children · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The islands of Chaldea – Diana Wynne Jones

18107099| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Aileen was supposed to grow up magical – just like the other women in her family. Unfortunately, she’s just found out that the magic seems to have skipped a generation… but that’s not her biggest problem right now.

In her world, there are four Islands of Chaldea. The largest and most magical island has been cut off from the other three for decades – and is slowly draining the magic from them.

But now a prophecy has come to light. Someone from Aileen’s island will gather a man from each of the three islands, bring down the magical barrier, and unite them with the fourth island again. And according to the king, that someone is Aileen’s Aunt – who insists on dragging Aileen along. AND the boy Aileen is sure she’ll marry (one day); the local boy with more brawn then brain. Someone seems to want to stop them too… someone with an interest in keeping the Islands apart. But still, with magic on their side, nothing can go wrong. Right?

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My thoughts:

Okay, so I needed a book that was published posthumously so I could tick that prompt off in the 2019 PopSugar challenge. I had some trouble finding anything I wanted to read, but after some googling I eventually settled on this one. Written by Diana Wynne Jones and finished by her sister Ursula Jones after Diana’s death. Apparently Diana was and probably still is, a famous and loved author all over the world. She wrote children’s/YA books often with a Sci-fi and fantasy theme. I personally never heard about her before this, so I was going in completely blind with not much to expect.

Apparently, according to some of the reviews I have read, and I quote, “Ursula Jones did not do the justice of the potential of what this book could have been”. I kind of agree with Xylia, whose quote I have included. I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I agree that it doesn’t feel that completed.

It started out okay with an interesting story and plot line. But in the middle it kind of fell apart, lost my interest and in the end I actually struggled to finish it. Perhaps a great book for a younger audience, but I felt It was supposed to be something more. And it just wasn’t there. Kind of flat and two dimensional. Nothing I would recommend and unfortunately, nothing I liked very much.

 

 

Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Rhythm, chord & Malykhin – Mariana Zapata

26148083._SY475_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

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My thoughts:

I have to say that I really enjoyed this one, but I usually do when written by Zapata so why I expected anything less, I can’t say. It was funny, light and sweet. Just what I needed to take the edge of the stress I experienced in the beginning of July.

I love Zapata’s way of writing, which always seems to capture me right from the first word. She is the queen when it comes to slow burns and characters with many layers and this is certainly the one to top the list. It was almost a little to slow for my taste. It made it feel like it went by in a flash at the end when “finally” things started to happen.

Overall happy but I just didn’t quite love it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

Hollow city – Ransom Riggs

23164983| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: This second novel begins in 1940, immediately after the first book ended. Having escaped Miss Peregrine’s island by the skin of their teeth, Jacob and his new friends must journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. Along the way, they encounter new allies, a menagerie of peculiar animals, and other unexpected surprises.

Complete with dozens of newly discovered (and thoroughly mesmerising) vintage photographs, this new adventure will delight readers of all ages.

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My thoughts:

“If it was not for the cliffhanger in the end, I would probably have enjoyed it even more.”

The second book in the Peregrine’s children series follows right at the end of the first one and also ends on a cliffhanger. Just want to make a note of that. It is a great, complicated story with a imaginative plot. Some of the reviews I have read have found the second book not nearly as good as the first one. I however actually like it more. It may or may not be because I saw the movie of the first book first, but I really enjoyed the second one. I like that it was more that happened since the children now is traveling instead of being in that one house.

In comparison I would have given the first book three stars (I will not change) instead of the four I gave, since I found the second one to better than the first. I even found it a little funny at some times and it surprised me. I’m loving that. And the pictures, oh it makes the whole book more fascinating and a feel of completion.

It is as well written as the first book and a lot more detailed. We meet more characters, receive more history and we get to know more about the friends and enemies of this world. It is a brilliant dynamic which Riggs has done a fantastic work describing in a way I cannot put my words on. If it was not for the cliffhanger in the end, I would probably have enjoyed it even more.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Young, New adult/College

Nevernight – Jay Kristoff

34503674| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Mia Covere is only ten years old when she is given her first lesson in death.

Destined to destroy empires, the child raised in shadows made a promise on the day she lost everything: to avenge herself on those that shattered her world.

But the chance to strike against such powerful enemies will be fleeting, and Mia must become a weapon without equal. Before she seeks vengeance, she must seek training among the infamous assassins of the Red Church of Itreya.

Inside the Church’s halls, Mia must prove herself against the deadliest of opponents and survive the tutelage of murderers, liars and demons at the heart of a murder cult.

The Church is no ordinary school, but Mia is no ordinary student.

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My thoughts: This book is marked as a young adult fantasy. Me personally, I would not categorize it as a YA. It is way darker, gorier and explicit than other YA books I have read. And that is probably why I liked it so. There were some rough language but nothing embarrassing or cringe which I often find YA to be. I would place this one in the late young/adult epic fantasy. Thought you should know if you expected something else. 😉

The book is fantastic. It is dark, funny and witty to a degree it is on the border to sarcasm and irony. There is an interesting narrator, funny with a dark sense of humor and all the footnotes (Which I hear so many hate) is such a strong complement to the story without the impression of an author droning away on details. Strong and deep characters with interesting history and personality. Complex and wonderful world building. Notice that it is a man who is the author. Not much lovey-dovey. More strait to the point in a detached kind of way but still capturing and at some points heartbreaking.

Refreshing. Can nothing other than recommend it to whoever wish to read some epic fantasy. If you are new to the genre I would recommend it as an starter before you go into something heavier like, for an example, Robin Hobb, which I also have read some books of.

Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Under Locke – Mariana Zapata

20613920| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time. And the last thing they ever expected was each other.
But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.

… she should have chosen the strip club.

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My thoughts: Mariana is one of my favorite authors with her unique writing style and thoughtful plots. And even though I often find it a delight reading her books, I can’t say that it I fell for Under Locke. In my opinion, of those book I have read so far, this is certainly the weakest one. I can see how she tried to achieve some strong, kick ass characters but it fell flat on so many levels.

My biggest problem was really Iris and that she certainly is not an character easy to love. She prides herself with not holding grudges, but like 60% of the books is constant nagging about what a dick one character is, what an asshole another are and it goes on and on and on. I can’t stand that type of self-pity and it drives me nuts that she sounds like a broken record. She is almost 25 years old but often acts like 15. Yeah I know she have had a hard life and so on, but then you would expect a more mature woman.

The plot is pretty straight forward. Woman has troubles with finding job, finds a job working for an asshole. Female fall in love with asshole and lo and behold, he is not an asshole after all. Just a man with many layers. Unfortunately those layers was not as deep as expected.

Overall it is a good book. It is quite entertaining and so on but so much dwelling is annoying to read. This book will not change my opinion regarding Mariana Zapata. I see it as a bad day, everyone has one and this book is just one of Mariana Zapatas bad days. Still okay but not as good as I know it can be.

Contemporary · Romance · Sports/Games · Young, New adult/College

The Goal – Elle Kennedy

28262024| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: She’s good at achieving her goals…

College senior Sabrina James has her whole future planned out: graduate from college, kick butt in law school, and land a high-paying job at a cutthroat firm. Her path to escaping her shameful past certainly doesn’t include a gorgeous hockey player who believes in love at first sight. One night of sizzling heat and surprising tenderness is all she’s willing to give John Tucker, but sometimes, one night is all it takes for your entire life to change.

But the game just got a whole lot more complicated…

Tucker believes being a team player is as important as being the star. On the ice, he’s fine staying out of the spotlight, but when it comes to becoming a daddy at the age of twenty-two, he refuses to be a bench warmer. It doesn’t hurt that the soon-to-be mother of his child is beautiful, whip-smart, and keeps him on his toes. The problem is, Sabrina’s heart is locked up tight, and the fiery brunette is too stubborn to accept his help. If he wants a life with the woman of his dreams, he’ll have to convince her that some goals can only be made with an assist.

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My thoughts:I liked but I didn’t love it. Short, sweet but I wasn’t really feeling it. Okay, I will give you that it is a nice story and as always filled with some really nice characters and a believable plot. But the way it was built and the slowness of it, didn’t do much for me this time.

I like Sabrina. She is a tough cookie. She is just so set on the goal of her life and doesn’t handle stuff well outside of that goal plan and some of her personality traits just rubs me the wrong way.  It is Tucker who does the whole story. Maybe because I already loved him before I started reading this one. And off course how am I not supposed to love him? He is just such a great man. Kennedy really has a gift with writing characters that does not feel needy or unrealistic.

I did enjoy it and it was nice to read something simpler since I have trouble with keeping my head in the reading mode right now. Note to self: Finnish one series before starting another written by Kennedy. That way you wont risk any spoilers on some certain details. 😉 Just saying.

Contemporary · Romance · Sports/Games · Young, New adult/College

The Chase – Elle Kennedy

34851664| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Everyone says opposites attract. And they must be right, because there’s no logical reason why I’m so drawn to Colin Fitzgerald. I don’t usually go for tattoo-covered, video-gaming, hockey-playing nerd-jocks who think I’m flighty and superficial. His narrow view of me is the first strike against him. It doesn’t help that he’s buddy-buddy with my brother.

And that his best friend has a crush on me.

And that I just moved in with them.

Oh, did I not mention we’re roommates?

I suppose it doesn’t matter. Fitzy has made it clear he’s not interested in me, even though the sparks between us are liable to burn our house down. I’m not the kind of girl who chases after a man, though, and I’m not about to start. I’ve got my hands full dealing with a new school, a sleazy professor, and an uncertain future. So if my sexy brooding roomie wises up and realizes what he’s missing?

He knows where to find me.

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My thoughts: This started of quite bad to be honest. I really didn’t like Summer. I found her shallow, egotistical and with a lot of self-pity. She got on my nerve and I was quite certain I would not like this book. But as I continue the story, something new was growing, blossom and in the end I freaking loved it. It is nothing like my first impression and I’m so glad I was wrong. It is that good and the character development is just beautifully done, vivid and the perfect tie with the plot. It did however get a little repetitive there in the middle and I’m not a big fan of love triangles. It wasn’t that bad however so I was able to ignore it. I did feel for the characters though.

On another note, I would have want some more satisfying endings with both the characters Hunter and Laurie. But I understand why the first did not end since it will probably continue in another book and I understand that the second was skip, but I would have like some more repercussions. A little more action. It is however NO cliffhangers so don’t worry about that.

Overall I’m so happy. It is a great book, who is easy to read, gets the blood pumping and after you just feel so good. The second book in the series has a release date in the end of February and I so looking forward to be reading Brennan’s story. And in the fall of 2019 the third book is being released. I wonder who we will follow then. I’m so excited.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Throne of glass – Sarah J. Maas

40512568| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Meet Celaena Sardothien. Beautiful. Deadly. Destined for greatness.

In the dark, filthy salt mines of Endovier, an eighteen-year-old girl is serving a life sentence. She is a trained assassin, the best of her kind, but she made a fatal mistake. She got caught.

Young Captain Westfall offers her a deal: her freedom in return for one huge sacrifice. Celaena must represent the prince in a to-the-death tournament – fighting the most gifted thieves and assassins in the land. Live or die, Celaena will be free. Win or lose, she is about to discover her true destiny. But will her assassin’s heart be melted?

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My thoughts: I’m a little disappointed actually. I know I can’t compare this to the ACOTAR series but it is hard not to. And to be honest, this is not what I expected from an author like Maas, who where one of my top favorite author in 2018. Very underwhelming after years of hearing that this is THE YA series to read. I expected more and not to walk away with an unsatisfying feeling.

Every reviewer and booktuber I follow loved Celaena. I however did not. She is arrogant, mean, lame and high on herself. She is such an over hyped character that it is a disappointment to read the book about her. To be that young, for having had such a hard life and after a year as a slave in the most notorious salt mines, you would expect her to be more humble toward life and not as vain and shallow. Her and most of the characters have no dept, no smooth development and the plot is slow and quite overrated. Maas have been raised to the skies for her strong, female protagonists and deep YA relations, but I saw noting of that here.

There is some attempt to romance and love/triangles but that just fell flat. It is not good. Nothing that got my heart pumping or the need to keep reading. You really get to know Dorian and Chaol and they both are so much better in my opinion than Celaena, which is supposed to be the main heroine character to love and follow. There is nothing unique or original. And the plot is just weird. There is some questionable decisions and there is more of a telling the story than showing the story. All the action and important parts, where jump over and later retell so that we, the readers, knew what had happens since last. No, not good.

To be honest I do not know if I will continue the series. At first I gave the book three stars but after a night’s sleep and the time of writing this review, I realize that I was too generous and lowered it to two. It is not as bad as a one star rating but certainly not as good as a three. It wasn’t as mind-blowing as I expected and it was nowhere near as well written as the ACOTAR series. Both in the character development, plot and settings.

Is it worth more of my time?

Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror · Young, New adult/College

Fire & Ash – Jonathan Maberry

13424356| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Benny Imura and his friends have found the jet and Sanctuary, but neither is what they expected. Instead of a refuge, Sanctuary is a hospice, and the soldiers who flew the plane seem to be little more than bureaucrats who have given up hope for humanity’s future. With Chong hovering between life and death, clinging to his humanity by a thread, Benny makes a startling discovery: A scientist may have discovered a cure for the zombie plague. Desperate to save Chong, Benny and his friends mount a search and rescue mission. But they’re not the only ones on the hunt. The reapers are after the cure too, and they want to use it turn all the zombies into superfast shock troops and wipe humanity off the face of the earth.

In this riveting conclusion to the Rot & Ruin series, the battle to end all battles is just beginning.

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My thoughts: This was supposed to be the last one in the series about Benny, Chong, Lilah, Nix and all the other characters in USA’s Zombie infested Badlands. And what an end. This is how you end a series in a satisfying manner. Now this is no longer the last book and I’m quite frankly glad for that, because I want, no I NEED to know how the story will continue. It was a perfect ending yes, but I have come to know these characters. They are my friends, my brothers and sisters and I love them. I wish to know that it will be even better for them. How can I not? I’m a reader and no others than other readers understand what I feeling right now. And I need more.

I have more or less loved the books in this series. Some more than others. This fourth book I found better than the third one. The reason for that is because all the religious jabber, was a lot less and therefore not as irritating and Maberry also moved forward from the place I felt he stood still and turned the story in a great direction. It was exiting, interesting and it was hard to put the book down. Joe Ledger (my bookish boyfriend) even got a much bigger part which I off course LOVED. For those who doesn’t know, he is a character from another series by Maberry.

The character development throughout the series has been an magnificent work of art. It happens so slowly that you do not even realize how they grow, change and evolve until the end. Overall a great book. Not a full five star rating however. I felt I missed something, maybe it is the whole deal with Chong, because that was not satisfying enough for me.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Strange the dreamer – Laini Taylor

36187690| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: THE DREAM CHOOSES THE DREAMER

Since he was five years old, Lazlo Strange has been obsessed with the mythical lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to go in search of it. Then a stunning opporunity presents itself – in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legandary warriors – and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

 

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My thoughts: I’m finally DONE! Thought I never see the day. It is so slow and what the heck is I missing? Did I even read the right book because quite frankly, I can’t see what’s all the raving about. It is so dark. Incredibly dark and slow and with a terrible ending. Not a series I wish to continue to say it frankly.

I got through it and I did like parts of it to be honest. Other not so much. And I had such issues getting into it. I got to around 150 pages and had to put it down for several weeks before I could start it again. And only because I’m waiting on the January book club book that should be here any day now and I’m trying not to start anything new.

The world of Lazlo and Weep is certainly one heck of a good writing. I give you that. The environment and descriptions of both characters and history is wonderfully done and I really liked the character Lazlo. I can see the charm and maybe understand why others like this so much. For me personally it just never hit home. I’m not much for those heavily angst-ridden, young adults, fantasy themed books that are so popular nowadays. I need some velocity to get hooked in that kind of themed book. Like the ACOTAR series for an example. That had everything I wanted, needed and sought for. This one? Not so much.