Monday, August 25, 2014

Bout of Books Wrap-Up -- "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell and "Opal" by Jennifer L. Armentrout Reviews.

This was my very first Bout of Books experience, and I have to say, I enjoyed it. Not only did the book-lovin’ community on Twitter and YouTube help me push through to read more than I otherwise would have this weekend (especially the encouragement offered by @leahrosereads, @blog_gal, and @OhMagicHour), but the giveaways, and discussion on the hashtag was great. I really liked this challenge, and I’ll do it again.

All in all, I wanted to get through, best case scenario, four books:

·         “Between the Spark and the Burn” by April Genevieve Tucholke

·         “Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

·         “The Queen of the Tearling” by Ericka Johnson

·         “The Collection” by Shannon Stoker

I went a little off-book (pun intended), and ended up getting through the first two of those, and starting the third, but I also read:

·         “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell

·         “Opal” by Jennifer L. Armentrout
So I’m not entirely sure if it was a success—because I read four and a half books (more than my goal), but not the ones I included in my TBR. I’m going to call it a win anyway.

My review of “Between the Spark and the Burn” is in the last blog post, and (includes a giveaway for the first book in the set!), and I’ll be reviewing “Ready Player One” at a later date (and might also include a giveaway *wink-wink*), I didn’t get to “The Collection” and have yet to finish “The Queen of the Tearling”.

So I want to briefly discuss the two books I didn’t originally intend to read. Reviews after the jump!

 really enjoyed “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell earlier this year and I absolutely loved it. I was hesitant before delving into “Attachments” because “Fangirl” was my only previous experience with her. Also, “Attachments” is more new adult than young adult—and I’m not a huge fan of that genre. In fact, when I pick up a book within that genre, it already has an uphill battle with me, and “Attachments” quickly made it to the top of the hill.

It was a little fluffy, and slightly predictable, but I really appreciated this novel. The tone and writing style were interesting and not something I've seen very often. I was happy with the characters. My favorite thing is making a character’s flaws realistic, meaning the author does not seem to be writing it in specifically to add imperfection or be a conversation piece. Rainbow Rowell has written a cast of characters that are true to life, honest, funny, endearing, and made me want to know about each individual member's thoughts and story. My only complaint is that there isn't a series telling it from all perspectives.

Overall I gave “Attachments” by Rainbow Rowell five out of five stars.

“Opal” is the third book in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Quickly I want to say something about Jennifer L. Armentrout. She is not one of my favorite authors. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I generally try to stay away from her books. But, you may have noticed (if you’ve seen my Goodreads) that I’ve read the entire Half-Blood series and “Don’t Look Back” and have now read three of the five Lux books. I also own the first book in the Dark Elements series.

I normally give her books either three or four stars, so it’s not that I dislike them. I feel that Armentrout’s books are specifically designed to leave you with only half of a story in each book—requiring that once you delve into the first book in a series, you must finish it. Armentrout is the master of the cliffhanger. So, after purchasing “Obsidian” for ninety-nine cents a few months ago, I’ve been sucked in.

While I really liked the first two books in this series (giving them four stars each), I felt that “Opal” was a little slower than the rest. I am not a huge fan of the Blake storyline, and I am confused by this cult of Luxen. Another art that Armentrout has is using her chosen romantic story to keep the book exciting and moving. However, in this installment, Katy and Daemon’s romance is almost non-existent, and the writing for it is off-putting. For example, Armentrout write about Katy missing Daemon’s “kisses” and I almost threw up. It’s a little too childish of a phrase for me.

Overall, I gave “Opal” by Jennifer L. Armentrout three stars. I’ll read the rest of the series, but I’m waiting awhile before starting “Origin” because of my disappointment with this one.

What did you think of Bout of Books 11? Have you participated before? Don't forget to enter my giveaway for a free paperback copy of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" by April Genevieve Tucholke. It's a moving, dark, and poetic story of magic in an old house by the sea. : )

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