Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

27834600In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Published April 19th 2016

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.

When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods. 

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In a Dark, Dark Wood was pretty good. Not my favorite from Ruth Ware but I did like it much more than The Woman in Cabin 10.
I thought this was the most creepy of Ruth’s books and it definitely did keep me entertained. I didn’t think the concept was the most original but it’s a classic creepy set up and you can’t really go wrong with it.
Something I’ve struggled with when it comes to Ruth’s books is connecting to the characters and really loving them. I just couldn’t seem to get into any of the characters in this book. I felt very neutral towards them and I wasn’t very emotionally invested.
I really liked the writing in In a Dark, Dark Wood and I thought the writing actually kept this book alive for me.
I did find the first 3/4 of this book to be better than the last 1/4. I can’t really put my finger on what changed for me in the last 1/4 but it wasn’t quite there for me.
Overall, I enjoyed In a Dark, Dark Wood and would recommend it if you’re looking for a quick, entertaining thriller. It’s not the best book I’ve read but I think it’s worth checking out.

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Review: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

28187230The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Published June 30th 2016

In this tightly wound story, Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for—and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong…

With surprising twists and a setting that proves as uncomfortably claustrophobic as it is eerily beautiful, Ruth Ware offers up another intense read.

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This is my third book from Ruth Ware and to be totally honest, it’s my least favorite. I was actually expecting this to be the best Ruth’s books because I’ve such hype around it, especially in bookstores.
The synopsis (like all of Ruth’s books) sounds amazing and I expected The Woman in Cabin 10 to be an insane psychological thriller that I would read in one sitting. And even though I did read it fairly quickly, it wasn’t as captivating as I hoped it would be.
I loved the concept but I really didn’t like the characters. With the characters always being drunk or constantly drinking, it was annoying and that alone made me want to quit reading the book.
Some of the things through out this book didn’t really make sense to me and I think it could have been edited better.
The pace was a slow burn, which I’m okay with, but when the plot kicked into gear, I really started to enjoy the book so much more.
Overall, The Woman in Cabin 10 was hit and miss with me. For everything I liked, there was two things I didn’t like. I think this book had a lot of potential but it missed the mark with me.

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Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison

25241697Wonder Woman: Earth One, Vol. 1 (Wonder Woman: Earth One #1)
by Grant Morrison (Writer), Yanick Paquette (Artist), Nathan Fairbairn (Colourist), Todd Klein (Letterer)

Published April 6th 2016 by DC Comics

Following the New York Times #1 bestselling original graphic novels Batman: Earth One, Volume One and Superman: Earth One Volumes One and Two comes Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One!

Critically acclaimed, best-selling writer Grant Morrison (All-Star Superman, Batman, Inc.) once again pushes the boundaries of the graphic novel page in his mind-bending new take on the most powerful woman in the DC Universe. With stunning art by Yanick Paquette (Swamp Thing), Wonder Woman: Earth One, Volume One is an easily accessible jumping on point for new readers.

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I was so pumped to read this but it ended up being a hot mess. Not only was the story line confusing, I couldn’t figure out what was a flashback and what was present day, but the body shaming and the sexism was very disappointing. Wonder Woman, in my mind, is supposed to be empowering. Not make people feel bad about themselves. One character said women of “Man’s world” are “deformed, shrunken, bloated, domesticated cattle” and what just wasn’t okay.
This comic was just all kinds of problematic. There was scene where Diana collared Steve Trevor (who is black) and that felt really wrong.
To be totally honest, I could tell this comic only had men involved in its creation. It felt like it was written for men by men.
Unfortunately, I spent money on this comic and if I could return it, I would. There’s a lot of well written reviews that show examples of the problematic nature in this comic so if you’re curious about knowing more, I’d recommend reading this review and this review.

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Review: The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

30076808The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

Published April 23rd 2016

“ah, life—
the thing
that happens
to us
while we’re off
somewhere else
blowing on
dandelions
& wishing
ourselves into
the pages of
our favorite
fairy tales.”

A poetry collection divided into four different parts: the princess, the damsel, the queen, & you. the princess, the damsel, & the queen piece together the life of the author in three stages, while you serves as a note to the reader & all of humankind. Explores life & all of its love, loss, grief, healing, empowerment, & inspirations.

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I don’t read poetry often (okay this is only the forth poetry book I’ve read) so I can’t really judge this book compared to other poetry books but I did really loved it.
The Princess Saves Herself in this One is kind of a memoir-ish collection of poems and I really appreciate how Amanda was so open with her poems. A few poems resonated very deeply with me in a way I wasn’t expecting when I started this book.
I think a lot of the poems in The Princess Saves Herself in this One will be relatable to many readers and gives a voice to some issues that aren’t always represented in literature and other platforms of media.
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Review: The Edge of Juniper by Lora Richardson

30330916The Edge of Juniper by Lora Richardson

Published June 12th 2016

“You’re off-limits, so why can’t I stop thinking about you?”

Fay Whitaker, sixteen years old and yearning for adventure, is excited to spend the summer with her fearless cousin Celia in small-town Juniper, Indiana.

But Fay soon discovers that her summer home is not what she expected. She is alarmed by her uncle’s temper, and learns of the grudge he holds against the Dearing family. Celia handles the tension at home by escaping with her boyfriend, leaving Fay with time on her hands—time that leads her straight to Malcolm Dearing, off-limits because of his last name. Fay is captivated by Malcolm’s warmth and intensity. She finds that trying to stay away from him only makes her think of him more.

Fay and Celia are launched on a journey, and each must attempt to navigate the thrilling and unpredictable world of love. Everything Fay thinks she knows about love is put to the test, as relationships unfold and reveal themselves in ways she never before dreamed.

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I seen The Edge of Juniper as a suggested book when I was browsing New Adult books on Amazon. I assumed that this book was NA because all the other books in the suggested page were so I bought a copy. It’s actually Young Adult, which is fine, but the second I realized that this book wasn’t the genre I was wanting, I was disappointed. That’s 100% my fault for assuming but it still hindered my overall reading experience with The Edge of Juniper.
The main character is pretty young, 15 years old if I remember correctly, so I had a hard time relating to her. She was a nice character, I liked her, but she was also a little plain. She was an average YA character and she was kind of boring. There was a few things she did and said that was cringy and weird but it wasn’t often so it wasn’t that big a deal.
The whole book was actually pretty plain and normal. There was nothing really memorable. I liked the characters, pace, and setting. The writing was good for the most part and I loved the family dynamics.
But overall, The Edge of Juniper was a basic YA read. I liked it but I don’t think I”ll remember much about it in a few months. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, this book might be for you. But if you’re wanting a book that will blow you away, you’ll probably want to skip The Edge of Juniper.

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Review: The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

29405093The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Published August 16th 2016

The Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress, writer, and star of Inside Amy Schumer and the acclaimed film Trainwreck has taken the entertainment world by storm with her winning blend of smart, satirical humor. Now, Amy Schumer has written a refreshingly candid and uproariously funny collection of (extremely) personal and observational essays.

In The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, Amy mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships, and sex and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is – a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh.

Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friends – an unforgettable and fun adventure that you wish could last forever. Whether she’s experiencing lust-at-first-sight while in the airport security line, sharing her own views on love and marriage, admitting to being an introvert, or discovering her cross-fit instructor’s secret bad habit, Amy Schumer proves to be a bighearted, brave, and thoughtful storyteller that will leave you nodding your head in recognition, laughing out loud, and sobbing uncontrollably – but only because it’s over.

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I was sent a copy of this book from the publisher and I was pretty excited about it. I’m on a quest to expand my reading horizons and I’ve really wanted to read more nonfiction.
I’ve never seen any of Amy Schumer’s stand up and I’m not that familiar with her movies. I actually don’t really know anything about her. But I thought The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo would probably be funny so I was excited to read it.
However, Amy’s brand of comedy and humor aren’t for me. There was a few things in this book that I thought was funny but most of it wasn’t. I’m not very sensitive to crude humor but there was some stuff that was a little much for me. I felt awkward just reading some of the jokes in this book. There was a few thousand (not even an exaggeration) too many vagina jokes for me. A lot of the jokes felt repetitive.
Amy was really judgmental as well and it really brought this book down for me.
I do appreciate how hard Amy works and how she’s made her mark as a comedian. It’s not easy being a female comedian but Amy Schumer has worked her butt off to get where she is. I really admire her for that.

Overall, this book didn’t have the humor I was expecting and it was just not for me. Comedy is so subjective so my opinion doesn’t have a lot of weight in the quality of the humor. If you’re a fan of Amy and you like her stand up and whatnot, you’ll probably enjoy this book. But if you’re not familiar with her comedy like I was, I’d recommend looking into a few Youtube videos of her stand up or something before buying this book.

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Review: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

27272506The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead

Published April 5th 2016

Big and sweeping, spanning from the refined palaces of Osfrid to the gold dust and untamed forests of Adoria, The Glittering Court tells the story of Adelaide, an Osfridian countess who poses as her servant to escape an arranged marriage and start a new life in Adoria, the New World. But to do that, she must join the Glittering Court.

Both a school and a business venture, the Glittering Court is designed to transform impoverished girls into upper-class ladies who appear destined for powerful and wealthy marriages in the New World. Adelaide naturally excels in her training, and even makes a few friends: the fiery former laundress Tamsin and the beautiful Sirminican refugee Mira. She manages to keep her true identity hidden from all but one: the intriguing Cedric Thorn, son of the wealthy proprietor of the Glittering Court.

When Adelaide discovers that Cedric is hiding a dangerous secret of his own, together they hatch a scheme to make the best of Adelaide’s deception. Complications soon arise—first as they cross the treacherous seas from Osfrid to Adoria, and then when Adelaide catches the attention of a powerful governor.

But no complication will prove quite as daunting as the potent attraction simmering between Adelaide and Cedric. An attraction that, if acted on, would scandalize the Glittering Court and make them both outcasts in wild, vastly uncharted lands…

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I received a copy of The Glittering Court in a subscription box last year and it took me forever to pick it up. I heard a few negative things about it but I also heard a couple positive things so I didn’t really have any expectations. Interestingly enough, none of the few negative things things I heard could have prepared me for The Glittering Court.

I just didn’t like anything about this book. I tried to find something, anything at all, but I didn’t like anything.
It lacks any kind of depth or world building that should come with a fantasy novel and the romance is over the top and kind of cringey. To be completely honest, most of the book was cringey. It was like a draft instead of the finished story.
The thing I disliked most about The Glittering Court is how the religious persecution is never dealt with. There was some other problematic issues in this book that weren’t dealt with but for me personally, the religious persecution was the last straw and was very personal to me.

I didn’t understand the world because it wasn’t built well or explained. There was so many plot holes and nothing made sense. I don’t think the author thought anything through before writing it down. The whole book felt lazy. It felt like there was no thought or effort put into this book.

I didn’t like the characters, especially the main character. Adelaide was not only boring beyond belief, she was also extremely stupid and annoying. None of her dialogue sounded natural and half the time I was wondering what the heck she was even saying.

And the whole book is sexist so there’s that. It pretty much teaches girls that we’re good for nothing but looking pretty and pleasing a man. And all men are stupid. That was what The Glittering Court teaches young readers.

“Mister Thorn has made it all sound very lovely,” she replied. “But I kind of feel like some trinket being bought and sold.”
“Women always feel that way,” I said.

I’ve seen a few other reviews that contain this quote but it’s one of the worth things in the book so I’d like to include it in my review as well. I wanted to include more quotes to show how sexist and terrible this book is but there’s so many quotes that showcase the sexism that my review would be more quotes than my thoughts.

Overall, this book was sexist, cringey, and problematic. I didn’t like it at all and I won’t be reading the sequel. I think there’s hundreds of other YA books out there that will empower readers instead of making young girls feel like they’re only good for pleasing a man and being sold to men like property. I don’t recommend this book at all but if you’ve read The Glittering Court and liked it, that’s totally fine. I’m not here to shame you. You’re free to read and enjoy whatever book you want.

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Review: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

25203675The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Published April 26th 2016

Fate and fortune. Power and passion. What does it take to be the queen of a kingdom when you’re only seventeen?

Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of death and destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father’s kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her whole world is torn apart when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. Soon Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Neither roles are what she expected: As Akaran’s queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar’s wife, she finds something else entirely: Compassion. Protection. Desire…

But Akaran has its own secrets—thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Soon, Maya suspects her life is in danger. Yet who, besides her husband, can she trust? With the fate of the human and Otherworldly realms hanging in the balance, Maya must unravel an ancient mystery that spans reincarnated lives to save those she loves the most…including herself.

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Where has this book been all my life?

I’ve had this book for about three months and I was always meaning to read it but it just got put off for one reason or another. The publisher sent me an early copy of the sequel, A Crown of Wishes, so I took that as a sign that I should finally read The Star-Touched Queen. I’m so glad I picked this book up.
I’m blown away by how amazing this book is. I loved everything about this book. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted in a book and more.
From the first few pages of The Star-Touched Queen, I fell in love. The writing is so beautiful and poetic. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book with more beautiful writing.
The characters are so well written and the dialogue between Maya and Amar had me feeling all the feels. I could go on and on about Amar and how amazing he is. Seriously. He has a way with words.
I want to reread every scene with Maya and Amar every day. I want to make wallpaper out of their dialogue so I can look at it all the time. I just love them so much.

Overall, there’s nothing about The Star-Touched Queen that I didn’t love. I read the whole book in one day and I’m so glad I have the sequel. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read and I kind of want to buy an ebook of it so I can take it with me everywhere and reread my favorite scenes.
I don’t often rave about a book to the point I’m annoying everyone around me but I can’t stop talking about The Star-Touched Queen. I highly recommend it.

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Review: Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

31145190Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick

Published October 6th 2016

A propulsive, compelling, and unsparing novel set in the grimly violent world of the human and drug trade on the US-Mexican border.

On the outskirts of Juarez, Arturo scrapes together a living working odd jobs and staying out of sight. But his friend Faustino is in trouble: he’s stolen money from the narcos to smuggle his girlfriend and her baby into the US, and needs Arturo’s help to get it back. To help his friend, Arturo must face the remorseless world of drug and human traffickers that surrounds him, and contend with a murky past.

Hovering over his story is the unsparing divinity Santa Muerte, Saint Death–and the relentless economic and social inequalities that haunt the border between Mexico and its rich northern neighbor. Crafted with poetry and cinematic pace and narrated with cold fury, Saint Death is a provocative tour de force from three-time Printz Award honoree Marcus Sedgwick.

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This was a very interesting book. It was very serious and not really a book to read for fun, if that makes sense. The tone of this book very intense and I feel like it’s more a of an educational read than something to read to relax. This book almost felt like the author’s commentary on current events than a fictional story. And I really didn’t mind that. It was very thought provoking.
I really loved the writing style and I’m definitely interested in the author’s other books because of the writing style. I really appreciated the diversity of the characters and how much Mexican culture it brought to the table. The entire book is very relevant and I really liked seeing a perspective that I haven’t seen before. I was very emotionally invested in the characters and even though I had a hard time relating to them, I still really liked them.
Overall, this was a really interesting, thought provoking read and I’d definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a book outside of the norm.

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Review: Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley

25721439Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley

Published September 27th 2016

Eighteen-year-old Blanca has lived a sheltered life. Her entire childhood has been spent at Tabula Rasa School where she’s been protected from the Internet.

Blanca has never been online and doesn’t even know how to text. Her lack of a virtual footprint makes her extremely valuable, and upon graduation, Blanca and those like her are sold to the highest bidders.

Blanca is purchased by Cal McNeal, who uses her to achieve personal gain. But the McNeals are soon horrified by just how obedient and non-defiant Blanca is. All those mind-numbing years locked away from society have made her mind almost impenetrable.

By the time Blanca is ready to think for herself, she is trapped. Her only chance of escape is to go online.

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This book was such an odd read. The concept is really cool and interesting but I had such a hard time relating to the main character.
I really loved Blanca’s character development. I thought was nearly spot on and I’m curious to see what development she has in the next book. However, she was so… dramatic. She came across as brain washed and plain and boring. I felt bad for hating her because she was brain washed but I couldn’t help disliking her. I couldn’t relate to her at all and because of that, I couldn’t become invested in the story. Tabula Rasa School is very cult like and I don’t remember it being addressed how awful it is. I don’t remember the whole auctioning-people-off-like-property thing being addressed either. Hopefully all that will be addressed in the second book.
The writing style was okay. I feel like it could have been cleaner and edited better.
Overall, Genesis Girl has a really cool concept but troublesome issues weren’t addressed and I wasn’t a fan of the main character. I’m very curious to see what the next book brings to the table.

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