DNF Review: The Afterlife of Holly Chase

The Afterlife of Holly Chase

 

What in the ever loving heck was this book. Seriously. What was it? I love a good classic retelling but I’m sorry to say this was not one of those. I DNFd 20% into the story and it was a painful 1/5 of the book. I cannot imagine what the rest was like.

This is supposed to be a (loose?) retelling of Scrooge but it isn’t a version of the story I have ever heard of before. The protagonist, Holly, is the most shallow, self absorbed, bitch of a spoiled brat I have had the displeasure of reading. After she died in a freak accident, she was recruited to be a part of a Scrooge organization that helped people realize the error of the ways and redeem themselves. Holly was recruited to be the Ghost of Christmas Past? You need to go somewhere else and sell that because I’m not buying it. This girl had the personality of a wet bag. She was only interested in being a bitch to everyone around her because her father had money and she was never told No a day in her life. She talked like a stuck up valley girl, which is always a huge pet peeve of mine. She was already vapid enough, don’t make it worse by making her sound like the only things she had worth living for were good manicures and sushi. I don’t have time for that nonsense. The way she treated people in real life and in death was offensive. She yelled at her housekeeper for turning the heat on during a very cold day and you want me to cheer for this girl? Get out of my face with that noise.

I decided to DNF when, after a debrief of “Scrooge #(whatever)” Holly was introduced to the next “Scrooge”, Ethan, and she fell lust-over-heels instalove with him. He was just as shallow, spoiled, and rotten as Holly. That was when I threw in the towel. We all know if there is one thing I cannot stand in a book is instalove. This story had it in spades. You want me to believe that Holly suddenly had the holiday spirit and wanted to “do her job” after seeing a photo of a hot guy? Reference above note about the character being shallow and self-absorbed. I had no cares to give about what happened after that. Holly’s character was given a chance to make other people happy but she chose to be bitter to the core about it. That made her so much worse! I wanted nothing to do with her or her story so I quit. I have read more than enough books in my day to know when a story is up my alley or not. This is most certainly not one for me.

If you made it through this book, let me know. I wish I could have read it through your eyes. I wanted a feel good holiday story and I really thought this would hit the spot. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh how wrong I was.

 

 

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Books Left Unread #104

Wallpaper-Books

Books Left Unread

Welcome to my blog post where I talk about the books I have been meaning to read, but just have not yet. You know what I am talking about – the books that have remained unread for various reasons yet when you see them you think, “You know, I really need to read that.” Instead you get distracted by another book, series, or something in your TBR pile. It happens to the best of us. I want to spotlight those books in the hope that I can persuade myself to move them up on my TBR list.

This week’s post is dedicated to:

A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood

A Tyranny of Petticoats (A Tyranny of Petticoats, #1)

 

This has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I believe Jessica Spotswood has even signed it. So why haven’t I started? Possibly because anthologies are hit or miss for me. Have you read this one?

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Review: An Enchantment of Ravens

An Enchantment of Ravens

 

If I said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times: stunning covers like this always make me want to read the story. I don’t care what it is about because I want it in my hands. Well, my darlings, do not let this cover fool you. This story was just ho-hum at the very best of times. The rest of the time it read like every other fae story out today.

Short recap: Isobel has a gift for painting human emotions into the paintings of her fae clients. The fae love anything and everything that is a human craft as they cannot do that on their own (cook food, clean laundry, etc). But when the mysterious Rook has his painting done. Isobel is swept away by Rook into the Fae lands to answer for the crime she has committed.

Are you as confused as I am? I sort of understood that Isobel (not her real name, by the way) had a gift for painting portraits but the fact that she could paint emotions into them baffled me. Why was that such a big deal to the Fae community? Did they not express emotions themselves? And then for Rook, the mysterious Fae prince, to wish Isobel away for crimes against him just had me scratching my head. So what if she painted emotion into his likeness? I never understood why that was such a big deal. Maybe it was explained and I missed it, or maybe it was supposed to be a conclusion I came to on my own (I never did, in case you were wondering). Either way, that made zero sense to me.

The other thing that stood out to me was the dreaded instalove. GAH! My arch nemesis! It burns! It burns! I cannot stand instalove but yet there it was, bold as brass. Instead of the romance between Isobel and Rook developing gradually and naturally, Rogerson made it instalove from the start. Yes, their relationship does continue to develop over the course of the story but to force it upon me from the very start made me disbelieve it even more.

I’m still at a loss of words for this story. I wanted to like it so much more but there was no way I could. When the story morphed into an adventure through the fairylands it quickly became every other fae story that is out and has been out. Nothing felt original or unique. The fae characters had the same qualities: they had to bow if someone bowed to them; they were wearing glamours to hide any imperfections; they spoke in riddles; the food they offered to humans guaranteed the humans would be trapped in the fairyland; magic spells spoken by fae people often had loopholes; etc. You get the idea. It had all been done before many many times. I grew bored while reading those parts because I felt as if I was reading plagiarized work from another author. Cruel to say but nevertheless true.

I did not enjoy this like I thought I would. The ending left me wondering what the hell was going on and what happened. I’m almost kicking myself for not DNFing this when I lost interest the first time. This was one of my most anticipated reads yet I walked away feeling completely disappointed. I really wanted so much more from it. In good faith I cannot recommend this to anyone. Do not fall victim to pretty covers like I did.

 

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ARC Review and Giveaway: Freed by Flame and Storm

Freed by Flame and Storm (Bound by Blood and Sand, #2)

**I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.**

I stumbled upon Becky Allen’s first book in this duology, Bound by Blood and Sand, last year and fell madly in love with Jae and her quest. The underlying plot (oppressed people versus the upper class with power) is not original, but the reason for it certainly was. I was thrilled when the publisher asked me to review the second book and host a giveaway. So prepare yourselves, you lucky readers, for a glowing review and a giveaway for both books! WOO! Now first… the review. 😉

This book picks up right after the first book ends. Jae and Elan are on a quest to free the Closest. Jae has recently freed herself from the dreaded Closest curse and knows in her heart of hearts she can free everyone else. Their quest is dangerous but necessary. Along the way, new characters are introduced that will change the course of the this battle in ways nobody could see coming.

The one thing that stood out the most to me was Jae. Her character was complex, well developed, and real. She felt real, anyways. I was in constant awe of her strength, determination, and selflessness. Jae was always the first to run into battle or give up her meal so someone else would not go hungry. She was never sacrificed to show she was better because she was a mage, it was always for the good of someone else. She knew better than anyone what it was like to not have anything and she never wanted anyone else to go through that. That was so refreshing to read! It really made me admire her even more. In a way, it made me want to be more like her. I also really enjoyed how there was an attraction between Jae and Elan but it was not the focus of the story. Whatever was going on between those two was a side story and a slow burn. Elan had one of the best character arcs I’ve read in awhile. From where he started this series to where he ended was brilliant to see. I’m thrilled I was a part of his change. ‘

There are a host of new characters introduced in this story but all necessary. I won’t give away who they are and what position they hold as you’ll need to get the book to find out for yourself. 😉 What I can tell you is that you should not trust what every says and don’t always believe what you read. Everyone is trying to either save themselves or protect someone else.

The plot was a non-stop action packed ride! Allen started the action right out of the gate and never let up until the very end. She did a wonderful job of keeping the reader (me) in this world she created. The way Jae weaved her magic and how she was able to summon it was so well done. I’m not a big super huge high fantasy reader and I don’t feel this was a high fantasy read. It was just enough fantasy and just enough of everything else to be the perfect balance. It was not over complicated and I liked that. No love triangles (WOO!), no instalove, no confusing names for people/places/things that caused me to stumble every time it was mentioned. Like the last bowl of porridge for Goldilocks, it was just right.

I cannot and will not stop gushing about this book! It was the ending that I hoped for. It was so well done and nothing is left to question. Allen did a wonderful job of putting everything in its place and that made me happy.

I want everyone to read this duology so the publisher has offered a copy of both books to one lucky winner! Below is the Rafflecopter giveaway (US only, sorry!). Please enter and add this to your TBR!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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EVER THE BRAVE: Release Blitz, Excerpt, and Giveaway!

 

EVER THE BRAVE-RDB

www.rockstarbooktours.com

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I am so excited that EVER THE BRAVE by Erin Summerill is available now and that I get to share the news!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Erin Summerill, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a 3 finished copies of the book courtesy of Erin, HMH, Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

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About The Book:

 

9780544664463_hresTitle: EVER THE BRAVE (Clash of Kingdoms #2)

Author: Erin Summerill

Pub. Date: December 5, 2017

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 464

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.

After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

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Excerpt:

The king and his men ride away into the Ever Woods.

Gillian sweeps in, face beaming. I want to shake her shoulders and erase that smile. I slam the door.

“You look murderous.” Gillian spins around, her skirts swishing against the stone.

“I am.”

A blink. “You don’t like the dresses?”

“Really? You’ve been living with me for a month.”

“Right. So they’re not your usual choice, but they’re variety. Something different form brown trousers.

“They’re for the Royal Winter Feast Ball. He wants to sprinkle royal dust on me and make me noble.”

Gillian presses her hands to her cheeks and pretends to swoon.

“Stop it,” I snap.

She flounces into the bedroom and lifts a rose dress from the bed. That grin. Seeds. She’s as mad as the King Aodren.

The pull to the king, still taut in my chest, halves my attention from her squealing prattle. I press my palm to my sternum. I’d give anything to be free of him. To be able to live in peace on Papa’s land. But I don’t know how to break the bond.

If Enat were still alive — the thought flattens me — she’d know what to do. She’d tell me how to free myself from King Aodren. He’s been gone for five minutes, and I can still pick out his location in the Ever Woods.

I pound my fist on the door. I have to figure out a way to rid myself of the bond. I have to.

Gillian jerks to a stop. “It’s not the end of the world.”

I start to respond, but an answering rush of something strange and shuddery slips under the surface of my skin. I lurch, cradling my suddenly clammy hand, eyeing Gillian, then the door with growing alarm. Unease spreads from the top of my head to my heels, a drop of poison fanning through a jar of ale.

I’ve felt this way before.

“What is it?” Gillian’s fists crinkle a rose-colored gown. Breath suddenly short, I yank the door open and stare deep into the Evers. The breeze’s icy fingers caress my face. There’s nothing to see, but something is very wrong.

“The king.”

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About Erin:

ErinErin Summerill was born in England. After spending years bouncing between Air Force bases in Hawaii, England, and California, her family settled in Utah, where Erin graduated with a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University. She had aspirations to write the next great American novel, but writing proved tougher than she first thought. So she grabbed a Nikon and became a professional photographer while crafting manuscript after manuscript. The scenic detour of shooting weddings across the United States, as well as internationally, provided world-building inspiration. It gave her the vision to draft her debut YA fantasy, EVER THE HUNTED. Now when she isn’t writing, or shooting a wedding, she’s chasing her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens. This could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and Hot tamales.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

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Giveaway Details:

 3 winners will receive a finished copy of EVER THE BRAVE, US Only.

Ends December 12th midnight EST.

 

Rafflecopter Link:

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2672/?

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: The Cruel Prince

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

 

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)

 

 

From Goodreads:

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

 

Are you ready for 2018 books? I know I am!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Settings I’d Love To Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…

Bookish Settings I’d Love To Visit

 

Renegades (Superheroes!)

Renegades (Renegades, #1)

 

 

Retribution Rails (I’d love to visit a Western setting)

Retribution Rails (Vengeance Road, #2)

 

 

The Lunar Chronicles (Cybers!)

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

 

 

Warcross (VR Gaming!)

Warcross (Warcross, #1)

 

 

Daughter of the Pirate King (do I even need to mention pirates and mermaids?)

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King, #1)

 

 

Defy the Stars (robots and space? Count me in!)

Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1)

 

 

Scythe (!!)

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1)

 

 

Bound by Blood and Sand

Bound by Blood and Sand

 

 

Caraval (I want to see Legend <3)

Caraval (Caraval, #1)

 

 

Pretty sure Harry Potter/Hogwarts is just a given.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

 

 

 

Let me tell you… this post was not easy. To narrow this down to JUST ten books was tough! Which bookish settings would you like to visit?

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