What I've been reading... November edition - Reading List

What I've been reading... November edition

Thursday, November 30, 2017

What I've been reading... Quick Reviews on Reading List - November 2017 edition

Quick Lit Reviews

Wow... I realized today how long it has been since I carved out the time to do a monthly recap of what I've been reading...

Life picked up in pace recently, plus this little corner of mine has changed quite a bit this year. And for the most part that is good. But for some, well I don't to change all of it. So monthly what I've been reading, with quick reviews will remain.

And, I am going to include the books I listen to as audiobooks because I can gush over them with the same enthusiasm as I can print books.  If you are the type to consider audiobooks cheating, my apologies... well then again, I'm not that sorry.  

What I've been reading... Quick Reviews on Reading List - November 2017 edition

However, if you are a serious bibliophile or even just a part-time reader, I'd love for you to join our community.  Reading List sends out a weekly newsletter with freebies, and book reviews, and extra bookish fun.  All you have to do is add your email to the little box at the top of the page.  I cannot wait to send you our new goodies!

Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis

Given to the Sea (Given Duet, #1)Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Alright, I'm going to be brutally honest... I'm not sure if I disliked this book or really love it...
The twists of who loves who and who belongs where and how each character's heart is pulling her/him towards a different goal took a very long time to see and that was the point of the story. But since this is the first book of a duology I believe I see this a very, very long set up...
The end was good and now that I knew where each character wants to be and why versus where they are... well I'm curious...

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By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your SideBy Your Side by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adored this story... it was just plain cute. I especially liked the fact that Autumn has anxiety. It was the perfect Friday night read...

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Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Mask of Shadows (Mask of Shadows, #1)Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

*** Thank you NetGalley for the arc copy... review is purely my own opinion ***

Alright, honesty first - the cover attracted me to this book.

Then the idea of a trans main character intrigued me, as I don't believe I've ever come across such an MC.

Then someone mentioned this was similar in idea to Throne of Glass...

Well, my expectations were high... and this story did not live up. Yes, the MC is different, and that is a good thing - but I never got attached to Sal's story... I just didn't care to know if they would succeed in the quest to become Opal.

This read like an attempt to bring together The Hunger Games & Throne of Glass... but with all the contestants only numbered, the anonymity kept me from really caring about any of them at all. I wish there would have been some better character development throughout the story - the characters needed more, the setting needed to be cleared up, the history of the entire story was too vast and I missed too much of it to get the importance of Sal's desire for revenge... needless to say, for me, this story did not live up to my expectations.

I am going to allow my thoughts to settle and clear before I write my full review on the blog... but more will be coming.

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

The Waking Land by Callie Bates

The Waking LandThe Waking Land by Callie Bates
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Why???? Why didn't this live up to my expectations????

Alright... so I took my time and thought this book through because there were parts I really enjoyed... yet, in the end, I just didn't love it...

My full review is on my site Marissa Writes and I did get a digital copy from NetGalley... but you know my opinions are never swayed...

so here are my likes and dislikes.... but there are more on my site...
Personal Likes

I really liked the aspect of Elanna suffering from Stockholm syndrome- the king literally holds her at gunpoint and steals her away from her family when she is young. And yet for a good half of the book, she sees him as her best father figure and does not trust her actual family. It was well done- granted it is annoying to see a character who flip-flops so much between who to believe and trust... but it fit.

I also appreciated the use of family in this story. Elanna's actual family is still a main focus in the bigger story at play here, and as such there are many points to consider about how much a family should act in order to keep their blood family together or focus on the good of the people they are responsible for.

I was not a fan of all the push towards environmentalism that overtook many aspects of the story. I could clearly feel the push to act, even though the story was supposed to be a fantasy that pulled me out of this reality. It read more like a social commentary on a population who does not at all care about the environment. I'm not sure if that was actually the author's point... but if it was... it needed to be polished more so that readers don't feel the push to act.

I'm also confused on where this is going to a series. It felt completed. If it is going to be a series that deals with the world, a collection of stand-alone books that fit together, then maybe, but overall this story felt complete, so I'm not sure I understand the point. Maybe there are aspects to the story that I just didn't' get, and in that way, I felt this was more of a piece of propaganda than fiction.

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For even more on this book, check out my full review!

What I've been reading... Quick Reviews on Reading List - November 2017 edition

Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1)Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As I listened to the audio book I wished there had been a more obvious difference between the queens as I had to get to the 2/3 mark before I started to realize who was who...

At least that last third was interesting and full of action and tension... the first two were just dull and slow...

But with an ending twist that like you have to pick up the next book, right?

View all my reviews

Rowan Wood Legends by Olivia Wildenstein

Rowan Wood Legends (The Lost Clan #2)Rowan Wood Legends by Olivia Wildenstein
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How long until the next one comes out?

This was a great sequel... while the first half was slow and I worried it might have a bit of the middle book syndrome I got sucked into Catori's story more...

I will be back with a more detailed review...

*** Thank you to the author for an early copy for review - all opinions are my own.... and please considering checking out my full review and discussion on Marissa Writes ***

Story Overview

This second book of the Lost Clan series starts right where Rose Petal Graves left off... and at full speed. So please consider reading these in order. Granted Olivia Wildenstein does a great job of filling in the major details, as well as providing extras to help with the different languages and a large list of characters that are part of the story.

Catori Price is focused first on keeping her father safe now that faeries and hunters are becoming more and more of a daily nuisance for her. She cannot decide which half of her bloodline she will pick. As a result, both groups are showing up and trying to convince her to act for them.

Kajika is struggling to find his way in this familiar yet different world and the memories that Blake left with him only make the process more complicated. As he tries to find his way, he often clashes with Catori over how to proceed, and that only complicates her opinions on which bloodline to follow.

Ace & Cruz shows up again and again with only minor bits of information to assist Catori - leaving her more and more confused about how the fae world even works.

More than anything, Catori knows that a war is beginning and if she doesn't pick a side there is no guarantee her friends and family will survive it.

***Stop by the blog for more likes and dislikes***

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

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, #1)City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I only picked this up because of all the hype surrounding the world... and it was interesting for sure.

I wish there would have been more character development early on... it felt rough... needed to be smoothed out but overall it was a fun read. And I didn't really know much as through some miracle I have avoided just about all of the spoilers....

And it helps that I'm buddy reading this with a book lover....

I'm curious about Jace's family line as I have a feeling it ended as the actual cliffhanger... but I guess I'll find out when I pick up the next book...

And I'm not sure about Simon... how does he really fit... he seems an odd fit in the story overall...

If you are a super fan... or a new fan... I'd love to chat more catch me on Instagram @marissa_writes

View all my reviews

If you want more on this book, check out where I decided to finally pick this one up.

What I've been reading... Quick Reviews on Reading List - November 2017 edition

I know those are silly tiny teasers of my thoughts... but I've been trying to write at least a twitter-length review as soon as I finish my book on Goodreads with my initial thoughts.  Are you on Goodreads?  I'd love to follow you there, leave me a comment and share your profile link so I can follow along with your reads!

What I've been reading... Quick Reviews on Reading List - November 2017 edition

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

Marissa @ Reading List

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