Red Queen By Victoria Aveyard

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Goodreads Summary here.

So here’s the deal: I really, really wanted to like this book. I really did. But I just didn’t. I reread this book (I read it for the first time in April of 2015) thinking that I might be able to see it with a fresh perspective, but I think I liked it even less than I did then. There are so many things about this book that just crawled under my skin and stuck there. I mean, I understand where all the hype for this book comes from… For one, the premise is AMAZING. That’s what initially got me hooked on wanting to read this book. But the contents were… disappointing. Like, I swear this book was written in cliches. Not just like, “bleh, I’ve heard this story before,” but in that way where the text I was reading felt like a thousand other books I’ve already read. It was full of ideas that have been used countless times before. And its so repetitive. every single word was just Mare saying, “oh boo-hoo, poor me, I have to disguise my true self, my life is hard, I cant let anyone see who I really am” etc, etc. There could have been beautiful descriptions of the palace, of the world, the gowns, the powers, even the people. Heck, I don’t even know what Cal looks like. But the writing just definitely fell flat to me.

Also, let’s talk about the relationships. There was a love square ?? Sort of ?? But not really ?? And Mare somehow doesn’t realize that one of the boys (I won’t say who for the sake of spoilers) loves her? There was absolutely no development of the romance in this book. There was “oh, and we kissed…” with NOTHING leading up to it. And then two chapters later, “oh, what an a**hole,” and then “oh, but we’re in this together.” I just… NONE of the relationships made sense, and there was just no emotion in any of them, and there was no growth in them. Suddenly all these relationships were just… there. Even the supposedly close, loving ones. Then there was that plot twist, the one that EVERY SINGLE PERSON has been raving about. It should have felt epic, should have been shocking, but to me it just wasn’t. Everything was just Mare being angry and Mare being frustrated, so much so that when the author DID try to put another emotion in, it’s completely overpowered. And sorry to be harsh, but Mare was SO EFFING ANNOYING. JUST SHUT UP, PLEASE. And this coming from me, the girl who had no problem with Eadlyn and America Singer.

In short, this book brought absolutely nothing new to the table, and could have been executed sooooo much better. It’s just so completely and utterly overhyped it’s not even funny. I have never found a book more overhyped than this one; this was a definite disappointment. I’m sorry for the (very) harsh review, but the hype around this book raised my expectations way too high, making me all the more angry when something I wanted to like so badly fell short.

(Yes, I still ordered the signed copy of Glass Sword from Barnes and Noble. Don’t ask me why. Maybe it’s the small hope that Victoria Averyard’s writing will have improved? I feel like this series could be redeemable… but the second book better be pretty effing spectacular.)

My rating: 2/5 stars.

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Top 5 Wednesday | Disappointing Eye Candy

Hey guys! I decided to join Top 5 Wednesday, hosted by Lainey over at gingerreadslainey on Youtube. Top 5 Wednesday is weekly meme with a new topic to discuss every Wednesday. All you have to do is just talk about your top five books in that category! (Simple and fun, right?) If you’re interested in joining, feel free to check out the Goodreads group.

This week’s topic is disappointing eye candy, so without further ado (from the least of the most disappointing to the most disappointing books)…

5. Madly by Amy Alward

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I definitely didn’t dislike this book (I think I gave it a 4/5 stars), but it just wasn’t memorable. This cover may actually be on my favorite covers list, but while the content was entertaining and different, it didn’t blow me off my feet like the cover did.

4. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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I had heard sooooo many amazing things about this book, everyone saying they bawled like a baby and that this story was so, so special. But to me, it felt fabricated and just didn’t live up to the hype. I’m actually considering getting rid of this one, despite the beautiful cover…. You can read my review of it here.

3. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

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Again, I had heard people talk about how beautiful the writing in this book was, and I figured that beautiful writing + beautiful cover = YES. But sadly, I wasn’t all that impressed with the writing, and the story was just a bit too weird for my taste. You can see my mini-review of it here.

2. November 9 by Colleen Hoover

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Just like all of the above, the hype drove me to this book. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t oh-so-spectacular. Whenever I look at the gorgeous, gorgeous cover, I really, really want to like this book more. But although I loved the beginning, it just slowly went downhill and I didn’t end up loving it. Trust me when I say, I wish I liked it more!!!! See my full review of it here.

1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

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Ah, Red Queen. The most disappointing of them all… believe me when I say this was the book I most wanted to like, but it just fell so, so flat for me. It was so, so sad when I realized how much I didn’t like this book. It’s one of my few 2 star ratings. Read my review of it here. (Beware – it’s very… passionate.) I just get a little sad when I think about how much potential was wasted in this one.

So, this sort-of kind-of ended up being a big fat list of overhyped books as well – whoops. Just remember – these are my opinions. I don’t mean to personally offend anyone, and I hope you enjoyed my little list!

xoxo,

Anna

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Mass: Thoughts, Feels, and OTPs.

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses16096824

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Genre: Romance/Fantasy

Summary: When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it… or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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This is a book that reminds me of why I love to read. Continue reading

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

alexandra-bracken-passengerTitle: Passenger

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Genre: Fantasy/Historical

Summary: passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

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HOLY. COW. This book was everything I hoped it would be, everything I needed it to be. I kid you not, I was sucked in from the very first page all the way to the end of the book (which was quite a bang). The best part was, I could never have predicted that ending. During the entire story, I was constantly questioning everything, never quite knowing where it was going or what would happen next. And my mind is completely boggled with all of the time travel logic… It was just so so interesting, and everything explained thoroughly. Continue reading

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh

18798983Title: The Wrath and the Dawn

Author: Renée Ahdieh

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: Fantasy/Romance

Summary: One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

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Omg… Can someone please get me the next book, like, now, please??

My favorite part of this book was the romance. Khalid and Shahrzad… *sigh.* I think I’ve just found my new OTP… (and if Tariq tries to barge in on this I will personally hunt him down). I felt so attached to both of them on such an emotional level, like I just truly understood their relationship. Actually, I really liked all of the characters… The author did a fantastic job of giving each their own unique personality, of making me love the protagonists and hate the “villains” (although they’re not just straight-up villains, obviously – they have their reasons).

Another thing I loved about this book was the atmosphere. The whole book had these magically secretive/mysterious undertones, and yet there were also moments where I felt so comfortable and content. There was danger as well as friendship; there were secrets as well as honesty. The book was a perfect balance of all the things I needed.

Of course I have to admit that this book had its flaws (for example: the big reveal didn’t seem like such a ‘big reveal’ for me, the writing was occasionally repetitive, and some word choice was questionable), but these flaws didn’t take away any of my love for the book. I would recommend it to anyone on the hunt for a unique, lyrical story; it has romance, secrets, plots, politics, friendships, and even action. It was a really well-written, beautifully executed book.

5/5 Spectacular Stars.

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All Fall Down by Ally Carter

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Synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She is not crazy.
2. Her mother was murdered.
3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.

As certain as Grace is about these facts, nobody else believes her — so there’s no one she can completely trust. Not her grandfather, a powerful ambassador. Not her new friends, who all live on Embassy Row. Not Alexei, the Russian boy next door, who is keeping his eye on Grace for reasons she neither likes nor understands.

Everybody wants Grace to put on a pretty dress and a pretty smile, blocking out all her unpretty thoughts. But they can’t control Grace — no more than Grace can control what she knows or what she needs to do. Her past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

Well it’s official. I will never stop loving Ally Carter. I didn’t know what to expect going into this book, seeing as the last time I’d read an Ally Carter book was probably when I was 11, and though I LOVED the Gallagher Girls then, I didn’t know if I would still be into her books. But boy oh boy, this book blew WAY past my expectations and then some. It was, simply put, amazing. It was a perfect blend of politics, friendship, and mystery, and I read it at the speed of light. Seriously. I was supposed to be doing homework, but I started this book this morning and ended it tonight. I loved it that much.

My favorite part of the novel was probably Grace. She was broken, determined, and yes, a bit crazy. But that’s what made her amazing. I never quite knew what was going on, if I could trust Grace or not, and if she really was completely coo-coo. And not in that annoying We Were Liars way, where I felt cheated by the author and the main character, with no real connection to the characters. I loved Grace and I rooted for her 100%. I don’t know how Ally Carter could write someone so complex, someone quite honestly crazy, and make the readers able to understand and see the character so clearly. And Grace’s little group of misfits and long-lost friends? It was a really well-written relationship between characters and a friendship I really enjoyed.

And that PLOT TWIST. I thought I had actually figured it out, I thought I actually knew what was going to happen, but just when I thought my beliefs were being confirmed… man, was I wrong. The direction changed completely, and just when I was beginning to understand THAT new direction, WHAM! The real, whole truth hit me like a rock. Suffice to say, I did not see it coming… And I was very, very impressed. The twist certainly set this novel up for an interesting sequel, along with some possible romance… 😉 I am DYING to get my hands on the next book, like, now. Like, I can’t even think of a single thing I disliked about this book. Sosososososo good.

My rating: 5/5 stars ◊

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

n9coverTitle: November 9

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publisher: Atria Books

Genre: New Adult Contemporary/Romance

Synopsis: Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

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There were things I liked about this book and things I didn’t. It started off with a bang, immediately sucking me into the story. The first November 9 was definitely my favorite. I especially loved how Ben and Fallon met. Just… hilarious and cute and amazing. But after the first November 9, things went a little downhill for me. Continue reading