Review #22

Title- Namesake

Rating– 5/5
Genre- YA (maybe historical fiction?)

POV- first person past tense

Trope- parent/child relationships, sunken treasure, strong heroine

Similar Books/Comps– Fable, The Lost Apothecary

My emotions-  super invested


Characters

West’s morally gray compass is done super well. The see-saw feelings about Saint are spot on. I loved that the antagonist was a bad ass woman, who mirrored the strong, assertive heroine.


Plot/Blurb-

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception, she learns that the secrets her mother took to her grave are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Best part-

I liked this sequel a little bit more than the first because the last 100 pages were better in comparison compared to Fable. My favorite part is the vivid world Adrienne has built at sea with the crisp imagery.


What I’d change-

I still wanted a bit more umph/power to the romance but I guess YA can only take it so far. 

Pacing- perfect

Comments-

Page 30- too many character introduced/too many names to track so quickly
Page 80- Clove- you better turn those dead eyes around and be good!
Page 90- how do I feel about Koy? We shall see
Page 95- ooooh I’m glad it was him instead. But who’s working with who? I’m totally in the dark. 
Page 114- wish that happened sooner
Page 142- great cliffhanger
Page 255- I KNEW it
Page 330- Booyah, bitch! Deal with that!
Page 339- almost made me cry. So close. 

Review #21

Title- The Darkest Part of the Forest

Rating– 4/5
Genre- YA fantasy, part urban fantasy due to the current culture references, yet part high/epic fantasy due to all the magical creatures

POV- Third person, past tense. Three POV, but it focuses on Hazels’. On page 134, a different point of view randomly pops up   
Trope- Forbidden love, evil parents, strong heroin

Similar Books/Comps– The Shadows Between Us, A Curse So Dark and Lonely

My emotions-  intrigued, entertained


Characters

Hazel- our main heroine is great at fighting monsters. She has two identities- read to find out.

Ben- Hazel’s big brother, musically gifted from a magical blessing as a child, holds secrets from his little sister, in love with Severin

Severin- an immortal boy with horns that is awakened from an eternal slumber

Jack- a magical teen boy raised by humans


Plot/Blurb-

In the woods is a glass coffin. It rests on the ground, and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives….

Hazel and Ben live where humans and the Folk exist side by side. Since they were children, they have been telling each other stories about the boy in the glass coffin, that he is a prince and they are valiant knights, pretending their prince would be different from the other faeries, the ones who made cruel bargains, lurked in the shadows of trees, and doomed tourists. But as Hazel grows up, she puts aside those stories. Hazel knows the horned boy will never wake.

Until one day, he does….

As the world turns upside down, Hazel has to become the knight she once pretended to be.

Best part- Page 297


What I’d change-

I didn’t really like the “self-slut shaming” theme that Hazel put upon herself for kissing many boys but I understand the character arc.

Quote-

“I’m not afraid of your trying to figure out what it means to be your whole self, night and day together. I’m not afraid of things getting messy … because it’s us … A relationship can be whatever you want it to be. We get to tell our own story.”

Comments-

Pg 153 was pretty cool but felt very YA

Pg 181 – awesome

Pg 210. I wanted to see some of those events instead of just retrospect. But I understand why it was written that way

Pg 276- nice twist. Kind of saw it coming, but I was also so engrossed in the story that I wasn’t trying to solve the clues but just go along for the ride. Yet the lack of sleep felt unrealistic. Of all the faeries, mobsters, & creatures … apparently the last of sleep is the part I can’t get on board with lol


Review #20

Title- Where the Crawdads Sing

Rating– 4/5
Genre- Women’s Fiction

POV- Third person, past tense.

Trope- Coming of Age, secrets

Similar Books/Comps– Where the Forest Meets the Stars, The Girls in the Stilt House

My emotions-  I felt drawn to nature.

Vibe– The different sections of the books all have different vibes.


Characters

Kya- I loved her uniqueness. She was sensitive, intelligent, a survivor.

The characters were set up strongly.


Plot/Blurb-

Rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. She yearns to be loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Best part-

I could imagine where she lived really well like the marsh was its own character.


What I’d change-

I’m unsure if I wanted to know the last bit/the last chapter.

Quote-
“I wasn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”

“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.”

Pacing-

First half was much slower, but the last section definitely moved the fastest in regards to a page turner.

Comment-

I appreciated the map visual before I started in the front cover.

Review #19

Title- The Fall Guy

Rating– 3/5
Genre- Psychological Thriller, Suspense

POV- Third person, past tense

Trope- stalker vibes

Similar Books/Comps– The Locked Door, Never Tell them

My emotions-  Creepy, uncomfortable

Vibe– dark, strange love triangle


Characters

Charlie, a wealthy banker with an uneasy conscience (married to Chloe)

Matthew- troubled cousin

Chloe- who Matthew is obsessed with

Best part-

Edge of your seat nervousness

Plot/Blurb-

Charlie invites his cousin Matthew to visit him and his wife in their idyllic mountaintop house. As the days grow hotter, the friendship between the three begins to reveal its fault lines, and with the arrival of a fourth character, the household finds itself suddenly in the grip of uncontrollable passions. Who is the real victim here? Who is the perpetrator? And who, ultimately, is the fall guy?

Review #18

Title- The Beautiful

Rating– 5/5
Genre- Dark YA Fantasy

POV- The mysterious murderer is first person present tense & the rest of the story is third person, past tense

Trope- murder mystery

Similar Books/Comps– Certain Dark Things, American Gothic

My emotions- suspense


Characters

Kick ass Celine & Bastian was oh so delicious & since they were both morally gray … goodness I can’t give spoilers


Plot/Blurb-

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans is a safe haven after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent in the middle of the carnival season, Celine is quickly enraptured by the vibrant city, from its music to its fancy soirées and even its danger. She becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s enigmatic leader, Sébastien Saint Germain.

When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in Sébastien’s own lair–the second dead girl to turn up in recent weeks–Celine battles her attraction to Sébastien and suspicions about his guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

After a third murder, New Orleans becomes gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose–one who has now set Celine in his sights. As the murderer stalks her, Celine finally takes matters into her own hands, only to find herself caught in the midst of an age-old feud between the darkest creatures of the night, where the price of forbidden love is her life.

Best part-

I loved it so much that I wish I could reread for the first time! And I’m sooo glad there’s a sequel. Added bonus: the cover of the sequel is drop dead gorgeous. This historical fiction/YA genre showed a dark culture in New Orleans. I loved the mystifying, eerie vibe throughout and the murder mystery had me on edge the whole time.

What I’d change-

Pg. 87- Sometimes too much physical description of their outfits.
Pg 196 – third POV randomly introduced & then it doesn’t come back until pg 325
Pg 343 bored by the same plan
Page 420 made no sense to me so

Prose– “as if” was used just a few too many times


Quote-


“I am the spider. I set silken traps. I watch as you step into my web. I wait to strike. But do not fear. I promise I will never forget you.”


Pacing- Perfect

Review #17

Title- Marley and Me

Rating– 5/5- This is a book I wish I’d buy… who wants to buy it for me?
Genre- Contemporary

POV- First person, past tense

Trope– Family relationships, Like, Love, Dogs

Similar Books/Comps– The Art of Racing in the Rain, A Dog’s Purpose

My emotions-  Ugh, I can’t even


Characters

Marley- wild and neurotic pup, loveable, loyal and perfect in every way.

Plot/Blurb-

Is it possible for humans to discover the key to happiness through a bigger-than-life, bad-boy dog? Just ask the Grogans.

John and Jenny were just beginning their life together. They were young and in love, with not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

Marley grew into a barreling, ninety-seven-pound streamroller of a Labrador retriever. He crashed through screen doors, gouged through drywall, and stole women’s undergarments. Obedience school did no good — Marley was expelled.

But just as Marley joyfully refused any limits on his behavior, his love and loyalty were boundless, too. Marley remained a model of devotion, even when his family was at its wit’s end. Unconditional love, they would learn, comes in many forms.

Best part- Their relationship with Marley


What I’d change- Nothing

Quote-
“A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.”

“He taught us the are of unqualified love. How to give it, how to accept it. Where there is that, most other pieces fall into place.”


Pacing- Perfect, not too fast, not too slow. A lay-in-bed, comfy read

Review #16

Title- The Last Story of Mina Lee

Book of the Month Selection

Rating– 4/5
Genre- Contemporary, Women’s Fiction

POV- Multiple POV- mother and daughter in different years

Trope- motherhood

Similar Books/Comps– White Ivy, A Good Neighborhood

My emotions-  Curious


Characters

Margot- 26 years old in California

Mina- Margot’s single- mother

Plot/Blurb-

Margot finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous invisible strings that held together her mother’s life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot’s present-day search is Mina’s story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she’s barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a series of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Best part-

I enjoyed immersing myself more in parts of a culture I’m usually not exposed to. Margaret’s POV felt more exciting and engaging than Mina’s POV through most of the novel. The theme of motherhood felt relevant and relatable.


What I’d change-

Margaret’s POV longer and Mina’s POV shorter.

Quote-
“Choosing if and when and how to share the truth might be the deepest, most painful necessity of growing out into the world and into yourself.”

Review #15

Title- Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Rating– 3/5
Genre- Whimsical fantasy, literary fiction

POV- First person, past tense. I haven’t read a story of someone’s life through so many other different points of view. Weylyn’s life is broken up into different sections based off the relationships he had.

Trope- odd-one out of the group

Similar/Comps– The House in the Cerulean Sea

Vibe- odd, eccentric, charming, this is a sit-back and relax book


Characters

Weylyn is shown through the eyes of multiple other characters, through his life at different ages- At first, he was raised by wolves, then where did he go next?

Mary- the woman he loves, full of spunk and understanding

Plot/Blurb-

Weylyn controls the weather, like when he single-handedly stopped that tornado. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places, jeopardizing not only his own life, but those he loves. Storms evaporate into thin air. Fireflies make phosphorescent honey and Weylyn also ends up living in a house filled with giant spider webs.

Quote-
“Don’t leave anything you can’t come back to.”

Pacing-

On the slower side


Best part-

I enjoyed the story telling aspects of this novel and the great sensory detail.


What I’d change-

A bit anti-climatic in the end. The way it was broken up into 4 sections didn’t really culminate as expected. It almost seemed like the story that was advertised in the blurb was to happen “After the book ended.”

Review #14

Title- Fable

Rating– 4.5/5
Genre- Young Adult (assumed it was fantasy, but I don’t think it fits that category)

POV- First person, past tense

Trope- pirates, adventure, family relationships, buried treasure

Similar Books/Comps– The Girl the Sea Gave Back, Daughter of the Pirate King

My emotions-  I loved this book, such a mix of emotions. I loved feeling like I was there since there was amazing visual imagery of the sea, ship, & island. Adrienne’s ability to write sensory details is perfection


Characters

Fable- 17 years old- survivor, brave, strong, independent, looking for her “place” and who she belongs to

By pg 24 there were too many male characters to keep track of so far. Koy, West, Fret, and Speck. I can’t tell them apart so far & don’t know the difference in their importance to the story

West- I wanted a bit more from him as the romantic interest, this was a lower priority compared to the plot and father/daughter relationship

Willa- great, strong female side- character
Saint- awesome morally gray leader
I loved Paj & Auster together
Zola- Is he the real antagonist?

Isolde’s legend felt magical/mystical


Plot/Blurb-

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Best part-

Pg 48- from the quote: “unsure which man I’d find”- this thought confirms my confusion of why she wants to meet up with him so badly. What’s the draw to him?

Pg. 74- I wonder why she had to make that promise

Pg. 79- Almost every chapter starts with such a vivid description with beautiful prose. I LOVE the imagery, but the repetition in this pattern is also becoming monotonous

Pg. 83- oooh. What is the Marigold’s real purpose then?

Pg.86- oh man! What’s she gonna do?

Pg. 95- Welp, that definitely made things even more interesting

Pg. 153- I  needed to hear that for things to make more sense.

Pg. 174- she found him too easily

Pg. 181- Good! see the light, girl. You’ve been in denial.

Pg. 198- The tides have turned!

Pg. 314- interesting idea. I wanted to enjoy that more but all I could think of was AIR!


What I’d change-

Pg. 352. The only reason why this novel wasn’t five starts was because the climax wasn’t powerful enough and I even had a hard time determining when the BIG moment was. The second half was a bit more flat and I expected more. Still super excited to read the sequel

Quote-
“I couldn’t leave you there.” It was the first thing he’s said to me that had the heavy weight of truth in the words.

I tried to read him, studying the shadows that moved over his face, but only fragments of him were visible, as always. He was only pieces, never a whole.

He was quiet for a long moment before he took a step toward me … “I can’t care about anyone else, Fable.”

His meaning filled the small bit of space between us, making me feel like the walls were creeping in.


Pacing- Medium, I could settle in. Chapters ended in great mini-cliffhangers that made me want to keep reading. I was reading fast the second half to find out what happens, but it was a bit anticlimactic. I’m thinking the sequel may have been placed at the wrong timing of the story.

Review #13

Title- Eat, Pray, Love

Rating– 5/5
Genre- Women’s Fiction, Contemporary

POV- First person, present tense.

Trope- Traveling, Mid-life internal assessment

Similar Books/Comps– It All Comes Back to You, The Power of Letting Go

My emotions-  Peaceful, Liberated, Inspired


Plot/Blurb-

Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Best part-

I read this book while studying abroad in Italy and couldn’t put it down. It was the perfect time and place to read it and I actually went to one of the pizzerias that the character mentioned. This is a book I’d easily read again, which is rare for me.


What I’d change-

I just wanted more, make it keep going forever.

Quote-
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…”