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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Review: "A Court of Mist and Fury"



Happy Thursday, Booknerds!

 

I finished reading ACOMAF a few days after it released but put off posting up a review because of my mixed feelings. Once some of the disappointment about the direction of the book wear off I realized that I'd actually really enjoyed it, though unfortunately not quite as much as I enjoyed ACOTAR. To be honest, I considered changing the rating from a 3/5 to a 4/5 but upon further consideration I decided to keep the rating the same for now while I'm working out the rest of my "Ugh" over some of the disappointing bits.



~ Enjoy ~


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Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Genre: NA Fantasy
Publication: May 3, 2016
Pages: 640

Synopsis:
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.


 
Contains Some Small SPOILERS

The parts that I loved I loved with a FIERY PASSION!

The parts that I didn't love were very very disappointing. Some of this book read like a poorly crafted erotica. I was not impressed.

I am in no way opposed to sex in YA books, but this level is NA plain and simple. *shrugs* It's not about being a prude or against sex in general, which I'm not. It's just audience and appreciating that there are some in said audience that are taking the YA rating at face value. I might also be a little sore over the fact that I want NA to have some genre fiction in it and I don't understand why they excluded ACOTAR and ACOMAF.

Not only that, but some of the steamy bits were too cliche. The flirting was AWKWARD. It felt like I was watching a virgin teen (Feyre) trying to be sexy with a much older more experienced man like they'd seen people be sexy on TV. That didn't fit her! It didn't fit their relationship! She's in control of her body and knows what she wants, why does it have to come off so stilted? I don't know, I think it was their flirting that made it the most weird.

Crappy flirting and fanfictiony sex scenes aside....

All the OTHER parts - The preparation for war, the magic, the espionage, the understanding of self, the friendships, and the healing from tragedy. Those were awesome. The storyline overall was phenomenal, just like ACOTAR.

Readers will see Rhys in a different light, Maas makes sure of it. You won't be able to hate him by the end of the book unless you're just a diehard Tamlin fan... in which case it's important to remind you that (SPOILER) he's a psycho and practically destroys Feyre with his psycho-ness and ends up becoming the villain. *claps* Yay for plot twists!

Unexpected, but handled in a pretty cohesive way. So woo. Feyre's trauma and healing process were given due attention, but other characters who had experienced just as much horror were given their right to be messed up... AND HEALING. That was one of the things I liked about Rhys/Feyre/Amren/Mor/Azriel/Cassian. They were all damaged and struck by hideous events in some way, but they were recovering and WANTED to recover. It means something to them to heal and continue to dream and have a future, which was not only powerful but very very sweet. I loved all of them.

I'm definitely cheering for Feyre/Rhys (there's clearly no other option now anyway), but also some of the other couples that fly out of thin air at the end (Lucien/Elain for example).

I suspect that someone in their band is going to die. Nothing about these books are "happily ever after" oriented so I'm preparing myself for it in the next installment. I don't think Maas is going to be so malicious that she'd kill Rhys or Feyre (again) but you never know. The slogan of this book could very well read: "Fairytales are dead". So, you know, with that kind of atmosphere anything could happen.


"To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys." 
Rhys clinked his glass against mine. "To the stars that listen and the dreams that are answered."

 


Let's Be Friends!



Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far - Giveaway!


Happy Tuesday, Biblionerds!


Why don't we bring in summer officially with an awesome giveaway?!
Summer Dreaming Cash

June 21st to July 15th


An awesome group of bloggers and authors have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!

One lucky winner will receive…

$250 Amazon.com Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash

I'm one of the sponsors for this wonderful giveaway. What does that mean? It means that anyone who follows me on Instagram or Twitter gets entries!

Follow my Instagram and Twitter accounts for entries! 

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Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win and possibly enjoy some extra money in your pocket!  What would you do with an extra $250 cash this summer? 

Thanks to these fabulous Sponsors!!

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Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

I've managed to get my hands on quite a few AWESOME 2016 reads already. Last week we talked about the books we're anxiously anticipating for the SECOND HALF of 2016, but what about all of those lovelies that we went gaga over for the first half? That's what this week's TTT is all about!

This week's top ten topic is:

Top Ten Favorite 2016 Releases So Far

(Click the Cover Image to visit the title's Goodreads page)
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"Nightshift" by Charlaine Harris - I hadn't gotten around to reading the other two books in this series until this year, but I adore Harris and I was NOT disappointed. I zoomed through all three and really enjoyed this particular one, the third in the series. Can't wait for the next one!

"The Inn Between" by Marina Cohen- A short-cute MG that helped kick off the reading year. I haven't gotten in too many MG novels quite yet this year, but this one definitely set the tone!

"Jane Steele" by Lyndsay Faye - I absolutely loved this and I didn't think I was going to. If anything I was expecting to experience "mild enjoyment", but I zoomed through it joyfully. Wonderful "retelling"-ish story featuring a unique main character that I won't soon forget. 

"The View From The Cheap Seats" by Neil Gaiman- Neil Gaiman. Non-Fiction from Neil Gaiman. That alone is enough to make this one of my favorite books of 2016.

"The Invisible Library" by Genevieve Cogman- Technically not a 2016 release because it was published previously in the UK, BUT I had to wait until this month to get my hands on a copy from my bookstore, so it counts. Can't wait to read it! 

'A Court of Mist and Fury" by Sarah J. Maas - Though it didn't QUITE live up to my expectations, it was still a FABULOUS read and I'm looking forward to the next one in the series. 

"The Gallery"by Laura Marx-Fitzgerad - Haven't had a chance to read this one yet, but it's near the top of my TBR because it sounds SO WONDERFUL. It will most certainly be one of the most BEAUTIFUL books I've purchased this year.

"Unhooked" by Lisa Maxwell - Peter Pan Retelling. Haven't read it yet but it's one of the books I'm looking forward to getting to the most (I own it and its staring at me constantly). 

"Everland" by Wendy Spinale - Another Pan Retelling. BRING THEM ON BOOK UNIVERSE!

"Stars Above" by Marissa Meyer - I finished both "Cress" and "Winter" this month so I'm clamoring to read the continuance and see what's going on with all of my loves

What 2016 books have you loved so far?



Let's Be Friends!



Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Review: "Eleanor and Park"



Happy Monday, Bibliophiles!


This past weekend was BUSY, but so great. Enjoyed spending time with family and chatting about all of the wonderful plans being made and changes that wait ahead for each of us.

Summer is almost officially here (Tuesday, people!) and then it's going to be the final stretch before life changes forever and hubs' and my little "We" becomes "Three".

#TomeTopple read-a-thon ended yesterday! Did you participate? How did you do?! Check out my results here.
 

And finally, for or your Monday enjoyment here's my review of "Eleanor and Park" by Rainbow Rowell.  (Segue Empress is present.)


~ Enjoy ~


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Title: Eleanor and Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication: February 26, 2013
Pages: 328

Synopsis:
Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor
... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.

Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


I can't believe I waited so long to read this. I'm not sure what I was expecting... something a little more cotton candy than this, but I'm glad it was as honest and bittersweet as it was.

Rainbow Rowell is very honest about her characters and their struggles/desires/vicories.  Relationships are already hard, but when you're just beginning to navigate them in a world where you have limited power over your decisions and circumstances it's a battlefield of emotions and angst. Being a teen is hard. Being a teen in love is hard. Throw in trying to come to terms with who you are as a person while dealing with an INCREDIBLY difficult family life and you've got a recipe for absolute hell - but it's the kind you want battle through, to get through, with someone.


"Even if we can't find heaven,  I'll walk through hell with you" - I didn't hear this song until after I'd read Eleanor and Park, but it seems like the right kind of song for them both who want so badly to just be in love without all of the mess that's coming at them from all sides.

I didn't really date in high school and I never didn't fall in "love" with anyone until much later in life but I count myself lucky because, seriously, the crushes were bad enough. Rowell's timid and passionate relationship between two like souls who live in very different worlds is the kind of story we naturally want to hear (love conquers all), but she delivers it in a way that's keeping us emotionally tied up. We have no more idea what will happen than the Eleanor and Park do. We're in this with them, but have no idea what the end looks like. This isn't a fairytale. It's not a formulaic romance novel. It's life. It's messy and difficult and for some people it's down right dangerous... but still we love. Desperately, hopefully, purposefully.

It's a sort of anthem to life.

A bit gritty and dark, but full of life and hope too... from both sides. I definitely appreciated that the end was a happy one, because I don't know how I would have bounced back from this book if it had closed in sadness or with a sense of profound emptiness where nothing was resolved and everything just ended. The somewhat open ended leave off was comforting - they have a chance. Despite everything they have a chance and that's all they need. They may not end up together forever, first love rarely ends that way, but at least they get the gift of that opportunity. It closed up everything with a bit of a "Happily Ever After" sort of tone.

Charming, harrowing, funny, honest, intelligent, and full of hope. I really enjoyed this one.
 


Let's Be Friends!



Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.


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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Top 10 Books I'm Anticipating


Happy Tuesday, Biblionerds!



There are a number of books I'm still anxiously awaiting to be released in 2016! There are so many books every year that I want to get my hands on, even though I have an extraordinary TBR pile already.

Here are a few of my most anticipated releases for the remainder of 2016 - They're all YA and MG. Go figure.




Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

This week's top ten topic is:

Top Ten Books I'm Anticipating for the Remainder of 2016

(Click the Cover Image to visit the title's Goodreads page)
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"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" by J.K. Rowling - Being part of the generation that grew up with Harry Potter (literally. I was 12 when the first book released in the States and in college when #7 released), I'm ecstatic that the story is continuing after all of this time. At nearly 30 years old, I'm still the rabid fan I ever was - and I feel this book will be a particularly rewarding read. Being able to continue to relate to Harry and the others as a parent (not of teenagers, but still) will be tremendous. Literary friends are your forever friends, and it's going to be like catching up after a long time apart. 


"Strange the Dreamer" by Laini Taylor- Once you read the synopsis, you'll understand why I'm freaking out over the release of this one.

"Strange the Dreamer is the story of:

the aftermath of a war between gods and men
a mysterious city stripped of its name
a mythic hero with blood on his hands
a young librarian with a singular dream
a girl every bit as perilous as she is imperiled
alchemy and blood candy, nightmares and godspawn, moths and monsters, friendship and treachery, love and carnage.

Welcome to Weep."


"Stealing Snow" by Danielle Paige - Another brilliant synopsis - Reality and Fantasy collide, where else? But in an Asylum. Hot dang. 

"Enter a Glossy Web" by Mckenna Reah Ruebush- A bunch of kids are on a magical adventure through time to rescue stolen family and solve unsolvable mysteries. Check! 

"How to Hang a Witch" by Adriana Mather- I'm always curious about a story of witches and the persecution of people groups based on belief and aptitude. It's a macabre interest that stems from a keen desire to feel continuously outraged by ignorant people. I don't understand myself sometimes.

'The Haunted House Project" by Tricia Clasen - "The Haunted House Project is a journey through loss and grief, but ultimately a story of hope and self-reliance. As much as Andie has been changed by her mother’s death, the changes she makes herself are the ones that are most important." - Who can say no to that? Really.

"Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard"by Rick Riordan -Rick Riordan. Norse Mythology. 'Nuf Said.

"The Scourge" by Jennifer A. Nielsen - A plague is sweeping the land, and a young girl gets caught up in its nasty clutches, only to discover that there's more to this disease than she originally believed and there's something more unsavory than the sickness that the girl and her new friend must vanquish. 

"The Forgetting" by Sharon Cameron - Every twelve years, everyone loses their memory and the only way to remember what you're all about is to check in with a book you've written your history in. Of course, history can lie. Enter the one girl who NEVER forgets and knows all the secrets and all the lies of in all of the histories that have been written. Trouble is coming!

"The Peculiar Night of Blue Heart" by Lauren DeStefano - Then one seems like a fluffy and potentially creepy middlegrade, and I do enjoy those. On the list!

What books are you anxiously awaiting?



Let's Be Friends!



Auggie is the 29 year old whirlwind owner of Auggie-Talk. A bibliobibuli by nature and a (potentially obsessive) lover of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. Not so secrety secret: She's been known to consume too much caffeine leading to hyperactive rants about her heinous lack of shelving and the high likelihood that Hermione Granger is her spirit animal.

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