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Book Review

Heartless | Review

Heartless | Review

Oh. em. gee.

This. book.

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So it’s about The Queen of Hearts, so there is some obviousness with how Catherine ends up, but the road is very unclear as to how Cath becomes The Queen of Hearts that we all know. And yes, the book ends sad because what else would you expect for The Queen of Hearts, but man oh man, this book was a page turner. I couldn’t put it down! Literally, I carried it around with me to sneak in reading.

Heartless is the story of Catherine, who marchioness mother is aiming for her to be Queen, but Cath has other ideas. She dreams of opening up a bakery with her maid, who is also her closest friend. Cath goes to a royal ball where (at first, unbeknownst to her) the King will propose to Cath, but instead Cath meets the new, handsome, royal Joker and all of Cath’s plans (and her mothers) start to fly out the window. Lots of interests are at play in the unfolding of destiny in this novel.

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As usual with Meyer, the imagery and descriptions are perfect and draw you into the world. The pacing of the plot wasn’t perfect throughout, but overall great and kept me turning the pages and wanting to know what was going to happen.

If you liked Marissa Meyer’s The Lunar Chronicles, then you’ll definitely like this. It still has Meyer’s style of writing, but it is a bit darker, sadder and grittier. Cath is one tough cookie and is determined to make her life turn out the way she dreams. Jest is instantly likeable, in that mysterious, roguish way, as are all the other Alice in Wonderland characters that you’re introduced to. My personal favorite is Cheshire, who I’ve always felt is a fairly accurate deception of a real life cat – gonna do what he wants, when he wants, and couldn’t care less about you. 😉

My favorite line: Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”

My favorite visual: The Cheshire cat.

Rating: 4 stars

Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads

Have you read Heartless? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

How To Hang A Witch | Review

How To Hang A Witch | Review

How To Hang A Witch is the story of Samantha, aka Sam. Her Dad unexpectedly fell into a coma and the doctors don’t know why, so Sam and her stepmom pack up their New York apartment and move to the historic home in Salem, Massachusetts that was the childhood home of Sam’s Dad. Traumatic enough, right? But once Sam starts school she realizes her last name has weight in this town, and not the good kind. Rumors are started, rocks are thrown and sudden deaths start, well, suddenly happening. And all fingers point to Sam as the cause. Now throw in a dreamy next door neighbor, a ghost and a curse that Sam has to figure out before other people die.

And you thought your high school years were hard, amiright?

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So this book. I looked forward to it for months. It sounded like something right up my alley. I even bought a copy (I usually get my books from my local library). So you can imagine my disappointment when about a third of my way into the book I started to get bored.

Really bored.

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So I trudged along. It wasn’t bad enough to stop reading. The writing was okay (if a little forced) and I knew the plot could end up going somewhere good. I wasn’t really connecting to any of the characters and *reality check here* as someone who had a parent in the hospital when I was a teenager, Sam’s actions surrounding her dad being in the hospital are totally off base IMO. She seems to forget about him unless it’s otherwise convenient. But you know, who can remember that their only living parent is in the hospital when there is a hot boy at school who is actually nice to you and lives across the street? *rant over* Basically, there were parts that felt completely unrealistic to me.

Overall the story was okay. The last bit of the book picked up but there really wasn’t any suspense building up for it and in hindsight I feel like there should have been more shock (on my end) at the big plot twist, but I just didn’t feel much about it. I expected a book that kept me riveted the entire time (a la This Savage Song) and instead I got boring soup. Sorry, just calling it like it is.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try this book! You may love it. Just because it wasn’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean you won’t like it. In fact, the first person to contact me (via the top of the page) and tell me they want to read this book, I’ll send you my copy of the book so you won’t have to wait for your local library to get a copy or go buy one yourself. Why? Because I want this book to end up with someone who loves it, and not just collecting dust on my shelf.

My favorite line:  “The air’s crisp with the smell of autumn, and the first few leaves have started to change color. The streets have that family-friendly feel. Store windows already have pumpkins and witches’ hats in them.”

My favorite visual: The Descendants and their black clothing.

Rating: 2 stars

Have you read How To Hang A Witch? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Unexpected Everything | Review

The Unexpected Everything | Review

The Unexpected Everything is the story of Andie, the teenage daughter of a congressman who is caught up in a scandal that majorly alters Andie’s summer plans. And I means P-L-A-N-S, because Andie plans and preps everything beforehand, leaving absolutely nothing to change. Part of me was horrified about how type-A plan-a-riffic Andie was, but part of me swooned. This gal had escaped routes planned for parties. Someone’s after my Virgo planning heart, y’all.

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So Andie’s plans change and she now finds herself working as a dog walker for the summer. Never mind the fact that she doesn’t own a dog. Or has ever walked a dog. You know, details.

But this dog walking gig is how she meets Clark, who is super dream worthy in all the nerdy right ways. And because Andie is taking risks and getting out of her comfort zone, she’s finding out more about herself and maybe, actually, falling in love. But you gotta read it to know what happens!

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Overall I loved this story. The beginning took me a while to get into, but I think a lot of that was due to the fact that I tend to read 99.9% fantasy so this was a total off course adventure of my own. I decided to take a chance and it paid off! Also, for me the way Matson writes includes a lot of dialogue that doesn’t necessarily move the story along, it’s more of a fly on the wall type of dialogue and I found some of those parts to be a little boring. But I connected to all the characters and felt like they were well developed and realistic. Even Andie’s father, who at first seems as distant and unreachable as the-planet-once-known-as-Pluto, grows on you as a reader as you start to glimpse a little of the person behind the mask.

The size of the book was daunting at first, but once I got into I realized part of the reason why it’s so large is because of the texting in the book, which takes up a fair amount of space. It is a large book, though, no doubt about that, coming in at just over 500 pages. But it’s an easy, quick read. It’s fairly lighthearted, with some dramatic moments sprinkled in and the perfect book to take with you for a weekend beach trip.

My favorite line:  This part right here:

the unexpected everything

My favorite visual: The emojis.

Rating: 4 stars

 

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Have you read The Unexpected Everything? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

My Lady Jane | Review

My Lady Jane | Review

I’m not sure where to begin to illustrate my happiness with My Lady Jane. First the book itself is gorgeous, with gold foil on the cover, deckled edges and a ferret (!!!) on the book cover spine.

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I had a strong feeling that I’d like My Lady Jane, because I love historical fiction, especially the Tudor era (I suppose I can thank Phillipa Gregory for that). So taking historical fiction and adding a fantasy element and a happy ending? All for it!

My Lady Jane tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, who was queen of England for all of nine days because of the typical manipulations of monarchy.

The interesting part of this book is how not only how it’s written by three authors (which you wouldn’t guess by the prose, btw), but also how the book changes between three points of view, Jane (previously mentioned), Edward (the King) and Gifford (call him G). Those two factors along may worry you into thinking this isn’t a book you want to risk. But believe it, it is. You cannot tell that three authors were involved in the creation of this masterpiece, and the POVs blend seamlessly from one chapter to another. Usually, I hate books with multiple POVs but honestly, I didn’t even noticed it in this book until after the face when I started writing the review, it’s that good.

this is the best

There are two kinds of people in this world, Ethians and Verities. Ethians can shape-shift into animals and Verities are not. Edward is a teenager, a Ethian supporter, and also the king of England. He also happens to be dying. Next in line to the crown is his sister Mary, who is strongly opposed to Ethians and thinks they should be rounded up and burned at the stake. To prevent his sister from destroying the fragile Ethian/Verity peace, King Edward names his cousin and best friend, Jane Grey, as his heir and tells Jane that she is to marry Gifford Dudley, and that the crown will go to the children of Jane and Gifford.

Sounds simple enough. But Jane isn’t to happy about being forced to marry G, who lives among a swirl of rumors that he is well, a lady’s man. She doesn’t think all that highly of him, and would much rather just curl up and read some more books (because Jane is a total book nerd). But they get married anyway and Jane discovers G’s secret.

Overall, the book is hilarious and a super fun, light read. I recommend this to anyone, but especially those that love history and fantasy. I really loved Jane (fellow book nerd and all) and absolutely loved the re-writing of history involved here (sorry, England).

My favorite line:  The dedication:

“Dedication

For everyone who knows there was enough room for Leonardo DiCaprio on that door.

And for England. We’re really sorry for what we’re about to do to your history.”

My favorite visual: I don’t want to spoil too much, but a certain person as a ferret.

Rating: 5 stars

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Have you read My Lady Jane? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

Outrun the Moon | Review

Outrun the Moon | Review

Outrun the Moon has a great synopsis. The tale of a young girl who grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown who has an adventurous heart and longs for more than what her current situation provides. She uses her intellect and cunning to get a chance at her dream, and then her world comes tumbling down as a massive earthquake strikes San Francisco.

Sounds so amazing, right?

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And it is! Kind of. I’m not sure. For some reason this book and I didn’t completely gel, because the reviews I’ve seen of this book have been amazing. And there were definitely parts that were, but the pacing just felt off to me. The book started out really well and I was instantly drawn in, but once Mercy got into St. Clare’s there seemed to be a lot of stuff happening that wasn’t needed. I mean, when you pick up the book and start reading, you know an earthquake is going to happen because it says so on the book jacket, but I kept reading the book thinking ‘where’s the earthquake?’.

The earthquake doesn’t happen until almost halfway through the book.

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So I suppose I just feel like there is a good portion of the first half of the book that just doesn’t need to be there. I also felt like I didn’t connect to many of the characters until the last half of the book, which is where a lot of the character development happens.

Basically, the book lost it’s momentum for me about a third of the way through it, and then gained it back in the last third, which just made the rest of the book overall less enjoyable.

However, now that all of that is out of the way, I really did enjoy Mercy’s spunk and loved her mom with her fortune telling and all the cultural elements that were woven in throughout the book. The characters grew on me as the book went on and I found myself crying along side them. I also really liked how Lee was frank and upfront with the issues Mercy and her friends faced at that time, like the sexism and racism. Overall, I think it’s a great story and obviously well researched with lots of cultural references that honestly made me want to do some research and learning of my own. At the end of the book, Lee does make note of how this is a historical fiction novel, and therefore there are some slight differences between the book and what would have been likely to happen at that time, which is much appreciated.

My favorite line: “It is like the moon. We can see it differently by climbing a mountain, but we cannot outrun it. As it should be.”

My favorite visual: The Floating Island

Rating: 3 stars

 

Have you read Outrun the Moon? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

 

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Box Subscription

LitJoy Crate | May 2016

LitJoy Crate | May 2016 Review

LitJoy Crate is a brand new monthly book box subscription that is so unique! It offers three options for your box: a board book, a picture book or a young adult book. Of course, I went with the young adult book choice. But don’t get me wrong, I was tempted to get the picture book box. 😉

My crate just arrive and honestly, it’s the best book box I’ve seen! It contained:

litjoycrate (5 of 5)

-The recently released Rebel of the Sands by Alywn Hamilton. This book is so amazing! I read it when it came out in March and fell in love. Because this is the first LitJoy Crate, the book included was a previous release, but going forward the books will be book that are released the same month the crate ships out.

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-A beautiful compass pocketwatch that ties in perfectly with Rebel of the Sands.

-A scarf! It was the scarf that did me in. Most book boxes have an overall theme, but this one is completely centered around one book, which I though was super original and absolutely loved. Rebel garb for the win!

-Sand colored lip gloss.

litjoycrate (4 of 5)

-A stunning Rebel of the Sands inspired notepad from Chick Lit Designs. I almost don’t want to use this notepad, it’s so gorgeous!

I’m so addicted to subscription book boxes! Do you get any? Which one is your favorite? You can learn more about the LitJoy Crate here!

Book Review

Lady Midnight | Review

Review: Lady Midnight

I’m a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments series, so of course I was super thrilled when I first heard about Lady Midnight. And overall, the book did not disappoint.

It is a pretty big book. Like when I first saw it, my jaw dropped a little. It is 668 pages, after all. I went to Barnes & Noble the day it came out, saw it on the shelves, did a happy dance in my head, picked it up and went…

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Now, I don’t have anything against big books (I digress, but please tell me that I am not the only one that sings Sir Mix-A-Lot to themselves replacing ‘big butts’ with ‘big books’) but I do have a problem with size without substance. Because the first one-half to two-thirds of this book is slow. Molasses slow. I put this book down and started (and finished) other books numerous times with no issue whatever. In the beginning, this book really goes nowhere. I hate to say it, but the start of this book could have easily been condensed. Based on my Goodreads (where I eagerly mark a book as currently reading the day I start reading it), I started Lady Midnight and then stopped it to start reading and finish other books nine times.

Normally, that would mean I would put a book away and stop trying to read it, because it basically came down to Lady Midnight just not reeling me in. But I had heard from others that the beginning of the book was slow, but the ending totally made up for it. So I kept going back to it.

Dutifully. I kept returning and slowly making my way through all 668 pages.

And then around the midway point of the book, the plot really started to pick up. During the last third, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, I had to know how the whole thing was going to end.

So heads up, the book does take a bit of time and motivation to get through (especially if you’ve just read A Court of Mist and Fury which is giving everyone a major book hangover) but it is so worth it.

Now on to the characters!

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I fell completely in love with Emma. Her bravery and determination shines throughout the book. We know going in that her the death of her parents has shaped who she is, and throughout this book you see her loyalty and fierceness as she protects those she loves. Speaking of love, I thought it was a really interesting twist to show a different layer to parabatai and what that bond means when there is romance involved.

Julian of course steals the show being the artistic soul with the weight of the world on his shoulders. That is, at least until Mark comes along and just wrecks beautiful havoc on everyone’s lives.

There are so many new characters in this book, but they all stand out and have very distinct voices, which I love.

The way the book ends pretty much as people in two camps and personally, I loved the ending. For me, the ending made the stopping and starting and trodding through the beginning of the book entirely worth it. I can’t really say more without giving much away, but I think if you can get through the slowness of the beginning, you’ll love this book. The last half is action packed and full of surprises.

My favorite line: “There was beauty in the idea of freedom, but it was an illusion. Every human heart was chained by love.”

My favorite visual: The fairy steeds.

My rating: 4 stars

 

Have you read Lady Midnight? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Mirror King | Review

 

Review: The Mirror King

Wow. Wow wow wow. WOW. You never expect a book to be as good as the first, right? What about better than the first? Somehow Jodi Meadows wrote a stunning book (The Orphan Queen) and then wrote an even better book in The Mirror King.

So let me start at the beginning. First off, if you haven’t read The Orphan Queen, you probably shouldn’t read this review, as there will be spoilers.

The end of The Orphan Queen was a huge cliffhanger and I’ve been waiting for months to see what happened to Tobiah after his life threatening wound. The Mirror King picks right up where The Orphan Queen left off, and we see pretty immediately that yes, this is a serious wound. And for Tobiah to live, magic will have to be involved. I’ll leave it at that for those of you who haven’t read the book, I don’t want to give too much away. 😉

Meanwhile, the secret is out about Wil’s magic. This leaves a lot of room for unrest and distrust to develop. On top of that Wil has to deal with Patrick gone rouge in his effort to put her back on the throne, which leaves Ospreys split down the middle taking sides, divided on who they should follow. And on top that, there’s the whole wraith boy thing. Which is an intriguing twist, because as much as Wil tries to deny and avoid the wraith boy, she eventually learns she has to confront him and find a way to work with him, instead of against him.

There are a couple of major plot twists in the book that I thought were pretty brave, as they left room for the novel to veer off in any direction Jodi Meadows wished.

The romance that was just hinted at in The Orphan Queen gets kicked into high gear in The Mirror King. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some big obstacles thrown in Tobiah and Wil’s way, but it’s a lot more promising (and heated) this time around.

Overall, I loved this book. I read it in one sitting. The whole magic world Meadows has built is beautiful, yet complicated enough to end up with a very well written story that doesn’t follow the sometimes predictable YA storytelling. It’s unique, you develop feelings for pretty much ever character, and you really don’t want to walk away at the end. The good note is that the end is left a little open, so perhaps one day Meadows will give us a novella. One can hope!

My favorite line: It would give too much away if I told you! But it’s the note Tobiah writes for Wil at the end. 🙂

My favorite visual: Wil practicing her handwriting.

My rating: 5 stars

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Have you read The Mirror King? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Rose and the Dagger | Review

Review: The Rose and the Dagger

First off, if you haven’t read The Wrath and the Dawn, you probably shouldn’t read this review, as there will be spoilers. Heads up!

The end of The Wrath and the Dawn was beautiful. Kahlid had me mesmerized the entire book with his mystery, and as layers of his story were chipped away and we began to see the lonely boy underneath, I think I fell in love with him right along with Shahrzad. And Shahrzad! Her character evolved to be one so cunning and brave, no wonder Kahlid fell in love with her!

And so The Rose and the Dagger picks right up where The Wrath and the Dawn left off, with Kahlid and Shahrzad seperated. Kahlid is desperate to save his empire, and Shazi is desperate to save Kahlid.

Meanwhile, Shazi’s father, Jahander continues to dabble with dark magic that threatens everything, while at the same time Shazi finds her own magic that just may save the day. I don’t want to give too much away here! But suffice to say that where The Wrath and the Dawn gave you a beautiful, mesmerizing plot with colorful and detailed world and character building (and romance!), The Rose and the Dagger just builds on that world and adds more plot twists and betrayals (and even more romance!). You really get to see more of who Kahlid is, and how much he loves Shahrazad, now that the mask is off and we know his story. And Shazi truly shines as a woman who can hold her own and fight for those she loves.

 

My favorite line: “From the stars, to the stars.”

My favorite visual: When Shazi flies back to Kahlid.

My rating: 4 stars

 

Have you read The Rose and the Dagger? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!

Book Review

The Mermaid’s Sister | Review

 

Review: The Mermaid’s Sister

I read this as my Kindle First book for February. I was instantly hooked by the author’s writing style – fluid, descriptive and relatable. The word choice and sentence structure reminded me of a fable and I was instantly drawn into this world where girls would grow up with a half fairy ‘mother’ and a wyvern for a friend. This was one of those books that once I started reading, I found it hard to stop (I read the book in less than 24 hours!). Now, the plot was somewhat predictable, albeit with a small twist that I didn’t see coming, but the ending was the same. I did feel as though the pacing if the book changed dramatically once the climax hit, with the first 2/3 of the book being a rather slow build up and then suddenly you find yourself at the end, but it didn’t take much away from the overall story. Definitely recommend if you like fairy tales and magic, and you’re looking for a quick, light read.

My favorite line: “There’s no cure for being who you truly are.”

My favorite visual: The singing gypsy.

My review: 4 stars

Have you read The Mermaid’s Sister? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through the links provided. I never post a link to a product that I haven’t used myself and love!