Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Dislike but Am Glad I Read

 

Yeah, yeah, I’ve rewritten this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. I didn’t like the one I posted earlier, so I’ve decided to stick with this week’s topic. And now it has put me in a funk.

I hope you enjoy my little rants as much as I have. 😉 Here are my picks for books that disappointed me, but I glad I read regardless of the rating:

 

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

I dislike a Maas book? Come again?! I don’t particularly hate it, but I found it lacking. A Court of Frost and Starlight is one of my top most anticipated reads of 2018. So I had huge expectations. Yes, we get a clean transition from the first series to the second, but I wish Maas cleared up the issue with Mor and Az, but she’ll drag that on for all its worth. Az deserves the truth, and the fandom needs clarification on Mor’s sexuality.

What I do love about ACOFAS is Nesta’s growth. Some readers hate it, but I loved it. Her devolution is more startling than Feyre’s.

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

I rated this book too high when I first reviewed it. But the more I think about it, I think the rating should be closer to three stars. I don’t mind when characters push others away. But the way Mare pushed Slade, who she thought was dead, rubbed me the wrong way. The only thing that saved the book is the ending even if it broke my heart.

 

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

I was so ecstatic about winning the Hazel Wood from Indigo Teen. The cover is gorgeous, and the blurb sold me. But unfortunately, the story falls short of what I was anticipating. I like the overall storyline, but I feel the execution killed it.

Secondary characters are the saving grace of this story. I loved them. I’m still not sure if I’ll buy the sequel. Sometimes the hype doesn’t live up to the book.

 

Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare

I love how Cassie introduces a deadlier and dangerous foe with the Cohorts and Centurions, but I felt too conflicted with everything else. Her books are too dense, and probably a quarter of that book could have been taken out. Even though I love Julian and Emma, their relationship scares me, and it breaks my heart they were put into that situation.

 

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova

IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BOOK. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! The story killed my love for this book. I bought it on a whim, and while I adored the diversity, especially Alex, I wish it was set apart from high school. I know, I know. It’s a YA book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the last half of the book when the trio went to Los Lagos. I loved immersing myself in the Bruja culture, and I hope to see more of it. But the love triangle felt forced, and the female love interest seems like she worships Alex.

Top Ten Tuesday | My Most Loved OTPs

Hey, book lovers!

This post is my first Top Ten (Five) Tuesday, which moved to That Artsy Reader Girl. I don’t always celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I thought this year I’d make it bookish. So to mark this joyous day, I’ve chosen my top five OTP couples.

 

Feyre and Rhysand (Feysand) from A Court of Thorns and Roses

“I would have waited five hundred more years for you. A thousand years. And if this was all the time we were allowed to have… The wait was worth it. “

Who doesn’t love this couple? Okay, probably several since there are still Feylin shippers. Both Feyre and Rhys give me a reason to find my mate (cheesy, I don’t care). They are why I keep coming back from to this series. Their overall character development just brings shivers to me. She saves the man she loves only to find that he is truly a beast. But another man who tricks the world into believing he is the monster is the one who saves her. This beautiful retelling will be on the top of my reread list. I can’t get enough of them.

 

Nesta and Cassian (Nessian) from A Court of Thorns and Roses

“I have no regrets in my life, but this. That we did not have time. That I did not have time with you, Nesta. I will find you in the next world—the next life. And we will have that time. I promise.”

I say, IF SARAH DOESN’T SAIL THIS SHIP, I’LL RIOT. I am Nessian trash, and I’ll go down with this ship. I don’t care if I’m irrational. If they aren’t mates, I’ll be equally as salty. You don’t heavily hint at Queen Bitch™ being with glorious Man Bun™ for nothing! Even Feyre ships this couple. Nesta infuriates Cassian, who then settles her down but also accepts, then understands her. I love them, and I called it in ACOMAF.

They truly deserve their time in their own book, and this Nessian’s number one shipper needs that book.

 

Inej and Kaz from Six of Crows

“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we’d fight our way out together-knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”

At the beginning, I wasn’t sure Kaz was good enough for my knife queen. But then I fell in love with Dirty Hands, and I couldn’t see anyone else with her. The Bastard of the Barrel won me over. He is one character who I adore and cherish. In some cases, he reminds me of me, so I understand his fears and his constant need to show the world he can’t be conquered. And Inej has suffered for years, yet she crawled out of her nightmare to find him. I need more stories about them, Leigh.

 

Laia and Elias from An Ember in the Ashes

“You are my temple,” I murmur as I kneel beside her. “You are my priest. You are my prayer. You are my release.”

Aw, this couple melts my heart. Both of these cinnamon buns live in a cruel and brutal world determined to destroy everything good in their lives. Yet they found, then fought their way back to each other. The ending of A Torch against the Night may put a kink in their potential relationship, so I don’t know what’s in store for them.

 

Farley and Shade from Red Queen

“You’re a special kind of stupid.”

I wish this ship would have matured, but unfortunately, we get only a few snippets of it. And it breaks my damn heart. Shade is one of my favourite characters in the Red Queen series, and his story just gutted me when I finished this book. And Farley surprised me when she finally opens up and lets Shade in. Sometimes some couples aren’t meant to last.

Wrap-up: January 2017

january-2017-wrap-up2

I’M BACK! Finally, I can blog full-time. 😌 I’ve been trying to catch up on my TBR pile on my shelf so I can be ready for the release of Victoria Aveyard’s King Cage and Kelley Armstrong’s A Darkness Absolute. And I have to throw in a little weirdness to boot.

 

City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve fallen in love with this book. I adore Kelley’s fantasy work, and she’s known for that genre, but this series just brings an exhilarating twist to her repertoire. Her writing shines in City of the Lost. It’s one of her best works in the last few years, and I highly recommend. Kelley has a huge reservoir of stories, and you may feel overwhelmed. But the Rockton Thriller series steps away from previous characters and solely focuses on a solid psychological thriller. If you love her Nadia Stafford series, you’ll love this.

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I cannot get enough of this series. Yes, there are some issues with the whole special snowflake syndrome, but, and I mean BUT, Victoria’s storytelling makes up for some of these problems, and she takes a new spin on that trope. Like The Hunger Games, Red Queen inspired me to take more risks with picking up YA books, and I’ll always be grateful for her work.

Reviews for both Red Queen and Glass Sword will be coming soon!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Glass Sword has an X-Men feel to it with Mare, Cal, and the other newbloods (Reds with Silver abilities) looking to find, well, more of their kind. Mare and Cal try to deal with betrayal they never saw coming in Red Queen. And throughout the book, Mare struggles with herself, fighting an internal tug-of-war. Her transformation is hard to read. THAT ENDING. My feels can’t take it.

#freemare!

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

The Boatman by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

So my girl Kat hooked me up with her charming and dark little MG story revolving around a girl after my own heart. It has a dash of Coraline and a sprinkle of Tim Burton’s magic. Kat offers such a refreshing tale. I simply love this book.

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

 

The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book looks wonderful in person. I read it back in late 2016, but it has always struck a cord with me. What is life? What is death?  The Oddity is one of the most intriguing and thought-provoking stories I’ve ever read.

I will always support small publishers. So if you want to do the same, go directly to the publisher and buy here.

Find my review here.

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Publisher’s Website

Mini Review: Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

25944381.jpgCruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard

Published by: HarperTeen

Publication Date: January 5, 2016

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian

Extent: 208 pages

Rating: Queen Song: 3.75/5

Steel Scars: 3.5/5

Source: Purchase


Two women on either side of the Silver and Red divide tell the stories no one else knows.

Queen Song

Queen Coriane, first wife of King Tiberias, keeps a secret diary—how else can she ensure that no one at the palace will use her thoughts against her? Coriane recounts her heady courtship with the crown prince, the birth of a new prince, Cal, and the potentially deadly challenges that lay ahead for her in royal life.


Steel Scars

Diana Farley was raised to be strong, but being tasked with planting the seeds of rebellion in Norta is a tougher job than expected. As she travels the land recruiting black market traders, smugglers, and extremists for her first attempt at an attack on the capital, she stumbles upon a connection that may prove to be the key to the entire operation—Mare Barrow.


Queen Song

This book is certainly a quick read. I wasn’t expecting huge revelations, but I needed more history than what was in Red Queen.

“There is nothing so terrible as a story untold.”

IMG_0245 copyKing Tiberius Calore VI, Cal and Maven’s father, refuses to follow the path of other kings when he looks for his queen. So when he chooses Coriane Jacos, a singer from a poor family, he angers many families and powerful daughters who are aiming for that gleaming crown. Victoria transports you back through Coriane and Tiberius’ love story. Their marriage isn’t shiny by any means, but you see how they loved each other. And I truly enjoy the lack of blood lust in this marriage, like the others from the Queenstrial, where teenage girls from the High Houses compete against each other and display their abilities in front of the royal family. I also love how Coriane, while she isn’t there in person in the Red Queen, influences Cal on a much deeper level than I previously thought. Like her, Cal loves to build, a trait he inherits from his mother. Unfortunately, the King and Queen’s marriage does not survive after the birth of their son, Cal, when unforeseen forces tear down the protective walls in Coriane.

Yes, yes, yes. I get more Coriane! Her life has always intrigued me. And while I knew who killed her, I never understood how Elara breaks a singer. Tiberius and Coriane’s story is what I was looking for in this dreary universe. Something I see as real and beautiful. Victoria really sparked my interest in this piece of history. How her prose changes in this story brings out Coriane’s POV. You get a lot of spunk and sarcasm when Mare takes the stage, but with Coriane, you hear her quiet but determined (albeit sad) voice.

Steel Scars

Victoria shows Farley’s roots in Steel Scars. So finally you watch how Farley, the Scarlet Guard captain from Red Queen, transforms into who she is now. She has a deeper backstory and a stronger rage than any of her scars. Farley’s story lays out the leg work for the eventual exposure of the Scarlet Guard and the attack on the Silvers in Red Queen.While this story doesn’t instantly capture my interest as Queen Song does, I love how Victoria wraps up some burning questions I’ve had since I first read Red Queen. And finally I understand Farley’s conviction behind her decisions to do what she must. Victoria incorporates top-secret correspondences among the ranks. And she also shows you how the the Scarlet Guard works, something I’ve been trying to figure out for quite awhile. And I get more Shade Barrow! What more can a woman ask for?

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository

Waiting on Wednesday: King’s Cage

WoW4_edited-3

Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, is a weekly meme that showcases upcoming book releases that readers are eagerly awaiting.

91519King’s Cage

Victoria Aveyard

Publication Date: February 2, 2017

Extent: 448 pages

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Why Am I Waiting?

I haven’t read Glass Sword yet (yes, I know I need to! And this WoW is yet another I-haven’t-read-the-sequel-yet-BUT post), but I’m still counting down the days to King’s Cage. We have only 161 days to wait. The Red Queen surprised me. I didn’t know I would like it so much. Scratch that. I love it. Supernatural beings controlling humans? You had me at the word “controlling.” (I’m not sure if you should worry about that sentence…) And how can I say no to reading a beautifully designed book? With the first book, I couldn’t put it down, and I went through a tough reading slump afterwards.

With King’s Cage, I want to see how Victoria takes this captivating series and also want to see how far her characters will push themselves. And I’m not sure if I want to kill Maven or not. I’m still debating.

And no, I have yet to read this book’s blurb! I don’t want to be spoiled. The things I do to myself for this blog. 😑