Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Wrap-Up!










I went into this month knowing that I only needed to read six books to hit my Goodreads challenge, and I knew I wanted to make a more serious dent in my TBR list for the second half of the year. Also, my most anticipated release of the year was constantly on my mind--FROZEN TIDES CAME OUT ON THE THE 15TH! But more on that later. I ended up reading 14 books. So, let's do this! 


Only Ever Yours by Louise O'Neill
This book is horrible. And that's great. It reminded me a lot of The Handmaid's Tale, but it's a dystopian that follows characters through a future where women are artificially engineered solely to fill one of three roles -- wife, prostitute, or teacher (these aren't the terms O'Neill uses, but they're similar without getting too in depth). The girls are ranked, and it follows a lot of the hatred that girls have for each other. I really liked that the main character didn't pretend to be something she wasn't. I loved this book. This spiel feels random and all over the place, and I might try to do a spoiler-included review in the future. But if terrifying dystopian futures, eating disorders, girl dynamics, etc. interest you, check it out! I gave it 4.5/5 STARS.




Winter by Marissa Meyer
I couldn't put my finger on what exactly I didn't like about this book until I watched Samantha from Thoughts on Tomes' review of it, and she said that it seemed like there was a "lack of sacrifice" in the book, and I couldn't agree more. If you haven't read it yet, I won't spoil it, but I was left needing more from this. I ended up giving this 3.5/5 STARS




The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas


This series is fine. I mean that, I don't hate it, but I don't look forward to diving back into it each time. In fact, its so arduous, that I tend to put off reading them. I did enjoy these novellas significantly more than I've enjoyed reading the rest of the series as a whole. I appreciated that Maas gave us more background on how Celaena got to be who and where she is. I wish I hadn't read this in terms of publication, but had read these before diving into the rest of the series. Overall, I gave this 3/5 STARS, but I want to add another issue that developed as I read these novellas. I don't think I like Celaena very much. I don't say I dislike her, but her overt and instant hatred of every other female in the entire world makes me see her as a mean girl. It doesn't help that I'm now significantly confused about some major personality traits and history of our main character.





iZombie Volume 1: Dead to the World by Chris Roberson and Michael Allred


I got this as a Christmas gift, and I was excited to get into it, because iZombie is, in my opinion, the best show currently on television. I love it. Go watch it, the first season is on Netflix. I went into this graphic novel knowing that it was significantly different from the show. However, I didn't adore this, I liked the artwork, and the style is true to the tv show. But a key point of the show is the tone and humor that just didn't exist here. There were too many characters, and I didn't feel the story or purpose. I gave it 3/5 STARS.





Their Fractured Light by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner


This was 3.5/5 STARS for me. I loved These Broken Stars. And in that book there were breaks between the chapters that were clearly tied to the story (they were debriefing interviews with Tarver, the main male character). In This Shattered World, these chapter breaks were random. And in this book, they made even less sense. In fact, they annoyed me, i rolled my eyes, they took me out of the story, and they hurt my overall reading experience. 

I'm trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but the 4 other characters from the other 2 books show up a little over halfway through this book, but Tarver and Lilac are basically non-existent in the conversations and tone of the book. I liked Sofia and Gideon, but you barely get to know them before the authors bring back the deplorable Jubilee and Flynn from TSW. It ruined this book for me, and I just didn't care after that point. 





Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes


If you've already read this, you can check out my SPOILER-FILLED review HERE, and obviously this was 5/5 STARS for me, or 105/5 STARS, whichever. This is the best book in the series so far. If you aren't reading this series, you're doing a huge disservice to yourself.





My True Love Gave to Me Edited by Stephanie Perkins

I'm going to do a story by story review for this book in another post, but I didn't love this compilation. The stories were kind of hit or miss for me, and I only enjoyed two of them. I ended up giving this 3/5 STARS, it was fine. 

 


The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright


This was a 2.5/5 star book for me, but I'm being generous to the author for the potential here. The writing wasn't awful, but the story was. The idea was a great one, but it just wasn't done in the best way. I'll expand on this more later, but basically this was a bad combo of The Royal We and the Princess Diaries, and the best thing this author could have done was edited more, or started the story from the 3/4 mark. The pacing felt off, and the ending was one of the most abrupt and unsatisfying that I have ever read. Another recommendation would have been for this to not take place in England. It made it so far outside the realm of realistic that I just couldn't get into it. It didn't feel properly researched. I would wait, unless you're into short stories, but I'd keep an eye out for the author in the future.



Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

I gave this 2.75/5 STARS. It was pretty *MEH* for me. I don't know if it was just the hype, or what, but it felt like a bad steampunk fanfic of Clare's main Mortal Instruments series. It was so similar that I occasionally confused the characters. I kept thinking Jessamine and Jem were brother and sister because they were so blatantly carbon copies of Isabelle and Alec. I'll keep with this series because I want to read Lady Midnight, but I'm not blown away.


The Andy Cohen Diaries by Andy Cohen

So I bought this book on Book Outlet, and then won a copy in a Goodreads giveaway that I don't even remember entering, so I ended up stuck with two copies of a book I gave 1.5/5 STARS. This was one of the most boring books I've ever read. Andy Cohen is famous because of the people he surrounds himself with and the TV shows he produces. However, this book is entirely about what Andy eats for dinner and his dog. He literally glosses over every single aspect of his life anyone would find interesting.


A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston

This book was phenomenal. It was truly strong and cinematic. I adored it. I gave it 5/5 STARS. I highly recommend it. It is an extremely interesting take on one of my favorite legends.


P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

I didn't like this one as much as I remember liking the first one, but it was cute. There was definitely some grown in Lara Jean, which was my biggest complaint about the first one. I did really enjoy getting to see more of Lara Jean's life outside of boys--she spends time at the nursing home that is briefly mentioned in the first book, and it really adds to the story. And Kitty definitely grew on me in this installment too. I gave it 4/5 STARS.



The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

This had been pitched to me as one of the best books ever. Every single person I talked to about it, every review I read, everything just sung praises. And it just wasn't. The narrative was off balance and didn't fit the characters. Although the language was beautiful, I just couldn't get into it. I gave it 2.5/5 STARS


Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid

This was just...ugh...it was trying to be about ten things, and it was successfully none of them. I was bored. I was annoyed. I rolled my eyes more time than I can count. Every single character in this entire book was a manic pixie dream girl. Even the boys. I gave it 2/5 STARS

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This is normally where I post my pre-orders, but since it's the end of year, I'm working on a full post of all of them, coming soon. 

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