'Six of Crows' Book Review

Book Review: Six of Crows

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Synopsis:

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction―if they don’t kill each other first.

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Review

I don’t even know how long I’ve had Six of Crows on my bookshelf but it was too long. I could’ve read this book ages ago. I could’ve fallen in love with these characters so long ago. Why did no one force me to read this book? For why? Seriously, Leigh Bardugo has truly outdone herself with this novel and I loved it so much more than the Grisha trilogy.

First of all, the cast of characters in this novel is amazing. Kaz gave me serious heart eyes and I fell for him almost instantly and I don’t know what that says about because to be quite honest Kaz is not a good person. He has some great qualities, don’t get me wrong, but overall he’s not a great person. Still, I’m able to see past his hardened exterior to his nicer interior that he tries to keep buried but unfortunately for him keeps rising to the service.

Besides Kaz, there’s Inej, also known as the Wraith. She’s probably my favorite character, although Kaz is a very close second. Then we have Nina who’s such a badass and I love her. She’s so fierce but also really cares deeply about her people and just wants a better world for them. There’s also Matthias who I had mixed feelings about but grew on me. I absolutely loved Jesper even though he’s got a lot of problems he needs to work through. Finally there’s Wylan who I just wanted to hold close and protect at all costs. He’s too sweet and precious for this world. #KeepWylanSafe2016

More than anything I just loved how diverse this group of characters were. Besides just racially, there’s a character with a physical disability and a character with a mental/learning disability. Characters deal with sex trafficking, PTSD, addiction, and so much more. It’s truly amazing!

Not only were the characters great, this book’s plot was also amazing and fast paced. I always wanted to know what was going to happen next and loved that I was never really quite sure. Kaz schemes surprised even me and the end left me a bit stressed but in the best way. That’s one of the only benefits of waiting to read this book; I literally finished it as I was waiting in line for the Crooked Kingdom signing. Talk about perfect timing.

This book was way better than I thought it would be to be honest. Not that I thought it would be bad I just didn’t love the Grisha trilogy as much as I thought I would so I didn’t want to go into Six of Crows with high expectations. Thankfully Six of Crows is definitely worth all the hype and I’m already making my way through Crooked Kingdom and loving it. Make sure to grab both books as soon as possible. You won’t regret it; trust me.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.”

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'Ruin and Rising' Book Review

Book Review: Ruin and Rising

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Synopsis:

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation’s fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova’s amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling’s secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction―and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

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Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about Siege and Storm in this review. Read at your own risk.*

Up to this book I wasn’t all that impressed with the Grisha trilogy. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good but I didn’t think it was worth the hype. Then Bardugo gave me Ruin and Rising and I was like, “Yes! This is what I’m talking about.” First of all, Mal finally seemed worthy of Alina to me. He stepped up in a big way and I finally felt okay shipping them, although Nikolai will always be my number one.

More than Mal’s character development was the plot. It was filled with action, twists that I saw coming but were still very well done, and just overall awesomeness. I will be the first to admit that I skim plot. I just can’t deal with paragraphs of details. Get to the action! Get to the dialogue! But in this book the action was in the paragraphs of details and thus I was sucked in. I read (almost) every word and loved it all. I can’t think of anything I didn’t thoroughly enjoy about this novel. The characters were great, Alina’s group was squad goals, and the romance was just the right amount. What I loved most of all was the ending and how everything came together. I hate when I follow a series and then the end is a hot mess. Bardugo totally delivered with this finale and it’s my favorite book in the whole trilogy.

Ruin and Rising is definitely a buy for me, which means I have to buy the whole series. Thankfully there’s a box set coming out soon. Who doesn’t love a good box set?

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Beauty was your armor. Fragile stuff, all show. But what’s inside you? That’s steel. It’s brave and unbreakable. And it doesn’t need fixing.”

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'Siege and Storm' Book Review

Book Review: Siege and Storm

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Synopsis

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

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Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about Shadow and Bone in this review. Read at your own risk.*

So I’m still not a big fan of Mal and then Leigh Bardugo had the nerve to give me Sturmhound, another possible love interest for Alina who, again, I liked more than Mal. Thanks Bardugo! No but seriously thank you; Sturmhound is my new fave. He’s cute and snarky, my favorite combination. Also known as the “too clever fox,” Sturmhound brought an extra round of humor to this novel that I felt was sorely needed. We also got some other new characters in this novel including the twins, Tamar and Tolya, who are an awesome addition to the trilogy. Their background is very interesting and they’re both so fierce and bad ass.

I believe my biggest issue with this novel was how quickly the Darkling came back into play. There was no build up or anything, we just kind of dived right back into the Darkling versus Alina saga. As much as I love the Darkling I wanted more from his and Alina’s reunion. It just seemed a little anticlimactic to me. Once I got past that though I definitely liked this book more than Shadow and Bone. I still didn’t love it but it was definitely better, which is a good sign about where this series is heading.

Still, this is definitely a borrow for me. I can’t really see myself reading this book again, no matter how swoonworthy Sturmhound is. Did I mention he’s the best part of this book? Because he is.

Have you read the Grisha trilogy? Let me know your thoughts about it below!

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“I want to kiss you. But I won’t. Not until you’re thinking of me instead of trying to forget him.”

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'Kids of Appetite' Book Review

ARC Book Review: Kids of Appetite

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Synopsis:

Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

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Review

*I received a free advanced reader’s copy of this book from First in Line and B-Fest. This did not influence my review of this book in anyway. This is an honest review of the novel as I saw it. This novel will be released on September 20, 2016.*

If Coco was here she would say, “Did you have any intention of reading this book? Tell the truth.” To which I would say, “No CoCo I actually didn’t plan on reading Kids of Appetite, it just fell in my lap.” Because that’s the truth. I won this book at B-Fest and although I was so happy to win an ARC I had never heard of David Arnold before and I had no idea what I was in for. But free books are free books so I happily took my winnings home, put it on a shelf, and then left it there for months on end.

Until a few days ago when something compelled me to take this book off my shelf just to see what it was all about. Intrigued by the synopsis you can read above I literally stood in front of my bookshelf (mind you it was at least after midnight at this point in time; I had just finished another book) and began to read and was immediately sucked in just with the cast of characters. How many books begin with a cast of characters? Not many. And I needed to know more about these interesting characters and why people were being referred to as chapters. So I dived in and couldn’t put this book down.

First of all, the characters in this book are so well done and I loved all the Kids of Appetite. There’s of course Vic and Mad who tell the story in alternating first person point of views. Then you have the brothers, Baz and Zuz, and then the youngest of the group, Coco. Also, can I get a nice slow clap for the diversity in this book? Arnold, I applaud you. I don’t want to give anything about anything so sorry if this is vague but just know that Arnold put together an amazing cast of characters and did so really well. He deals with two important subjects and handles them flawlessly. Honestly, reading his author’s note at the end made me cry because you can practically feel how much he cared about getting this story right.

Kids of Appetite was the perfect mix of tragedy and comedy (which is apparently called a tragicomedy). It was heartfelt, the romance was there but not in a cheesy way, and it was just the right amount funny that didn’t make it feel like it was trying to hard. I liked the running themes throughout the book, like Vic’s Super Racehorse idea and CoCo’s use of “frakking” as a substitute for the f-word. I also liked how the plot fit together and everything came together in the end. I was definitely surprised and I also appreciated the fact that this book wasn’t as predictable as I thought it would be. In summary I just really loved this book, okay?

Anyway, I’m going to go grab Mosquitoland because apparently someone forgot to tell me that David Arnold is an amazing writer. In the meantime everyone go pre-order this book.

Stars:

5 stars

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'Eleanor and Park' Review

Book Review: Eleanor & Park

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Synopsis:

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits-smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under.

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Review

I liked this book but I didn’t really get the hype. I thought it was good, a nice love story, and I loved Park but Fangirl is definitely still by favorite book by Rainbow Rowell. As much as I wanted to sympathize with Eleanor because her home life was all kinds of terrible I just didn’t like her character all that much. I found some aspects about her relatable but overall I wasn’t a fan.

Park was the best though. I loved him through and through and thought he was fantastic. He was so sweet and had the best lines. He was almost a little too perfect but his dorkiness made he more real to me and I liked that a lot. I loved how he and Eleanor bonded over comic books and music. I thought that was super cute.

On a different note, I know this book has received some backlash for being racist and I can see to an extent where people are coming from but to me it seemed more like Rowell’s characters were a little racist and had some engrained prejudices they definitely needed to deal with. But I don’t think Rowell herself is racist and to make that accusation is a little absurd to me. At most I think maybe people found the way that Park’s mom speaks to be questionable but I think it make sense that a woman who was born and raised in Korea would have an accent. It’s like when J. K. Rowling wrote things out differently for Hagrid because of his accent. It’s the same thing and nothing Park’s mom said was stereotypical or anything.

That being said I’m not Korean so I can not speak for Korean people who feel at all offended by this book. Just for me personally I didn’t have a problem with it.

Anyway, all in all I did enjoy this book. It’s not my favorite book of all time but I liked it enough to want to buy the exclusive collector’s edition with the cool illustrations. So it’s a buy!

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”

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'Shadow and Bone' by Leigh Bardugo

Book Review: Shadow and Bone

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Synopsis:

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.

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Review

I’d never heard of this series until I entered the bookstagram world. Even though I own Six of Crows (a spur of the moment Target purchase, in case you were wondering) and people told me I didn’t have to read the Grisha trilogy before I read Six of Crows I still wanted to start at the beginning of Leigh Bardugo’s writing. So I requested Shadow and Bone from the library and after what felt like forever I finally got it and I really liked it. I believe I read the whole book in one day because I just couldn’t put it down.

I really liked Alina’s character and I loved the Darkling, as so many people warned me I would. I thought Alina’s friend, Mal, was okay overall but he did have some very swoon-worthy lines that I definitely enjoyed. Still I don’t think Mal makes it to my favorite book boyfriends list but there are still two more books in the trilogy so he has time to grow on me.

The hardest part of this novel for me was keeping track of the world. I started doing that thing where I would just skim over words I couldn’t pronounce in my head, which is fine because that tends to happen with fantasy books, it’s just something I felt like noting. I think when I read the next book I’ll look at the map in more detail because I definitely didn’t understand some things but I think that was also because I read the book so quickly that I missed some details. What can I say, when it comes to plot I sometimes skim. I’m a sucker for dialogue. So sue me. Anyway, overall I did enjoy this book and I definitely want to keep reading but I didn’t absolutely love it.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I’m sorry it took me so long to see you, Alina. But I see you now.”

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Fairest_Cover

Book Review: Fairest

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Synopsis:

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who is Queen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story―a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

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Review

*This book is part of my POPSUGAR 2016 Reading Challenge.*

I finally read Fairest and I didn’t love it. It took me forever to read because I hated Levana. I was hoping Fairest would open my eyes to another side of Levana that I couldn’t see or understand in The Lunar Chronicles but that wasn’t the case. This book just made me like Levana even less. However, it was awesome to see Cinder’s mom, Channary, even though she wasn’t a great person either, and Winter’s dad who deserved so much better.

I pretty much liked all the characters in this book except Levana and although I’m happy I read it because now I can officially say I’ve read all the books in The Lunar Chronicles series, I definitely wouldn’t read it again. It was well written and the plot was fine but I didn’t enjoy reading it at all. Levana was just too infuriating and any sympathy I had for her at the start of the novella was gone by the end.

If you love The Lunar Chronicles I think you should read Fairest just because it does provide some interesting background but you don’t have too. It wasn’t as good as the other books in the series and nothing absolutely crazy happened that you must read. Overall, Fairest is definitely a borrow for me.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“Maybe the princess could save herself.”
“That sounds like a pretty good story too.”

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