Book review: ”Passenger”

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Book title: ”Passenger” (Passenger #1)

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publication year: 2016

Number of pages: 496

Format: paperback

Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 2☆

Blurb:

In one devastating night, Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has travelled not just miles but years from home.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods – a powerful family in the Colonies – and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, his passenger, can find.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveller who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to their target, treacherous forces threaten to separate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home forever.

Review:

The first book in a duology and a book with a promising premise. It was disappointing.

I had such high hopes for this book and sadly have to say that I was underwhelmed.

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The aspect of time travel seemed so great and since I haven’t really read any books that have time travel in them, I was intrigued. The book has great reviews on Goodreads, but there were a few that aren’t that happy about the book. Here I am now, one of those who has to say the book fell short of what it promised to be.

“It’s our choices that matter in the end. Not wishes, not words, not promises.”

First of all there was so much left unanswered or things that weren’t described and were left vague. I had so many questions at the end of the book. Also I hoped it would be a lot more action-packed and more circled around the time periods that were used in the book. I would have liked to see the history a bit more. As for the action it was all very soft and mild. The whole business with the one family trying to get control and conflicts between all the characters could have been so exciting.

The main character, Etta, was sassy and that is something I always respect. Other than that she wasn’t really that memorable. I did like that she walked into danger without overanalyzing everything.

“Good ideas had in the dark were generally best left there.”   

The book was told from two perspectives, one was Etta’s and the second Nicholas’. His one was rather boring. He wasn’t a well-rounded character and he wasn’t in my opinion very 18th century…which is where he was from. The romance between her and Etta was nonexistent in my opinion, no chemistry whatsoever and it was just too far-fetched. I think, they were good buds, definitely not more. There just wasn’t any real reason for them to be so head over heels in love with each other.

Things got interesting in the end when Etta’s mother appeared and teamed up with Nicholas. I am going to read the second book, mainly because I bought it with ”Passenger” and don’t want to let the money go to waste. But I also know that people liked ”Wayfarer” better. And I would like to see where everything and everyone ends up.

“There are rules, but rules may be rewritten if only one hand holds the ink.”   

I do hope the conclusion is better with the detailing and building of the world. The time travel aspect in this book was great, don’t get me wrong. A lot of things were well thought out and explained, but it did feel incomplete in a way.

Check the book out on Goodreads here.

Book review: ”Crooked Kingdom”

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Book title: ”Crooked Kingdom” (Six of Crows #2)

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publication year: 2016

Number of pages: 536

Format: paperback

Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 5☆

Blurb:

Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

After pulling off a seemingly impossible heist in the notorious Ice Court, criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker feels unstoppable. But life is about to take a dangerous turn – and with friends who are among the deadliest outcasts in Ketterdam city, Kaz is going to need more than luck to survive in this unforgiving underworld.

As gripping, sweeping and memorable as the Grisha trilogy – SHADOW AND BONE, SIEGE AND STORM and RUIN AND RISING – this novel is perfect for fans of Laini Taylor, Kristin Cashore and GAME OF THRONES.

Review:

This book gave me a serious hangover. I just don’t think any book could be as good as this one…at least not right now. One thing that is certain is that I loved this book a lot more than the first one.

“Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return.”   

The plot just like in  ”Six of Crows” was absolutely amazing. It was intricate, interesting, fast-paced and it was really hard to put it down. I was again amazed by the logic behind all the plans and schemes, just when I thought I was catching onto something, it all changed.

Wylan and Jesper are probably one of my main OTPs and I freaked out when they finally had their moment. They are just too precious. Matthias and Nina were the same bickering couple and it was just really cute. The duology actually, I guess,  has three OTPs, even though the one that is Kaz and Inej wasn’t exactly the best…I feel like Inej deserved better. But I did like Kaz, he is a total anti-hero.

“I don’t hold a grudge. I cradle it. I coddle it. I feed it fine cuts of meat and send it to the best schools. I nurture my grudges, Rollins.”   

This book made me cry, which just shows how much I love the characters and the story. I don’t want to say too much, because maybe someone hasn’t read this, but just know that one character died and it broke me. I cried for like a solid half hour.

“I don’t like this.”
“To be fair, Matthias, you don’t like much.”   

It is so hard to review books that I love, because I never have the words to put my feelings out there for everyone to read. Leigh Bardugo has created the best world full of magic and political intrigue and deceit. I have to get around to reading the Grisha trilogy, which came before the ”Six of Crows”.

“Suffering is like anything else. Live with it long enough, you learn to like the taste.”   

I seriously have no idea what else to say. A cunning story that will make every reader hold their breath, waiting for the next twists and turns. Highly recommend reading this ❤

Check the book out on Goodreads here.

 

Top 5 Wednesday

I haven’t done a T5W post in ages. I really am a bad person and I don’t even have a good explanation. I am just way too lazy.

Anyways, the topic for today is Books That Would Make Good Video Games and this is really cool because I do like video games. I play some occasionally…never really finish them, but who cares, right?

Okay, the books I would like to see as video games:

1. ”Illuminae” by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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I think it would be really great to play a game about space and political conflicts. The characters are really great, but I don’t really know how they’ll manage to give on the amazing plot and format of the story.

2. ”Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo

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A game where I can be one of the six AMAZING characters and be a part of the plots and deceit and everything?!?!?!?!?! Yes, please.

3. ”What Angels Fear?” by C. S. Harris

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This book is about a murder mystery in 19th century England. I think it would make a great game in which people can take a shot at solving the mystery.

4. The Lumberjanes comics by Stevenson, Ellis, Watters, Allen

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These have a really great storyline. There is friendship and diversity, interesting little mysteries and magic. These would make a really fun game.

5. ”Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

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This is already being turned into a movie, but I think it would be great as a video game…it is necessarily about them, in a way. The book is one of my favourite sci-fi books and I would really like to play a game with the same plot.

This was actually a lot tougher than I thought it would be. What books do you think would make great video games?

Book review: ”Hot Toddy”

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Book title: ”Hot Toddy”

Author: T. C. Collins

Publication year: 2016

Number of pages: 330

Format: paperback

Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 2☆

Blurb:

Everyone is talking about Hot Toddy. Who is LJ? Does she even know? Growing up in the heartland of America, LJ didn’t learn what the world was really like outside the boundaries of her family farm until she left for college in Southern California. She immediately falls head over heels in love with a hot surfer and his sun-and-surf laid-back lifestyle. She picks up modeling and acting gigs to pay down her student loans.

After a few unbearable twists of fate, LJ abandons her Midwestern values for the temptations of Hollywood—and that’s only the beginning. Caught in the pressure of balancing a lie and reality, and with her seemingly new best friend, Sidney, becoming more viperous at every turn, LJ can no longer escape the fall down the rabbit hole into a dark world of money and power, where sex sells and everything is for sale.

Hot Toddy is for every young woman who’s ever let her foolishness consume her. Part naughty thrill ride, and part serious take on coming of age in a time when wealth and celebrity seem to be the only things that matter, Hot Toddy promises to be this year’s best read, with big belly laughs, engaging women characters, and an unexpected finale that will leave you wanting more.

Review:

I received a copy of the book from the author and this is my honest review. I am very thankful that I got the opportunity to read this book and review it. There were a few things that took down the rating.

The writing seemed a bit rushed, most of the dialogue seemed forced. And speaking of the dialogue, the author used a lot of slang and tried to make the text as ”fresh”, I guess, as possible. It definitely had a lot of the language that has formed thanks to the Internet.

Furthermore the main character made a lot of ill-advised decisions and gave all her actions the most childish excuses. She was also a character with very bad luck apparently. But she did in the end turn her life around and end up in a better place.

The novel did build up a nice picture of someone who doesn’t know how to let go of toxic people. LJ just kept going back and fell into the wrong crowd one too many times. Made some decisions just because everyone else was making them and wanted to believe that everything that was good for others, was good for her.

It was fast and did entertain me. This book is definitely one that is great for a certain audience but I am not a part of it. I do not often find myself liking New Adult fiction though, so it could mainly be because of that.

Check the book out on Goodreads here.

March Wrap Up

It is time to talk about the books I read in the month of March. It was a pretty good reading month for me, mostly because of spring break which I used as much to my advantage as possible.

This month I read a total of six books and most of them I liked a lot. So I think it is time to talk about the books.

Paperbacks and hardcovers:

1. ”Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz

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This book was a reread for me and I loved this book just as much as I did when I first read it. I love my friend so much for finally getting me my own copy of this book. This book is a real heart mending book for me. I felt so good and at peace reading this. I of course left my rating on Goodreads the same- 5 out of 5 stars.

2. ”Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe

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I would very much like to do a post on all the books I hate one day and you can bet your money on the fact that this book will be the very first on the list. I have nothing good to say. I gave this 1 star on Goodreads.

3. ”Raudrästiku aeg” by Indrek Hargla

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An Estonian book that I wish would be translated into English really well, because this was good and people deserve to read it. I was pleasantly surprised since I didn’t really like the other book I read by Hargla a few years ago. I wrote a review on this book so you can go read it and know a bit more about what I thought exactly. I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

4. ”Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

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I liked this story a lot and can say that the hype in a way is worth it. There were a few things about this book that I didn’t really like and if you want you can go and read my review. All in all I am excited for the sequel to come out so I could see what happens next. This book got  4.25 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

5. ”Night Owls” by Jenn Bennett

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I didn’t write review for this one. I wanted to at first and I even started writing it, but gave up. It was an okay book in the end. There were things I liked, things I didn’t. It definitely surprised me with how ”smutty” it got, it wasn’t actually smutty but just a lot more explicit that I at first thought this book would be. One thing that I am positively crazy about is the cover. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL! I gave this book 3.75 stars on Goodreads.

Ebooks:

1. ”Eternal Darkness Oblivion” by J. F. Johns

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This was sent to be by the author so that I could review it and my review is up and ready to be read, so go do that if you haven’t already. I read the first book last year and can definitely say that this series is a really interesting outlook on the future. I recommend these books for people who love fast-paced and easy to read dystopian trilogy. I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

My favourite book of the month is: ”Caraval” because I have read Ari and Dante before and I feel like I should pick something else:)

The least favourite book of the month title will go to: ”Robinson Crusoe” because I. HATE. IT.

March Book Haul

This post is coming two days late. Could I be any lazier? If I wanted to…yes. But the haul is ready and I will try to get a start on my wrap up as well.

I won’t be talking too much about the books I got this month, there are a lot and there’s not too much to say about them.

I think I broke a personal record in March. I’m pretty sure 9 books is the most book I’ve ever got in a month and I have to say I am proud but also extremely terrified, because my TBR list just got longer ;’)

Paperbacks and hardcovers:

1. ”Passenger” by Alexandra Bracken

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This one has a lot of mixed reviews, but I am really excited for this, because it sounds like something I would usually like a lot.

2. ”Wayfarer” by Alexandra Bracken

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This duology has the prettiest covers ever! I bought both books in the duology at once, which is kind of a risk since I don’t know how I’ll feel about the first book. I am seriously hoping I love these.

3. ”Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare

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My interest got piqued in English Literature so I got the play. I cannot wait to read it.

4. ”Goodbye Stranger” by Rebecca Stead

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This book was on sale and seemed really cute so I just had to get it. Plus it has really great reviews and has won awards.

5. ”Night Owls” by Jenn Bennett

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This book was also on sale and I managed to read it in March. I didn’t get a review for this up, but I’ll talk a bit about it in my wrap up.

6. ”The Archived” by Victoria Schwab

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This is another book that was on sale and it is also a book that has been on my TBR list for a really really long time. I have heard really amazing things about this and cannot wait to read it in April.

7. ”Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

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This book was sent to me by Hachette UK and I am so very thankful for that! It was such a pleasant surprise when I opened up the package and saw that it had one of my most anticipated books inside. I read this and have a review up, which you can go and read if you want to.

8. ”The Last Wish” by Andrzej Sapkowski

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Just finished this book yesterday and started the videogame today. It was a nice book and I am excited to see how everything goes on, because this is literally only the beginning. This book is a collection of short stories leading up to the events of the full novels. A great fantasy full of monsters and magic.

9. ”Hot Toddy” by T. C. Collins

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Another book that I received for review and this was sent to me by Collins herself. I am currently reading this book and can say that I already have a few ideas for my review.

This is it for my March haul. How many books did you get and which book were you most happy about?

Book review: “Caraval”

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Book title: ”Caraval”

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publication year: 2017

Number of pages: 407

Format: paperback

Amount of stars I gave on Goodreads: 4,25☆

Blurb:

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Review:

I was sent a copy of ”Caraval” by Hachette UK. And this review consists of my honest thoughts on the book.

First off this book was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. It was one of my most anticipated 2017 releases and it was really hyped, so I kind of lowered my expectations for this one. It managed to really impress me and left me needing the second book because the ending was such a great cliffhanger, if you can call it that.

“Whatever you’ve heard about Caraval, it doesn’t compare to the reality. It’s more than just a game or performance. It’s the closest you’ll ever find yourself magic in this world.” 

Scarlett as a main character was actually annoying. I felt like she whined too much and spent too much time analyzing everything. She did start to make more daring decisions in the end, but it was still rather late in the book. I think her love for her sister Donatella was really warming and well written.

Julian was a great character as well. I really liked how I could never be too sure of his motives while reading. The book itself actually doesn’t have that much of a character development happening in it, but it didn’t really bother me about this book.

The book was also not really fancy with the world-building. It was quite casual, let’s say, but I liked it still. I was really impressed with the book overall. It was not too hard to read and I guess I am so used to reading fantasy books that are really heavy on details, characters and everything that it was really liberating to read a book like ”Caraval”.

“Briefly, Scarlett let herself imagine what it would be like to go to Legend’s private isle, to play the game and win the wish. Freedom. Choices. Wonder. Magic.”

I am really excited to see what happens in the second book and figure out more about the game master Legend. From what I gathered while reading ”Caraval” , he is not the nicest fellow and I love a good villain with no redeeming qualities. And in light of that I seriously hope that Legend will not be made into a character who is actually good deep down and falls in love with Donatella.

“Some would probably call him a villain. Others would say his magic makes him closer to a god.”   

Caraval itself is said to be a game, but to be honest there was really nothing game-like about it. It seemed more of like an alternate reality where people just had to find someone. From the way it was written it seemed as if Scarlett and Julian were the only ones searching. I wish there would have been more competition and conflicts with the other players.

The romance in this book was fortunately not instant, but I still feel like it was a little bit too fast. Maybe it would have been better to drag it out a little and make things more serious in the second book.

“She imagined loving him would feel like falling in love with darkness, frightening and consuming yet utterly beautiful when the stars came out.”   

It was a really good book, it lacked a few things, but I did like it and cannot wait to read the sequel.

Check the book out on Goodreads here.