Review #12

Title- Ties That Tether

Book of the Month Selection

Rating– 5/5
Genre- Contemporary Romance

POV- First person, past tense

Trope- Forbidden Love

Similar Books/Comps– The Dating Playbook, Honey Girl

My emotions-  happy, comforted


Characters– all relatable and Rafael was hot HOT


Plot/Blurb-
At twelve years old, Azere promised her dying father she would marry a Nigerian man and preserve her culture, even after immigrating to Canada. Her mother has been vigilant about helping—well forcing—her to stay within the Nigerian dating pool ever since. But when another match-made-by-mom goes wrong, Azere ends up at a bar, enjoying the company and later sharing the bed of Rafael Castellano, a man who is tall, handsome, and…white.

When their one-night stand unexpectedly evolves into something serious, Azere is caught between her feelings for Rafael and the compulsive need to please her mother. Soon, Azere can’t help wondering if loving Rafael makes her any less of a Nigerian. Can she be with him without compromising her identity? The answer will either cause Azere to be audacious and fight for her happiness or continue as the compliant daughter.

Best part-

I loved the social and family dynamics and contemporary theme. I was highly satisfied with the ending and I haven’t been able to say that in awhile about a book so that was refreshing.


What I’d change-

All the cliches at the end were a bit much, so maybe I’d take them out. No, nevermind, they were perfect. Maybe what I’d change is the obsessive need to please the parent. But, that was kind of the premise of her character arc, so, nope can’t change that either.

Quote-
“Well.” He blinked rapidly, his glare quivering under the strain of mine. “You’re stubborn.” He knifed the steak again. “Your mother didn’t mention that. Personally, I prefer my women to be a lot more . . .” He pondered, eyes narrowed and darting as if considering some vast complexity, and then his stare stilled on me, and he said: “Submissive.”


Pacing- I flew through this book fast which shows how much I couldn’t put it down.

Review #11

Title- How’s Moving Castle

Rating– 3/5
Genre- YA Fantasy

POV- Third person, past tense

Similar Books/Comps– Harry Potter

Vibe- Charming, whimsical

Comments

This is a shorter review because I ended up skimming it and not digging into the story fully. I kept going but I didn’t enjoy the writing style it felt dated with the telling instead of showing and seemed to be geared to middle grade- 11 year olds.


Characters

Howl- dashing and vain and quirky
Sophie- practical and intelligent

Plot/Blurb-

Sophie has the great misfortune of being the eldest of three daughters, destined to fail miserably should she ever leave home to seek her fate. But when she unwittingly attracts the ire of the Witch of the Waste, Sophie finds herself under a horrid spell that transforms her into an old lady. Her only chance at breaking it lies in the ever-moving castle in the hills: the Wizard Howl’s castle.

To untangle the enchantment, Sophie must handle the heartless Howl, strike a bargain with a fire demon, and meet the Witch of the Waste head-on. Along the way, she discovers that there’s far more to Howl—and herself—than first meets the eye.

In this giant jigsaw puzzle of a fantasy, people and things are never quite what they seem. Destinies are intertwined, identities exchanged, lovers confused. The Witch has placed a spell on Howl. Does the clue to breaking it lie in a famous poem? And what will happen to Sophie Hatter when she enters Howl’s castle?

All fans of classic fantasy books deserve the pleasure of reading those by Diana Wynne Jones, whose acclaim included the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement. As Neil Gaiman stated, she was “quite simply the best writer for children of her generation.”

Best part-

Cute chapter titles like “In which Sophie leaves the castle in several directions at once” or “In which Howl expresses his feelings with green slime.”


Pacing- Fast read

Review #10

Title- The Silent Patient

Rating– 5/5
Genre- Thriller/Suspense

POV- First person, past tense. (but it seemed to switch a little)

Trope- Therapist, mental health, suspense, secrets, murder

Similar Books/Comps– Verity, The Last Thing He Told Me, The Couple Next Door.

My emotions-  goosebumps, checking behind my shoulder

Vibe– creepy, stalker vibes


Characters

Alicia Berenson’s- Perfect life as a a famous painter, married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas.

Theo Faber- criminal psychotherapist

Plot/Blurb-

One evening Alicia’s husband Gabriel returns home late, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, killing him, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit.

 
Theo Faber has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

Best part-

Page 303! What?! Game changer!


What I’d change-

My only criticism was none of the characters felt “like able” to me.


Quote-

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

Prose-

The writing definitely had me engaged/feeling engrossed with the eerie and disturbing vibe.


Pacing-

I loved that so many of the chapters ended on a cliff hanger

Review #9

Title- The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Rating– 3/5
Genre- Women’s fiction, Literary fiction

POV- First person, present tense

Similar Books/Comps– The Girl They Left Behind, China Dolls

Best part-

I loved the mother-daughter theme and the unique cultural perspectives. The way everything came together and connected was satisfying. The present tense was refreshing and unexpected when the story began in the 1980s. I loved the relationship-based themes and the family element to the story.


What I’d change-

The long time gap was one of the hardest parts of connection for me. I love stories that happen in a short duration and this was spanned over 40ish years. I kept reading to learn the answer to one specific question, but some of the history, politics, & career information about tea bored me a little.


Plot/Blurb-

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.

As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.


Quote-
“Maybe our lives are like gigantic jigsaw puzzles. You find the right piece and suddenly the whole picture has meaning.”

Pacing-

Would recommend it to those who like slower reads.

Review #8

Title- Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors

Rating– 4/5
Genre- Contemporary Romance

POV- Third person, past

Trope- Overachieving Indian American family, never defy your family, clashing duo to lovers, Immigrant family

Similar/Comps– Simmer Down (see my other review), Recipe for Persuasion

My emotions- Just enjoying the ride, HUNGRY from all the food talk


Characters

Dr. Trisha Raje- neurosurgeon working on DJ’s little sister

DJ Caine- sexy chef

I loved the stubbornness of both main characters and how much they’d do for the love of their family.

Plot/Blurb-


Trisha’s influential immigrant family achieved power by making its own non-negotiable rules: Never trust an outsider and never do anything to jeopardize your brother’s political aspirations. Trisha is guilty of breaking all the rules. But now she has a chance to redeem herself. So long as she doesn’t repeat old mistakes.

DJ Caine has known people like Trisha before, people who judge him by his rough beginnings and place pedigree above character. He needs the lucrative job the Rajes offer, but he values his pride too much to indulge Trisha’s arrogance. And then he discovers that she’s the only surgeon who can save his sister’s life.

Best part-

When they finally kissed for the first time. Xoxo.

I loved a bad ass female surgeon with a big ego.


What I’d change-

Sometimes it felt a little preachy. There were a lot of social justice issues addressed: privilege, racism, me too movements, gender roles. I love all of that but it seemed like EVERY one was addressed, a little overkill and wished it was more focused on one instead of spread out.

Prose-

It flowed well, no complaints about the writing. Sometimes the POV changed mid-chapter with only a scene break and I wish I was given more of a warning to remember whose head we were in

Quote-

“For a moment she was almost afraid to move, lest she step on one of the pieces of her heart that lay scattered in his wake.”

“She swam past the spasms of heat that melted her core, swam past the sparks that exploded where he touched her, and she floated into the comfort of not seeking, just feeling…. The bones of him, magic in her hands.”

Pacing-

480ish pages was longer than my typical romance read, so it was a slooooow burn, but we got there.

Comments-
Chapter 6 was cool with the revelation of a family member who has visions

Review #7

Title- The Ordinary Life of Emily P Bates

Rating– 4/5
Genre- This rom-com’s theme is full of family and friendships as Emily figures out her relationships and place among them.

POV- First person, past tense

Trope- YA, love triangle, coming of age, family drama

Similar/Comps– The Upside of Falling & By the Book

My emotions-  at ease, calm, giggly, comfortable


Characters

High schooler, Emily has some serious sass, but that can’t compete with best friend, Shannon’s spice for drama. Then let’s add in a love triangle with Ethan and Finn and we’ve got a full show! I’m not sure if Emily’s older brother, Aaron, ever truly redeemed himself, but who cares about that annoying guy. Dad is a writer, of course … because authors have to throw in some sort of bookish detail into every novel. And her strong Mom holds the first down when things get messy.

Plot/Blurb-

Emily just wants to keep her head down and get through her junior year without failing calculus, but instead she finds herself dropped head first in the deep end of the dating pool.

Between Finn’s indifference in his own love life, Shannon’s over involvement in everyone else’s, and Emily’s utter bewilderment in the whole process, all three manage to find love in their first semester. But when it all falls apart as suddenly as it came together, Emily is left more confused than ever.


Quote-
“He was so incredibly focused. So intense. In that moment I realized that, though I’d seen Finn about a thousand times since I’d met him, I don’t think I’d ever really seen him. Not really.”


Pacing-

I’d recommend this for teens who want a light-hearted, fast, easy read.


Best part-

I’m very glad Emily chose the boy I wanted her to. You, go girl. The flower scene in the middle of the high school hallway and the winter snow-globe scene were definitely my favorite.

DNF

Usually any books that’s a 1 or 2 stars I don’t finish.

So, here is a list that didn’t get a star rating. Some of these novels were because of personal preference of style or story, some I didn’t get through because of the mood I was currently in, and others because of the prose/writing. Though, check them out because one of these books may be your next favorite.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman- felt jarring, like stage directions. Also, the chapters felt too disjointed from one another. Lastly, the long sections in italics were hard on my eyes and had me skimming those portions. I recommend this to literary fiction readers.

The Vanish by Jayne Ann Krentz- Too much “explanation” which slowed it down. I wanted a little more action and a litter less chatter. I would recommend it to those who think like an investigator. I recommend this to suspense readers.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini- I wanted to like this because it’s so popular. Unfortunately, I found it dry and slow. This one seemed to have too much back story in the beginning so I didn’t feel captivated in the moment with the characters. There were many filtering words that distanced me from the emotions. I had high anticipation, but this novel is probably intended for those who enjoy a slower read, or maybe history and those who love more introspection. I recommend this to literary fiction readers.

Dare Me by Megan Abbott- May have appealed more to a younger version of me. I think I’ve hit a benchmark in my life that I gravitate towards novels with characters who aren’t doing “high school” things. The intensity increased as it went along but it was predictable for me based on the vibe of the prologue. I recommend this for 17-18-year-old teen girls. I recommend this to contemporary readers.

The Firm by Robin A.H. Waterfield- I had trouble even just starting the opening chapter because of the obvious arrogance of the white, upperclass male characters. I recommend this to contemporary readers.

The Queen of Tearling by Erika Johansen- Made it to page 140. “Something” exciting finally started to happen around the time I stopped, but after putting it down for a few days I realized I had no interest in continuing and was procrastinating picking it back up. It felt too slow for me. Not much happened for 120 pages. The chapters are long and felt “burdensome.” I bet if I were more patient it would all have been woven together beautifully by the end. I recommend this to Fantasy readers.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver- I learned I’m not a fan of Groundhog Day stories. I felt it was redundant and became annoyed. I would recommend this one to teen girls who want to dig deep about themselves. I recommend this to YA contemporary readers.

The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard- This is the Sequel to the Red Queen. I was interested about if Mare and Cal would end up together, but it felt like such a small side plot point compared to the revolution plans. I read all the way to page 250/440 and gave up because I just didn’t care enough about what would happen. I skimmed ahead to the end and learned I wouldn’t have been satisfied with the way it ended. I recommend this to Fantasy readers.

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty- I made it to page 150. It was too slow for me with heavy descriptions, too much history/backstory & not enough emotion engagement. There were lots of names to keep track of which was confusing at times. On one page there were all these proper nouns- Nahri, Daevastana, Daevabad, Dara, Anahid, Shafit, Suleiman, Geziri, Rub al Khali, Zaydi al Qahtani, and Maghreb. I also wish the stories of the two main protagonists crossed sooner. I recommend this to Fantasy readers.

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry- I was super excited for a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood with a dystopian vibe. The writing distracted me. There was too much explaining to the reader, as if the author was talking down to me and giving me information I didn’t need so that factor made me feel removed from the plot/goal/emotion. I also didn’t connect with the style of phrases in parenthesis. That narration voice on top of the internal thoughts in italics was too much and didn’t feel streamlined. I recommend this for YA readers who enjoy retellings, fairy tales, dystopian, action, and fantasy.

Dance of Thieves by Mary E Pearson- I got 5 chapters in to page 45 and the story felt too chaotic. The sections went back and forth between different times without a clear transition. I was unsure when the scene was in the present moment. Then I’d be whiplashed to when a past character died in the backstory. Then I’d be whiplashed to that family member interacting with the main character. It was too much without feeling connected or flowing. I bet if I was a more patient reader than it would all come together beautifully. I think readers who read slow and love to immerse themselves in a full culture will enjoy this, as well as those who love fantasy with heavy history and backstory.

Four Winds by Kristin Hannah- This was a popular Book of the Month selection. I didn’t want to read about a father slapping his daughter for not approving of what she wore. I’d rather focus my energies on reading about strong, powerful, leading ladies in novels. Since I didn’t finish this book, there’s a high chance that her character arc demonstrated her transition to self-confidence, yet I felt tired of the passive, quiet, self-conscious heroine as the starting point.

Sula by Toni Morrison – I felt too distanced from the events and emotions, as if I was being informed of the story instead of participating in the scenes. I wanted to hear, smell, and feel the situation and breathe in the air of the character. Also, I think my personal preference is experiencing the plot over a shorter period of time. When multiple decades pass, I don’t connect as fully.

Ariadne by Jennifer Saint- I read to page 50. This was a book of the month selection. Others who have more patience to read further may love it, especially if the readers like back story. The style of writing wasn’t for my taste. It felt too heavy, slow, and full of info dump. I recommend this to those who like history and an olden-storytelling vibe.

Dead Girl Running by Christina Dodd- I was disappointed in the second chapter because it felt like a thousand new characters were introduced with excessive backstory. I decided to keep trying and read the third chapter but was turned off by the physical abuse from the woman’s ex and her perception about it so I didn’t want to keep reading a story about the character overcoming physical and emotional abuse. I recommend this to suspense and thriller readers.

13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher- I had trouble reading so much of the font in italics. It hurt my eyes and was hard to read for longer periods of time. It was also a little jarring that the character’s voice on the tapes were in italics. It didn’t flow as well as I would’ve wanted. I’d recommend this for teens who have a support system to process to the suicide theme.

Cyclone by Janie Crouch- Page 59 + 70 just rubbed me the wrong way and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but the way it was presented I couldn’t get on board with. I would recommend this to those who like romance with an edge from past tension.

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire V Watkins – I didn’t feel anything happened until page 48. I would’ve wanted more clear direction and understanding of the motives before then. I also felt there was a lot of telling instead of showing. The little girl Ig is sweet but being a mom of young kids, I didn’t really want to relive moments with diapers and worrying about the toddler’s safety. I would recommend this book to those who are looking for something unique.

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi- I didn’t feel a specific goal/objective/purpose that the main character was striving for. It started to feel aimless.

The Immortals by Jordanna M Brodsky- I got through chapter 6/48 but it ended up feeling dry and burdensome. Something about that theme turned me off. I may be tired of reading about women being victims. At this point, I want to read about kick-ass heroines. (If I was more patient then that’s probably exactly what this main character, Selene, accomplishes). The writing is narrative-heavy when I prefer dialogue. I recommend this to those who love Greek mythology stories, suspense and mysteries/revenge stories.

Everything Under by Daisy Johnson-I didn’t connect with the second person. Even though it wasn’t used throughout the whole story, those sections took me out of the story so much that I wasn’t interested in continuing. I’d recommend this to readers who enjoy second-person point of view and a mixture of past and present with flashbacks thrown in for a different tense.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner- I didn’t finish this series but not for any fault of the author’s. I’m only in the mood for leading heroines these days. Multiple/alternating POV who also have a male is fine but this series seemed to be only from Thomas’s point of view. Maybe if I was more patient I’d be proved wrong and there would be a POV from a female too. But I’m not super interested in reader from only a male’s perspective. I recommend this for YA readers.

Did you Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg- The writing style had me since the sentence structure was too repetitive for me, with so many of them starting with a pronoun. I became easily frustrated with the monotony since it didn’t flow well. I would recommend this book for those who enjoy family related elements in the theme

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le- There too many words in Vietnamese in each paragraph that ended up too distracting for me. I couldn’t get in a good flow. I recommend this novel to rom com readers who enjoy reading about food, families, love and diverse cultures.

The Enemy Within by Noel Hynd- I found myself going back and rereading after zoning out. I felt distracted by the monotonous sentence structure, filtering words, & telling instead of showing. I recommend this to suspense readers.

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken- I felt It wasn’t a YA novel that can cross over towards adult readers. I recommend this to young teens who won’t have the critical eye.

Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho- There were 16 instances of negative form of writing in the first few pages (use of: not, can’t, unlike, unusual, no, only, hardly, incalculably, unfortunate, etc). So many of these were distracting. When I flipped and skimmed later on, other chapters showed the same trend. So, this is being not picky… but I couldn’t get invested in the characters or story when that was distracting me. I recommend this to Fantasy readers.

Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart- The overall “creepy” vibe of the character turned me off to the story. I recommend this to literary fiction readers.

The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton- The tense switches mid-paragraph distracted me. There were multiple abrupt scene breaks that were jolting. Also, the writing was heavy on narrative description and had minimal dialogue, so I didn’t feel emotionally invested. I recommend this to readers who might not notice the above details, likes heavy descriptions and slower reads.

Legend by Marie Lu- I felt this was only for young teens and didn’t fall into the category of books for adults who enjoy reading YA. I’d recommend this for 14-15 year olds who won’t notice the difference between showing and telling and love dystopian.

The Sight by David Clement-Davies- I’m not a fan of talking animals. There was lots of “growling.” I recommend this to those who like wolf stories. I recommend this to younger teens who like Fantasy.

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty Eight Days by Salman Rushdie- It was narrative/exposition-heavy and had minimal dialogue. I recommend this to readers who enjoy literary fiction.

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle- I didn’t connect with the cynical, sarcastic, complaining voice of the main character. I recommend this to readers who like rom com with wedding/engagement shenanigans gone wrong.

Wings of Fury by Emily R King- The story felt heavy, dry, and slow. I’m not sure why because the spot I stopped had action, but it felt weighed down. All the names of the gods and goddesses also felt distracting when I just wanted to know what was going to happen to the character. I recommend this to readers who like mythology and Fantasy.

The Cove by Catherine Coulter- I felt the head-hopping within chapters was a bit too much for me to thoroughly enjoy. Unfortunately, I needed to go back and reread sections to confirm which character’s POV the internal thought was in. I recommend this to suspense readers.

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemison- Started with too much government-type writing. I don’t care much about Councils and such. I recommend this for high fantasy readers.

Year One by Nora Roberts- Since this story starts out with a pandemic, I couldn’t get through it due to causing stress/anxiety related to Covid. I recommend this for dystopian readers.

Review #6

Title- The Lunar Chronicles

  1. Cinder (Based off Cinderella)
  2. Scarlett (Based off Little Red Riding Hood)- my favorite of the bunch
  3. Cress (Based off Rapunzel)
  4. Fairest (Levana’s Story) – highly recommend reading this novella
  5. Stars Above- a collection of stories set in the Lunar Chronicles universe that could be skipped since there’s lots of backstory
  6. Winter (Based off Snow White)

Rating– Each individual novel had its own rating, as a whole I’d give it a 4.5/5
Genre- Sci/Fi Young Adult

POV- Third person, past tense

Trope- robots, androids, futuristic, coming of age, teen love, teen revolution leader

Similar/Comps– Six of Crows (on my TBR), Throne of Glass (on my TBR)

My emotions- Engaged, excited, eager


Characters

Cinder- a gifted mechanic and a cyborg, witty- the entire series revolves around her

Kai- Prince to New Beijing- I’m glad he found his balls later in the series

Scarlett- my favorite heroine, strong, assertive and bad ass

Wolf- my favorite hero of the bunch, protective alpha

Cress- my least favorite character of the group. Damsel in distress

Captain Thorne- arrogant, dare-devil thief turned into a pilot

Winter- kind, beautiful, animal lover, a wee bit crazy in the head

Jacin- the strong assertive guard, I may have a crush on him.

Levena- antagonist- she was fun, I appreciate a good antagonist

Plot/Blurb of the 1st (Cinder)

A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless Lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on Cinder. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Plot/Blurb of the 2nd (Scarlett)

Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life.

When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Plot/Blurb of the 3rd (Cress)

Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth. Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and Kai. When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Plot/Blurb of the 4th (Winter)

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana. Winter despises her stepmother and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend – the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be, and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years.

Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Best part-

This novel had such a creative and unique perspective on the classic Cinderella that it could barely be compared to the fairy tale. I still loved the bits and pieces thrown in from the original version like little bread crumbs for romance lovers. However, I don’t feel that Cinder was a romance. I loved how each character had such clear and concise objectives.


What I’d change-

I don’t feel as if these are classic romances because I wanted more emotion between the couples, however as the series went on, their connections became stronger and the feelings were more evident.

The last book, Winter, was complicated with how many characters and side plots were going on.

 Pacing-

Winter was over 800 pages! Overall, this series took me longer to get through than the average YA reads.

Review #5

Title- Shatter Me Series

Rating– Books ranged from 3/5-5/5 individually. As a whole the series was 4.5/5. (The 5th one in the series was the weakest)
Genre- YA Fantasy

POV- 1st person, multiple points of view

Trope- enemies to lovers, love triangle

Similar/Comps– Fallen Series & Delirium Series (On my TBR)

My emotions-  Invested, Connected


Characters

Juliette- main character

Adam

Warner

I’m purposefully not writing anything under the two male names above. Read to find out.

Plot/Blurb-

One touch is all it takes. One touch, and Juliette Ferrars can leave a fully grown man gasping for air. One touch, and she can kill.

No one knows why Juliette has such incredible power. It feels like a curse, a burden that one person alone could never bear. But The Reestablishment sees it as a gift, sees her as an opportunity. An opportunity for a deadly weapon.

Juliette has never fought for herself before. But when she’s reunited with the one person who ever cared about her, she finds a strength she never knew she had.

Prose-

I love the unique writing style so much. The passion really stands out and will be memorable for me a decade from now.

Quote-

There’s waaay too many good ones. Here’s some I love

Raindrops are my only reminder that clouds have a heartbeat.”

“I’m oxygen and he’s dying to breathe.”

“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head. I want to be that kind of friend. The one who will memorize the things you say as well as the shape of your lips when you say them. I want to know every curve, every freckle, every shiver of your body.”

Pacing-

Fast Reads


Best part-

Cliffhangers


What I’d change-

  1. Most of this series was introspection, so I wanted a bit more on setting description to feel grounded and less of being inside their heads. But, this is also the unique thing that stood out for me as being so different than other novels.
  2. I also didn’t like that every “parental” character is the root of all problems. There are good parents out there and showing a 100% bias against them feels a little overkill.

Comments-

Shatter Me

The sentence structure just makes the pages fly by. And almost every chapter ended on a page turning cliff hanger. I wish there were more females -too many male characters. The journal and crossing out is genius.

Destroy Me- Novella from the point of view of the antagonist in the first novel. I love stories with different points of views and show characters with multiple layers. It made the entire idea more interesting when each character showed deep flaws and deep positive intentions simultaneously. I had a suspicion that the good/evil theme would continue and can predict what will happen in the second novel, so I hope there will be some curveballs thrown in there.

This was a short, easy read with more information given that I assume will provide power to the sequel. I enjoyed how Juliette’s character was weaved into it abstractly though her journal entries.

Unravel Me-  The second in the series had the continuation of a great, individual, unique voice that captured the essence of desperation. Kenji played a bigger role than anticipated. He made some good points. Oh the wise 19 year-olds of the world… please share your wisdom. Page 174 is perfection. And I definitely wasn’t expecting page 246!! Juliette got a bit too whiney and I hoped her character arc wouldn’t peeked faster/sooner. The love triangle was expected, but there were moments of pure genius… but really had me thinking she was too wishy washy at one point.

Ignite Me– Third in the series. Thoughts- Page 35- Not believable but page 143 was pure golden. Warner was contradictory. Like when said he didn’t care about what others thought of him. Yet he’s “appearance-based” and seemed to care that he could feel the soldiers’ hatred. There were too many repetitive arguments with too much dramatic door slamming. Chapters 29- 32 lost me a bit. There were way too many inconsistencies of people flip-flopping. No one was certain or on the same path. Goals and motivations were in a swirling chaos and made connecting too difficult. There needed to be more characters staying true to who they were.


Restore Me- The fourth in the series exceeded my expectations. Bringing back the journal entries here and there felt a little repetitive from earlier novels but was super effective. I liked to see both Juliette & Warner’s POV. Sometimes I feel exhausted by how dramatic these teen emotions are. The “climatic” scene wasn’t in the main character’s POV & completed too fast.

Defy Me- The fifth in the series.

Pg 112- There is soooo much backstory in this book which fills in some blanks and questions but so far it seems like the only purpose. And there’s a LOT of new information/history being shown that it’s a bit hard to play catch up. So far the vibe is very different from the others and there’s not much “current interaction” or foreward movement but rather a bunch of explanation. You also don’t understand the basic motive of why all these parents hate the world and their children.
Pg 129- I dont like when big events don’t happen on the page but then are told and rewound“after it happens
Pg. 155 – time is all over the place. The characters are going back and forth between ages and Idk what is up and what is down anymore
Pg 169-It kind of seems like the entire book is a whole “all is lost” section
Pg. 199- this feels like I’m in a different series than before. Idk how I feel about the turn of events. It’s a lot of shift
Pg. 231- goodness sakes. There’s a lot to unpack here
Pg. 240- I saw that coming from a mile away
Pg 357- Very satisfied with the ending

Imagine Me– Sixth in the Series was probably my second favorite of the group. I’m glad the route the plot took. I’m not happy with the ending not being fully resolved so I’m hoping the novella that comes after this will give more answers. It’s not published yet and on my TBR.

Review #4

Title- If I Stay

Rating– 5/5
Genre- YA contemporary

POV- 1st person

Trope- Family relationships, teen love

Similar/Comps– Looking for Alaska (I liked If I Stay much better than Looking for Alaska)

My emotions-  Heart-wrenching


Characters

Mia- 17 years old

Plot/ Blurb-

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make.


Prose-

I loved the desperation feeling in the writing style.

Quote-
“I’ll let you go. If you stay.”


Pacing-

Shorter than I thought it’d be because of all the back-matter of other stories that I didn’t know would be a part of the paperback version.


Best part-

This one holds a new record. I cried 3x! For those who know I’m made of stone, that’s an unfathomable number. Page 160, 181, & 231 got me good.


What I’d change-

I seriously can’t think of anything- that’s a new first.

Comments-
Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz.