What I've Been Reading {{May Edition}}

Monday, June 05, 2017

What I've been Reading: A Collection of quick book reviews from a variety of genres
 

Quick Lit Reviews

What did you think of last month's quick reviews?  Were they more enjoyable?  Did you miss it? Oh, well then, check it out!  



How was everyone's May?  Did you survive alright?  It's time to get ready for Summer reading, right?  We are going to be signing up for the local library summer reading program this week, it's always a blast. Our library incorporated daily movement/exercise with reading - keeping the body and brain active.  I just love it!

And now, how about some quick reviews?  I have been devouring books recently, so here are six that I read recently, more to come next month!




What I've been Reading: A Collection of quick book reviews from a variety of genres







Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas



Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass, #3)Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"She'd had enough of friends. Enough of them dying too." p 49

That sentiment is what drives the beginning of this third book of the series, and it's quite a ride.

I'll admit I was a little worried that such a long series would drag. But SJM pulls it out again and captivates readers right away.

While we continue to see where Celaena's path goes, we continue to see where Dorian and Chaol end up.

I was most excited to meet the new characters of Wendlyn because I was ready for the universe to expand and new characters to be infused into this story. After some of the heartbreaks from Crown of Midnight, I needed as much healing as Celaena did!

I wish I could go on, but I'm worried that if I do I'll leave too many spoilers, and since this series is already full of different twists and turns I refuse to be part of those who spoil everything.... but fair warning, these books get hard to discuss without giving spoilers... so start at the beginning and just keep reading... then come and gush with those of us who have already read them.... I promise we will still want to gush over it!



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For more on this one, check out my sneak peek! 







Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves


Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was so excited when I got a digital copy of this from Netgalley for review because the concept intrigued me greatly.


Yet, I was just not a fan...


Anna Arden has known she was Barren, without magic, for years. She carried the shame of it everywhere. Yet she felt drawn to those displaying their own magic. In the world of the Luminate, your magic set your social standing. So for Anna not to have any magic meant she was left hoping for a good match in marriage. After a horrible magical accident during her sister's society party, Anna starts to realize her life is more complicated than she imagined.

She quickly learns that the Luminate are not what she always thought they were. Yes, they controlled the source of magic, but they were not completely honest about the depth and control of the power. Anna's father and grandmother act quickly as it becomes clear that while Anna's connection to magic is different, and Anna starts a journey to Hungary to learn more about her ancestry and the magic that is being held by the Luminate.

In the process, she meets her cousins Matyas, and Noemi, as well as Gabor, a Romani. As her worldview expands with her knowledge of the world around her, her eyes are opened to many injustices and options to help make the world a better place. But will she take the leap of faith that is needed to access magic in a way she never knew was possible?


This story just fell flat. I took a long time thinking about how I wanted to write this review because, in the end, I did not really like the book. And to be honest, I'm not sure why.

There was something missing in the plot. The idea of the magic, and how it unraveled seemed forced. As if the author wasn't sure how to get from point A to point B in the story and just filled the middle with random thoughts and ideas before making the ending flash.

Maybe it is because there is a sequel and this book was supposed to be confusing so that it can be wrapped up in the next one.

Either way, by the end of the book I was not attached to Anna or her plight. I was completely mystified by the actions of Matyas, and Gabor was such a strange add-on character I didn't know where to put him at all.

Do you think I missed something? If you read this one and loved it, and want to help me grasp what every little key I seem to be missing, I'd love to hear from you!

I want to like this book...

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For more on this one, check out my sneak peek.








The New Believer's Guide to the Christian Life by Alex Early


New Believer's Guide to the Christian Life, The: What Will Change, What Won't, and Why It MattersNew Believer's Guide to the Christian Life, The: What Will Change, What Won't, and Why It Matters by Alex Early
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alright I find this book helpful for new believers yet there are some gaps. So like many faith-based books, this is an extra... always lean into the Bible itself first and often because building a relationship with God is the goal and His word is alive waiting to speak to you.

But as far as some more practical daily helps and ideas to keep a new believers mind from getting stuck in the daily chaos of life, this book is fine. It is helpful to read it with a mentor who I farther on the walk to help talk out the concepts and ideas.

The biggest plus is that this is a short book, easy to read and written in a conversational style.



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A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas



A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3)A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And because we all need another review of ACOWAR, here it comes!

Let me start with, this book was action packed, and exactly what fans of SJM could hope for... and yet, I think I loved ACOMAF more.... Don't hate me!

Alright, let's get to it... ummm I don't think I have spoilers for this book, but I'm probably gonna spoil some of the first two books... fair warning...

We get to see what happens to Feyre as war sweeps into Prythian, and as a result, readers get the chance to see how, when there are only two options, people can decide to push through their fear, grief, and tragedies to work towards something better for the future.

The entire Court series deals with depression and loss, even PTSD, in ways most fantasy books ignore. It's a serious issue that impacts each victim differently and takes patience and time to heal. It's hard to comprehend, as it can manifest so differently. As the series goes on, readers quickly realize just how many of the characters are in different stages of their own battles, and as Feyre steps more and more into the world, allowing new people into her heart and life, she realizes she is the only one who knows hurt and loss. And that helps give her motivation to hope.

And of course, there is a war!!! Umm... alright, I'll stop... just go read this book... or some of the other amazing reviews... I'll put a more in depth review on my blog... maybe...

I believe what makes these books worth reading is the character development and the attention to detail that makes SJM such an amazing author. Sure there are flaws, but it's a great ride.

By the end of the book I wanted more from Mor, Az, Tamlin, and Lucien... and to be quite honest, I'm pretty much done with Feyre & Rhysand's story... I know a total unpopular opinion...

And seriously, what is up with that last scene and Feyre's outfit choice??? Go back and read it, then tell me your thoughts ;)

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Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1)Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Clearly, this story is popular! There are a ton of great reviews for it, and everyone I come across who has read it raves about it. Yet, I'm very picky about deep space sci-fi... maybe it's too much science in college... maybe I'm too realistic... either way, this is a genre that tends to fall short for me.

After much peer pressure from the amazing book community, I agreed to give it a try, in audio form. With a TBR list that is crazy out of control, I knew picking up the book was just not in my cards, but putting my car audio to the book during the hours spent in the car each day seemed fine. And this whole series is performed by a full cast, which makes this book similar to listening to a movie... storytelling at its finest.

I won't waste your time with the specifics of the story, characters, plots, etc here, there are already a million of those on here... I mean they are all good, I enjoyed the story greatly...

But let's talk the amazingness of the audio for a moment... if you are at all on the fence about starting some audio books to help tackle your own TBR I highly recommend getting the audio for this series. You will be swept up into the story.

I understand that audiobooks are not always wanted, it can be hard to train your ear to truly listen and hear a story, to pick up the details, and travel into the fictional world. But it's a good ability to cultivate, to really listen. Storytelling has been a part of society for generations, and only recently has it fallen to the side thanks to movies, and TVs.

So, go, grab the audio of this one! (most libraries have digital audio books available, so you know, go talk to your librarian!)

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Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff


Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Gemina by Amie Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It is amazing how I had convinced myself that this book, this series would not interest me at all. I was sure the science and space of such a sci-fi book was not my thing. I am not really into sci-fi as much have too much actual science in my mind... so I kept saying no.

But this book was amazing. Just as Illuminae was


A huge plus was the audio cast for the book... I listened to the audio for both books, and the full cast makes all the difference. It's not just one narrator adding in different voices but different people plus sounds effects. Especially the ever present "lollipop" song.

I was very appreciative of the use of actual science to back up much of the explosions and fighting without gravity, the need for AI help, and the use of "historical" people and quotes as Hannah's inspiration.

I cannot praise the style of writing enough it is so original and lent itself to the audio performance perfectly.


I was not a fan of Hannah in the beginning, I missed Kady and Ezra and just did not want to meet a whole new cast... yet Hannah, Jax, Nik, and even Ella wormed their way into me quickly enough. So by the time Kady and Aidan rejoined the story I was so worried about Nik and Ella I just had to know what happened.

I guess the wait for the next book is on... I hope they do another full cast audio... honestly it was amazing!



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What I've been Reading: A Collection of quick book reviews from a variety of genres










What have you been reading?   What caught your eye above?  What should I read next?  



Marissa @ Reading List





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10 comments

  1. I'm not a big sci fi or fantasy reader, but some of these books sound super interesting! Lately, I've been reading some awesome psychological thrillers. Girl on the Train is AMAZING (much better than the movie I'm sure) and I loved The Woman in Cabin 10 as well!

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    1. I love that! I tend to stay away form psychological thrillers right now because I over think them, and they stay with me forever! But I had quite a few on my TBR, including Girl on the Train... Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I am yet to hear about any of these books , but from your review A court of wings is a book i would like to get my hands on. ooh and I'm reading "The Friday night knitting club" right now..

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    1. If you decide to pick up A Court of Wings... be forewarned, it's the third book in a giant series (which I loved) but it is most certainly an Adult book for content and violence (since the publishers dubbed it a YA) but if you are a Game of Thrones fan you will enjoy this series. I know a ton of people who love The Friday Night Knitting Club, but I have yet to read it. Thank you so much for joining the conversation Nita! <3

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  3. I tend to read nonfiction more than fiction, so thanks for the review of The New Believers Guide. Your advice of going through it with a mentor is sound.

    And you've convinced me that I need to start listening to audiobooks!

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    1. I go through phases with books, but I read a variety. And yes, audiobooks are the way to go when life is busy and crazy

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  4. You've been doing lots of reading! I need to do more this summer. I have a stack on my nightstand I haven't had much time to touch!

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    1. I go through spurts I think... but books calm me so I do read a ton

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  5. Wow! You've been reading a lot! Well done! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com this week!
    Tina

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    1. Thanks for hosting Tina! I am going to try to stop by more often this summer...

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