Wednesday, December 9, 2015

November Wrap-Up + December Pre-Orders!

First, I actually had this post ready to go by the end of November, but it didn't save for some reason, so I had to re-do some reviews, etc. But, not big deal. I read 10 books in November, and it was kind of a back and forth month. I did get through some books I've been putting off, or had picked up and set down previously. But for every good book I read, I read an ok book. Let's just get into it:

Ash & Bramble by Sarah Prineas

I was so excited about this book, are you kidding? A feminist re-telling? Heck! Yes! Except that's not it was. At all. This book follows a backstory-less heroine, Pin/Pen, and at the beginning you find out that she has no memories of her life before being a seamstress in the Godmother's fortress. I had such high hopes, but the lack of any memories means that you have no personality to connect with the main character, and when anyone says they love her, or they know her, it makes no sense because she doesn't even know. She just seems stubborn, and they use that word to describe her about fifteen times. The story itself is super predictable, and it took me more than a full month to get through. Needless to say, I didn't love it. I gave it 2/5 STARS.

The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

I was really, really excited by the description of this book. It seemed like a new, creative take on dystopian, and an actual reason to focus on teenagers in a dystopian world. But then the book came out and I started hearing not great things, and I got scared. Well, it turns out that the bad reviews were there for a reason. This book wasn't great, and it made very little sense. Also, there are a few moments in the book where I'm fairly certain the author copied and pasted conversations from previous chapters. I plan on doing a full review of this book soon, as soon as I get over the trauma. I gave this 1.5/5 STARS. Also, if you've read this, frigging goats?!?

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

This is basic Gillian Flynn. I really enjoyed it. I obviously wish it was longer, because I'd love another book by her. I was on edge throughout the story, and a portion truly freaked me out. Flynn's writing definitely draws you in. I felt like I was slightly left hanging, not in her true fashion--hence wanting it to be longer. I gave this 4.5/5 STARS.

Illuminae by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Wow. Just. Wow. First of all, as I'm sure you've heard--this book is stunning visually. There is a lot of art with words throughout, and I adored the different shading and type. The story was good too. I felt connected to characters who I only knew via instant message. I didn't love the ending, and if you had asked me what I was going to rate it up until the 80% mark, I would have said 5/5, but I felt the ending was a little convenient. And I ended up giving it 4/5 STARS.

Fairest by Marissa Meyer

I didn't want to read this. I'm just going to say that. I hate novellas. I don't like spending money on novellas, and I was annoyed about it. But, I convinced myself that there had to be a reason this book was printed in full in the middle of a series and not just a Kindle Novella. If we're being honest, I didn't see the point while reading it, or immediately after reading it. I didn't love it, and I gave it 3/5 STARS. In my mind, a novella should truly add something to the story, and this just didn't. It was well-written, similar to the rest of the series. But this story basically covers Levana's every day life. I will add a note here, however, having finished Winter in the first week of December--you need to read this to understand aspects of Winter. I am more annoyed by this than by a pointless novella. But there are characters introduced and expanded in this novella that you will not understand unless you have read this novella.

Splintered by A. G. Howard

I bought this book because the font is purple. That is the only reason. I generally get annoyed with Alice in Wonderland re-tellings because I don't think they're very creative. And I wasn't wrong with this one. There were some darker elements that could have been real winners, and left me more confused than anything. Also, there were moments that were blown up to be huge plot points that didn't pan out. Finally, it took me a lot of strength to get through this book because of the severely misleading portrayal of mental health treatment. It was painful and offensive, and made less sense than if the author had been realistic and focused on psychotropic drugs, etc. I ended up giving this 1.5/5 STARS. As you'll see below, I pre-ordered the third book in paperback because it was $4 on Amazon. So yes, I'll be continuing on with the series because I'm a sucker for a book deal. And purple font!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

The first book in this series was one of my biggest surprises of the year. This book was another surprise. I really liked this continuation of Marguerite's story. I adored the use of Theo and Paul throughout the varying dimensions. I could not be more pleased with a love triangle than one where there are countless different versions of a person. I'm mildly obsessed with all the twists and worlds here. I kept thinking the story was leading to certain predictable twists, but it would swing in another direction--and I was occasionally legitimately surprised. I liked the exploration of the ethical dilemmas in this installment. I had to dock it a star because the actual basis for the traveling in this book felt contrived and confusing, I'm still not sure of the basis for certain motivations. I gave this 4/5 STARS.

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I needed to read this, I needed something light, and fluff, and I got exactly that. This was a super quick read, even though it was about 400 pages. If you like Sophie Kinsella, it's exactly what you would expect from her. I gave it 4/5 STARS.

Rook by Sharon Cameron

On Goodreads I said, "This was a punishing read. If I were to rate it on how much I enjoyed the overall experience, it would be a -7." And I stand by that. I ended up giving it 2/5 STARS, but I put this down so many times that I lost count. It was dry, the characters were barely people, and the world building was lacking. There were times where things appeared to be written in stone, but they could just be thrown away when it was convenient. I liked Sophia as a main character, because she was strong-willed, but that's basically all we knew about her. We knew she had made these sacrifices, etc. but the characterization throughout conversations just didn't back up who she supposedly was. The same goes for René, he was a dolt, and then charming, and then chauvinistic, and then a liar, and then a clever thief, and on and on. Again, the characters' personalities were barely there and changed depending on what was needed. I didn't enjoy this at all.

The Leveller by Julia Durango

My only complaint about this book is that it was too short. I would say another complaint is that the story felt rushed, especially the romantic aspect, but that goes back to it being barely 200 pages. I liked our main character, Nixie, and I wish we got to see more of her in action prior to the main storyline (again, what do you expect for something just slightly longer than a novella?), but I adored her wit and thought process throughout. I ended up giving this 4/5 STARS.


I have three books pre-ordered for December, and all of them are in a series, so I'll keep it spoiler-free.

On December 1:

Their Fractured Light by Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I loved These Broken Stars so, so, so much. I didn't love This Shattered World that much. I'm ready to get my hands on this book to figure out which way it goes. After reading, and being absolutely blown away by Aime Kaufman's Illuminae this month, my hopes are very high. And these covers! My Goodness!!

On December 15:

Ensnared by A. G. Howard

I have the paperback of this book pre-ordered because that's the format that I own the rest of the series in.

Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes

My most anticipated realease of the year. I need it. I'll probably pull an allnighter the day it comes. Just fair warning for those who follow me on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. I loved Gone Girl and Dark Places by G. Flynn....The Grownup, ummm, well.....okay then. Interesting......but for being about 60 pages, it got to the point....but other than this, I am an admirer of her stuff. And we have all bought and read books that we'd love to demand our money back from the Thanks for sharing these reviews. I'm always on the lookout for good reviews and bad ones (to save me some grief and money!)