Quick Reviews... June Edition of What I've Been Reading - Reading List

Quick Reviews... June Edition of What I've Been Reading

Monday, July 03, 2017

Quick Reviews June Edition on Reading List

Quick Lit Reviews

Wow... how did June zoom by so fast?  Did you get to read any new books this month?

With summer in full swing, and my life full of activities and summer fun and changing schedules, I'm not getting through as many books as I was... which is why I'm so glad I have found a way to make audio books work for me.... Have you all started using Audible?  There are many apps in local libraries that have audio books available for free... since Audible is expensive!

Anyway, here are some quick reviews on some of the books I've read recently... check them out, and then let me know what you've been reading!

Quick Reviews June Edition on Reading List

The Shadow Queen by CJ Redwine

The Shadow QueenThe Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My first book by CJ Redwine; and I was overall pleased...

Granted, I got this book from the library a little over a year ago... and just couldn't get into the story... the idea didn't seem to grab me... which is why I say over and over that there are a ton of different books and different genres because at different times in our lives we will be drawn to different books.. so don't disregard a book completely...

So anyway, I got this on audio because of my favorite book buddies loves CJ Redwine, and this particular audiobook had no wait... so you know, I tried again...

Yes, it was a slow start... I had a hard time getting into the snow white adaptation... but somewhere about the quarter mark it started to pick up... the characters started to grab at me...

This book has been out for a while... and it clearly is a fairy tale adaptation to fit into the popular dystopian, strong female protagonist style that is lucrative at the moment. But somehow this one was different enough that I stayed interested - and I've decided it's because of Redwine's ability to write characters that could be your fine if they lived in the normal world. This particular book had a lot of magic, which fits with snow white - Lorelai's ability to connect with other creatures thoughts made this even more interesting...

Even better was that the huntsman in this story was so different and complex and interesting... but in case you haven't read it I won't say why... if you did read it... let me know and we can gush over it!

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Hunted by Meagan Spooner

HuntedHunted by Meagan Spooner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you haven't bought this book... well stop reading and go order it!

Alright, now we can gush over it... honestly, I'm in love with this story... even though I wish the end would have been a bit different... the little epilogue just wasn't for me... but it clearly fit the author - and side note I loved all over Spooner's little nods to book fanatics... her dedication is amazing, and you have to read the acknowledgements on this one (English major problem - I read everything inside books)

Clearly, this is a Beauty and the Beast reimagining, and nothing at all like the Disney cartoon... if you know the original fairy tale though you will see so much in this book. It also pulls in some Russian folklore - which I don't really know much about, but it worked!

Beauty seems like a strange protagonist for a few chapters... she's an independent thinker, strong, and curious... yet not part of the groups... sound like Belle?? Yep...

And once Beast actually makes an appearance in the story... well the plot picks up the pace quite a bit. For the longest time I loathed and loved Beast equally... and then we started to learn more about his back story... I won't spoil it...

Honestly though, if you are a fairy tale fan, you need to own this book. It is that good.

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For more on this one, check out top reads.

Quick Reviews June Edition on Reading List

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas

Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass, #4)Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alright first off, it is impossible to talk about this book without giving away spoilers from the previous books in the series - so please understand, I'm not going to spoil this book, but I can't help it with the previous books...

That said, I highly recommend you read the series from the beginning...

Alright, so Queen of Shadows follow Aelin as she begins her quest to become Queen... I know right... you would never have guessed!

Alright, so again the best part of this book, and all SJM books are the characters... they are so complex and deep. I love it, and while there are great characters, there is a ton of action so it keeps the pages turning.

I am a big fan of Aedion... Aelin's warrior cousin is loyal in a way so many are not. He is driven by that loyalty, and yet he cares, he truly wants the best for his kingdom and his friends, which at times makes his priorities clash... love it!

And we get so much more from Manon and the Wyverns... which I'm not sure about... I don't know why there are so many chapters from this vantage... I'm just unsure... even after reading the book and processing it for a while...

But mostly, the evil that is taking over Dorian's castle... talk about dark and horrible. I ached after reading his chapters, and yet I wanted more, always more, because I needed to know what was happening!

There is so much more in this book, but I don't want to spoil it... if you are in the mood to gush over any part of it, let me know! Leave a comment or find me on Instagram and we can gush and gush.

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The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh

The Wrath and the DawnThe Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Where to start....???

This book sat on my TBR for so long I had forgotten about it. But when I saw it on audio I figured it was a perfect time... and then it was narrated by a less than enthusiastic reader...

After chapter 8 I still didn't know who any of the characters were, and I was just getting more and more confused... luckily a gracious bookstagram friend gave me a character breakdown list, which helped immensely... and the story started to finally make a little sense.

In the end, I can't say much about this book because the narrating was so distracting... so I would say pick up the actual book in this case, because those I know who have read it really loved it, and I'm not so impressed... but I'm giving it four stars because I'm intrigued and will pick up the sequel in book form.

Also, I believe I really like Khalid... his secret is a bit surprising... at least to me, and his depth helps to endear him to readers. I need to know what happens with him in the next book. On the other hand, Shahrzad is not so loveable for me. She seemed to be a spoiled character driven only by vengeance and full of so much naivete she doesn't even know what she doesn't know - granted that is an issue with many YA books anymore...

Mostly I appreciate the fact that this is a retelling A Thousand and One Nights - and I am always up for a good retelling... so in that case, this book lived up to my hopes and expectations... I just hope there is more character development for Khalid in the next book... and that I find some time to get to it since these have been out for quite a while now... I know don't hate me!

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Geekerella by Ashley Poston

GeekerellaGeekerella by Ashley Poston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*** Thank you NetGalley for a digital copy of this great story!!***

To see my full review, stop by the blog!


Danielle, or Elle, is a super fan of Starfield because her father was a super fan, and after he died, it was a way to hold on the good memories. Elle's home life is anything but fun, with a stepmother who is too focused on societal standing for her and her two biological daughters. Elle has become little more than a servant in her own home. But she escapes by writing a fan blog about Starfield.

When an amazing prize is announced for the Annual Exceliscon Cosplay Ball in anticipation of a reboot of Starfield, Elle makes a grand plan to enter. Along the way, she finds out what friendship means, and love, and family.

Darien Freeman is just an average guy, hoping to one day have a life again... because he's also a super famous actor that girls drool over. He has accepted his life will consist of two versions of himself - the on-camera Darien, and the nerd Darien who would rather play video games and watch Starfield most afternoons. When he lands his dream role as Starfield's lead, Federation Prince Carmindor he hopes this will make all the hard work worth it. But he quickly learns his fan base might not mix with the Starfield fans and begins an upward battle to prove he can be the perfect Carmindor.

Extra thoughts:

The joy of Cinderella retellings is the focus on the underdog working up and overcoming some kind of bully or injustice. Let's be honest here, we can say the PC statements about no tolerance or whatever is in vogue right now, but bullying happens all the time. Stories like these help teens learn how to persevere and find their own paths. They help readers know that while it might feel like the end of the world, most situations are temporary and there are solutions or other paths. Now before everyone starts hitting me with the points about bullying, I know it's a serious problem. But fiction is the perfect place to start conversations... and nerds need outlets... because most parents used to be nerds too.

My likes, dislikes, suggested audience, and such will be on my blog- stop over! Marissa Writes on Reading List Marissa Writes on Reading List

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

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars (Defy the Stars #1)Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was something about this cover that grabbed my attention before it was even released... and then I couldn't seem to get my hands on a copy!

I didn't really know much about the story, or why I wanted to read it, but that cover...

So after finding out that multiple audio books I wanted were on hold, I figured I'd try this one, as there was no wait. I still wasn't sure what it was about.

So Noemi Vidal has agreed to sacrifice herself to help ensure her best friend might live... at least a little while longer... that is the story we are given from the first couple of chapters... but of course, that isn't going to be the case...

Noemi's whole life has been built on the need to help secure her planets safety for as long as possible as the threats surrounding them were numerous... she was also raised in a religious family, although she doesn't know what she believes in... which is interesting and ends up driving her actions over and over, as she tries to find out what her beliefs are, and how she should act, morally.

But the biggest twist of this story is Abel... "the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made"... and because of the fact that he is an AI this story gets odd and a bit creepy at times. I won't say anything else because it could be spoiler-y. But if you were intrigued by the AI from Illuminae, then this AI will take that all to a whole new level...

This is certainly a science fiction, space book... I'm not sure there can be many claims to any high science in it... but it was a different read for me, so it was fun. I'm curious about where this will go, but it wasn't a complete win for me either...

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Quick Reviews June Edition on Reading List

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

Marissa @ Reading List

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  1. I love a good read. I would start with The Shawdow Queen. I don't have as much time for reading since my daughter was born. I miss it!

    1. Yes each time a new little bundle of joy joined our family my reading habits changed... so yes, try The Shadow Queen - it's a good stand alone story, that is engaging, yet a quick read... Also think about trying audiobooks... it helped me!

  2. Hunted definitely sounds interesting! I've been a Beauty and the Beast fan for my whole life and I love interesting new takes on the story.

    1. I read as many Beauty and the Beast retellings as I can, and this is my favorite so far!

  3. These books sound great! I love hearing what other people read. I'm currently reading the Magnolia Story & highly recommend it!
    Cheers, Sarah Camille // SCsScoop.com

    1. I'll be sure to check it out Sarah! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. wow I am impressed you have been reading so much! I am trying to read more.. I mean actual books not on my damn phone!


    1. I get that! I always remind myself that I'd rather my kids find me with a book than with some electronic screen in front of me... it's helps. And audio books are my new best friends.

  5. Hi Marissa. Did you write all these books in one month? There are lots of them. Thank you for taking the time to write reviews on them, I usually like to read some reviews before deciding to start reading a book.
    I'm currently reading short stories from different authors because I'm going through a course about writing short stories.

    1. Hi Teodora - I usually read somewhere between 6-9 books a months... and I read a bunch of compilation books of short stories while I was in school and taking writing courses too. And now the novella is making it's mark in popular fiction, so that's also great! And I agree, I want some honest reviews before I pick up a book most of the time, which is why I highly recommend Goodreads to book readers, because the reviews there are so much more in depth and honest than Amazon.

  6. Hi Marissa,
    Wow, hard to believe you can find the time to read and review all these books in one month. I don't read young adult books, but if I did I'm sure these reviews would be helpful.

    1. I'd rather my kids find me with a book than a screen - plus I listen to audio books in the car... you'd be surprised how many of these books are being read by adults, and young kids... it's good to know little details of what others are being influenced by to engage with them


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