ARC Review: Blood Rose Rebellion

Blood Rose Rebellion (Blood Rose Rebellion, #1)

 

Before I started this book, I feared it would be a repeat of nearly every other fantasy book that has come out lately. I wish I could say I was wrong… but I cannot. This felt uneventful and predictable.

Short recap: Anna, a “Barren” girl, follows her grandmother to Hungary. Anna’s family is part of the Luminate, a rich group and powerful throughout society. The society is controlled by “The Circle”, which is an highly elite group of magic-holders. Anna must choose a side in the battle that is about to begin.

This was one of the most boring fantasy stories I have read. It read like historical fiction with a wee bit o’ magic thrown in for fun. I read more about proper edicate of a lady during the time period and how a woman should be courted by a man of wealth than anything about magic or battles. The talk of magic was thrown around like it was a cold to be caught. It was something everyone had yet nobody really wanted. Perhaps it was simply taken for granted. Regardless, the story was dreadfully uneventful. There was no heart stopping moments of, “OH MY GOSH! WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?!” or “GASP!”. Instead, it was about high tea and what dress should be worn for what event. Yawn. The best part of the story itself was the setting. I haven’t read a story set in Hungary so that was interesting, but only partially. I really would have liked the author to expand on the historical impact and what actually lead the story to be set in Hungary other than the MC’s grandmother was from there. Too convenient in my mind. Alas, it did not happen and I was left wondering.

The characters did not feel developed, instead they felt flat and dull. I read no personalities, no flair, no individuality. You could have given every character the same name as they all sounded the same. I struggled to keep everyone straight because they never came alive for me. Anna came across as the most naive and dimwitted character I have read in a long time. She continued to do dumb things and then was shocked when the outcome was not favorable. Surprise, surprise. As such, I was not invested in what she did or what happened to the other characters. This should not come as any surprise but the MC was said to be “a special snowflake” with “special abilities” yet she is “just like everyone else because she doesn’t want to stand out”. Not original at all.

The number one reason I did not like this story: instalove. GAAAAAHHH! I cannot stand instalove! On top of that, Anna goes around kissing every single boy she comes into contact with. How can you tell me Anna has instalove with someone, yet continue to write her flirting and kissing every boy? That does not make sense. This story is set in a time when marriages are arranged for the sake of convenience and money. You cannot expect me to believe Anna behaves the way she does and it is okay when her sister is practically in an arranged marriage for money. That caused me to lose all faith in all aspects of this story. There was zero chemistry and I quickly lost interest in who she was flittering after next. I actually lost all interest in characters and the story but refused to DNF because I really didn’t want to DNF an ARC.

After forcing my way through this terrible story, I wish I had swallowed my pride and put this book down. This was such an unoriginal mashup of every other fantasy story that has been released. The characters were bland, the world building was lackluster, but the only thing that was slightly intriguing about this was the setting, which is why I gave this 2 stars and not 1.5. That was not enough to save this story. I know I will not be picking up the next book in this series.

 

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Waiting on Wednesday: A Million Junes

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:

 

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

A Million Junes

 

 

From Goodreads:

Romeo and Juliet meets One Hundred Years of Solitude in Emily Henry’s brilliant follow-up to The Love That Split the World, about the daughter and son of two long-feuding families who fall in love while trying to uncover the truth about the strange magic and harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations.

In their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, the O’Donnells and the Angerts have mythic legacies. But for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them, except to say it began with a cherry tree.

Eighteen-year-old Jack “June” O’Donnell doesn’t need a better reason than that. She’s an O’Donnell to her core, just like her late father was, and O’Donnells stay away from Angerts. Period.

But when Saul Angert, the son of June’s father’s mortal enemy, returns to town after three mysterious years away, June can’t seem to avoid him. Soon the unthinkable happens: She finds she doesn’t exactly hate the gruff, sarcastic boy she was born to loathe.

Saul’s arrival sparks a chain reaction, and as the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers conspire to reveal the truth about the dark moment that started the feud, June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored. And she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all of the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

This sounds really good! Is it already on your TBR?

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Cover Reveal: Hide From Me by Mary Lindsey

Hello Readers! Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Hide From Me by Mary Lindsey

presented by Entangled TEEN!

I cannot WAIT for this book to come out this fall!

What do you think of the cover?

“We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed.”

Something’s not right about Rain Ryland’s new hometown. On the surface, it’s a friendly, tight-knit community, but something deadly lurks underneath the small-town charm. Everyone he meets is hiding something—especially Friederike Burkhart, the hottest girl he’s ever laid eyes on. Rain’s determined to find out her secret, even if it kills him…and it just might.

Ancient magic and modern society collide in a sexy, spellbinding romance perfect for fans of C. C. Hunter and Maggie Stiefvater that proves sometimes beauty is the beast…

Hide From Me
By Mary Lindsey
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Publication Date: November 7, 2017

Available for Pre-order:
Amazon

Mary Lindsey is a multi award-winning, RITA® nominated author of romance for adults and teens. She lives on an island in the middle of a river. Seriously, she does. When not writing, she wrangles her rowdy pack of three teens, two Cairn Terriers, and one husband.

Inexplicably, her favorite animal is the giant anteater and at one point, she had over 200 “pet” Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches. The roaches are a long story involving three science-crazed kids and a soft spot for rescue animals. The good news is, the “pet” roaches found a home… somewhere else.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten-ish Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want A Book

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…

Top Ten-ish Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want A Book

 

Reviews: I am sure you are like me and browse Goodreads when you find a book you are interested in to see what others say about it. If I see a majority of my trusted book friends don’t like it, consider me the one to avoid it.

Story at the back of the book: If there is not much of a description on the back I won’t rush to purchase the book. I want to know what it is about, not see a vague blurb or random quotes from people I have never heard of.

The book cover: I openly admit that I will judge a book by its cover. This is the first thing I see and if I cringe at the cover, I’ll leave it sitting on the shelf and keep walking.

Author tours/book festivals: If I have the chance to see an author at a festival or on a tour and they are not nice people, I will not want any of their books. (this has happened IRL and I gave away all of that author’s books.)

The author on social media: There have been certain authors on social media that have been huge … jerks. They popped off about sensitive subjects and as a result, I won’t buy, borrow, or have anything to do with their books.

Book topics: If the book is “high fantasy”, I usually shy away from it. (Sarah J Maas, anyone? I still haven’t read anything from her.) I’m just too worried I won’t know what is going on.

Book labels: The one that grinds my gears the most is “‘The New (fill in a very famous book)’“. Stop doing that! I know publishers use that to attract readers but it gives the book a certain level of expectation. The comparison won’t make me want to read the book any faster, it makes me want to avoid it.

INSTA-LOVE: I. Hate. Instalove.

 

I know I couldn’t find ten things that made me not want a book but I listed my highlights. Do any of these apply to you? What makes you not want to read/pick up a book?

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ARC Audio Review: A Crown of Wishes

A Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen, #2)

**Huge Thank You to the publisher for providing me with an audio version of the book to review!**

 

I struggled with the first book in this series but really wanted to give the second book a try. This was a beautifully created world, but I don’t feel it was enough to hold my interest. It was not enough for me to like this story to give it more than 3 stars.

Gauri is the princess of Bharata and is a prisoner of war, captured by her kingdom’s enemies. She has so few choices on who to trust and questions everything when she has to trust the prince from another land, Vikram. This unlikely pair teams up to enter the Tournament of Wishes, where the winner will be granted one wish. Can these two work together to make it out alive? Or will what they desire most get the better of them?

When I finished Star-Touched Queen, I was underwhelmed and lost. Still, I promised myself I would give the sequel a chance. I did and yet I could still not get into this story. The writing is breath-taking but it was too…. flowery? Too showy? Too much? Whatever term I want to use, I use it because the wording covered up the actual plot of the story. I was again lost in the words and confused by what was going on. I couldn’t follow what was happening. I know for a fact there is an amazing story within the words of this book, but I couldn’t find it. I felt overwhelmed by the overuse of descriptive terms to explain the simplest items and/or tasks. It felt like too much.

Even though I was lost in the overall story, I did enjoy the characters this time around. Gauri and Vikram were very well done. Gauri came across spunky and fearless, while Vikram was steadfast and headstrong. These two together were a force to be reckoned with. The banter and chemistry between them was what I enjoyed most. I dare say I liked them better than Maya and Amar.

Even though my review has been rather ho-hum and almost repetitive of the first Roshani book, I still gave this story 3 stars. Why? I cannot deny how beautiful the writing is. I cannot get over how effortlessly the words come off the pages. However, the writing felt verbose. The overuse of words to describe something that should have been simple caused my mind to check out. I quickly found myself not excited to read the next page or the next chapter. I was not invested in the characters, their romances, or their journeys. I kick myself for not being able to love these stories the way everyone else does, but then again, not every book is meant for every reader.

I adore Roshani as an author and will forever support her, but this particular book series just is not for me. I know she will be a powerhouse of an author and will be around for a very long time. I’m so thrilled for her and wish her nothing but success as she continues to write novels. I will say that I will give her next book/series a chance, but I cannot read any more within this series itself. While I did not enjoy TSTQ that much, I hope people give this book a chance. I believe the characters are better and are more enjoyable to read.

 

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Books Left Unread #73

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:

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

 

want to read this but I haven’t yet. I didn’t enjoy the first book as much as everyone else so that means I am afraid I won’t like the second. 😦 Did you read this? What did you think?

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Review: The Star-Touched Queen

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1)

 

I was nervous to start this and for good reason: The. Hype. The hype around this book is intense. Sadly, after completing this one I realized I did not enjoy it as much as everyone else. It is beautifully written but I was lost the entire time.

Short recap: Maya is cursed and fights the horoscope prediction that says only bad things will come her way. She is quickly married to a stranger, Akaran. Life with him is not what she expected but he has his secrets of his own.

I wanted to love this book so hard. I wanted to be like many of the other readers and be swept away in the brilliant writing and magical story. That did not happen for me and it wasn’t for a lack of trying. I finished this book hoping it would have found a place in my heart but all I got was confusion. I think I know why: too much was going on. The writing style is gorgeous in a way that there doesn’t seem to be a strong enough word. Yet, I didn’t know where to focus my attention. There really was so much going on that I felt like I got lost in the details. I know there is a wonderful plot amongst all of those pretty words, but I never really found it. The world building was so heavy and full that once the story got rolling, I wasn’t invested enough in the characters to know or care what was happening to them. I did not feel anything towards Maya or her cause. I wanted more from her as a protagonist. I felt she was simply filling the role but not really adding to it. There was a case of instalove in this story and that nearly caused me to stop cold turkey. I did soldier on and I finished but it was not easy.

The pacing of the story itself was not consistent. The first half felt rather slow and as a result, I fumbled at keeping up with what was going on. I kept stopping to go back and re-read what I just read so I could make sense of it all. I just never felt the hook or the draw to make me invested in the overall story. This is the perfect example of why I shy away from high fantasy books: fear of getting lost in the story and not knowing what is happening.

This is still a very sought after story and everyone is dying to read it…so I am willing to give the second book a chance. Maybe I just did not jive with the first and the second will be my kindred spirit. I won’t know until I try. The sequel is from another character’s POV so maybe it will finally set its hooks into me.

 

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