Book Reviews

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Title: Half Bad

Author: Sally Green

Published: 2014

Length:  400 pages

Source: Bought

My ratings: 7/10

            

My reviews are way too long… I look back at them now and wonder who the hell would actually sit and read 5 paragraphs of me rambling ‘:D. So I’m going to try and keep them short because that means that I can spend time writing more reviews! (I am rambling already…)

————————–Spoiler free section————————-

With this book I felt like you would either like it, or hate it… It’s definitely not a light fluffy read, but the thing that makes this stops this book from being over bearing is the writing style. I really enjoyed reading this book and it was purely down to Sally Greens writing style. For this non-spoilery section I’m not going to go into too much detail because I think the best way to read this book is to just read it!

—————————-Spoiler section——————————

Here’s the thing, I really think this concept had such great potential, don’t get me wrong I liked the book but I thought it could’ve been better.

World building: When there isn’t a blurb to the book I’m reading the first couple of pages and for me they are the make or break. It’s when I decide whether I should carry on reading or if I am not invested in the story enough to. The author definitely understood this because one of my favourite chapters in this book is the first where Nathan is in the cage and I could not put the book down after that. I struggled with this one, because this world has been intergrated into our own, where witches live with fains. What I did love about the world building is how clear the system/hierarchy is. From the beginning we are getting notifications from the Council where they explain how witches are classified. I always look forward to letters integrated in novels and this was much needed when the pages were getting a bit intense. The end where Nathan finally finds Mercury and they’re in Switzerland they’re up in the mountains, I could just imagine Mercury’s cottage!

Characters: This novel really interested me because I feel like for Nathans character the main focus are his coping mechanisms and how incredibly strong he is mentally/physically. Here we had a character that has gone through experiences that were honestly depressing just to read about but our main protagonist always finds an escape. For example I really loved when Nathan is still in the cage and his escape from this torturous routine is just to focus on the minute detail of every chore and I could totally relate to that! No I have never been captured by the council but when I am doing something incredibly boring, e.g writing up something I focus on the small details to take my mind away from how mundane the task is. Ughhhh Jessica, that little witch! She was so horrible to him even when he was so young, who tells an 8 year old that their mum died because of him!

Plot: I’ll be absolutely honest, there were some chapters in this book that were quite uneventful, I think this is where some people lost interest. I would’ve liked more action in this book but I was genuinely interested in finding out more about the character that I didn’t mind these chapters. The second person narrative really helped engage me and I really enjoyed how it switched from second-person to first throughout the book.

I thought that this book was a very easy read, I got through it fairly quickly and that was also due to the writing style. I certainly haven’t read a book like this before, and I never expected to feel this connected to the main protagonist. If you’ve read this before let me know in the comments what you thought of the book?

                    {Stolen Memories }

 

Title: Stolen Memories

Author: Mary Miley

Published: February 16, 2016

Length:  264 pages

Source: Won in Goodreads giveaway

My ratings: 8/10

I am someone who enjoys reading all genres but I have rarely read novels that have had such a perfect blend of Historical Fiction and Crime Thriller! I know I don’t have the biggest audience in the book blogging community ( I appreciate my current audience, you bear with me when I don’t post in days!) but I have to try and get as many people to read this book as I can! No this is not sponsored, I actually just won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I entered because I really liked the synopsis:

‘A brutal attack along the banks of the Seine in 1928 leaves a young Englishwoman close to death in a Paris hospital, without a memory in her head. She soon comes up against a vengeful husband who accuses her of the theft of priceless art, the French gendarmes who have linked her to a murder on the Riviera, and a scorned lover who is trying to kill her. The husband, believing his wife’s amnesia is faked, spirits her away to an ancient chateau in the French province of Champagne, where prehistoric dolmens and standing stones dot the fields and caves hewn out of limestone are used for more than storing wine. But who is trying to poison her and bury her in an avalanche of slate? Who is laying a trap for her deep within the wine caves of Champagne?’

I could ramble on about this book forever so I’ll just get on with the actual review part:

——————-Spoiler-free section:———————————

So as you can tell from the synopsis the book follows the main character and her journey following an accident that left her with pretty much with no recollection of her past. I really love books that are engaging and interesting from the first page, and this book does just that, I was immediately immersed in the story and the character. I also find that sometimes historical fiction novels try too hard to immerse the reader in that time period, but this honestly seemed so natural and effortless that I felt like I was in the roaring 20’s myself! What is really refreshing is that although we are following a story line that is overdone in crime thrillers/mysteries, I felt like this experience was really unique and Mary Miley did a great job in making such an overused concept into something that felt completely new!

 

————————–SPOILER SECTION——————————

World Building:  I am a big fan of historical fiction, I am a big fan of crime thrillers/mysteries so this literally seemed like the perfect book for me. For the historical aspect of the world-building it was exceptional, Mary Miley managed to weave in several other things that were current at the time from minor trends in clothing to the powerful suffragette movement that I found it very easy to fully immerse myself in the time period when I opened the book. I feel like for me it was also the small details that really helped bring everything together and made me really believe that this was set in the 1920’s. The setting was enough for me to engage in the story but not overpowering to the point where it distracted from the other aspects.

Characters and their development: As readers I feel like we expect a lot of thing from the main protagonist and each reader has a different ideal main character. Personally I felt really connected to the main character, every decision she made I understood, even if seemed like a mistake. When she starts to fall in love with Alex and lets her guard down, had it been anyone else I would’ve thought how could she be so reckless, but the way Mary Miley expressed the mcs (main character) feelings and thoughts made me relate to her. I loved how evil Alex was at the beginning but I secretly knew that something would ensue between them, weirdly even I hoped for something to happen between them. Something that did bother me was the inconsistency of his character, one minute he was prince charming then he’d disappear suspiciously with no explanation. At some point I was slightly confused to which Alex was present at the scene. I did see development with the mc, even though she got back to her normal life she still remained cautious, but as this book starts with the main character having amnesia I really don’t have much to say about the development because it was just her remembering her past and returning to her normal character.

Plot: I loved the story line, I also enjoyed the journey to the plot that I wasn’t rushing to see what happens in the end because how she gets there is so entertaining. Again I feel like when reading mysteries/crime thrillers it’s difficult to find something that hasn’t been done before. Referring back to the journey I really loved following the mc as she slowly is drip fed old memories and as she discoveries that someone is trying to kill her. When it comes to the actual ending that’s where I felt like I’ve read this before, the scorned lover stalking the mc and trying to kill her whilst all the suspicions where on Alex. He found her because he tried selling the stolen paintings and coincidentally came across her, in my mind why didn’t he just try to sell the paintings somewhere else? Save himself the trouble of murdering someone else…

 

Sometimes you are lucky enough to come across a book that just makes you happy… A book that you connected with so much you were able to overlook something’s you didn’t like. Had it been any book that had come to an end that I didn’t really enjoy reading, it would’ve probably tainted my opinion of the whole book, but I just loved everything up until that point I honestly didn’t care! I would definitely recommend this book for anyone to read, you don’t have to necessarily have an interest for the genre!

 

 

   {Throne Of Glass }

 

Throne Of Glass.png

 

Title: Throne Of Glass

Author: Sarah J Maas

Published: August 2, 2012

Length:  404 pages

Source: Bought from Amazon

My ratings: 6/10

 

 

So I just finished Throne Of Glass and I honestly didn’t think I would be writing the review I am now. People seeing this review that loved the book will probably hate me but you’re here for my opnion right? I don’t know  how I feel about it. I ordered this book about a month ago and whilst reading other books I really wanted to read it next. So after finishing Red Queen I picked it up. I feel like for this review it would be difficult for me to write it without the spoilers so I will have a spoiler free section below and under that i will go into the spoilers…

—————————-Spoiler-free section—————————

I have not read any reviews about this book so far so that I could give you my opinion untainted by what other people thought… I am definitely in the minority with this one. Here’s the thing, the main idea behind this book (to someone who hasn’t read it) is that it follows a cold-hearted assassin, who has been enslaved all her life, and her journey to freedom. Along with that I had some expectations of the character which were definitely not met in the novel. I really thought the character would be cunning, dangerous, cold-hearted, cautious and the list goes on. I personally couldn’t see Celaena Sardothein ( the assassin) as the feared assassin she is, her actions didn’t correlate to those of an assassin.  I do think that that one of the main problems for me in this book was the characters. I just couldn’t connect with any of them except Chaol (captain of the guard), I felt like he was the only character that I could relate to and understand in this whole novel. Everything and everyone felt foreign to me, even by the end of the book I still didn’t understand/connect with Celaena. I really tried to understand what the hype was about. I don’t think it’s a bad book but I think that had I picked up the book without hearing anything about it and maybe was lead in a different direction in terms of the main character I may have enjoyed it more.

————————–SPOILER SECTION——————————

World Building:  I don’t really have much to say about the world building. Our attention is mainly kept inside the castle so the descriptions tend to be about the castle and the halls and such. I did like the map at the beginning; I found it especially helpful when reading this book.

Characters and their development: Let me start with the positives. I think the most responsible character in this whole book is Chaol. He was the only person that even when he’d accompanied this assassin for weeks still had his doubts about her and still had the common sense to keep an eye on her. Let’s talk about Celaena shall we. What the hell was Celaena thinking when she drank the wine right before her final duel with an opponent she actually considers a threat! What kind of assassin doesn’t find it suspicious that the King that cannot stand her and is waiting for any opportunity to eliminate her is innocently offering her wine before the fight. That didn’t make sense to me because you don’t even need to be an assassin to find that gesture slightly weird. I also feel like some of the reasons why I found it hard to believe that Celaena was the greatest assassin in the world was how other people reacted in her presence. People who knew who she actually was seemed completely unfazed by the fact that there is someone roaming their castle who can probably slit their throat before they even begin registering what’s happening. There were also so many moments where she’d do something or react in a certain way and I’m like, really? I feel like the closest she stayed to her character was right at the beginning, her thoughts and how she analysed every situation Dorian and Chaol put her in, calculating her escape, made her a more believable character. But after she arrived at the castle it all went out the window… In the midst of chaos where the champions are literally being slaughtered and found with their innards missing, our assassin wakes up one morning to find a bag of sweets on her bed. What does our assassin do? There is no note attached to the bag no explanation or indication from whom it was from. Does she find it suspicious at all? Is someone trying to poison her? No, she gobbles down half the bag without even a single thought. She literally could’ve been poisoned, dead. You see what I mean by her not really acting as an assassin?

Plot: There are two main events happening, we have the tests leading up to the final duel and the mysterious and gruesome deaths of the competitors. I thought that both plot lines had great potential, but I really wanted to know more about the wydmarks and the wyrdgates. I understand that this is the first book in the series but I felt like we weren’t given the foundation, the basic understanding we needed. I also felt like at certain points in the novel things were rushed. For example there are parts where the test and what happened there were literally summarised into a sentence. If this was done and our knowledge about this mysterious new world Celaena has found was developed that would’ve been fine, but I really felt like for the most part I was reading about an assassin who was admiring her dresses, the Prince, food but nothing that would’ve developed the plot. Did anyone else notice that there were some parts very similar to Cinderella? She falls in love with the Prince and then she’s not allowed to attend the ball, so she secretly escapes to attend it with the help of her maid (the fairy godmother) and dances with the Prince…

 

If you’ve read this review and haven’t read the book you probably think it’s an awful novel. I honestly didn’t hate the book but I just had such high expectations because of the attention associated with it that I was just disappointed. I also hear that the next books in the series are much better so maybe in the future I’ll pick them up; I definitely want to give A Court Of Thorn And Roses a try because I don’t want to dismiss Sarah J Maas work based on one book.

 

                       {Red Queen }

Red Queen

 

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Published: February 10, 2015

Length:  383 pages

Source: Book store

My ratings: 8/10

 

I really wanted Red Queen to disappoint me, I really wanted to write my review and say it was overhyped and not worth my time and a mediocre book and something not worthy of its reviews, but it is. Oh it really is. As soon as I finished the book I needed to get my thoughts down.

Fangirl aside I will try and give a fair review without my emotional attachment to each character seeping through! Before going into this book I was a bit apprehensive because of the hype. I tend to get disappointed by the books I read based on their popularity but this… At the same time I definitely understand why some people don’t think it’s that impressive. Here it goes…

I don’t think I need to say I loved this book, that’s pretty clear but as I promised a fair review I will hopefully be able to deliver that. Prior to reading the book I came across some reviews and they were mixed. Some said the book was the best they’ve read that year, others thought it was a decent book but it does not bring anything new to the genre. I have to say that I see where both opinions stem from.

World building: The world building is minimal, there isn’t much development in this world, not much attention is given to it in comparison to other fantasy books. I personally think that in every fantasy book it is vital to establish a unique and creative environment but at the same time ensure it doesn’t distract from the actual plot/characters. I think that’s what happened in the case of this book because honestly looking back I can’t recall much of the setting of the book. Without spoiling much I can recall where the main character Mare Barrows home is and the market place she visited with her sister. Apart from that not much stuck with me. In saying that I definitely don’t think it took away from enjoyment of the novel, as you can tell.

Characters and their development: For me I think this is where the book engaged me and earned a place in my favourite books. I loved each character, both heroic and villainous; they were both interpreted in such a way that made it possible for you to be able to connect with each and every character you read about. The main character Mare Barrow was very relatable and not the typical heroine who doesn’t want sympathy nor does she drown in her sorrow. She tries to make sense of everything that comes her way and I don’t feel like her character made decisions just to extend the plot and therefore the novel. I didn’t feel like this book dragged out in any way, I tried to stretch out the last 10 pages but I couldn’t. I just had to finish it!

Plot: If you have read a considerable amount of fantasy books you may find the plots and the general concept of this book familiar I mean one of the reviews printed on the book says ‘it’s a clever blend of The Hunger Games, The Selection, Graceling and Divergent’ so it is to be expected. As I read this comment before I actually started red queen I kind of prepared myself for it.

Overall I found this book an entertaining, fast read that gained my attention and sympathy for its characters. I would definitely recommend you read this book if you are still unsure about it, the concept for me was unique and although SOME of the plot twists were to be expected its still something I would read again. Not long now for Glass Sword!

 

 

                          {City Of Bones }

 

City of bones

 

Title: City Of Bones

Author: Cassandra Clare

Published:  March 27, 2007

Length:  485 pages

Source: Book store

My ratings: 7/10

 

I thought I’d only review the first book (for now) in this series to give you just a sense of what I thought about the writing style and the book in general, but I feel like everyone else has already read the series! I definitely enjoyed reading this book and thought it was an easy read that I got through very quickly.

Generally I thought the first book made a great introduction to the series in terms of world building and giving a general idea about each character and also developing the relationships between these characters. I definitely liked the concept and thought that to some extent is was unique ,however I also had some problems with the book…

I found that the sarcastic and arrogant nature of jace amusing and uplifting at some points in the book that were intense yet I did find that some of the dialogue was really cheesy   I couldn’t help but squirm.

Characters and their development: I found it quite difficult to connect with the character Clary in this book mainly I couldn’t really relate to some decisions she made. My favourite character by far has to be Simon. He was the typical nerdy/cute character that always has everyone’s best interests at heart and was much more relatable.

 World building : I think one of the strongest points of this book is definitely the tools Cassandra Clare uses when enabling the reader to envision this world that she has created , you are easily sucked into the scene and engaged waiting for what might happen next. Its quite captivating even if you’re not a big fan of fantasy . (7/10)

Plot: I am definitely someone who enjoys a fast paced book,  I find that otherwise I quickly lose interest, therefore I found that this book actually catered to me in the sense that there was always something happening. There were some plot twists that I could see coming but in the same token there were some events I didn’t expect.

Whilst reading this book I noticed it had some striking similarities to other novels and I heard that this was first some sort of fan-fiction, which would explain a lot. Nevertheless I still enjoyed the book and will definitely carry on reading the series. I also noticed whilst I was reading this book (I decided to look at the next books in the series) the covers totally spoiled the book! If like me you are of the last people who haven’t read City Of Bones yet, do not look at other book covers until you have finished City Of Glass! I’ve warned you….

 

 

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28 thoughts on “Book Reviews

  1. irena_bookdustmagic says:

    oh, I had no idea City of Bones was a fan fiction.
    I know some bloggers or reviewers were talking about some sort of scandal with plagiarism tha C. Clare was apparently involved, but honestly I never paid much attention to it.

    I fell like Red Queen is like this: either you like it or you end up disliking it. I still have to see what it will be for me…

    Like

    • abooknation says:

      That’s just what I heard, theres also a link on goodreads that discusses this, saying she originally wrote fanfic but of course it’s just what’s been said I haven’t personally seen anything. As for Red Queen I agree I think you either love it (e.g me) or you just see it as another fantasy novel, which is understandable.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Martha says:

    Okay, so I absolutely LOVE Throne of Glass. But that being said, if you’re looking for a cold-hearted and ruthless assassin, I STRONGLY encourage you to read the sequel, Crown of Midnight! Celaena does some pretty wicked (awesome) things in it and there’s a TON of Chaol since you liked him! While I think the entire series is amazing, there is a general consensus that each book in the series is better than the last.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shelved Ramblings says:

    Hey, thanks for liking my post! I’m glad it brought me here 🙂

    I DEFINITELY agree with you about Throne of Glass! Celaena was very hard or me to understand considering I was expecting a cold assassin and got a teenage girl full of emotions. She definitely is physically tough, especially in the competitions, but you’re right in saying that her mindset isn’t congruent with being an assassin her entire life. I disliked Dorian and questioned how exactly Celaena fell for him when you can tell she is so comfortable with Chaol. I’m definitely very interested in reading the rest of the series!

    I also loved City of Bones and Red Queen. Let me know what you think of the other books!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Shelved Ramblings says:

        No, definitely not! I may be a little biased though, because I have an innate weariness when it comes to liking YA “heroines” too easily, especially with a character like this in which the author is trying to balance her being a badass to being a normal teenage girl. I think this book would be better if she wrote Celaena as a very morally correct assassin (like Robin Hood is “morally correct”) who maybe eventually over the course of a good period of time gets broken down by a love interest to become more human. That’d be a bit more realistic, and probably more enjoyable.

        TMI is probably one of the few book series I would go back and re-read, so I really hope you enjoy them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • abooknation says:

        Yes!! That would make more sense! It would make the whole assassin appearance feel less forced. There is a fine line between making the characters relatable and making them seem like every other character in every other YA book (it also makes them fairly predictable). I’m taking a break from TMI, because I tried to marathon the series and it’s becoming slightly overwhelming! I will hopefully finish this series soon though 😊

        Like

      • Shelved Ramblings says:

        Yeah, Clary is definitely nowhere near my top favorite YA heroines… and I’m not even a huge fan of Jace. I just love the Shadowhunter world and think it’s pretty creative, and Clare is an amazing writer! You’re in for a treat.

        Liked by 1 person

      • abooknation says:

        I actually don’t really mind Jace that much, I just don’t like Clary 😅. The more I read of TMI the less I like her! BUT I LOVE Simon, Izzy , Magnus and Alec and Luke and basically everyone who isn’t Clary 😅. I totally agree, I love the shadow world and I think it’s really cool that she’s made all these series based in the Shadow world!

        Like

      • Shelved Ramblings says:

        Yeah, unfortunately you will never really like Clary… Jace is very on and off for me. Simon and Magnus are probably my favorite characters, although I have a lot of respect for Alec and Izzy, too! I’m not sure which book you are on now, but I also really like Maia and Jordan in later books.

        Liked by 1 person

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