I have a good feeling about 2018 as far as reading goes (not quite sure how everything outside of reading is going to go, but we’ll see). 2017 saw me start my bookstagram/book blogging adventure, so now its really go time to see how well I can do with this new hobby. I set myself a reading goal of 75 books, but that goal isn’t set in stone. I’ve never actually counted the books that I read in a year, so this is more of a guess as to how many I think I read and to see if that’s really true!
Also, in the last few months I’ve gotten so many new books, I had to buy another bookshelf! Now I’m up to 3.5 bookshelves, and they are mostly full already. I don’t want to say that I won’t buy books in 2018 (which would be impossible since there are so many interesting new books coming out this year) but I do want to kind of cut back on my book buying habits. I know that hardbacks are usually so much prettier than their paperback counterparts, but the paperbacks are soooooo much cheaper, so when I do buy books (other than new releases, because who can really wait that long until the paperback version comes out?) I plan on buying almost exclusively paperbacks.
Here’s to 2018 and a great reading year!
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actual rating: 2.5
Don’t get me wrong, this book is enjoyable and I’ll continue the series but I definitely had some issues with it.
For one, I HATED how America just strung along Maxon and Aspen, like just pick one already! It’s definitely not a love triangle that’s enjoyable to read, it just makes America come across as indecisive and immature. One minute she’s all about Maxon, then he does something she doesn’t agree with and runs off to Aspen, and vice versa.
The plot with the rebels still just really doesn’t make sense, although I’m still holding out that it’ll get better and be explained in the next few books.
Some of the other plot points just feel like there’s something missing, almost as if there’s another book that I should’ve read before this that explains more. For example, the “war” with New Asia was supposed to be scary and nerve wracking, but they come back and say they just walked around meeting people and then left, and the rebels are trying to get ahold of some sort of information and want to end the selection, which I’m assuming is because they know more of the history of the country than we as the readers know.
I just feel like some things aren’t being explained quickly enough to really get me invested into the book, although I did buy the box set so of course I’m going to finish them all anyway!
Definitely something more to just pass the time that to really get invested in.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Actual rating: 3.5
I really liked reading about these characters, and I love how America is able to put herself first instead of just falling head over heels in love with Maxon right away. I really felt bad for America when Aspen broke up with her, because I did feel that they had a connection. I’m also sorta rooting for her and Maxon, and I just have to know who she chooses! Although, considering how many books there are I feel like she chooses Maxon.
The world building was a little lacking, but maybe we get more in the next books? It definitely felt like they were leaving some things left unsaid on purpose so it could be discussed later, like why the rebels are attacking.
This plot seems to be pretty similar to Red Queen, a lower class girl starts to fall in love with a Prince, and even the names are similar. Maxon and Maven, America and Mare. And both books have rebels attacking the palace. I did enjoy Red Queen though and I really am enjoying this one as well. For that, I’m giving it 3.5 stars, because I did really enjoy the book, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about the similarities. Definitely more of a fluffy fantasy book, but still enjoyable!
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I liked this book a lot more than I thought I would! The characters were all so lovable, and I loved how the women in the story didn’t just let the men do all the tough stuff and actually contributed to the plot. I definitely identified with Jane’s love of books (obviously) and how she would rather be reading than anything else. I flew through this book in about a day and a half because I just couldn’t put it down!
I thought that the plot was interesting, and I went into it thinking that it would be a sort of serious historical fiction novel, but it was definitely not that! The authors definitely put their own twist on the story of Lady Jane Grey, and it was so enjoyable and hilarious that I actually laughed while reading the book, and that almost NEVER happens!
The action and the romance in this book were written so brilliantly and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series! This book definitely deserves the hype that it has been getting, and its been one of my favorite books of the year!
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The main characters in this book were fantastic! I loved how they evolved and grew as the book went on, with Zivah doubting herself and coming to terms with her illness and what she needs to do in order to save her people. It was also really interesting that for most of the book, Dineas was basically two people. The secondary characters didn’t really have a lot of personality or background so it was hard to get a read on them. It was hard to tell if Arxa was actually a bad person or if he was just doing his duty, and the prince didn’t really have any backstory to give us more information on his actions.
I love fantasy books and this one was definitely completely different than anything else I’ve ever read. I loved the world and how we get information about the creatures that live in the different areas through Zivah’s healing skills, and I thought the inclusion of Dineas’ crows was really interesting and different.
I really liked how this book was easy to read and didn’t add in any unnecessary words or descriptions like some fantasy books can do, it just got straight to the point with plain language.
Basically they are trying to stop the Amparan Empire from taking over their people and lands, and for a lot of the book it seems that they aren’t really working towards that goal. It almost felt like they would be into their own lives and then suddenly remember what they went into the Empire for. That could be because Dineas doesn’t remember the mission for most of the book. For me it actually worked because it felt like the plot was more character driven than anything else.
I definitely was entertained and was interested in the book the entire time, even though I have a ton of other books calling my name I knew I had to finish this book to see where it left off, although with the ending I wasn’t really craving more so I don’t know if I will continue on with the next book.
Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This is my first review using Book Roasts’ rating system. So far I like using this system because it makes me think more critically about the books I read instead of rating based on emotions. This system should make my ratings more in line with how I actually feel about the book as a whole.
Dinah was very bratty and didn’t really seem to grasp the issues and tension happening around her. She knew her father hated her and was violent, yet didn’t think that he would want to kill her. She didn’t seem to be able to make connections between Vittiore and Faina, which in my mind, was something that she should’ve been able to see. She was also very self-centered and only thought about herself, never thinking about how her half-sister may feel about being thrust into royalty. The secondary characters didn’t really stand out to me, we never got any sort of backstory or personalities from any of them.
I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland, so I’m not sure how true to the original this retelling of the Queen of Hearts is, but I definitely did enjoy the atmosphere and the setting.
I liked the authors writing style, it was very simple and easy to read, which made this book a quick read for me. There wasn’t really anything that stood out to me as fantastic though.
The plot was okay, its really a lot of Dinah hating her father and her sister, and having tantrums about how she doesn’t want to deal with them. She loves Wardley, but I really don’t get that feeling of love for him and it feels more like she loves the idea of him. It almost felt like there really wasn’t any clear plot lines, the real action happens in the second half of the book, where Dinah sneaks into the Black Towers and finds out her father wants to kill her. Then she escapes. That’s pretty much it.
If this book had been longer, I don’t know if I would’ve finished it. I don’t think I’ll be continuing on with the series, because I just didn’t feel invested in the characters and the story.
From Dinah’s perspective, everything makes sense because she is so preoccupied and invested in her own thoughts and feelings that it could be plausible that she doesn’t notice the connections that appear easily to the reader, even though the plot takes place over the course of a few months, during which she forgets things that she made a point to notice and wonder about, such as the mountain symbol in the tunnels. It just didn’t seem logical to me that she wouldn’t put two and two together, because she does seem like a smart character she just doesn’t use her mind for anything.
I kind of enjoyed the book, although it’s not something that I will think about afterwards. It’s like reading the back of a cereal box, just something to do when you’re bored. Like I mentioned, I won’t be continuing with the series despite the cliffhanger ending, it just didn’t interest me as much as I had hoped. As far as a quick one day read, it was fine. It felt almost as though the book was unfinished and didn’t really have any emotions to it.
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh. My. God. Brandon Sanderson is a genius! This book was so amazing! I listened to the audiobook and I’ve never listened to one before, and this was a great introduction. I loved the plot and the magic system was extremely interesting. The characters developed and changed as the book went on, and if I had to choose a favorite character I don’t think I could do it because I love them all so much in different ways! I actually laughed out loud at parts of the audiobook because the dialogue between some characters was so witty and it was just…I really have no words that can describe how I feel about this book right now!
The ending was fantastic and Brandon Sanderson better get working on that second book because I need it in my life now. He is quickly becoming my favorite author, and I’ve ordered more of his books because his writing and the worlds he creates are absolutely fantastic.
DEFINITELY recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy or political scheming!
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Overall, I really liked this book. I read this in less than a day, which was really refreshing after all the week long reads I’ve had recently. I love Holly Black’s take on the Fae, and I feel like its more believable than other stories where the Fae are friendly and everyone is told they are dangerous, but they don’t really do much of anything to support that claim. My favorite character is definitely Jack and I feel so bad for him throughout the story for being looked down on for being different and an outsider in Fairfold.
I honestly really did not like Hazel at all. 10 pages in and I already knew that I didn’t like her because she seemed so shallow and unemotional. She says repeatedly how she flirts but doesn’t care about what it does to other people’s feelings, and her brother Ben mentions as well how she is always breaking hearts but to Hazel its just something to do to pass the time. It just makes her sound so immature, and I feel like she doesn’t really develop past that point. She seems immature to me throughout the entire book.
I loved that instead of the girl getting the prince, its actually the boy who gets the prince and it was so satisfying to see that happen!
Overall, I definitely enjoyed this standalone book and can’t wait to read more of Holly’s books! Definitely recommend!
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow, trying to pin down exactly which bookshelf that I should put this on was hard!
Its a retelling of Achilles and the Trojan war, which, to be quite honest, I do not know much about. I’ve never really read a lot of Greek Mythology other than required readings way back in high school, so again, I don’t know how much of this is the author adding things in to make the story more interesting. I absolutely loved Patroclus and his relationship with Achilles, although I didn’t really like Achilles himself in this. For me, I wasn’t really invested in Achilles at all and I felt kinda “meh” about him the entire book. I feel like he took Patroclus for granted and at some points cared more about himself than he did about Patroclus.
I also really disliked Agamemnon, but if I recall correctly, I hated him when I had to read the play about him as well so that doesn’t really surprise me.
I’m giving this book 4.5 stars, because I really did like the story itself, but some of the characters annoyed me.
Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book was so fantastic and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book in the series! I totally thought I had it all figured out who the murderer was, and of course I was way off base, and it surprised me who the murderer really was. It took me a little longer than usual to read this book, but not because of the book itself. I seem to be entering into a reading slump. *Sigh*
I absolutely love the interactions between Audrey Rose and Thomas, they are definitely one of my favorite literary couples ever. They just compliment each other so well and I love how they bounce ideas off of each other.
The reveal of Thomas’ ancestry was also something that I didn’t see coming, and it honestly made me love him even more (if that’s even possible).
I highly recommend reading this series if you enjoy YA murder mysteries, because it’s fantastic!