Reviews

Vicious BOOK REVIEW

Book Info:

Author: V.E. Schwab

Page Count (Paperback): 340

Premise: Eli and Victor are college roommates who become obsessed with the idea of ExtraOrdinary humans.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Let me first start out by saying this is one of the BEST BOOKS I HAVE EVER READ. I am obsessed with it. Because of that, this will be a spoiler-free review. I also recommend NOT reading the back cover. It spoils way too much! Go into this book cold! You will not regret it.

Me, talking to everyone I know about this book.

Everything I Loved!

  • The CHARACTERS! Oh my gosh, you loved them and you hated them. Everyone had rich backstories. Each person had chapters that were about them and told you their story. I can’t say more cause SPOILERS but dang was it rich!
  • The WRITING! V.E. Schwab knows her way around a pen. Is she a wizard? Did trade her first born son for her writing ability? I would believe it if that were the case. She’s so good. She NEVER says more than she needs to, for each word is crucial to the story. I’m beyond impressed. Two of my favorite quotes:
    • “Eli flashed him the type of smile a cult leader would covet.” (pg. 30). TBH I find it so hard to find a metaphor that helps me see what an author means, to me they often seem too flowery, but this was so ON POINT. It sent chills down my spine.
    • “Between one sip and the next, Victor made the biggest mistake of his life, and it was made of nothing more than one line. Three small words. ‘I’ll go first.'” (pg. 53) AHHHHHHH this is so CRISP. CLEAN. HEART-POUNDING.
  • The TIMELINE. We jumped around between Eli and Victor’s time at college, to ten years later, to even earlier for another character, then it got down to HOURS. It never felt shticky or unnecessary. I was on edge from it.
  • The PACING. I was hooked on this book from CHAPTER ONE. I find this to be rare in the Adult Fantasy books that I have read so far. It’s why I read more YA, I find myself engaged in the material faster. But this one caught my attention right away.
  • The TURNS! I love twists and turns, and this book took you on a quite a few. I thought the ending was FANTASTIC, and while I guessed it ahead of time, I DIDN’T get right how it happened and that was thrilling.

Look, I don’t even have anything bad to say about it. It was THAT INCREDIBLE. I feel like my heart is exploding with how much more I want to talk about this book, but alas I must hold back so that you can experience it in it’s COMPLETE GLORY.

5/5 Stars! And go read it!

Monday Morning in the Bog

Monday Morning in the Bog! 3/23/20

Good afternoon! I hope everyone is staying safe and inside. It can be a little anxiety inducing with the announcements to stay at home, but if we follow these orders hopefully we can flatten the curve and make this pandemic end faster than it would have.

Currently Reading: Vicious by V.E. Schwab (to add, HOLY CRAP this is one of the best books I have ever read! Can’t wait to review it this week!)

Queue:

  • Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
  • If We Were Villians by M.L. Rio
  • Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (reread)
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (reread)
  • A Dostoevsky Book (this seems incredibly daunting to me but I’m gonna run out of books!)

I really dislike reading on computers – half the enjoyment of reading for me is getting away from a screen! But if all I have left to read is intense Russian lit I may have to break down and use Libby. Granted, I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have digital access to so many books. So I am COMPLETELY AWARE of how this is a stupid first world problem!

Reminder, enter the giveaway if you would like! No one has so far on wordpress, and there are only like 11 entries on Instagram, so your odds of winning are pretty high! Unfortunately, you won’t get the book until mid-late April because of Amazon restrictions on delivering non-essential items that were put into effect this weekend, but you can get it eventually! I’ll send you the tracking info (if I can. I think I can do this!)

Bye boggies and stay safe out there!💛

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole · Uncategorized

Down the TBR Rabbit Hole #1

This post was originated by Lost In A Story, who no longer blogs about books it looks like, but this post idea lives on without her! I will take the first five of your TBR and assess if I still want to read them. It’s a way to clean up your list and remember books you wanted to read!

The beginning of my goodreads TBR is pretty old, so I think this will be a fun way to sort out what I am still interested in!

#1: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Synopsis from Goodreads: Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so.

Keep it? Yes!

Here’s why: This book seems like classic Dystopian, my favorite genre, plus this guy was an NBC Page early in his career, just like me! So those two things enough make me want to keep it around.

#2: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Synopsis from Goodreads: Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing. 

The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals—steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

Keep it? Yes!

Here’s why: I hated the movie but I’m self-loathing and I think there will be a time in the future when I need a good book cry. This one will do just the trick!

#3: The Supreme Court Justices: Illustrated Biographies by Clare Cushman

Keep it? Yes!

Look, this one is a little weird but it’s for research for a project that I’m finally getting around to working on this year.

#4: The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano

Synopsis from Goodreads: Wil Heidle, the only daughter of the king of the world’s wealthiest nation, has grown up in the shadows. Kept hidden from the world in order to serve as a spy for her father—whose obsession with building his empire is causing a war—Wil wants nothing more than to explore the world beyond her kingdom, if only her father would give her the chance.

Until one night Wil is attacked, and she discovers a dangerous secret. Her touch turns people into gemstone. At first Wil is horrified—but as she tests its limits, she’s drawn more and more to the strange and volatile ability. When it leads to tragedy, Wil is forced to face the destructive power within her and finally leave her home to seek the truth and a cure.

But finding the key to her redemption puts her in the path of a cursed prince who has his own ideas for what to do with her power.

With a world on the brink of war and a power of ultimate destruction, can Wil find a way to help the kingdom that’s turned its back on her, or will she betray her past and her family forever?

Keep it? Yes!

Here’s why: This book sounds AWESOME! Great job former self putting this on my list! Cursed princess and prince? Yes PLEASE!

#5: Firebirds: An Anthology of Original Fantasy and Science Fiction by Sharyn November

Synopsis from Goodreads: Firebirds is more than simply an anthology — it is a celebration of wonderful writing. It gathers together sixteen original stories by some of today’s finest writers of fantasy and science fiction. Together, they have won virtually every major prize — from the National Book Award to the World Fantasy Award to the Newbery Medal — and have made best-seller lists worldwide. These authors, including Lloyd Alexander (The Chronicles of Prydain), Diana Wynne Jones (The Merlin Conspiracy), Garth Nix (The Abhorsen Trilogy), Patricia A. McKillip (Ombria in Shadow), Meredith Ann Pierce (The Darkangel Trilogy), and Nancy Farmer (The House of the Scorpion), each with his or her own inimitable style, tell stories that will entertain, provoke, startle, amuse, and resonate long after the last page has been turned.The writers featured in Firebirds all share a connection to Firebird Books, an imprint that is dedicated to publishing the best fantasy and science fiction for teenage and adult readers.

Keep it? No!

Here’s why: They didn’t tell me anything ABOUT THE ACTUAL STORIES. This is some list of accomplishments and they tell me “what the stories will do,” which they can’t assume I feel that way about. Taking it off!

SUMMING IT UP: I kept four and took off one!

This is pretty fun, so I’ll try to do this once a week! Let me know if you do this on your blog too and I’ll follow you! 🙂

Reviews · Uncategorized

All the Stars and Teeth BOOK REVIEW

BOOK INFO:

Author: Adalyn Grace

Page Count (Hardcover): 368

Premise: Princess Amora Montara must demonstrate her magical gift over souls to her nation to prove she is ready to be crowned heir, but when the ceremony goes wrong, she must throw her hand in with a pirate to save herself and her kingdom.

Rating: 4.5/5 Bog Berries

You guys, I LOVED this book. It took me by surprise, but it’s so unlike most fantasy I read. It was such a breath of fresh air, and I felt like I was there with Amora, exploring the seas! Which was really lovely while self-quarrantine-ing. Because I want you guys to read this review and then go read the book yourself, I promise there will be NO SPOILERS! It’s spoiler free! Look at the self-control I am exerting! I will point out a few things I liked in the book, but they are small details that won’t ruin the story for you.

You, excited that I am not including spoilers! Maybe?

THE “THINGS I LOVED” LIST:

  • AMORA!!! She is our main character, and for the whole book we are in her POV. She is a KICKASS heroine. From the beginning, she is confident in her ability. She has her weaknesses, like the anxiety that creeps up on her, and taking a ride with her overcoming her struggles is wonderful. I haven’t loved a character this much since Alina in Shadow and Bone!
  • You know how much I love twists and damn, there are some good twists in this book. I could sense there were twists around certain parts, but I wasn’t able to figure out exactly what the twist was, and one just straight came out of nowhere for me! But it was totally believable! I loved that!
  • Sometimes I struggle with “mermaid” books, but that is not what this is. Most of it is above water and the magic in this is cool as hell. Amora can read people’s souls. I was enchanted by it!
  • Bastian and Ferrick are such delights. Can’t say more without spoiling but YOU WILL LOVE THEM. Also, aren’t those just two of the best fantasy names you’ve ever SEEN?
  • The romance: it’s top notch. They cover consent (every book should write about love stuff this way!! It’s so easy!), and you just want everyone to fall in love and IT’S GREAT.
  • THERE IS SO MUCH RESPECT BETWEEN THE MEN AND THE WOMEN. They are all equals aboard the ship. My favorite line: “We’re useless without these girls.” (pg. 181)
  • There is a moment in the book where someone gets their period. My automatic response was, ew, why are you writing about that? But the more I thought about it, I realized – why haven’t OTHER people written about that? It made the character so relatable. If you are a woman reading this book, when you read it you are like, oh damn, I’ve been there! Then I felt bad for my initial reaction, but ultimately I have to accept what society has put on me about my periods being “gross”. I mean, they are kind of gross, but I don’t have to be ashamed about it! Anyway, that part was unexpectedly poignant for me.
  • Something I struggle with in books is when we don’t get to see much of the map in the book that is in the front. Like, why build this giant map if I don’t get to see all of it? And in this book, we saw MOST of the map! I know a second book is coming out next year, so fingers crossed we get to the rest of the islands in that one! On top of that, the world-building is imaginative and I saw it all so clearly in my head. She does a great job explaining her vision!
  • The author did a great job with back story. I got what I wanted explained at the end, and it was so well done! LOVED IT!
  • There are so many other parts of this book that I loved, but I feel like if I go into detail it will be too many spoilers so JUST GO READ IT.

MY SHORT, NIT PICKY LIST OF THINGS THAT BUGGED ME:

  • Some of the wording was pretty clunky. It made me read it a few times, or think: people don’t talk like that. One sentence in particular: “His face contorts into a mask of annoyance.” What does this even mean? It should just be like: he rolled his eyes, annoyed. Sometimes I think authors want to be poetic or use different language. There is a place for that, but I think more often than not I just want you to say it clearly.
  • There were a few things that I weren’t sure were possible, like a character keeps running after they shatter their knee. I’m pretty sure you just can’t do this. Things like that bug me in a book because they are impossible. Just pick another serious injury where this would still be hard but not impossible.

But other than those two things, which I can easily look over, I loved this book! 4.5/5 Bog Berries! Go read it!

Uncategorized

GIVEAWAY!!

I’ve been teasing this for a while, but my first book giveaway is finally here! I’ve been blogging for six months and this will be my 77th post. It’s been a lot of fun, and it seems like everyone needs a little boost during this rough time.

RULES:

  • The winner will be RANDOMLY SELECTED on Wednesday, March 25, about a week from today.
  • Valid entries: you must leave a comment with the best book you read last year, your email (so I can contact you if you win) and you must be following me! This will be cross posted on Instagram (I’ll post it later this afternoon or evening), so follow the giveaway instructions there for an extra entry! I will be choosing the winner using a random number generator. These posts will be numbers one through whatever, then the Instagram comments’ numbers will start after.
  • The participant MUST live in the United States to qualify for prime shipping. Please check amazon’s before entering if you are not sure. If it turns out I am unable to ship to you for free from there, your entry will be disqualified.
  • Entries close Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59pm. I will contact the winner on March 25. You will not be notified if you lose.

WHAT YOU WIN:

Your choice of one of these FIVE paperbacks! These are all books that I love dearly and want you to get the chance to as well! Check out their links!

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

Note, this is the second book in the series but it IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! These books are great if you love whimsy, magic and mystery!

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I love this book so much! It’s a fantastic Beauty and the Beast retelling!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Truly one of the best series I have ever read. If you need to get your heart ripped out and stomped on, this is for you!

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

I love the Renegades series! It’s her first original trilogy (not based off a fairytale) and it’s such a fun read! Definitely for you if you like superheroes.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This is one of my favorite books of all time. I’m sure plenty of you have read it, but if you haven’t, pick this one! It’s an incredible series!

Have fun boggies and good luck! 🙂

Reviews · Uncategorized

The Picture of Dorian Gray BOOK REVIEW

Book Info:

Author: Oscar Wilde

Page Count (Paperback): 212

Premise: Dorian Gray is a fabulously handsome man, but a new friend Lord Henry reminds him that his beauty will not last forever. While getting his picture painted, he makes a wish that his youth would never leave him.

Rating: 4/5 Bog Berries

Look, this book is old. It was published in 1891. There’s gonna be spoilers.

My friend Basil around Dorian.

ALL THE GOOD STUFF:

  • This book is a real sneak attack. The first 140 pages I’d say were sort of boring. Not bad, just kind of slow. Then, BAM, the last 70 are so good, I’ll reread this book for sure.
  • A great deal of funny “wisdom” is in this book from Lord Henry. I don’t think I agree with all of it (he has some real Dr. Spaceman vibes) but it was intriguing to read. Here are some of my favorite quotes of his:
    • “…Real beauty ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect in itself is a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.” pg. 6
    • “When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it, and then you will suddenly discover that there are no triumphs left for you.” pg. 24
    • “Art has no influence on action. It annihilates the desire to act. It is superbly sterile. The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.” pg. 208
  • Dorian is truly I think the world’s first f*ckboi. He becomes so obsessed with himself that he is cruel to a woman for simply being a bad actor. HE IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE HE MAKES A WOMAN COMMIT SUICIDE.
  • I mean, dang, the slow demise of Dorian’s character is SO GOOD. He commits murder and is able to just BLOCK IT OUT OF HIS MIND. He seemed like an idiot from the beginning of the book, but then he realizes how his obsession with himself leads to his own cruelty. He keeps trying to make the painting change, but he only wants it to satisfy his own angst, not truly make amends with the people he has hurt.
  • These chapters around Dorian’s demise were absolutely grueling. I could hardly put the book down once (SPOILER) Basil was dead. How Dorian ruthlessly brings his friend Alan Campbell in to get rid of the body, then doesn’t feel bad AT ALL after Alan kills himself makes Dorian a true psychopath.
  • Also, just the originality of this idea is so exciting. I feel like people reading this in 1891 would have been gobsmacked.
  • The last page was SO DAMN GOOD I can’t even write it here to spoil it just go read this book!

THE BUMMER BITS OF THE BOOK:

  • There is a chapter in the middle that summarizes part of the book Dorian is reading. It’s incredibly dull and it’s just a list of people from history and the nice things they have? It felt unnecessary to me but a smarter person than myself could probably sift out how the specific things he read impacted his actions later.
  • This book was written a long time ago, but the general lack of nice things said about women was a bummer. Like this lil bit from Lord Henry: “I am afraid that women appreciate cruelty, downright cruelty, more than anything else. They have wonderfully primitive instincts. We have emancipated them, but they remain slaves looking for their masters, all the same. They love being dominated.” pg. 100. This is gross. Also, books like Little Women were written around this time, which is such a lovely book about women, so I don’t have much sympathy for shit like this. Other than the fact that Lord Henry was sort of an idiot as well, so that makes it a little better.

Overall, this was a great read and it gets 4/5 Bog Berries! Go read it!

Monday Morning in the Bog · Uncategorized

Monday Morning in the Bog! 3/16/20

Hi everyone!! I hope everyone is staying safe and INSIDE during this weird time. I am a person who believes in God and prays, so I am praying for all of you as well as DOING MY PART AND SELF DISTANCING. It’s so important that we follow the guidelines available on public health websites to keep those whose immune systems are compromised during this pandemic.

I am ACTUALLY doing the giveaway THIS WEEK!! Stay tuned. I feel like we need a chance for a free book now more than ever.

My book TBR has changed since the libraries are closed, but I have so many books at home that I need to read! I have two weeks off work and am going to savor them.

Currently Reading: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (should finish today and the review will be up tomorrow!)

Queue: All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

  • Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  • Nocturna by Maya Motayne
  • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (reread!)
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (reread!)
  • Can You Keep A Secret by Sophie Kinsella

I have a pretty good stock of books, and I hope everyone else has plenty too! Bye boggies and keep six feet away from everyone!