Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz

Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe by Melissa de la Cruz
Published October 17, 2017
Summary on Goodreads

Buy Links:
Review:
I was pretty excited to read this one because 1) I tend to enjoy the books from the author and she hasn’t really disappointed me yet and 2) I enjoy Pride and Prejudice and thought that this retelling would be no exception.  However, I was sorely disappointed.  Clearly I’m not the only one because after reading this book, I looked it up on Goodreads and the rating was in the 2s.  I have never seen a book in the 2s before on Goodreads.  Most books are in the 3s and 4s range so having this book in the mid 2 range is pretty terrible. 

Other than the fact that this is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice, there was also a gender reversal which I enjoyed.  I thought that it was interesting that this time it was a female who plays the role of Darcy and is a self-made millionaire.  Unfortunately that was as awesome as it gets.  Darcy, her actual name in this book is Darcy, was a terrible character.  She was whiny, selfish, self-absorbed, shallow and very emotional.  I’m really not at all sure what Luke Bennet, the male version of Elizabeth Bennet, saw in her.  Literally every time she spoke, I cringed so hard.  She was honestly one of the worst characters I have ever encountered.  Plus she is supposed to be a self-made hedge fund manager or someone who is very high up in that industry but how did someone with that level of professionalism manage to act like such a ditzy Valley Girl?  It just didn’t sit right with me.

Another thing I really didn’t understand was why did everyone in Darcy’s hometown expected her to be married and have children by her age, which by the way, is only 29.  I thought that this book was supposed to be set in modern day and right now, no one expects that anymore.  Maybe when you hit mid-30s or something because of the biological clock in women but definitely not when you’re not even 30.  It just seemed incredibly bizarre and strange to me for that to be any sort of expectation.  Plus that expectation seemed to play a relatively major role in Darcy’s tension with her parents specifically her father.

Honestly there were just so many things in this book that seemed wrong to me and I’m really disappointed that Melissa de la Cruz managed to publish this book.  I usually enjoy her other novels but somehow this book seemed as if it was written by a prepubescent which is saying a lot.  This book had so much potential but it all came crashing down.  Hard.
Rating:

Saturday, February 17, 2018

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet

An Inheritance of Ashes by Leah Bobet
Published October 6, 2015
Summary on Goodreads

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Review:
If there was only word to describe this book, it would be odd.  This book was so weird.  It was definitely one of those books that drew me in because of that gorgeous cover.  I either love really colorful/obviously pretty covers or covers like these where it’s chromatic and simple.  And it was honestly a struggle for me to finish this book. 

I took this book with me in France and sometimes that can be a huge miss because while I’m traveling, it can be hard for me to focus on a single book and the last time I did this (ahem, Roseblood), I found myself absolutely hating that book.  This time; however, I didn’t hate the book but I certainly don’t love it.  I found it incredibly confusing and slow.  At the end of the book, I wasn’t entirely sure what really happened.  It was as if I was paying attention and then suddenly, somewhere halfway through the book, I lost track and suddenly the book is over and I got spit back out to reality.

Like I stated, the pacing of the book is incredibly slow which contributed to the slow development of the characters specifically Hallie as well as the world building.  From the beginning of the book, I’m made aware that this war was fought and won but not too much details on who or what they were fighting against.  It was also not really clear in terms of what the “Twisted Things” were.

For some of the plot twists, some were super obvious such as who exactly Heron was and others were definitely a surprise such as what happened to Thom.  However, the most surprising was the identity of the god in the story.  And honestly, when that was revealed, it felt like a letdown.  The author and the rest of the book amped it up to be this amazing thing and when I finally discovered what it was, I was more like “seriously, that’s it?”  It was certainly surprisingly – just a disappointed surprise.

I also wasn’t particularly fond of Hallie – she definitely had a lot of issues in terms of her family aka sister as well as her own social circle.  It seemed as if she was always struggling to get others to understand her which is why there were so many misunderstandings between her and the villagers around her.  I also found her to be a bit slow at times in terms of the progression of the plot.

Overall though, I didn’t particularly enjoy this book.  It could have had a lot of potential but I think the execution wasn’t done right.  Also, the writing style wasn’t one that I particularly enjoyed.
Rating:

Friday, February 16, 2018

Blog Tour: A Witch's Trial by N. E. Conneely

A Witch's Trial by N.E. Conneely
Published February 8, 2015
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
I love how fun and entertaining these books are – it’s perfect for the days when you just want to zone out and not have to think too hard in terms of what’s going to happen next for thrillers or lots of heart anxieties with those romances. 

Michelle is such an interesting person – she’s well-rounded which I really like.  I also like how she’s managing to gather a groupie without even realizing which includes creatures such as mermaids, gargoyles, werewolves, brownies, elves, dinosaurs, etc.  She’s also incredibly powerful and I like the plot arcs that discusses her background and her family.  The side plot with the other witch clans vying for her attention is pretty hilarious yet frustrating for Michelle. 

I also like Elron’s character a bit more in this book.  There are still a few times when I find him awkward but that’s to be expected since he is 1500 years old and is a bit ignorant of modern ways such as using the plants to spy on Michelle as a way to protect her.  Michelle is a witch and is really powerful so she is more than capable of protecting herself but I guess for Elron, he just wants some reassurance.

When the whole demon situation is revealed, I can’t say I was too surprised.  However, I was definitely surprised as to who the demon was using as its host body but I did have a slight inkling at the end of book two.  I am glad though that despite everything, I think that Elron and Michelle will come out of it fine in the next book.  The good thing about being so old is that you become wiser and Elron is definitely that.

Overall, I really enjoyed myself with this book.  I think I will try to finish the rest of the series but not in audiobook format since at the end of the day, I’m just not a huge fan of a man speaking in falsetto and listening to it for 22 hours.
Rating:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Video Review: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
Will be Published on March 20, 2018
Summary on Goodreads

Review:
Check out my new Video Book Review that I did on my YouTube channel, Shut Up & Read.  You will see that I have already published a few videos that are all book related from book reviews to compare & contrast and more!

SUBSCRIBE HERE: https://goo.gl/7oAl9f


Monday, February 12, 2018

Blog Tour: Fade to Us by Julia Day

Fade to Us by Julia Day
Published February 6, 2018
Summary on Goodreads
Review:
Thoroughly enjoyed this book despite a few little mishaps specifically with Brooke’s character but I’ll touch more on that later.

I didn’t really know much about Asperger’s and after reading this book, it prompted me to do a bit more research on it so I’m glad that it allowed me to learn more.  And after understanding more about this syndrome, I came to really enjoy Natalie as a character.  I found her refreshing with her honesty and her straight-forwardness.  I know it’s from her Asperger’s syndrome but I appreciate people like that.  It ends up avoiding a lot of drama because they’re upfront and open.  Unfortunately her being honest and open doesn’t mean the people around her was.

So, my biggest problem in this book was Brooke.  For the most part, I liked her but there were times when I found her impulsive that ended up leading to a lot of poor results.  For example, there was the whole incident with Micah.  What was the purpose in the fact that they were seeing together completely away from Natalie?  Brooke had some sort of excuse but it was so flimsy that everyone else around her tried to tell her otherwise.  But she was stubborn and the end results proved drastic.  And then on her haste to correct it, she decided to suddenly end things with Micah.  Again, without consulting Natalie, which also ended up terribly awry.  It was just so frustrating for me to read about Brooke making mistake after mistake where Micah and/or Natalie was concerned because for the most part, she came off as extremely mature and understanding. 

I also didn’t really understand the romance between Brooke and Micah.  There was definitely tension between the two and I could see the attraction but I thought it went too fast and too deep.  The camp was only for a few weeks and within a week or two, Brooke was fascinated with Micah and decided to go after him.  The same went for him and then bam, they were joined by the hip and willing to go all the way (in terms of feelings).  They somehow skipped the awkward stage of getting to know one another and randomly decided to commit themselves.  It just didn’t really seem to fit with their characters and age – they’re both 17.  So it just ended up being a bit on the unrealistic side.

However, despite the two things I didn’t really like about this book, I found the overall plot to be really entertaining and I enjoyed Natalie’s character a lot.  I also liked the musical theater aspect as well as the dynamic between Brooke and her mother.  I actually really liked how the author didn’t go too much into detail about Brooke’s biological father and try to justify the decision that was solely Brooke’s mother’s.  So overall, fabulous book and I really enjoyed myself.  I highly recommend it to those who enjoy YA contemporary romances.
Rating:

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