Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: The Winner's Curse

Title The Winner's Curse (The Winner Trilogy 1)
By Marie Rutkoski
Genre YA Fantasy
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Kestrel lives a highly privileged life as the daughter of a General. Her people revel in war and enslave those it conquers. As is tradition, Kestrel can marry or join the military but Kestrel dislikes both options. Music has her heart, that is until she inexplicably buys a slave who might love music too. Kestrel's life is about to be thrown into upheaval and she'll have to choose between her people and love.

First Sentence
She shouldn't have been tempted.

All my friends have been raving about this series....Like all of them. This made me very nervous. Usually when all my friends love a book or series I end up hating it. Luckily, this time was different. I adored this book. I got sucked in from page one and managed to inhale it in two sittings. Considering how crazy my life has been, it takes quite the book to steal what little downtime I have.

In fact, this is only the second book this year I've given 5 stars too. I'm very stingy with my stars, as you know, but this one deserved all 5 of them.

So, what did I love so much? I love these political intrigue books where much conniving and strategizing is going on but it's kept light enough for my little mind to wrap around. I also loved how the romance didn't take over the story and was very slow burning. I liked that there was resolution to this book but also a lot of setup for the books to come.

This book reminded me of old favorites like The Blue Sword by Robin Mckinley.  Perhaps that's why I really loved it so much. Whatever it was, love it I did and I can't wait to read the rest.

Should you read it
If I'm not the last person on the planet to have read this one, I'd highly recommend you go pick it up. You won't regret it.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

June Wrap-Up 2017

June is over. And so we begin my worst hated month of the year. With all the craziness going on in my life I'm impressed I even managed four books. And to top it off, I liked all of them.

Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway, Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han and The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

Favorite of the month was definitely The Winner's Curse. That book blew me away! I didn't have any books that I disliked this month (Yay!) but if I had to pick one I'd say Always and Forever, Lara Jean. I liked it but I prefer the first book in that series.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean

Title Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All The Boys I've Loved Before #3)
By Jenny Han
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Lara Jean and Peter are back. Graduation is just a few short months away and college acceptance letters are on there way. When Lara Jean doesn't get into the school she wanted, the one Peter is getting into, her heart is broken. Can she go to another school far away and still have a relationship?

First Sentence
I like to watch Peter when he doesn't know I'm looking.

While honestly, I liked the first book in this series the best, I'm always up for more of Lara Jean and Peter so I was excited that the author decided to write another book in the series.

Sadly, I felt like this one didn't have enough going on. The major plot line, while something a lot of high school sweethearts have to deal with, wasn't substantial enough to carry the story along and as a result the whole book sort of meandered along.

And this time around I found myself annoyed with Lara Jean. I felt like she had such a charmed life. You know, nothing bad ever really happens to her, she doesn't have to work, has tons of money because her dad is rich, she's flawlessly beautiful, everyone loves her, she's talented and smart and on and on and on!  I'm very begrudging of people like this at the moment so maybe I shouldn't have read this one right now.

Honestly I was only going to give this one 2 stars but what Peter writes in her year book was so stinkin' cute I gave it another star.

I'm sure this was the last book in the series but, if not, I'm done with it either way.

Should you read it
Sure, especially if you want to see what Peter writes in her year book.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Review: Heartless

Title Heartless
By Marissa Meyer
Genre Fantasy/Retelling
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Before Alice visited Wonderland, Before the Queen of Hearts uttered "off with his head" there was just Catherine. A girl with a dream to start a bakery. But Wonderland has other plans.

First Sentence
Three luscious lemon tarts glistened up at Catherine.

Ever since reading The Lunar Chronicles I've been eager to see what else Marissa Meyer would come up with. When I heard about Heartless, Meyer's take on the Queen of Hearts before she became the vicious villain from Alice in Wonderland, I was very excited!

Now let's think this through. This is a retelling of the Queen of Hearts. We all know how wicked and cruel she is, right? So I knew going into it that we weren't in for a happy ending. Having that acceptance was important for me to enjoy the story. If I'd thought I was getting a happy ending I might have been very upset.

While I found this one a little...OK a LOT slower moving than Meyer's other books, I was still very much enjoying myself while I read. Meyer's does the best job of taking a well known story and twisting it around to meet her needs and yet still keeping true to the original.

I loved this take on Wonderland. Everything was described in a very casual way. Animals talk? Why yes, they do, Why do you ask? I loved that she didn't stop the story to explain the inner workings of Wonderland. Who can really do that anyway? Not even Carroll, I dare say.

My biggest issue with the book was Catherine. She was such a simpering little wimp! It drove me nuts. I'm kind of surprised she becomes someone as strong willed and stubborn as the Queen of Hearts. But maybe that was the point??? Who knows. It just bugged me. I like my heroine's a little more self reliant.

Should you read it
Oh yes. Please do. Just be ready for that ending.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Emmy & Oliver

Title Emmy & Oliver
By Robin Benway
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Emmy and Oliver were best friends until Oliver's dad kidnapped him. Ten years later Oliver is back. Can Emmy and Oliver be friends again or will it be something more?

First Sentence
Oliver disappeared from school on a Friday afternoon, way back when we were in second grade, and small things seemed really important and important things seemed too small.

I feel like this book has been on my TBR shelf forever. As it was only released in 2015, it hasn't been nearly as long as it feels but still. I was needing a light romantic read and had heard good things so I picked this one up.

It fit the bill perfectly. With romance and just a touch of issues and hurdles to get through it was just what I was looking for.

My only real problem with the book was that I felt like I'd read it before. There was nothing new, special or unique in this one but since that wasn't what I was going for I didn't mind.

So, if you're looking for a romantic, fun read give this one a go. Just don't expect any thing super deep.

Should you read it
I'd recommend this one as exactly what it is. Fluff with a dash of drama to keep things interesting.