what’s up, friends?
How are you all doing? I hope you are all taking care.
I just wanted to quickly write a little post about the eight books I read this month. I will only be talking about the books that I read for personal entertainment, but I will leave the links at the end of the post, to the books that I read and reviewed for blog tours or ARCs.
With that said, here we gooo:
1 & 2: The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter and European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss
It literally has everything you could ever ask for. Do me a favour and read the Goodreads blurb and then consider reading it, please. Because these books were such a fun time. I don’t really know how to explain these two books without spoiling the entire plot and the surprises that I got from not knowing anything about what these books are. So I am not going to tell you anything – just point you to the direction of Goodreads. What I loved about these two books (with one more book in the series coming out mid-to-late this year) is that the focus is primarily on the friendships between the women and the message that women can literally do anything. It is a Victorian-esque novel, and is written as though it is a contemporary of that time (this will make sense when you read it haha), and it has so many twists and turns; so many characters that you will know; is a mixture between historical/fantasy/sci-fi-ish. It was great and I rated both of them 4 out of 5 stars.
3. Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
What else can I say about this book that I haven’t said before?
I loved this book. I loved this book so much more than I expected. The amount of times I cried while reading this book has never happened in any other Sarah J. Maas book (okay, wait I lied. I totally cried in Kingdom of Ash). I know there is alot of mixed reactions with this book, like there is with any Maas book. But I loved it. I read it with literal heart eyes – it was so much fun and I loved every freaking second of reading it. I think I might even say that this book might be her best written work, yet? I know, controversial. But it was immersive, engaging, kept me on the edge of my seat. I was emotionally invested – so much so that I cried when Danika died as if it’s not in the fucking BLURB?!
The world building is not written the best, in the sense that, the first 150 pages or so is just an information dump to create this alternate kind of fantasy world. It would have been better if Maas could have interwoven the world building with the actual development of the story, such as what V.E. Schwab does in her Shades of Magic series (A Darker Shade of Magic was incredibly immersive and the world building was practically flawless). But other than that, so much love for this book and I am looking forward to re-reading it in the next year. I rated this book 5 out of 5 stars because I loved it so much.
4. A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Although I rated this book 3.5 stars out of 5, I think looking back now it’s more like between 2.5 and 3 stars. I don’t know if it was because I read this immediately after Crescent City, but the main female character freaking pissed me the fuck off . As well as the fact that the entire romantic and sexual relationship between the two main characters was built upon a kidnapping. Like, what the fuck? If you want to know what this book is about, here is the synopsis. All I want to tell you is that I found the female character, Cat, to be incredibly annoying in varying scenes throughout. Being sassy, constantly in a bad mood, sarcastic, blunt to the point of rudeness, ‘mysterious’ – does not connotate strength. And the constant saying/doing things in front of people and them being like ‘wow’ or stupefied by her knowledge/power, got annoying after the first twenty times. We get it. You are powerful and know stuff and keep secrets. And have heaps of trauma. The dialogue was also frustrating in terms of Cat. Who talks like that? Seriously, who? “Gah!, Gag!, Gross!” – no, please don’t.
I also have to point out the glaringly obvious issue of consent. Griffin ambushes and kidnaps Cat and keeps her tied to him with a magical rope (that in her power and favour with the gods, couldn’t break for some reason). Griffin would then get annoyed when Cat wouldn’t ‘let go’ of that fact?? Like mate, you ABDUCTED HER and just expected her to fall in line? okay.
But in saying that, I read this book in twoish days and it kept me engaged ALL THE WAY. And I most likely will continue the series just because I just want to know what happens and how Cat and Griffin navigate their (dubious) relationship and the threat of Cat’s mother.
5. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
So freaking cute.
This book was exactly what I needed at the time and I was absolutely glued to the pages. I fell in love with the characters, the storyline, the natural and organic way the two main characters’ relationship developed. It was just super freaking adorable and cute. Although I do wish the mother of Pepper recieved slightly more justice in the way that she treated Pepper like absolute shit. But the romance was pure and wholesome and the ADORABLE. The twitter aspect was, again, cute and it worked really well as a sort-of plot device. I just really liked this book alot. I rated it 4 out of 5 stars and it was so good. READ IT.
6. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
I would say it was a slight disappointment, but it wasn’t. It was everything I expected it to be. It was every YA contemporary beauty and the beast retelling just with princesses, aristocrats and other versions of various rich kids. I found the characters lacking any sort of emotional depth and the fact that the climax of the entire story was only given the last three to four pages which only emphasised the pacing issues of this book. I found it slightly hilarious that Jaya claimed that Grey and her were from ‘different worlds’ – sweetie, you’re a princess and he is an aristocrat; you are both worth millions of dollars and go to an elite boarding school precisely because you belong to the same world.
Even though it was just an excuse she said to Grey to break up (SPOILER THEY GET TOGETHER AT THE END DON’T WORRY), i still laughed. I think Jaya needed to have more on-paper character development. She is not the most likeable (which is fine) but her love for her family is incredibly strong. However, that love gets pushed to the side with the whole romance element. I think seeing more of Jaya’s and Isha’s sister-relationship building would have been so incredible but alas, that was not really the case. Also, the fact that this book is called ‘of curses and kisses’ you would think there would be more time spent on the actual ‘curse’ aspect of the plot. Nope. Bummer.
7. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
Perfection. Iconic. Legendary. Magnificent. Immersive. Engaging. Brutal. Honest.
Rin, the main character, is what I would call either an anti-hero, morally ambiguous?? Could also see this as a villain origin story. It’s so fantastic that I was blown away. This was a debut. A Debut. How the fuck? The writing, the world building, the character development, the fantasy element; everything was mind blowing to me. I originally rated it 4.5 out of 5 stars and I do stick with that rating, even now. Only because, there were some decisions that Rin made that I didn’t really think made sense…and I got super frustrated!!! And she was slightly more of a side-character, it felt like. But it is the first book in the series and I cannot wait to read the second and third book when they come out! (I can’t get paperback version of The Dragon Republic, so I have to wait until August for that!).
It was an incredible reading experience but be warned that there are heaps of trigger warnings for rape, sexual harassment, violence, graphic violence, racism, verbal abuse, physical abuse.
8. The Nowhere Child by Christian White
I’m sorry but what was this? Lazy writing? Yes. Bland, dull characters? Yes. Entire plot line literally depending on withholding information/refusal to communicate when this book could have literally been like 50 pages? Yes.
To say I’m disappointed would be an understatement. Not to say that this book didn’t keep me engaged…it did. But now I’M ANNOYED. The main character Kim/Sammy had literally no NO personality. She was nothing but a vessel, a pawn for the story to use her as the centre of its plot. Most of the interesting things occur off screen and then the story alludes to it. It literally ruined the climax of the story. I’m sorry, but this was a waste of time and energy. Considering it has won so many awards I was expecting it to have more nuances, complexities – to be engaging emotionally and intellectually. Instead, I was rolling my eyes for what feels like most of the time.
THE STEP-DAD COULD HAVE LITERALLY TOLD HER RIGHT FROM THE START. If the entire major plot point depends on only one character with-holding information pertaining to the fact THAT THEY ACTUALLY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE KIDNAPPING that’s pretty stupid since the cat was already out of the bag. I was expecting intricate small-town politics and gossip and betrayal and epic discoveries. That did not happen.
And the rest of the cast of characters? BLAND, BORING, I DIDN’T CARE ONE BUT ABOUT THEM???!! How did this happen? The only character i actually enjoyed was the biological father, Jack. At least he was given the time to actually have…emotions and a personality! Who would of thought?!
Yea, I don’t recommend this if you’re looking for a good thriller. But I did read it in a few hours so it is incredibly easy to read. So if you want just a super plain and quick thriller, then this is for you. I rated this 2 out of 5 stars.
And that’s it for today, friends!
Here are the other books I read as part of blog tours/ARCs:
- Magic Unleashed by Devri Walls (3 out of 5 stars.)
- Lab Partners by Mora Montomery (2 stars. Disappointment.)
Until next time, take care! Happy reading.
All the love,