Sky in the Deep

34726469Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Publish Date: 4/24/2018
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

5_stars

Every 5 years the Aska clan battles with the Riki clan. It is because of this that Eelyn has trained as a warrior. In her first season she sees her brother, Iri, die. In her second, she sees him again, except on the other clans side. Caught off guard by the sight she finds herself captured by the Riki, and the only thing keeping her alive is her traitorous brother. As a captive she learns much more about herself, her brother and the war that has plagued the clans for centuries.

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The Story

I loved this book so much I finished it in less than a day. The pacing in the book flows with consistent action scenes that leave you anxious for your hero’s survival. It starts with a battle and ends with a battle. When I was reading I also didn’t feel like it was the same fight over and over, each one felt like a unique sequence that offered a stimulating scene. Not only were the fighting scenes descriptive but they felt realistic. The characters had limitations with their own strengths and bodily functions as far as their injuries went. Characters didn’t emerge from fights completely unscathed and had somewhat realistic recovery time and scars.

Through all the fighting there was room for romance as well. If you’re into the hate-to-love trope then you will find it here, and in a way that lets the characters adapt to the romance. The attraction between the characters felt natural as they learned more about and spent time with each other. You guys, it was really sweet too, what the characters were willing to deal with and sacrifice for the other.

Trigger warnings: kidnapping, slavery, assault, some graphic violence

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The World Building

Young did a really good job of bringing the surrounding world to life while it was engrossed in death. Maybe it’s because I live in the PNW and I am surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, but I could imagine the little villages and a winter too strong to travel through.

I loved the cultural aspects that were brought into the story to develop meaning to their lives. From the sacrifices to the miniature idols the characters are given more than just a brutal life of training to kill.

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The Characters

First of all I love Eeylin. This chick is a serious bad ass, without the actual need to tell use she’s a bad ass. The culture they are raised in develops her to be brave, but through the story we learn that it doesn’t make her a monster. I love that she has so many feelings despite everything. The desperation for her own life and survival as well as the willingness to die to save herself the shame of being a slave created such a bold character. I think my favorite part about her though was the love for her family. Not only for her father, and her fighting partner, but for her brother that though he seem to have betrayed her still holds a special place in her heart.

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The Soundtrack

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- Heads Will Roll

 

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Bullet Journal 2018 Week 17 Spread

Planting season is upon me, so I will be switching to a lot more audiobooks. Which I usually have at least one going anyway, but I will just have less time for physical reading. For those of you who judge that listening to an audiobook is not really “reading” then you can go away, because I don’t want to hear it.

In other news, one of our kitty’s had a litter. Unfortunately, only 1 little baby survived. But she is beyond cute.

 

Week 16 Filled in  Spread

For once my spread stayed looking neat. Not that that means I did everything I set out to do, but it certainly looks less frantic. Maybe it’s because I spent almost 60 hours between the two jobs?

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Week 16 Spread

This week’s spread is inspired by AIDAN from The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Caption on the bottom is from Obsidio (book #3) that just came out last month. “Every Story needs it’s villain. And it’s hero. and it’s monster.” To me, AIDAN fits into all these personas, and I just love it for being able to encompass all that as a character.

wk17

 

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

Do you like my new spread? Do you use your BuJo daily? Have any fun bujo hacks? Who do you like to follow on Instagram? What types of tools do you use?

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Down the TBR Hole 11

This was originally made by Lost in a Story, and is such a fantastic idea. Here are the instructions:

Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
Order on ascending date added.
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?

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The Books:

24846331Book #51

Ever the Hunted (Clash of Kingdoms #1) by Erin Summerill

Date added: April 28, 2016

While some of my friends have rated this book sort of low, the premise still sounds fun, and for the love of God, that cover.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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43889Book #52 

Wizard’s First Rule (Sword of Truth #1) by Terry Goodkind

Date added: April 28, 2016

A dark epic fantasy? Yeah, I’m going to keep this. Sometimes I need something a little bit more than the YA fantasy I read, and hopefully this does it.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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11983940Book #53

Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen

Date added: May 5, 2016

Robin Hood retelling with a female dressed as a boy. Gimme.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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23437156Book #54

Six of Crows (Six of Crows #1) by Leigh Bardugo

Date added: May 10, 2016

I don’t even need to put anything here. All that this book is waiting on is for me to read Ruin & Rising, which I’ve been putting off for so long. This is definitely happening this summer.

THE JUDGEMENT: Definitely Keep

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17207178Book #55

A Shard of Ice (The Black Symphony Saga #1)

Date added: May 10, 2016

I think I only added this because of the cover. Or maybe I have just been turned off from paranormal memory loss books because of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Hush, Hush.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

 

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Starting TBR shelf total: 434

Total books kept:   4 out of 5

 

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

What do you think of my decisions? Have you read any of these books?

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Princess of Thorns

 

18782855Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

4_stars

Sleeping Beauty’s daughter, Princess Aurora, must not only save her brother but also reclaim her kingdom from the ogres who have captured them both. Though she is fairy blessed as a warrior she can’t do it alone. In her attempt to raise an army she forms an alliance with none other but the youngest prince, Niklaas, of the king who is allied with the ogres. Aurora was originally mistaken to be her younger brother and decides to take on the facade. The only thing is, Niklaas was on a mission to find Princess Aurora to woo her to marry him to break a curse.

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The Story

I had such a lovely time reading this with Wren, be sure to check out her blog as well as her lovely Instagram!

So, this was my second attempt at a Stacey Jay novel, and now I want to go back and try the other one over since I DNF it. This book was addictingly cute. Was it the best fairy tale around? Certainly not, but it definitely hit the spot.

Told in alternating POVs we get to really get to know both characters. However, there were a few parts where we got the ogre queen’s POV as well, and I found them completely unnecessary, even considering the twist we receive at the end. In fact, let’s talk about that twist. I really enjoyed the majority of the book, right up to the alleged twist, and then I found that it resolved itself rather quickly. I did like the ending, but was definitely disappointed with how easily it came about. My thoughts were essentially: we worked for all that, and then this happens? It’s that feeling when you’re watching LOTR or The Hobbit (or reading, and maybe the books explain it better?) when you think, man couldn’t it have been really easy for the eagles to just carry them all the way to Mt. Doom? or for the ghost army to just kill them all? Okay, off topic, I know, but that’s the feeling I got at the resolution to Aurora’s problems.

With that being said though, I really enjoyed reading the book. It was easy, lighthearted, and I genuinely rooted the characters on as they went on their journey. And I tell you what, I was real anxious for the moment that Niklaas found out the Aurora was, well, Aurora. I really appreciated that suddenly his man parts weren’t longing for the girl he thought was a boy the whole time. While he generally thought Aurora was a pretty boy the entire time, it wasn’t shocking that he eventually found her to be an attractive girl. It made the transition much easier to swallow. So they are so stupid about each other that it made their romance endearingly sweet.

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The World Building

I liked that this world was built upon one that most are familiar with, except twisted. I honestly was never a big fan of Sleeping Beauty, but this book actually made me want to watch the movie, if not at least read the original fairy tale. I loved the creativity of the fairy gifts and curse that pairs with them.

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The Characters

I adored both Aurora and Niklaas, and it had nothing to do with the fact that they were so unnaturally beautiful. They are both so stubborn, fiery, and think they’re always right. Their bickering made for such an entertaining read. I have pulled two quotes from the book that each character said about the other, and I think it’s just spot on.

‘He isn’t just a prince, he’s a hero, the sort of person even death is hesitant to approach without a nod.”

“Of course she’s a hero, a person willing to face extraordinary odds, to rise to any challenge, and to put the welfare of others before her own.”

I just love that they both think of each other as heroes and it makes my heart all soft and warm.

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The Soundtrack

The Neighbourhood – Stuck with Me

 

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Suitors and Sabotage

34499243Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey

Publish Date: 4/17/2018
ARC received from Netgalley for a fair review.

4_stars

When Imogene has a good season in London, her family deems it best for the most suitable gentleman to join them over the summer. She is eager to get to know her suitor better as a proposal is bound to come, that is until she meets his younger brother. As Imogene and Ben spend more time together, they do their best to fight off their growing feelings. However, it seems that someone amongst them seems to be plotting against Ben as many incidents happen that when put together just couldn’t be accidents.

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The Story

How does Cindy Anstey do this? When I read her books I am reminded how much I just adore regency novels. All the proper manners and indirect speech. I love it. It gives more for the heart to yearn for.

So I docked a star solely for the fact that the book seemed to lag just a little bit in the middle. As Imogene and Ben got closer a lot of time was spent with them ignoring their feelings and just pushing it aside.Unfortunately for me I didn’t become really attached until Ben and Imogene were so wound up that they began to have a disagreement. Really it’s not the part where they are falling for each other, its the part where they just can’t be together that I find so riveting.

The fact that there was actually a 4-way love triangle at first seemed like such a terrible idea, but it turned out to work so perfectly. It made the growing tension more…intense. I just loved how much their affection grew as their denial was forced more and more. The complication of their feelings for each other affected so much more than just their own shyness or situation, it affected a brother and a best friend.

Sense And Sensibility GIF

The underlying mystery of who was trying to subtly attack Ben definitely added substance to a story that could have just been about a real awkward situation between best friends and brothers.

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The World Building

I loved the description of the homes and the ruins in this one! I absolutely adore old architecture, so the fact that our characters visited more than just one home over the course of the book, but also old castle just made my heart happy. I would just love to jump into this book and lounge about on a picnic while learning to sketch.

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The Characters

One of the best part of this book was that you were  subtly thrown into the mystery of who was trying to hurt Ben. With that being said we were introduced to a plethora of characters that could have had reason to hurt him. While I guessed it about half way, I still wasn’t entirely sure. I am not going to really discuss all the characters because I don’t want to give anything away. However, I could say I adore Imogene. It was so hard to read about her forcing herself to try to admire Earnest while watching her friend flirt with the man she was actually interested in. I loved that neither girl ended up being ridiculously catty about the men. They were both just sweet, tender hearted women.

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The Soundtrack

Cat Power – I Found a Reason

 

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The Hazel Wood

34275232The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

4_stars

“Once upon a time there was a girl who changed her fate.”

When bad luck seems to chase you everywhere, you live on the move. When Alice and her mother finally decide to settle down and her mother suddenly goes missing, it’s to her grandmother that Alice looks to. But her grandmother isn’t the caring, sweet type. In fact, she only knows what the rest of her cult-following fan base of her fairy tales book The Hazel Wood know about her. Miraculously, a schoolmate just happens to be one of those fans, and the only person who may be able to help her find her mother. As they make their way to The Hazel Wood, her grandmother’s estate, they start to learn more about the fairy tales and her own story.

The Story

Guys, before I get to the content, can I just say that this book is so beautiful to hold in my hands.

Everything about this book emits creepiness. I LOVE IT. I don’t go for scary books, but this book has a serious undertone that embodies that of which Grim fairy tales had before Disney glossed them over. The best thing is that we aren’t just directly told that something is wrong. We are given beautiful metaphors or descriptions that increase the eerie vibe that surrounds the story.

“The first thing that hit me was the smell. A wet almost rotten scent, with something wild curling beneath it – something green. It crawled under my skin and set my heart to hammering.”

There were many moments where I had to stop reading if it was before bed because it just gave me the heebie jeebies….but in a good way. I did, however, have to stop the book for a few days, and it is only for one section of the book that I really drop my star. This book went down a rabbit hole in a very Alice in Wonderland feel that read like an LSD trip.

Across The Universe GIF

The pacing of the story was pretty spot on (until that one part, but by that time I was close enough to the end that it didn’t matter). I liked how the closer Alice got to The Hazel Wood the weirder the events became. It felt like I was slowly getting to the edge of my seat, increasing my anxiety for her. Also, the ending tied everything up nicely, but not in your typical happily ever after sort of way. Which was to be expected with how the whole book went.

One thing I didn’t like, that was fairly sporadic was how occasionally the prose included a line that sounded like a sailor threw in a line because a curse word just popped into the sentence. I am not sure while Albert did this? Maybe to attract a younger reader? Maybe she just speaks this way?

“I sat up, let a wave of dizziness pass, sung my feet to the floor. I could feel my muscles running over each other in funny, fucked-up ways, but the cool of the linoleum took the words of the hot throb out of my soles”

The World Building

I loved that the fairy tales that are mentioned in this book leak out into the more familiar world. That magical realism just added to the eerie vibe that the book provided. The biggest part of the world building was spent on the characters and what it means for Alice to get to The Hazel Wood and what she finds there. I won’t mention it here, because that would be spoiler-y. Let’s just say it’s like fairy tales on some bad drugs.

The Characters

I’m only going to talk about Alice here. Let me be frank, she’s sort of an ass-hole. When she receives help from her classmate, Finch, she treats him so poorly. Like here is a guy being so nice, granted he has his own motives, but still, he is helping you. Fortunately, her disposition is explained towards the end, but still, no excuse for being a dick. Sometimes she was so over dramatic about the situation. I mean, yes, her mom was missing, but really, sometimes I was thought, “oh, really?”

“And if she were dead – I believed this to the bottom of my being  – I would know it. She couldn’t die without it rending me in some way I would feel. If she were dead I’d be limping. If she were dead I’d be blind.”

That’s some sort of bond she’s got going with her mom if her death would cause her physical ailments. Just saying, over dramatic.

However, she has this great relationship with her mom. Again the way Albert writes out the relationship is phenomenal. Instead of just telling us that she has a great relationship, she shares past stories that describe and provide an understanding of how they work so well together and are best friends.

The Soundtrack

Bright Eyes – Sunrise, Sunset

 

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Bullet Journal 2018 Week 16 Spread

I don’t like to spend a lot of money on bullet journal, because, well I am cheap. But I thoroughly enjoy looking at supplies etc. I’d like to share someone who has a fantastic Instagram with little doodles, etc as well as tools you can use for your journal.

Week 15 April Monthly Filled in Spread

So since I accidentally didn’t get a shot of my weekly spread before filling it in last week aprilspreadand you have pretty much already seen it, I thought I would show the mess that my monthly spread has turned into. I am always so self conscious about how these end up looking because, damn I just love how it looks empty. But who wants an empty life? Honestly, I write a lot of stuff down and it still doesn’t follow through. I am trying to be better about that, but I think my intention is what matters for me. Obviously get things done is important, but I don’t necessarily want to stress about it either. What I am saying is that trying to have a perfect bullet journal where I do everything I write down to do is just too much. Sure I like organization, but I also appreciate flexibility in my life.

aprilfilled.jpg

 

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Week 16 Spread

Mixing it up again this month. Stepping away from seeing my life expressed mainly in when I am working.

wk16

 

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

Do you like my new spread? Do you use your BuJo daily? Have any fun bujo hacks? Who do you like to follow on Instagram? What types of tools do you use?

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20 Questions Book Tag

Yay another tag! Thank you to Amy from  A Court of Crowns and Quills for tagging me in her 20 Questions post. Be sure to check out and follow her blog as well as her beautiful Instagram @acourtofcrownsandquills

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1. How many books is too many books in a book series?

I’m going to say anything over 7 is definitely excessive. My natural response is to say anything more than 3 because we all know that things in stories come in three, but sometimes you just need more, am I right? When authors start throwing in novella’s sometimes I don’t have any care to really read them though. At some point, I just want something fresh.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

I think if a book is good enough, you shouldn’t need a cliffhanger to make you want to pick up the next book. However, sometimes I relish in the, oh-my-gosh-what-happens-next feeling. So, let’s just say that I am for them.

3. Hardback or paperback?

A book is a book is a book. I don’t care what format it’s in. I like the aesthetic look of a hardback, but let’s be real, we take those dust jackets off anyway. What I don’t like are the mass produced paperback books that have tiny font and margins so small that you have to crack the book in half just to read the inner words. I read in the dark as I go to bed too, so I like to just lay sideways with my kindle on its side and just fall asleep reading.

4. Favorite book?29236299

For the longest time Pride & Prejudice was my favorite book. I read it about every other year. I would have to say that Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is currently my favorite though. It’s the type of book that I read twice in a year. I love that reading the physical copy and listening to the audiobook just provides for a well rounded experience.

5. Least favorite book?43615

This was really easy for me. The Gunslinger by Stephen King was by far the most confusing, weird book I have ever agreed to read. It’s one of my friends favorite book series so I am not sure if I will ever read the rest of the series, but if you asked me right now, I would say no, never.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?

Yes, ifit’s done well. Here is what I hate from this particular trope: one corner of the triangle gets treated very unwell, good vs bad, and flightiness – meaning the character is essentially cheating on the other two corners. If a character has two potential love interests and actually picks one, and the other side bows out then great!

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?33123849

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman. This was an ARC I received via Netgalley and I just couldn’t finish. It was so boring and Tess just wasn’t a likable character.

8. A book you’re currently reading?

I like to read multiple books at a time…sooo.

Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey
Hunted by Meagan Spooner
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Uhm, I clearly like some particular authors. LOL.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?227941

Jemima J by Jane Green. This is a chicklit book from so long ago that meeting someone in a chat room was still a new concept. This chick basically catfishes a guy by saying she is thin and then he wants to meet so she has to actually lose all the weight. I actually really liked the book and what it showed about appreciating yourself and your own body.

10. Oldest book you’ve read? (Publication date)14935

Since Romeo & Juliet is technically a play I am going to go with Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen. Not one of her most beloved books, but I definitely adore the story. I absolutely love Colonel Brandon. ❤

11. Newest book you’ve read? (Publication dat)35140574

Assuming that future releases for an ARC doesn’t count, then The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson. Which was a peculiar story about a world where almost everyone is born with a twin, and if the twin dies they succumb to a rage because part of their soul is basically gone.

12. Favorite author?

Again, one of those fluctuating things. Right now I am going to have to say Susan Dennard, because I love her Witchlands series so much. Like, so freaking much.

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

I love having the books, but I am cheap as heck, so borrowing books, from the library because mine is fantastic. My library has a huge collection of physical books, ebooks, audiobooks. It’s also a part of a web of libraries so I can have a book transferred from one location to the one closest to me and ready for me to pick up. Love it.

14. A book you dislike that everyone else seem to love?10429045

Shatter Me by  Tahereh Mafi

WHYYYYYYYYYY.

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks all the way.  But honestly, I don’t care what you do to your books. If you want to highlight and write in the margins and fold an entire page in half, by all means, it’s yours. If I lent you my book and you defaced it, I would never let you borrow a book again.

16. A book you can always reread?25883848

So many. But to be specific and not repeat my favorite book, I will say The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. This book reads like a favorite rom-com movie to me. I just adore this book. I would say guilty pleasure, but I know I am not the only one this book has sucked right into.

17. Can you read while hearing music?

I prefer to read while listening to music. If you don’t know I try to pair my books with a song that would lead a soundtrack. I know some authors create playlists that pair with their books sometimes, but I prefer to listen to whatever mood the book puts me in to make it my own experience. Also, small everyday noises distracts me, it’s also a huge deterrent for people to talk to you while you’re reading. 

18. One POV or multiple POV’s? (POV’s = Point of views)

I can go either way. So many books these days have multiple POV that when I do find a book that has a single POV it’s actually quite refreshing. However, sometimes having that extra POV just adds to the complication of a story.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

Usually multiple days. That’s mostly because I have such a busy life AND I read multiple books at at time. However, from time to time I can devour a book in one day. Most recently being Sky in the Deep, which comes out on 4/24/2018.

20. A book you’ve read because of the cover?

25181955

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell

Because I am a sucker for pen and ink art. divider

Tag you’re it!

A Science Girl in a Fantasy World
Hammock of Books
Teacher of YA
Peaks and Pages

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Down the TBR Hole 10

This was originally made by Lost in a Story, and is such a fantastic idea. Here are the instructions:

Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
Order on ascending date added.
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?

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The Books:

15993203Book #46

The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman

Date added: April 12, 2016

Regency plus some paranormal elements? Raises hands, okay, yes please. I don’t remember adding this book to my TBR, but it’s certainly staying.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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23592175Book #47

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

Date added: March 28, 2016

Oh man, that cover is ridiculously eerie. Unfortunately, the plot also sounds eerie, and that usually doesn’t float my boat. Nothing about it really catches my interest.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

 

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28260587Book #48

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5)

Date added: March 28, 2016

I know, I am THAT behind. What kind of SJM fan am I???

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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27064385Book #49

Ivory and Bone (Ivory and Bone #1)

Date added: March 28, 2016

As pretty as that cover is…this sort of sounds boring and a little confusing. The fact that very few of my friends even finished the book says a lot too.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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25556709Book #50

Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

Date added: March 28, 2016

Autobiographies and memoirs just aren’t my thing. But, I absolutely adore Anna Kendrick, so it goes without saying that I am going to keep this on here.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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Starting TBR shelf total: 437

Total books kept:  3  out of 5

 

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

What do you think of my decisions? Have you read any of these books?

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The Hero of Ages

2767793The Hero of Ages (Mistborn #3) by Brandon Sanderson

2_stars

With Ruin released into the world Vin and co. must accomplish impossible feats to survive and save everyone from the end of their world.

 

 

 

The Story

Okay first of all. I actually finished this book quite a while ago. I was so angry and disappointed with the ending that I just couldn’t care less about writing the review. Yet here I am.

Whyyy. Why was this so boring? Seriously Sanderson, longer does not mean better! Each of these books were so dense that I wanted to rip out my red pen and cross out and circle all the bits that were redundant and send it back to the editor. I simply can’t get over how unnecessarily long these books are, to the point that I have almost zero desire to pick up any more of Sanderson’s books.

I think that really got me was the ending. When it came down to the final scenes I was like what? All the characters deserved a better ending, because it was pretty lame. Really, in my head I pictured some cloud fighting another cloud. I know what you’re thinking…what?

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The World Building

I was so happy to still get more world building! Unfortunately the structure that Sanderson introduces in the first book where we get a little information at a time because characters’ chapters are cut off, or simply because a character just wouldn’t say anything (like Human) made it almost unbearable. All I wanted was an explanation, but Sanderson added 300 extra pages prolonging the story and world building.

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The Characters

I think what really kept this going was the focus of the underdog characters’ stories. In this book we finally find out much more about the Kandra race. However, TenSoon’s chapters were short and so few that I was so disappointed. Spook also was featured much more prominently in this book, and provided a lot of what could hook a reader, but some how still came across as a dullard.

There are so many characters that contributed to the story though, yet their stories made the book actually hard to push through. I couldn’t stand reading the civil interactions between newly wed Elend and Vin, couldn’t find myself interested in Breeze in the slightest, and went from feeling bad for Sazed to just feeling annoyed with his whiny-ness.

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The Soundtrack

The Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet with Butterfly Wings

 

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