirting with me like nobody's business. When I declined his invitations for various acticities around town, he gave me an indulgent smile. He came back two hours later, trying it all over again. Rinse, repeat over the next couple if days. He started to touch my hair, which was absolutely not what I wanted. He constantly threw an arm over my shoulders, brushed his fingers against mine at the oddest of times, and he refused to leave me alone as soon as I opened the hostel's front door. My constant rejection seemed to make him even more persistent, even more determined to invade my personal space to the point where he barged into the women's dorm room at 8 am in the morning. It took three appaled women and the manger to finally get him out of the room so we could get dressed in peace. I left the hostel the same day, tired of saying "No." in every language and every form or fashion possible without being heard. I didn't feel safe in my own dorm, and I was completely freaked out when the other men gave me the "You engaged him, we know you wanted it, too. Don't play hard to get. Stop being so stubborn." lectures and stares.

 

All of this came back to me when I read the first part of this book. Because that was exactly what Adrien did! He had absolutely no respect for the boundaries Nick set very clearly. He didn't listen when Nick asked him to stop flirting so outrageously. He didn't listen when Nick asked him to stop with his touching and brushing up against him. He had no respect for Nick's personal space or desire too keep his private thoughts private. Sure, you can try to explain it all away by saying that Nick actually wanted it, that he just needed to be perusaded for his own good, that he participated in the end. That Adrien only tried to woo him despite his reluctance.

 

I. Don't. Care.

 

There is a difference between wooing someone/being persistent and persuasive manipulation bordering on coercion. I can get behind the romantic notion of slowly winning someone's heart with thoughtful gestures and not giving up easily. What I can't stomach is that in romance, people seem to confuse the wooing with almost stalkerish, inappropriate behavior. I'm also not completely convinced that it hasn't something to to with this being about two men. If you had a man behaving like this in a F/M romance novel, would all the female readers still find that fine and romantic? I don't know.

 

But either way, when someone tells you that you make them uncomfortable, you BACK OFF. When someone asks you not to touch them or flirt with them or make inapproriate jokes, YOU STOP. If you care about someone, you respect their wishes, you let them decide when they are good and ready to touch YOU. You don't push and push and push until they are so out of their comfort zone that they don't even know which way is up anymore. That's not love, that's not caring, and it's certainly not romance. I refuse to accept that as romantic gestures or heartwarming behavior. Adrien was way out of line more often than not, and no matter how Nick reacted to it or not, that was WRONG.

 

Other than that, I was slightly disappointed by the turn the story took when the boys arrived at the wedding od Aiden's sister. Because, let's be honest here for a second: When you're driving across the country to attend the wedding of your sister and your EX-BOYFRIEND? There should be feelings, and words, and at least a little bit of something? But I didn't see that here. It was too smooth, maybe even too rushed, where I would have liked to see more conflict or at least tension. But that are my personal preferences coming through.

 

Sad fact is, after this whole insta-attraction-turned-manipulation-turned-love angle didn't work for me, I wasn't very invested in the story. It did get better after a while, but I mever really recovered from my discomfort. So the rest of the story passed me by in something of a blur. I did like the hard-earned coming out ending with happiness, sunshine and a lot of feelz. I did like the families and the secondary characters. And the dogs! Just not enough, I guess? 

 

So, where does that leave me with this one? Somewhere around 2 stars I think. Because it was okay, except for the situation in which it really wasn't. I wanted to love this so much, and maybe that was part of the problem. 

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review 2016-03-16 19:52
Gangster Country by Kade Boehme
Gangster Country - Kade Boehme

Well, I did not like this as much as I hoped I would.

 

It's not your typical A-Z MM romance. Logan and Gianni meet, argue and get down and dirty in the first chapter. So far, so typical. But then there is a one-year break in which these two get closer, become lovers, have (kind of) a relationship. (Unfortunately) All of it happens off-page. We get thrown back in at a time when Gianni is struggling with his life, his decisions and his love for Logan. He's a criminal in the closet - no other option - and his family would have his head if they ever found out. Logan on the other hand is struggling with the secrecy, with the hiding of his relationship. His constant struggle to finally, finally get to know the REAL Gianni is exhausting, frustrating and becomes harder as time flies by. Until it all collapses around them in a (rather predictable) moment of coincidence and fate.

 

I think my biggest problem with this was that I didn't get invested fast enough. Since most of the relationship building happened off-page, I had a harder time connecting to the two MCs before shit hit the fan. I was also very sceptical on how these two made it that far without ever really... being together. Communicating. Living life as a couple. Without Logan asking QUESTIONS all the damn time. Ergo, when everthing started to explode, I was prepared to say goodbye to that couple and move on. But that's not what happened. Instead we got something a little too close to insta-forgiveness for my taste. When your man tells you he is a criminal and a killer, it's hard to imagine you go from hate to forgiveness in one night. But maybe that's me and my missing connection talking.

 

But then there was Logan, who made it that much harder to believe in that massive change of mind. He was all around GOOD. He was the epitome of pure, kind-hearted and just... too damn good. He and Gianni? I don't now. Just didn't click with me.

 

But the writing was good, and I loved the cover. So. Where does that leave me? With 2.5 stars, rounded up to three because it's Kade Boehme and because I did enjoy parts of the story.

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