Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Reading Wrap-Up

Well, it's the end of the month and I read a lot of books! I have decided to start a new, recurring blog post where I will be summarizing the books I read during the month and what some of my thoughts were. I have been very much looking forward to doing this post, so I hope you enjoy.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J. K. Rowling

My Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts: I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan! So, naturally, when I found out that there was going to be more content, I jumped all over it. THIS SCREENPLAY IS FANTASTIC (pun intended). I read this after I had watched the movie version a couple of times, and it was just like watching it all over again in my head. If I had read this screenplay before I had seen the movie, the experience would not have been the same. I definitely recommend reading after you have seen the movie. It also has a beautiful cover, which is a plus. If I could give this book 100 stars, I would.

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

Series: Throne of Glass #4

My Rating:  ★★★

My Thoughts: I did not love this book as much as other people have. I am, faithfully, a Chaolaena shipper and Sarah J. Maas seemed to have crushed my dreams with this book. Some of the character development was a little off, but the world building was great. Celaena Sardothien continues to be a kick-ass heroine and, honestly, the books are worth reading for her alone. I am still looking forward to reading the next book and finally being caught up on the series.

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

My Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts: At the time of reading this novel, I found it enjoyable. It was witty and funny, the cast of characters were interesting, and the band aspect was really cool. I read “The Vacationers” by Emma Straub and loved it. Her writing is very distinct and lovely and I saw glimmers of that in this book as well. However, looking back now while writing this review, I haven’t found this book to be that memorable.

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #3

My Rating:  ★★★★★

My Thoughts: THIS SERIES IS JUST AS ADDICTING AS EVERYONE SAYS IT IS! I have no idea what it is about these books, but they are absolutely intoxicating. I really like all of the characters, especially the female lead, Rose Hathaway. She is so bad ass and snarky… I love it. Dimitri is the definition of a book boyfriend… I understand why everyone loves him so much. And… boy oh boy, did this book end on a huge cliffhanger. ENOUGH SAID.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill

Series: Clash of Kingdoms #1

My Rating:  ★★★★

My Thoughts: This was a great first book to a new fantasy series. Not only that, but it’s a great author debut. I am really impressed with Erin Summerill’s ability to create an interesting and exciting fantasy world. The two main characters, Britta and Cohen, are really cute and you root for them to be together. The romance in this book is a slow burn and it works. My only negative thought is that I need more world building. I know this is a series and it’s not official how many books there will be, but I still feel like I don’t understand all the rules. This book, too, has an amazing cliffhanger ending though.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Series: The Austen Project #4

My Rating:  ★★★

My Thoughts: Let me start by saying that despite my 3 star rating, I really did love this book. I have to love this book as something on its own though… not as a Pride and Prejudice modern retelling. Liz was a fantastic narrator… she was funny, hard-working, and very family oriented. The rest of the cast of characters were great too. Jane was thoughtful, Mr. Bennet was stubborn, and Mrs. Bennet was pushy and annoying (in the best way possible). I also like the inclusion of diversity in this book. Obviously, Pride and Prejudice was written in the early 1800’s, so the diverse characters that were introduced in this book would not have been possible back then. With all of that said, I did not think this book was all that true to the original. Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorite books. I have read that book and watch the movie adaptations many, many times. I did not enjoy the relationship between Liz and Darcy as much as I wanted to and on top of that, Liz didn’t seem to be as strong-minded and sharp-tongued as in Pride and Prejudice. It was for these reasons, that this book was taken down a couple stars for me.

The Magician King by Lev Grossman

Series: The Magicians #2

My Rating:  ★★★

My Thoughts: This was a re-read for me as I was preparing for season 2 of the AMAZING TV show based on these novels. I loved being back in Fillory… it always reminds me of The Chronicles of Narnia books, which is never a disappointment. After reading this for the second time, I am still confused on some of the rules of this universe. The book covers such a span of time, it’s hard for me to keep up even though I understand the reason for it. However, the magic system still manages to be amazing and Quentin, Eliot, and Janet are as great as ever. I still hate Julia though… she is so unlikeable.

Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger

My Rating:  ★★☆☆

My Thoughts: The plot of this book is literally about 3 friends who make a pact to try and get married by the same time the following year. They spend half of the book complaining about not finding the right guy and the other half of the book sleeping with as many people as possible. This book was just terrible. The only reason I finished the book was because I was listening to it on audiobook and it was rather short. There were some humorous moments throughout, but not enough to make me interested in any of the actual plotlines.

Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Series: Vampire Academy #4

My Rating:  ★★★★

My Thoughts: Not as amazing as the previous 3 books in the series, but it was still pretty damn good. I liked being able to travel to new areas and meeting the new characters introduced. I found some of the plot to be a little hard to believe, but I love the characters and the writing so much that it really didn’t matter. I can’t wait to continue on to the last two books.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Series: My Life Next Door #2

My Rating:  ★★★★

My Thoughts: Great companion novel! This book took two under-utilized characters from “My Life Next Door” and brought them to life. There are twists and turns, much like in the first book, that kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s actually quite impressive that Huntley Fitzpatrick is able to write from a teenage boy’s perspective so well. Even though this book was told in duel points-of-view (POV), I really only found myself compelled when it was in Tim’s POV. I found him to be so dislikeable in “My Life Next Door”, but this book made me fall in love with him. I will continue to read anything that this author writes, happily!

Adventures from the Land of Stories: The Mother Goose Diaries and Queen Red Riding Hood's Guide to Royalty by Chris Colfer

Series: The Land of Stories

My Rating:  ★★★★

My Thoughts: These are two short stories “written” by two of the fabulous characters from “The Land of Stories”, Queen Red Riding Hood and Mother Goose. Each story read so true to how these characters were built within the actual series. They were hilarious, easy to follow, SO MUCH fun, and these short stories were no different. If you are looking for something short and entertaining, these are great companion materials to an equally great middle grade series.

Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks

My Rating:  ★★★★

My Thoughts: I was so surprised by this book. I have read many Nicholas Sparks books; some of his books are great and some are just super repetitive. I actually found this novel to be very different than most of his other works. While there is still a love story, it is not the main focus. I would say that this book is really about a man and his relationship with his daughter. Russ is a great character and is written as the ideal husband. He was so likeable and you rooted for him the whole time. His wife, Vivian, was the complete opposite. I found her to be so despicable at times to the point where I really wanted to stop reading sometimes. This is ultimately the reason for me giving this book a 4 star rating. Overall, I would recommend this book. I know people are hesitant to read Nicholas Sparks books because of how predictable and monotonous they are, but I really think he has grown as a writer and branched out to some newer topics. 

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