Book Review: King’s Cage

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Synopsis:

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

*Warning: There will be minimal spoilers about Glass Sword in this review. Read at your own risk.*

I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t like Red Queen. For me, it was way too predictable and overhyped. However, I kept reading the series and I’m so happy I did because with each book this series has gotten better and better.

King’s Cage is told in multiple POVs but it’s still mainly Mare’s story and the other two POVs (Cameron and Evangeline) are just as interesting. I really enjoyed seeing this world through these other two ladies’ eyes, especially Evangeline. She’s the first Silver we get to hear from and I absolutely loved her and her storyline. I’m rooting for her in the next (and last!) book.

What I loved most about this novel, though, is the background we got on Maven. As I said, Red Queen was predictable for me so I never liked Maven and I never trusted him. However, in King’s Cage I actually started to become interested in Maven’s character. I don’t like him per say, but I understand him a bit more now. I even started to feel sorry for him. I’m still hoping Mare kills him in the end but I also won’t be mad if he’s somehow redeemed at the end of the series.

However, at the end of the day my heart will always belong to Cal. I don’t want to talk about it too much because I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone but I will say I don’t know how I feel about Cal’s choices in this novel. On the one hand I understand why he did certain things but on the other hand I just wanted to scream, “Are you kidding me?”

Overall, I loved this novel. While I’ve seen other people say it started slow that didn’t bother me at all. Mare is in captivity and there’s only so much that can happen while she’s locked up and I still think Victoria Aveyard handled it very well, especially with the switch in POVs. I really liked every aspect of this novel and I’m excited/scared to see how this will all end.

Stars:

5 stars

Favorite Line:

“Cameron, my heart is quite literally in this.”

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Book Review: The Sexy One 

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Synopsis:

Let me count the ways why falling into forbidden love is not my wisest move…
1. She works with me every single day.
Did I mention she’s gorgeous, sweet, kind and smart?
2. She works in my home.
Playing with my five-year-old daughter. Teaching my little girl. Cooking for my princess. Which means…
3. She’s the nanny.
And that makes her completely off-limits…But it doesn’t stop me from wanting her. All of her.
*****
The other nannies in this city don’t call him The Sexy One for nothing. My boss, the amazingly wonderful single father to the girl I take care of every day is ridiculously hot, like movie star levels with those arms, and those eyes, and that body. Not to mention, the way he dotes on his little girl melts me all over. But what really makes my knees weak are the times when his gaze lingers on me. In secret. When no one else is around.

I can’t risk my job for a chance at something more…can I? But I don’t know how to resist him much longer either…

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I love Lauren Blakely’s books because they’re such quick reads and I almost always fall in love with the characters. The Sexy One was no different. I was first introduced to Simon in Mister O, and I was more than happy to see him again, this time with his own love interest, Abby. First of all, not only is this man crazy attractive but he’s also an amazing dad to his daughter, Hayden. Of course I fell for him instantly, as did Abby. Unfortunately, Abby’s his nanny.

Although this is of course a stereotypical romance, instead of shying away from it Blakely fully embraces it. Both Simon and Abby are aware of the cliché that is their relationship and Simon even makes a Ben Affleck reference, which I thought was fantastic. Plus, I’m a sucker for forbidden romance stories and this was one was especially great because technically they weren’t really doing anything wrong. They’re both legal adults and they’re both single. The only problem was that Simon was paying Abby and for me that was an easy fix.

However, because this is a novel, their relationship had it’s complications but that just made the story more fun and interesting, which is why I loved it. Also, did I mention how swoon-worthy Simon is because he really, truly is. More than that though I liked that Abby and Simon actually had a connection. Yes, their relationship was steamy, but there was also a realness there. It was there in the way Abby taught Simon French for his business deal and how excited Simon was to text Abby about the eagles. Yeah, there’s eagles and they’re cute and you should read the book so you can fully understand the relevance of the eagles.

All in all, Blakely knocked it out of the park with this novel. I laughed, I swooned, and I couldn’t put it down. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

Simon doesn’t fill a void. He makes my life richer.

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Book Review: Passenger

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Synopsis:

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles, but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods-a powerful family in the Colonies-and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find. In order to protect her, Nick must ensure she brings it back to them-whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are playing, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

I was excited to hear about this series because I loved The Darkest Minds trilogy but then I heard mixed reviews, making me hesitant to pick this book up. I’ve had this book since I got it signed by Alexandra Bracken at BookCon in May of last year and in an effort to actually read all the books I own this year I decided to give it a try.

The novel is told in alternating third person POVs of both Etta and Nicholas. First of all, I love Nicholas for a multitude of reasons. I liked him as a character and a person and he totally made me swoon. Moreover, I truly appreciated how Bracken handled his character. Nicholas is half Black, living in the late 1700s. His mother was a slave and while of course people of color continue to face discrimination today, Nicholas has never seen a world where African-American’s are just defined as slaves or free. This was a perfect contrast to Etta who’s white and lives in the present day.

I really liked how Bracken handled the differences in Etta’s and Nicholas’ viewpoints as well as the acknowledgement of privilege. This contrast was also interesting to see in terms of Etta and Sophia, who has never known a time where a woman has rights and can work for herself. While Nicholas is cast aside by Grandfather Ironwood (who’s the absolute worst) because of the color of his skin, Sophia is never given a seat at the table because she’s the “wrong” gender.

Although I really did enjoy these ideas that Bracken brings up in this novel, I just wasn’t that interested in the plot. It wasn’t until very near the end where I finally felt like I was on edge of my seat and things were finally getting interesting. Prior to that, I kept waiting for something exciting to happen and the novel just didn’t give it to me. My favorite moments were the romance between Nicholas and Etta but besides that I just wasn’t that intrigued by what was happening.

So overall I’d say this novel was just okay. I liked the racial and gender issues that Bracken brings up in the novel and thought she handled those really well, but the plot just didn’t excite me enough to say this is a buy. That being said, I’m thoroughly enjoying the sequel at the moment so if you’re willing to push through Passenger like I did, Wayfarer totally makes it worth it.

Stars:

3 stars

Favorite Line:

“It matters not who you love, but only the quality of such a love. A flower is no less beautiful because it does not bloom in the expected form. Because it lasts an hour, and not days.”

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From Page to Screen: A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Source: Netflix

Honestly I’m not 100 percent certain I’ve ever read A Series of Unfortunate Events. There’s a part of me that thinks I read a few of the books but not the whole series. The point is this review won’t be so much a comparison between the books and the show and instead just a review of the show.

First of all, I loved it. At the start, I wasn’t sure how I felt about the theme song but I liked how it changed each episode to fit the plot. I thought that was really cool and I really enjoyed Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf. I thought he was sinister but also funny. The cast in general was fantastic and I liked that it was so diverse. I also really liked the kids that were casted to play Klaus and Violet. In particular, Klaus’ level of sass (mostly directed Mr. Poe) was great.

Speaking of Mr. Poe, he was incredibly irritating and although I know he’s supposed to be I just find him very irksome and somewhat distracting. His character was what I liked least about the show, but again I believe that’s how it was supposed to be.

I also really enjoyed Patrick Warburton as Lemony Snicket, although as I discussed with my friends, I couldn’t help but hear him as Kronk from The Emperor’s New Groove. Despite that though, I thought he was great.

My favorite part about the series was definitely the twists. Even if you read the books there’s some things that’ll definitely take you by surprise, mainly because of how the show sets up the story.

If you haven’t watched the series I implore you to give it a chance. I know most people didn’t like the movie but I think the show is really great and I already can’t wait for Season 2.

Book Review: Full Package 

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Synopsis:

I’ve been told I have quite a gift.

Hey, I don’t just mean in my pants. I’ve got a big brain too, and a huge heart of gold. And I like to use all my gifts to the fullest, the package included. Life is smooth sailing….

Until I find myself stuck between a rock and a sexy roommate, which makes for one very hard…place.

Because scoring an apartment in this city is harder than finding true love. So even if I have to shack up with my buddy’s smoking hot and incredibly amazing little sister, a man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I can resist Josie. I’m disciplined, I’m focused, and I keep my hands to myself, even in the mere five-hundred square feet we share. Until the one night she insists on sliding under the covers with me. It’ll help her sleep after what happened that day, she says.

Spoiler–neither one of us sleeps. 

Did I mention she’s also one of my best friends? That she’s brilliant, beautiful and a total firecracker? Guess that makes her the full package too.

What’s a man stuck in a hard place to do?

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & NobleKobo

Review

Lauren Blakely has done it again. I swooned so hard reading this book and it was great seeing so many characters from her other books appear in this novel. Even though Full Package is definitely a standalone it’s kind of in this series that begins with Big Rock, in case you want to start at the beginning.

In this novel, the story follows Chase who needs a place to crash. Enter his best friend, Josie, who’s roommate is moving out. Although Chase believes he’s successfully compartmentalized his feelings so that living with Josie will be piece of cake, that’s of course not the case.

Although this book is very predictable, it’s still very funny and I liked that although this novel is told in Chase’s POV we also get Josie’s POV in the form of her recipes, which was a really cute touch. I also really liked the chemistry between Josie and Chase. They were very cute together and I liked their inside jokes about Swedish Fish and Lyle Lyle (read the book and you’ll understand).

All in all, I thought this was a great read filled with just the right amount of erotica and romance. It’s also a quick read (it only took me a day to read), which is also nice. I’m going to be taking a step backwards in this quasi-series and read The Sexy One soon and I’m very excited to read another book by Blakely.

If you haven’t given Blakely’s writing a chance yet I highly recommend her but only if you’re 18 years or older. This one ain’t for the kids. If you have read this book let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I want Swedish Fish with you all the time.”

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Book Review: The Good Girl

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Synopsis:

“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

One night, Mia Dennett enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. At first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

When Colin decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota instead of delivering her to his employers, Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them. But no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems.

Purchase From:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

Review

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted but honestly I haven’t been reading that much lately and I’ve been busy. I finished The Good Girl a while back, though, and I really wanted to post this before I totally forgot what this book was even about. So here we go.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was definitely different than I expected it to be, though. If you’re looking for a Gone Girl type of thriller this isn’t exactly like that. There was much more romance in this novel than I thought there would be but I actually liked it so that worked well for me.

The novel is told in alternating POVs of Collin, the kidnapper, Gabe, the detective assigned to Mia’s case, and Eve, Mia’s mom. The POVs also shift in time between “Before” and “After.” You kind of know what event occurs that makes the narrative take place in the form of before and after POVs but you don’t really find out it’s significance until the end. I thought this form of storytelling worked well but I was definitely much more interested in Collin’s point of view than the others because it was when we got to see the most of Mia and also I just found Collin to be the most interesting character. I’m a sucker for a complicated villain.

This novel definitely had a few twists and I was a little surprised by them but they were also expected. By that I mean, I didn’t freak out when the twists were revealed because I had a feeling that was how this story would play out. Still, like I said, I did really enjoy it and would still recommend it. I read it in two days because I just couldn’t put it down, which is always a good sign. Definitely give it a chance if you haven’t yet.

Stars:

4 stars

Favorite Line:

“I know how betrayal and disillusionment feel, when someone who could give you the world refuses even a tiny piece of it.”

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I Read 100 Books This Year! (My 2016 Wrap-Up)

The amazing Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner made an End of Year Survey for book nerds (her 7th annual one!) and I’ll be using it for my yearly wrap-up. Check it out below and have a happy New Year!


2016 Reading Stats

Number of Books You Read: 100

Number of Re-Reads: 2

Genre You Read the Most From: YA Fantasy

Best In Books

1. Best Book You Read in 2016?

There’s no contest. A Court of Mist and Fury, for sure.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going to Love More But Didn’t?

All the Bright Places. It was SO overhyped.

3. Most Surprising (in a good way or bad way) Book You Read?

November 9 surprised me because I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. This was another overhyped book for me.

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People to Read (And They Did)?

I attempted to push a lot of people to read ACOMAF but I don’t think anyone did lol.

5. Best Series You Started In 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

This is tough. Best series I started this year has to be Throne of Glass. I binged all the books this year. The best sequel of 2016 is ACOMAF (duh!). Crooked Kingdom and The Midnight Star tie for best series ender. They were both so well done that I can’t choose.

6. Favorite New Author You Discovered in 2016? 

Kasie West; I’m obsessed with her books now.

7. Best Book From a Genre You Don’t Typically Read/Was Out of Your Comfort Zone? 

Illuminae and Gemina. I don’t read sci-fi that often but I love this series.

8. Most Action-Packed/Thrilling/Unputdownable Book of the Year?

Crooked Kingdom, for sure. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, worried about my Dregs.

9. Book You Read in 2016 That You Are Most Likely to Re-Read Next Year?

ACOMAF, lol. Sorry not sorry.

10. Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2016?

The Raven King cover is GORGEOUS!

11. Most Memorable Character of 2016?

This is a really tough call but I gotta got with the High Lord of the Night Court, Rhysand.

12. Most Beautifully Written Book Read in 2016?

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. Just thinking about it makes me cry.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/Life-Changing Book of 2016?

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon. So beautiful and thought provoking.

14. Book You Can’t Believe You Waited UNTIL 2016 to Finally Read?

Definitely the last four Harry Potter books. Honestly, I really can’t believe I’d never read them before.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From a Book You Read in 2016?

“In my head I’ve been in love before, but it doesn’t feel like it. Being in love with you is better than the first time. It feels like the first time and the last time and the only time all at once.” — Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read in 2016?

A Gallagher Wedding by Ally Carter was the shortest. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was the longest.

17. Book That Shocked You the Most?

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin definitely shocked me the most. I’m still crying over that ending.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (You Will Go Down With This Ship!)

“Feysand” (Feyre and Rhysand)

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship of the Year

Emma and Cristina from Lady Midnight.

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

21. Best Book You Read in 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY on a Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. This book was everywhere on bookstagram and once my friend Jess told me she’d read it and liked it that was the final push for me to read it. A slow start but overall an awesome read.

22. Newest Fictional Crush From a Book You Read in 2016?

Magiano from The Young Elites trilogy

23. Best 2016 Debut You Read?

Dreamology by Lucy Keating

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

I hate to say ACOMAF again but the worldbuilding in that book is superb. Velaris alone is enough to make ACOMAF my first choice.

25. Book That Put a Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN to Read?

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

26. Book That Made You Cry or Nearly Cry in 2016?

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

27. Hidden Gem of the Year?

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

The end of Empire of Storms definitely crushed my soul.

29. Most Unique Book You Read in 2016?

Definitely Illuminae and Gemina.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (Doesn’t Necessarily Mean You Didn’t Like It)?

Probably It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover just because it was so disappointing.

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2016?

Twirling Pages

2. Favorite Review That You Wrote in 2016?

My review for Blood for Blood is pretty great, if I do say so myself.

3. Best Discussion/Non-Review Post You Had on Your Blog?

I really like my post on book hangovers.

4. Best Event That You Participated In (Author Signings, Festivals, Virtual Events, Memes, etc.)?

Definitely Book Con. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.

5. Best Moment of Bookish/Blogging Life in 2016?

When I hit 2,000 followers on Instagram. It still doesn’t feel real, tbh.

6. Most Challenging Thing About Blogging or Your Reading Life This Year?

Definitely time management. I’m definitely going to be cutting back next year and reading less so I can focus on my writing more.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My book review of The Crown by Kiera Cass.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My “9 Ways to Up Your Bookstagram Game” post, although to be fair I didn’t have a lot of followers back then so I can understand why no one trusted my judgement, lol.

9. Best Bookish Discovery (Book Related Sites, Book Stores, etc.)?

Definitely Book Outlet. I’ve gotten so many cheap books from that site this year.

10. Did You Complete Any Reading Challenges or Goals That You Had Set For Yourself at the Beginning of This Year?

Yep! I reached my goal of reading 100 books this year, and just in the nick of time too.

Looking Ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get to in 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating for 2017 (non-debut)?

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

The last Throne of Glass book 😦

5. One Thing You Hope to Accomplish or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life in 2017?

Read more diverse books by diverse authors

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend to Everyone:

I haven’t read any yet. I’m so behind on my ARCs 😦