All about Books
This is the page where I will be discussing what I'm reading, reviewing those books and be open to suggestions to keep adding to my To Be Read pile. Honestly, I'm never going to get through that thing anyway, so the more the merrier.
The second and final review is one I'm very excited to discuss. This is the author's third book.
Aside from the two POV's making some of the story drag a bit near the end, I honestly can't think of anything I really disliked about the book. The first time I read Radio Silence, I read it in a handful of hours and related to it so much at the time.
Reading I Was Born For This for the first time was a similar experience. Minor spoilers to follow, though I've done my best.
As usual, there were various references I understood and loved- maybe at times it also helps being English? The instance that internet friendships are real, even though online and real life might be different was a really important topic. I loved Angel and Juliet's friendship, as well when they meet Bliss and have this really adorable trio. :)
I also kinda have a strong love for the trio that are Jimmy, Rowan and Lister, known to Angel and everyone as The Ark. The reality that they know compared to the fandom of other people was such a strong part of the story and really made me think about what it must be like, at times, for celebrities I admire, and how people can go from being anonymous one day to known all over the world the next. It also pointed out how fandom isn't everything in life something else which is an important point. Also enjoyed the Joan of Arc quotes, many of which I'd come across before.
Bonus points to Jimmy having an amazing granddad and Angel having parents who care about her. Even more for again Angel and Jimmy having a simply platonic friendship, however strange and unlikely it turned out to be.
My most favourite part of the book turned out to be how highlighted- in a positive way- the aspects of faith, mental health and sexuality are in a person. Angel is a Muslim. Jimmy is a trans, gay, Christian with severe anxiety. Other characters are also on the LGBT+ spectrum. Of course, while several things were different from my experience, I'm just going to ahead and say what an important thing this is. None of these things made the characters- they had their own personalities, but they added to who they were as people.
And as a Christian with social anxiety and depression, I just...I'm so glad this wasn't glossed over, that I felt really heard and related to Jimmy in those ways. Before I became a Christian, I always thought how Christians never had any issues and things were more or less perfect for them.
Haha, old me was so naïve!
Once again, Alice Oseman has written a fantastic book with characters I love and, at another, different stage in my life, can really relate to in many ways. As I did with Radio Silence. So all the stars to I Was Born For This. I'm very much looking forward to what book 4 brings! :D
All the best and happy reading. :)
So these two book reviews are a little late but at least they're still in the same week as I'd originally planned. :)
In this review, I will discuss my own experiences, as others have on Goodreads.
I honestly expected this one to be a rant, but managed to find some things in it I liked. See, I understood Elise's desires to fit in a lot. The first day of a new school year, getting new workbooks and having that feeling of 'This could finally be a good year' were always present- for about the first week. But I was that teenager.
The bus incidents were also something I could highly relate to- and I felt so much sympathy for Elise in those moments. But not for much else. So I'm going to continue with the positives I found first.
Vicky and Mel were great characters. I loved every scene they were in and was glad Elise had them around. Also, this book is both YA and has present parents/family in. Yes, you read that right. They care about Elise a lot and want the best for her.
In wanting to escape her school life and world, Elise finds being a DJ is something she's good at- something unique in a YA book I actually enjoyed reading about. And the song choices were ones I'd either heard of, or else now have new music to listen to. :)
I'm torn by the ending of the book. I know suspending belief sometimes is of course natural, but still. Maybe people get some kind of happy ending like that, and maybe they don't. I'm inclined to think not.
Alright, here we go. After the first two chapters, I was only reading it because of the money paid, else I think I might have just straight up thrown it away. They were so problematic for me in terms of how Elise doesn't experience everyone liking her immediately, despite her efforts to change. Something doesn't go her way, she thinks everyone will forever hate her, so she decides to take the next 'logical' step and kill herself.
I'm sorry, what??
Not only that, but she goes through several options and decides to ring someone from school after for attention and admits it. Again- what? Yes, she's been bullied for years. Yes, I can highly relate to it, but it seemed to me like Elise thought herself too highly for others and didn't really want to make friends with anyone. She certainly didn't act like it, despite the summer changes she'd tried to make. Elise's actions on the first day of the new school year do not mirror anything I ever desperately did to stop the bullies from bullying me, even when I knew it would never work.
I left school with mental health conditions I didn't have names for at that time, which only worsened at my first college until I myself thought about committing suicide. Thankfully, I had support around me- even when I didn't think I did- that pulled me out and helped me learn to cope and see my true worth wasn't in other people's opinions of me.
Being at rock bottom like that remains one of my worst days. I can't imagine what it's like to be in that place often.
So it makes and angry and upsets me when I read a book where characters like Elise just throw around mental illness like it's 'cool' and describe minor annoyances as their 'worst days ever'. I know it's different for everyone, but still. I hated those initial chapters. Rarely, do I ever use the word 'hate' to describe a book. There you have it.
I just generally couldn't stand Elise's attitude to other people. Being friends with Sally and Chava because she felt they were less than her, and just using them.
The moment she snapped at a guy she's only just met and who asked her a music question and then was all like 'don't question my music tastes.'
At one point trying to be a 'good' older sister to Alex by destroying something she had worked on so hard...Alex who is a young child. I couldn't understand any of that at all.
Elise just needs to grow up fast!
My final issue with the book was the romance, because the majority of YA books have to include it *rolls eyes* I hated the so-called romance. Char was a horrible, jealous so-and-so and I don't know why anyone would find him attractive with a personality like his.
So, there's my review. I don't think I'll be reading it again. I'm glad I could relate to some things and that parts were well done, but overall, I can't find myself to be too enthusiastic with all the problems I had with it.
I hope someone else enjoyed the book more than me. I'm genuinely happy for you in that respect.
All the best and happy reading. :)
Today I bring you my three outstanding book reviews and so decided to put them in a round-up again, because it's easier than individual posts to get lost in the void or something. So without further ado, here we go.
- A Thousand Perfect Notes
- Queens of Fennbirn
It took me a while to pick this one up, but when the 2nd one was released in small, same-sized paperback as this- and the 3rd due the same treatment releasing later this year- I knew I should get on with it. Also, due to the cover being red, when you hold the book closed, the lines of all the pages are the same. I love it when that happens. The same has happened with the 2nd book, being blue and it makes me want to read it more. :)
After the initial few chapters, I found the beginning slowed and it was one of those books where it doesn't feel like things are happening too often, but still oddly wanting to keep going? So that dropped a star.
But eventually, I found a rhythm, found I cared quite a bit about most of the characters I was supposed to and disliked those I was also supposed to. The people in this book aren't all one-dimensional either and sometimes their actions surprised me. I really felt bad for Kellen a lot of this book- as a writer, I'm fully aware of making things hard for characters and then keeping on with that. But so many times, I just wanted the guy to catch a break, you know?
It was also a pretty hilarious book at times, with my kind of sarcasm. And I enjoyed the magic system and world building that went along with it. I think Spellslinger has done some good set-up for Shadowblack, which I'll be taking on holiday next month. I was in a bit of a fantasy slump and I think choosing to read the book now- for whatever reasons- has helped me out of that. :)
I've been following Cait's blog for about three years now and the whole of book Twitter went crazy when she announced her first book was being published. Firstly, I should say that A Thousand Perfect Notes has trigger warnings for verbal and physical abuse.
In real life, that cover is even more pretty. I love the colour scheme and the close up of the butterfly wing. It in a way reminds me of those dead insects that get pinned to walls, as gruesome as that is. So I read the book all in a few hours and only stopped for food. It's a definite re-read. And speaking of food, this is a very Cait book with the food- there always had to be a cake scene and it really made me hungry.
Despite their terrible home life, Beck and Joey are such great siblings and I loved their scenes. I don't remember much about being a 5 year-old myself, but Joey is such a bundle of energy and joy. I have such a soft spot for her. Beck seems like a typical Hufflepuff, so of course I want to protect him, but at least he has August for that. Though their mother is a very detailed and complex villain, though it of course doesn't excuse any of her behaviour.
And I adore August- who got Beck to open up, who doesn't care about what others think about her, and whose family are so wonderful in stark contrast to Beck's mother. They're all so warm and open, and that's before I get to the animals. Because that part made me cry- all of these otherwise abandoned animals that get a second chance due to what August's family do for them. Maybe that's because I have a degree in animal behaviour, but I'd love to be able to do something like that or something one day. A long shot, but anyway, I digress.
It isn't all sunshine and rainbows, of course, but there are hopeful moments in there. Though I both cried and laughed through the ending, I do think it's positive after all.
Next year, Cait is releasing her second book, unrelated to A Thousand Perfect Notes, and I'm also excited for that and whatever she writes next. :)
I would definitely at least read Three Dark Crowns before the novellas, as there are a couple of spoilers in the first novella.
The Young Queens- 4.5 stars.
I loved this one, seeing the queens as sisters and friends, before they were separated due to their destiny. They were really sweet as children and it also describes their birth and a certain something that happens at the time. Reading through the scene where their guardians collected them was so heart-breaking and the aftermath of it for each queen was so different, but I suppose it came down to the families looking after them.
It was also nice to have some of the gaps filled in from big past events from the first book. The end scene with Jules finding Camden as her familiar was adorable and the time frames between things also helped. I also enjoyed what, to me, felt like tiny bits of foreshadowing for the third book of the series.
Of course, it would be nice if they could have stayed the kind of triplets who have each other's backs for life, but then, they'd be no story.
The Oracle Queen- 3.75 stars.
While I did think it got off to a slightly slow start, I loved finding out the real story behind the last ever oracle queen- because of course, legends are always just that. But Elsabet's true story is so tragic and I just wanted to take her out of the story and protect her.
It didn't come as a surprise that a certain main family line has always been crooked and out for their own ends, even all the way back in Elsabet's time.
It was really great to see how different Fennbirn was from this time into the Fennbirn we know from the island that Mirabella. Arsinoe and Katharine live in.
Overall rating for both novellas- 4 stars.
These novellas were a nice addition to the main series and I enjoyed finding out more about the world of Fennbirn. It was also nice to be back in the world, even for a short time because I'm really excited for Two Dark Reigns when it's released. :)
And that's all for today. All the best and happy reading.
When Daughter of the Burning City came out last year, the debut novel by Amanda Foody, it was everywhere. As with a lot of YA books that come into the UK, I had to wait a bit longer and finally got around to it late last year.
I really enjoyed it and highly anticipated Ace of Shades being released. Well...I enjoyed it more, and think I've found one of my favourite reads for this year! Pre-warning: Now I'm going to gush. A lot.
As usual, I'll do my best to keep this review spoiler free (and trying really hard because it's amazing! Go read the book!) so I'm going to have to choose my words very carefully. I also don't usually add GIFs in my book reviews but feel this needed it in places. :)
The first thing I have to point out is Ace of Shades has been compared to Six of Crows- a personal favourite duology of mine, as I've made no secret of. I get why this comparison has been made, but I think their similarities are limited. I see them as two very different, very enjoyable books.
First up, I loved the details about all the different gangs and none of them felt less dangerous than others or like they were just an excess of people. I really don't think I'd survive long in New Reynes, but hey, I say that about most worlds I read about. But the descriptions of, well, everything were so detailed and rich that I could definitely see it while reading.
Oh and there's a map! I love it when books have maps. And the City of Sin guidebook stuff at the start of each day were really fun too.
Now, the characters. Enne's transformation from prim and proper, finishing school girl to managing to adapt to life in the City of Sin was so much fun. I feel like some of her reactions early on would definitely be mine, but I guess you've got to blend in to these kind of situations to survive, right? And the way Enne managed to inject her own choices into situations where she had none- and basically turned into a badass- where so much fun to read about.
Levi is smart and sarcastic and fun and way too precious to live where he does. (Why do I say that about half the characters I meet in books??) Sure, he has power in some ways, but seeing him really struggle at times under the weight of that and the bad side of it isn't something I've come across much before. It made Levi seem way more human.
Other favourites definitely include Lola and Jac. I never knew what to make of Lola and all my assumptions about her, I think, were wrong. Mostly. She's great. I also want her and Jac to be my friends. (Again, I need to stop collecting imaginary book friends wherever I go!)
Also concerning Jac, re-read the second half of the first sentence I wrote about Levi and there you have it. Though part of that is because I see some of me in Jac. He totally seems like the natural choice for Hufflepuff, so that's obviously why we'd get on so well! :)
Dare I say it, I also like Vianca. Yes, he's dangerous and very scary, and no, I wouldn't want to be trapped in her office alone with her for a moment, but I like her. I'm thinking of her good points too, but honestly, I did enjoy the nervousness I felt when she was around and the magic she possesses, even if it's a horrible thing.
Yes, in real life, I'm a pretty typical Hufflepuff- but I'm sure, when it comes to reading and my own writing about the 'evil' characters, I'm just a Slytherin hiding in Hufflepuff clothing.
Actual footage of people's reactions when I tell them this
I'm joking. But I do enjoy well written villains- they're supposed to make you squirm and feel scared and all that. Vianca certainly does for me.
Overall, I highly enjoyed my time in New Reynes and it was worth all the extra waiting. Ace of Shades deserves all the stars and I am excited to go back when the second book, King of Fools, comes out next year. Until then...
All the best and happy reading. :)
Hi, I'm an animal lover and have a degree. You can usually find me either reading or writing. Failing that, I might have actually ventured into the outside world...