Little Witches: Mini NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

43252652Title: Little Witches: Magic in Concord
Author: Leigh Dragoon
Genre: Children’s/Middle-grade Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: August 27th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

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Synopsis: “Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg March are four sisters living in Concord with their parents—Father, who’s tending to soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and Marmee, who teaches the girls simple but effective witchcraft. The Marches have to keep their craft quiet, as there are many in Concord who see magic in a bad light—especially after things have begun disappearing.

When Mr. Laurence, a witchfinder, moves in next door to investigate the missing objects, the girls fear for their livelihood. But he turns out to be a kind old man, and his grandson, Laurie, quickly befriends the Marches. As the cold winter blusters on, the girls continue their education, even as missing objects soon turn into missing people.

Things take a turn for the worse when Jo and Laurie try investigating on their own, and a dangerous storm takes hold of Concord. There’s powerful magic at play here—stronger than anything the Marches, or even Laurie, has ever seen before. Can they hope to defeat it? Or has the magic already become too strong for them to fight against?” (Goodreads)

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This magical retelling of a classic, Little Women, features your favorite March sisters but with a delightfully witchy twist.

I haven’t ever read Little Women but I have always enjoyed the movie. I saw this title and was instantly drawn in because who doesn’t love a story about witches? The cover is gorgeous as well.

I thought that the story of the March sisters was very cute. There was a touch of magic and also had important lessons, like working together and not judging a book by its cover. Although it was a little on the short side, the plot was interesting and it wrapped up quite nicely by the end. The illustrations are great as well!

Overall, it was a cute children’s graphic novel and one that I would read to my daughter as she gets older. If you would like to read a magical retelling of Little Women then give this book a try!

The Cruel Stars: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

43093526Title: The Cruel Stars
Author: John Birmingham
Genre: Sci-Fi
Publication Date: Aug. 20th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “The galaxy was once terrorized by the Sturm, a group of “species purists” intent on destroying any human with genetic or cybernetic enhancements. Fashioning themselves as the one true “Human Republic,” the Sturm cut a bloody swath across the stars, killing billions before finally being defeated and driven into the far reaches of Dark Space. Centuries of peace bred complacency. Everyone believed the Sturm had died out in the Dark. They were wrong.

The enemy has returned and, with a brutal and decisive attack, knocks out almost all of humanity’s defenses. Now on the brink of annihilation, humankind’s only hope is a few brave souls who survived the initial attack: Commander Lucinda Hardy, thrust into uncertain command of the Royal Armadalen Navy’s only surviving warship. Booker3, a soldier of Earth, sentenced to die for treason, whose time on death row is cut short when the Sturm attack his prison compound. Princess Alessia, a young royal of the Montanblanc Corporation, forced to flee when her home planet is overrun and her entire family executed. Sephina L’trel, the leader of an outlaw band who must call on all of her criminal skills to resist the invasion. And, finally, Admiral Frazer McLennan, the infamous hero of the first war with the Sturm hundreds of years ago, who hopes to rout his old foes once and for all–or die trying.

These five flawed, reluctant heroes must band together to prevail against a relentless enemy and near-impossible odds. For if they fail, the future itself is doomed.”

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My Review:

Here’s the thing, I don’t know if it was just me but I just couldn’t get into this book like I wanted. The synopsis sounded fantastic and the cover is amazing but it just didn’t live up to the ideals in my head.

I am usually one that loves multiple point of views but it was hard to follow along in this particular book. I didn’t find myself connecting with the characters or feeling interested in their lives or their quest to save earth. It didn’t feel like they had much character development. The characters were just thrown at us from the beginning with not a lot to go off of.

The plot was interesting for the most part and had a few surprises I wasn’t expecting. That is always a plus. We get to glimpse at the invaders ideology and what drives them. To them, they are just doing what they think is right. Although there is quite a bit of action packed scenes, at times the pacing slowed down. This also happens more often in the later part of the book as well.

One thing I did enjoy was the comic relief. Even though things are going wrong and there is a lot of gore to be seen, the characters find time to joke or mention Lord of the Rings. It adds a nice touch and makes the story a bit lighter at times.

Overall, I wish I had liked it more but I know that others will enjoy this book even if I didn’t.

Warcross: Book Review

book review

 

29385546Title: Warcross (Warcross #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA Sci-fi
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Synopsis: “For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for almost a year now. My sister had read it last year and really enjoyed it, as well as her friend which is one reason I had bought it. Plus, Book Outlet has great deals and it was one I couldn’t pass up. The cover is gorgeous and the naked hardback is a pretty blue unless you have the UK version which is rainbow and beautiful! Anyways, let’s get into why I enjoyed this book.

The plot is a unique take on gaming and it was interesting to see how it all worked out and came together. The idea of using glasses to see more in the real world is a cool idea! I’m not sure its one I would want to use but who knows what the future holds. Everything a person does gives them points and levels you up. It is a weird concept but one that I enjoyed reading about.

The plot twists were on point and left me in shock. I wasn’t expecting what would happen by the end and it has me excited and nervous to see where the second book takes the characters and the plot. I have heard mixed reviews and so I am trying to go in without trying to get my hopes up.

As for the characters, Emika Chen had quite the background when it came to hacking. She wasn’t a character I fully connected with but did appreciate her personality and what she stood for. Hideo Tanaka is a guy of few words and lots of action. He makes his own rules and has a troubled past. As the creator of the game, it’s easy for him to make his own rules. I liked the development of his character and am curious to see how he will turn out in the second book.

When it came to the romance, it was something I could have lived without but it did push the plot at times. Instalove just isn’t my thing but I get why it was included.

Overall, I enjoyed it but it wasn’t a book that really grasped me from the beginning. I am still looking forward to the second book even with the mixed reviews in hopes I will like it as much as the first.

 

Weekly Update (8/4/19)

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Hello Lovely Readers!

This weekend I have been out of town so I made sure to write this post ahead of times! It’s always nice to be able to go visit some of my husband’s family but it makes me miss my own. Living far away sucks!

Blog Posts From This Week:

Books Finished This Week:

  • Coral by Sara Ella (arc)
  • Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger (arc)
  • Roar by Cora Carmack (reread)
  • Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters (arc)
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Currently Reading:

  • Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski

How was your week? Anything exciting coming up? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

Grim Lovelies: Book Review

book review

 

37570566Title: Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2018

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Synopsis: “Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

I hadn’t heard much about this book before diving in. I did know that the second book was coming out soon and since it was going to be a long wait at the library I checked Amazon.

Guess what? I bought the hardback for under $6!

Since it was such a good deal, I knew I needed to just go ahead and read it once it arrived. Let me tell you, it blew my expectations out of the water. I enjoyed reading about the magic in Paris, the beasties, and finding the goblins to be quite interesting! I’ve already rambled on enough so let’s get into it!

The book introduces us to three different factions:

The Beasties: Animals turned into Human for the purpose of servitude
The Pretties: Normal everyday humans with technology, cars who are just like us
The Haute: Magic users such as witches and the goblins

The main character Anouk is a beastie and works for a witch, Mada Vittora, who doesn’t let her leave the house ever. Although Mada Vittora can be cruel, Anouk is always loyal and in a way loves her as a mother because she is all she has ever know, minus the other beasties and Viggo, the witch’s son (but not really her son).

Anouk in the beginning was very timid and rarely spoke out but throughout the book she has such great character development and we really see her coming into her own. I loved reading about her choices and the consequences that came with them. I don’t want to say too much more about her because I don’t want give anything away!

As for the other beasties, at times I wasn’t sure if I liked or hated some. Cricked was a likable character from the beginning because she is sassy, loves to fight, and is just overall an intimidating character. Beau and Hunter Black were the ones I went back and forth with. Hunter Black did grow on me by the end but Beau is still in the iffy stage. This leaves only one more to talk about, Luc. Since he wasn’t a part of a majority of the book I don’t have many feelings towards him. He sparked a lot of the plot and the choices Anouk had to eventually make so in a way we wouldn’t have a story without him. I wish I could say more about them but again, I am trying to keep this spoiler free. Either way, they are a great group of characters all with different personalities.

Now, for the last characters I will discuss. Viggo and Prince Renner were both very interesting characters that I kept going back and forth with. Were they evil? Did they want what was best? One had some redeeming qualities and eventually grew on me but if you want to know which one it was, you’ll have to read the book for yourself! I can’t end the conversation about characters without mentioning the goblins. They were fun, weird, and quite fashionable! I loved everything about them and hope they get more page time in the sequel.

The plot was wonderfully crafted and full of twists and turns I didn’t see coming. Every time I found myself  reading about one I found myself having a shocked face. The magic was interesting and one that I feel is different from the rest. I have never read a book with something like the Beasties and they were fantastic to read about. I also thought there were some good lessons hidden away in the pages of this book as well.

Overall, I am glad I decided to purchase this book because it is a story that I will remember. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel!

 

Ignite the Stars: Book Review

book review

 

38469737.jpgTitle: Ignite the Stars (Ignite the Stars #1)
Author: Maura Milan
Genre: YA Sci-fi
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018

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Synopsis:Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cōcha is a seventeen-year-old girl.

 

A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.

Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

Sci-Fi is one of those genres that I have a love/hate relationship with. There have been some really great ones I have read and some that just didn’t live up to what I wanted. This one took me on a wild ride!

I love a book that gives me multiple point-of-views. I think it really adds to the character development and gives me another look at the plot as it unfolds, if done right. Ia, Brinn, and Knives each have designated chapters. The point-of-views really helped for this particular book because each of the three characters has a different background and their own story to tell that makes up why they are at the training base. Each one also has a side they are on when it comes to politics and even though they may not see eye to eye which each other a majority of the time, most of the time they are open to listening to the other.

Ia is very strong willed and does what she needs to survive. She can keep her feelings in check even when it comes to hurting another or even killing. She has a lot of baggage. AS the book progresses, her character development starts to shed off some of her layers and glimpses of the girl underneath can be seen.

Brinn always wants to see the good in others even when she knows what people will do if they found she is part Tawny. Racism plays a large role in the plot and it is something that is relatable to today. I enjoyed reading about her because there are times she doesn’t want to make tough decisions and just wants to blend in but when things start to go downhill she is backed into a corner and must choose whether to take it or fight for her to be who she is.

As for Knives, he is a ball of complicated. Like the other two characters, he has baggage. His family kind of sucks and I just felt for him. I wasn’t sure if I liked him in the beginning but he grew on me and I can’t wait to get more of him in the next book!

The relationships in this book are definitely complicated ones. The major one you could say is enemies to lovers and I mean, that’s my favorite trope so I’m not complaining! I loved every moment of it and am excited to see where it goes in the sequel.

As mentioned above, racism is a major plot point as well as politics. These two go hand in hand. Both are hard topics but I think that the author did a good job writing about them. Each side thinks they are doing what’s best but someone always gets hurt in the end.

This book is not short of its plot twists and I enjoyed every one! There were some I figured out but others blew me away and I am excited to continue my journey with these characters!

If you are a fan of sci-fi, I definitely suggest checking this book out and looking for the sequel that comes out in September of this year!

Ever Alice: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

43694151.jpgTitle: Ever Alice
Author: H.J. Ramsay
Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling
Publication Date: August 1st, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis:Alice’s stories of Wonderland did more than raise a few eyebrows—it landed her in an asylum. Now at 15 years of age, she’s willing to do anything to leave, which includes agreeing to an experimental procedure. When Alice decides at the last minute not to go through with it, she escapes with the White Rabbit to Wonderland and trades one mad house for another: the court of the Queen of Hearts. Only this time, she is under orders to take out the Queen. When love, scandal, and intrigue begin to muddle her mission, Alice finds herself on the wrong side of the chopping block.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

I am a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland. I have read it multiple times and have multiple editions. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t what I was expecting and not in a good way.

The plot was an interesting take on what happens after for Alice. It was different than other retellings and I appreciate a new spin on it, especially with the added part about the asylum. Even with the unique additions this retelling had, the plot felt slow. The writing was meant to resemble the original story but it just wasn’t the same silliness I have grown to love.

When it came to the characters, the original cast was present, some more than others. The Mad Hatter didn’t feel like his unusual self in this which was really disappointing as he is one of my favorite characters. New characters were added but they lacked in depth for me.

Overall, it was an original retelling but it lacked in certain areas where more details were needed. Although it wasn’t for me, I still think that other Alice fans would love this interesting and unique retelling.

The Cheerleaders: Book Review

book review

 

30969755Title: The Cheerleaders
Author: Kara Thomas
Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
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Synopsis:There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe. ”
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My Review:

Lately I have been getting into YA Mystery/Thrillers. They have been helping me take a break from Fantasy and I will definitely be adding them into the routine. Although this one wasn’t a top read for me, I still enjoyed it and had a hard time putting it down.

This book mostly follows the aftermath of the deaths of a whole group of cheerleaders that happened five years prior. Monica, the sister to one named Jen, is still not over the events that led up to it. There are also chapters from Jen’s point of view of that events that transpired. I am a sucker for multiple point of views and by the author adding in the one’s from Jen, it really added to understanding the events.

Monica is character that is quite relatable when it comes to her actions. Even though its been five years, she still has all these questions. I mean, I know I would. I think that is why I liked her so much. The other characters in the book are pretty minor but their are two that stick out the most, Jen and Ginny. Jen, for the reason I have already pointed out and Ginny because she isn’t well liked at her school and yet she is so willing to help Monica figure out what really happened.

When it came to the plot, what actually happened wasn’t what I was expecting. But, I do love surprises! The plot twists weren’t easily recognized and once one clue was given I just kept being entranced by the whole thing. It was a hard book to step away from.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and the writers writing. I will definitely be checking out more books by her!

 

This Is How You Lose the Time War: ARC Mini Review

book review

 

36516585._SX318_.jpgTitle: This Is How You Lose the Time War
Author: Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone
Genre: LGBT Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019

Arc was provided by publisher through a giveaway. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.

And thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more.

Except discovery of their bond would be death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

This was a very quick read and the writing style was different and one that I haven’t come across yet. Although it was unique, I’m not sure that I liked it all that well.

The book has two point of views, Red and Blue. They are both on opposite sides of the war and so their communication is done through letters. The letters were interesting to read and in the beginning were filled with banter. As the book progresses, their relationship dynamic changes and so the feelings in the letters change as well. There are also small little chapters of them seeing each other in different time periods which was pretty interesting.

Overall, the book is more poetic/centered around a relationship than I would have liked which I think takes away from the sci-fi aspect, at least for me anyways. Either way it was still a decent read!

Milady: NetGalley Review

 

NetGalley Review

 

41642752Title: Milady
Author: Laura L. Sullivan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “I’ve gone by many names though you know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess, seductress, a secondary player in The Three Musketeers story.

But we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.

So before you cast judgment, let me tell you of how a girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe. A target for antipathy, a name whispered in fear or loathing.

I don’t need you to like me. I just need to be free.

It’s finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn’t tidy or convenient, but it’s certainly more interesting.”

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My Review:

The premise seemed to be different than the book and its hard to enjoy it when they don’t seem to coincide. It took longer for me to get through this book since there was no real connection for me to the plot or the characters. I wanted to enjoy this one but for reasons, I couldn’t.

When it came to Milady, she did a lot of vile things but at the same time she also blamed it on others and love. She also seemed to have multiple personalities and I am not sure if one was for show or not. I had a hard time connecting with her and that always plays a huge role in grabbing my attention for the book as a whole. I can’t say that I was interested in any of the other characters and some didn’t have much background or a lot of character development.

The writing style was one that I was not fond of. At times the narrative seemed to switch from past to present within the same chapter and it made for quite a confusing read. The plot was somewhat interesting but still needed something and it didn’t grasp my attention. There were certain scenes that also rubbed me the wrong way early on in the book and could also be another reason I couldn’t get into it. Although it was quite creative and had a strong female character, it just wasn’t for me.

Overall, it is another case of the, “its me, not you”. I know others will find this book to be wonderful. So like always, take my review with a grain of salt.