Miss Mayhem Kicked Some Serious Butt // Book Review

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Goodreads Synopsis: Life is almost back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and her best friend, Bee, has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can focus on the important things in life: school, canoodling with David (her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie), and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.

Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they’d rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can’t stay David’s Paladin unless she undergoes an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.

***Thank you Penguin Teen for sending me a copy of Miss Mayhem to read and review!***

My thoughts:

It wasn’t until I finished this book and realized that I now have to wait for Lady Renegades that I realized how much I enjoyed this world and the characters. It feels comfy and welcoming, and for whatever reason, it makes me smile. I think it’s the awesome contemporary-meets-magic-and-superheroes vibe that really makes me love the world. Continue reading

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Half Bad Wasn’t Half Bad // Book Review

 

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Goodreads synopsis:

Wanted by no one. Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

***I received a copy of this book from Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my thoughts on it.***

Phew. I have a lot to say about this book.

Let’s start of with…

What I liked:

The book features two main groups: Witches and Fains. Within the witches are different types: there are Black Witches (considered to be evil and hunted by the government), and White Witches (the good witches). Nathan is a Half Witch: his father is a famously evil Black Witch that he’s never met, and his mother is a white witch who died when he was young.

I found this story premise to be really interesting, which was a pleasant surprise. The White Witch vs. Black Witch plot wasn’t particularly new or original, but the world felt like something I hadn’t read before. The ideas were there, even if I felt like they weren’t all executed amazingly.

Also, I enjoyed the story a lot more as I neared the ending. With more action, the writing style flowed better than I felt it had in the first half of the book. I can’t really say I cared a particular amount about any of the characters (they didn’t quite feel real if you know what I mean?), but the story felt overall fresh and different.

What I didn’t like:

First off, I feel like this book was just a major case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I just didn’t mesh with the writing style. For the majority of the story, I felt like the author was just telling me the story, instead of putting me in it, showing me the world. I didn’t feel any connection to the characters; the whole story felt a little distant.

Also, the world development was poorly executed. The story features things like phones and televisions, but I’m still not sure on all the details of the world. For example, it doesn’t feel like the earth we live on, but I think it’s supposed to be? The main character, Nathan, talks about Wales and Scotland, but the world always felt unfamiliar.

The pacing of the book was just off. I’m not the type of person who judges books harshly on whether they’re boring or not, but the first quarter of this book? I wanted to pull my hair out, it was so tedious.

The entire first 130 pages of the book were just backstory, backstory, backstory. This was made even more tedious not only by the fact that I wanted to get to the story, but also because the entire time I felt like I was being told the story, not like I was part of it. It felt like someone was just laying out the facts in front of me; I didn’t grow a deep attachment to any of the characters and I honestly felt that I was wasting my time for the entire first third of the book.

Would I recommend it?

I can’t say I really enjoyed this book. There were numerous times when I was reading it that I just didn’t care, and if I’m being honest, I’m not sure that I want to read the next two books in the series.In my opinion, it wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad; it was meh. (Guess you could say it was half bad… haha). I just had a lot of small issues with it.

However, like I said earlier, I feel like this is one of those books that some people love and some people hate. So, if you’re at all interested in the book, I would definitely tell you to give it a go. You might love it! (I know that it’s one of Ben’s (from benjaminoftomes on youtube) favorite books.

My overall rating:

2.5/5 stars, rounded up to three on my Goodreads. 🙂

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HALF BAD SERIES GIVEAWAY!!

A couple weeks ago, I was stoked to receive an email from Penguin Teen. They asked me if I would like to read and review the first two books of the Half Bad series and (even cooler) promote a giveaway that they’re hosting! In celebration of the last book in the series, HALF LOST, coming out on March 29, 2016, Penguin is hosting a giveaway featuring HALF BAD, HALF WILD, and HALF LOST (all in hardcover), as well as A Penguin Teen tote. The giveaway ends on March 21, so go enter!! (The link to enter is at the bottom of this post). I enjoyed the books, and recommend checking it out if you haven’t yet! Below is praise for the first book and summaries and such. 🙂

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Title: Half Bad

Author: Sally Green

Release Date: March 4, 2014 (Hardcover),  January 13, 2015 (Paperback)

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Penguin | Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Synopsis:

Wanted by no one.
Hunted by everyone.

Sixteen-year-old Nathan lives in a cage: beaten, shackled, trained to kill. In a modern-day England where two warring factions of witches live amongst humans, Nathan is an abomination, the illegitimate son of the world’s most terrifying and violent witch, Marcus. Nathan’s only hope for survival is to escape his captors, track down Marcus, and receive the three gifts that will bring him into his own magical powers—before it’s too late. But how can Nathan find his father when there is no one safe to trust, not even family, not even the girl he loves?

Half Bad is an international sensation and the start of a brilliant trilogy: a gripping tale of alienation and the indomitable will to survive. (source)

Praise for HALF BAD

“Highly entertaining and dangerously addictive.” – TIME Magazine

“Genuinely engaging.”  –The New York Times

“Much more than a book about witches. Her page-turner is a ruminative exploration of the nature of evil.” – The Boston Globe

“What if Harry Potter were never rescued from his uncle’s house?….THAT story would be Half Bad and it’s a KNOCKOUT.” – Justine Magazine

“Have you ever had the thing where you’re so absorbed in reading a book that you try to keep reading it while walking around on the street, only to come close to being hit by a bus? I had a bit of that with the new young-adult fantasy novel Half Bad by Sally Green.” – io9

“Both gripping and surprisingly sophisticated” – The AV Club

“Sally Green’s Half Bad is the perfect novel for inspiring one to despise all of humanity or fall onto the ground and weep pathetically. Needless to say, it is an excellent book.” – Tor.com

“It’s refreshing…chances are, readers will want to revisit this world of witchcraft because, well, it’s not half bad.” – USA Today online

“With a memorable main character and its themes of good and evil, Green’s book deserves to stand out.” – Bustle.com

LINKS

RULES

  • US only
  • must be 13+ or have a parent’s permission to enter

PRIZES

The complete Half Bad series (Half Bad, Half Wild, and Half Lost), and a Penguin Teen totebag

 

↓ TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY, CLICK HERE ↓

A RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

(INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO ENTER A GIVEAWAY THROUGH RAFFLECOPTER)

February 2016: Reflections & Wrapups

It’s that time of the month again… (not THAT one… just my February wrap up haha). So, without further ado…

All in all, I had a pretty good reading month. 🙂

I read a total of seven books in February, all of which I really enjoyed. I’ll list them here (I’ll link the ones I’ve reviewed, yay).

  • Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn (★★★★☆)
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (★★★★★)
  • The Archived by Victoria Shwab (★★★★★)
  • Starflight by Melissa Landers (★★★★★)
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (★★★★★)
  • The Siren by Kiera Cass (★★★★☆)
  • The Love That Split the World by Emily Henry (★★★★☆)

I also participated in the Rainbowthon 2.0!!

And I did pretty well, if I do say so myself. 🙂 Over the course of seven days I read Salt to the Sea (see my review!), The Archived, Starflight, and The Raven Boys (which I also have a review of here). I’m really proud of myself for completing my first readathon, and I’ll definitely be participating in others in the future.

I received my first ARC in the mail!!!!!!!

I almost forgot to put this into this wrap-up… whoops. Simon & Schuster was soso nice to send me a copy of The Museum of Heartbreak by Meg Leder to review, which I’m really really excited about (you can read the Goodreads description about it here–it looks fantastic ❤ ). I also received Half Bad by Sally Green to review on my blog as well as promote Penguin’s GIVEAWAY for the series (go check it out, YAY).

And for the non-bookish parts of my month…

For some reason, I thought that joining track would be fun… ?

Just kidding (sort of). I’ve actually never run as a sport before (I mainly do dance), but I decided I wanted to try it out. I actually don’t suck at it! It’s been… interesting. Track is insanely fun on those sunny, warm days with your friends. But it being February and all, practice isn’t always the most enjoyable thing… Plus, track practice is seriously decreasing my available reading time, so I don’t know how I feel about that…

On the other hand, dance competitions (yay)!

I lovelovelove dance (even though I’m not particularly amazing at it), and this year I’m dancing a trio with two other friends of mine. We went to our  first competition of the season, and we got third place!!! It was just overall a really fun, exciting experience.

All in all, February was a really fun, exciting month. It felt good; I got things done. What about you? How was your February (reading-wise or non-reading-wise)?

xoxo,

Anna