rose petal graves

Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein

Publisher: Olivia Wildenstein
Release Date: March 29, 2017
Pages: 390
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Supernatural
[Goodreads]

Let me start by saying thank you to Olivia Wildenstein and Netgalley for giving me a copy of this book for review. *My opinions are my own and I totally respect that others might think differently.

I had just finished rewatching the Buffy episode “Pangs” when I came across Rose Petal Graves on Netgalley. If you’ve never watched Buffy before, leave this blog right now. Just kidding!! “Pangs” is the 8th episode of season 4.

Long story short:

It’s Buffy’s first Thanksgiving away from home and she’s feeling blue about it. She decides to throw a feast for her friends at Gile’s house.

mushy peas

Xander, currently a construction worker, is about to excavate a location on UC Sunnydale (Buffy’s college) ground when he falls into a ditch. The ditch ends up being a room in the lost Sunnydale missionary. Decades ago there was an earthquake that people thought destroyed the missionary when in reality it was actually buried.

Xander, always the unlucky one, awakens the spirit of an angry native american who in turn curses him with various diseases like smallpox and syphilis.

you look like death

In typical Buffy nature what follows afterwards is a lot of humor a battle and in this case, a nice sit down Thanksgiving dinner.

a bear you made it

undo it

i didnt mean to

 

 

 

 

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Let me preface by saying that Rose Petal Graves was not my cup of tea. I was mislead by the description, I despised the main character Catori and I was overwhelmed by all the characters and side plots.

Rose Petal Graves had immediately piqued my because the description reminded me of one of my favorite Buffy episodes. Come to find out though, it wasn’t anything like “Pangs” which kinda bummed me out. Also, Rose Petal Graves was quoted as being perfect for fans of Court of Thorns and Roses (A new favorite series of mine) and Pocahontas. This description is super misleading. Yes there’s faes and there’s Native Americans in Rose Petal Graves, but that doesn’t mean it’s a book that appeals to fans of both.

I found Catori our MC super annoying and unlikable. She’s heading home in the beginning of the book to attend her mother’s funeral. Early on she meets this super delicious medical examiner who she immediately falls for. Another guy comes along who she barely knows and is clearly not a good choice and she’s finding herself falling for him too. I loath triangles and this triangle was worse than most because she barely knows the guys and they’re both sort of sketchy jerks.

I don’t really know what else to say about this book. The whole Native American/Fae storyline held so much promise but it just wasn’t developed enough. The characters were either totally unlikable or totally irrelevant.

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1 Stake because I was able to finish this book regardless of the fact that I didn’t like it. That’s a huge feat for me because usually I don’t make it to the end if a book gets only 1 stake.

 

Empire of Storms perfect cover

Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s BOok
Pages: 693
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy, Romance
[Goodreads]

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Wow. Seriously though… wow!!! If Empire of Storms is but a taste of the end, I don’t know if I’ll make it through book 6. I barely made it through book 5.

There’s so much emotion running through me right now, especially for Aelin. Pride for what she sacrificed in Empire of Storms and sorrow for what she has already and surely will lose in the final book.

Aelin now knows who she is and what her ancestors expect of her. I seriously hate her ancestors at the moment. Aelin’s life has never been hers, neither has the other characters in this series actually – Elide, Rowan, Dorian, Manon as well as others. Their lives are all falling into predetermined places.

This “review” is more like a handful of sentences with my thoughts about Empire of Storms. I really don’t want to get too into this book because there’s so much to dissect. I also don’t want to share major spoilers.

Did you read this latest installment in the Throne of Glass series? What did you think? Are you as devastated as me? Are you super impressed (like me) at what Lysandra in her many forms accomplished in this book?

Lysandra as well as Elide are two of my current favs right now. This book had so many badass females.

run the world gif

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5 stakes! Duh.

5stakes

girl at midnight cover

The Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Gray

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pages: 357
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Genre: Young Adult, Supernatural, Fantasy
[Goodreads]

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I quickly and easily became invested in The Girl at Midnight. From the moment I met our MC Echo I knew I was going to like her. Echo is sassy and smart. She’s gotten a raw deal in life but still perseveres. Even though Echo often jumps headfirst into bad situations, she always seems to make it through. She’s clever and observant which makes her a very accomplished thief. She steals everything from books to trinkets to magical objects.

Echo’s early childhood is a mystery to us. She was living on her own in a public library when she met Ala, an Avicen. Avicens are a race of human/bird supernatural creatures. The only thing we know about Echo’s parents is that they weren’t “very nice”. Echo is found by Ala in the beginning of The Girl at Midnight. After a few pages of introduction the story shoots 10 years into the future.

10 years later: Echo is a teenager who has an Avicen best friend named Ivy and a newly acquired Avicen boyfriend, Rowan. Besides Ivy, Rowan, Ala, and a couple other Avicens, Echo is rejected by the Avicens. Being the only full human in the nest, Echo has felt out of place among the Avicens. It also doesn’t help that the majority of Avicens gossip, look down at her, and all but say she doesn’t belong.

The Girl at Midnight really gets juicy when Echo finds a hidden message in a music box she stole for Ala. The message contains a riddle that has to do with the legendary Firebird, a creature who is said to wield such immense power, that it could end the war between the Avicen and the Drakharin. The Drakharin is another race of supernatural creatures in this book. Unlike the Avicen, the Drakharin are human/dragon. Echo, by Ala’s request, undertakes the journey to find the Firebird.

I appreciated Echo’s humor throughout The Girl at Midnight. Even in dark moments, like sitting in a Drakharin dungeon, Echo kept her sarcasm.

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I didn’t give this book 5 stakes because even though it was great, it wasn’t spectacular. There wasn’t really a cliffhanger at the end of The Girl at Midnight, but I liked the ending well enough to want to read the next book.

 

Books I DNF & Why ft. The Graces & Hexed

The Graces

This book was agonizing to read and I didn’t even finish it.

I’ve never disliked a MC like I did River. She was incredibly annoying. She’s completely obsessed with the graces. Not the graces themselves, but the idea of magic and power that the graces are rumored to possess. River plans all her words and actions carefully. She snoops around and looks for any grace she can find. River never tells the truth to anyone.

River has no identity of her own. To River everything is graces, graces, graces. She wants to “catch” a grace. She doesn’t care for the graces she just wants to use their “powers” for her own agenda. They aren’t people to her; they’re tools.

So yeah. River – BLEH.

Also the pace of this book was soooo slow and the story didn’t get good until halfway through the book. Unfortunately by that time I was so miserable that I didn’t bother trying to stick it out. I returned the library’s copy and never looked back.

 

Hexed

I tossed this book a side early on because of the confusing, off-balanced and unrealistic portrayal of characters in this book. The part that really put me over the edge was a line that Indigo the MC says. She’s describing the captain of the cheerleading squad as being bitchy and sleazy, always trying to hook up with Indigo’s boyfriend, yet, and here’s the kicker, this chick is Indigo’s “best friend”. WHAT THE FRACK? This chick is a horrible person and yet Indigo makes excuses for her, saying she’s been off lately/not herself. Even Indigo’s mom and aunt call her “friend” bitchy. Excuse me. But a best friend does not continually try to hook up with their friend’s boyfriend so blatantly. If this chick is continually a horrible person, than she’s not your friend, let alone your BEST friend. It makes no sense! This one aspect of the book just rubbed me the wrong way so much that I couldn’t continue on.

The other characters that I was introduced to were also juvenile and weak.

I hate writing such a scathing review for a book I only read about 20 pages for, but it’s how I feel. Nothing against Krys because I’m sure she’s super proud of this book, but I just feel like it’s not fully formed or realistic. It’s seriously lacking and I couldn’t take it seriously.

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{Bookish Thoughts} Do rate books immediately after you finish reading?

When I first started blogging I would publish my rating the minute I finished reading. I eventually realized that it wasn’t a good idea because after fully processing a book occasionally my feelings would change.

Like sometimes I’d be super impressed and totally in love with a book so I’d be like 4 stars!! Totally 4 stars!! However, after a few hours or even a few days my feelings would change. I could have still enjoyed the book but after my reading-high died down my feelings became less cloudy and more specific.

There were times when my opinion of a book rose. Take Frostblood, I finished it with an air of disappointment so I immediately gave it 1 star. After a few days I changed my rating to 2 stars because I realized that even though it had a lot of pitfalls, I enjoyed reading it nonetheless. Then you had books like A Court of Thorns and Roses where I knocked it from 5 to 4 stars.  I really struggled with rating A Court of Thorns and Roses. I loved A Court of Thorns and Roses but then A Court of Mist and Fury came along and I loved that one even more. I knew both books weren’t on the same level so I had to knock down book one’s rating so I could express that I loved book two more.

Do you wait a couple days before you publicly rate a book? Do you find that a few hours or a few days affects your thoughts and feelings of a book? For that matter, do you also re-write reviews that have been sitting in your queue?

crown of midnight final cover

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2) by Sarah J. Maas

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pages: 418
Release date: August 27, 2013
Genre: YA, High Fantasy
[Goodreads]

 

***Somehow this review got lost in my blog queue. I actually read Crown of Midnight months ago, and then wrote this review. Anyways — I got a kick out of reading this review when I found it because I just finished book 5 and so many things have changed since book 2!! My Review banner 2

Yep. I’m officially and incredibly addicted to this series. I’m not going to beat myself up for not starting it sooner anymore because I’ve officially hopped on the bandwagon and I’m invested in Celaena’s journey.

Crown of Midnight isn’t one of those books that succumbs to the dreaded second book slump, in fact, I’d say that Crown of Midnight was even better than Throne of Glass. Everything was just so heightened in Crown of Midnight. This book was darker, deeper and more devastating.

We see Calaena unlike we’ve ever seen her before. In her grief and rage shes becomes a deadly creature with no sense of restraint. She’s unstoppable. It was actually quite scary to see how powerful she truly is able to become. Her emotions flip off and she’s lost in blood lust.

Enough of the dark and gloomy! There was some light in this book…mainly Celaena and Chaol my current favorite ship. Celaena, since book one, has been see-sawing between Chaol and Dorian.  However, after pulling away from Dorian she fully leans toward Chaol in Crown of Midnight. I just love these two together so damn much. He’s uniform and logical and she’s reckless and unpredictable, together they just fit wonderfully. They help each other grow in ways they didn’t think possible.

A lot of reveals were made in Crown of Midnight regarding the king’s agenda, Celaena’s past and where her future lies.

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5 whopping stakes of course! This series excels at many things especially when it comes to creating compelling characters like Celaena. She has so many layers and it’s been such a treat to peel them back.

5stakes

frostblood final cover

Frostblood by Elly Blake


Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 376
Release date: February 10, 2017
Genre: YA, High Fantasy
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Okay, so here’s the thing, I started Frostblood right after I finished Empire of Storms. Empire of Storms was absolutely incredible. In my opinion, it was one of the best books in the Throne of Glass series. So when I began Frostblood I was already riding high on sizzling romance and shocking twists. I was an emotional tornado.

While reading Frostblood, I couldn’t stop comparing it>to Empire of Storms. Because… BOTH series has a main female character who 1. wields fire 2. is part of a prophecy 3. life is interrupted many times by a god who has a plan for her. ALSO in both book series there’s a slow budding romance between the main character and a secondary character. The relationships both begin with verbal and physical sparring. Now I’m not trying to say that Frostblood is a rip or anything, there is just A LOT of similarities and I feel like I scrutinized Frostblood because of how fresh Empire of Stormswas in my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, there is still a lot of differences between the two series. For instance, the whole frostblood vs. fireblood thing is definitely different. There’s only 3 types of magic wielders in the Frostblood world (at least as far as we know). The gods at play are connected to the directions/different winds. Nor of the North is the father of frostbloods, Sud of the South is the mother of firebloods, there’s also Cirrus of East who seems to be the most reasonable and benevolent of the bunch. Then there is Eurus of the West who is very dark, tricky and dangerous.

The current king, and frostblood sitting on the ice throne is malevolent. He has no interest in creating peace between the frostbloods and firebloods, instead he imprisons or outright kills firebloods. Some firebloods also end up in a tournament against warrior frostbloods that fight and kill firebloods for sport.

Frostblood’s writing style is basic in the sense that it relies mostly on dialogue with very few descriptions of characters, their positioning, physical looks including facial expressions, and mental processes. I had a hard time picturing what each character looked like, what each character was doing and what Ruby was thinking in every scene. It’s a shame because I liked Ruby, she was sassy and motivated to survive. She also had a lot of compassion, even for those that she considered enemies.

I’m not sure if I will read the second book. The whole end “fight scene” was brief and underdeveloped. I skimmed through the last 30 pages.

I was all around let down by Frostblood. It had one-of-a-kind gods and a great rivalry between firebloods and frostbloods. Unfortunately neither story line was fully fleshed out and utilized. The characters melded into the background because there wasn’t enough descriptions.

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I’m giving Frostblood 2 instead of 1 stake because even with it’s pitfalls I found some enjoyment while reading. This book was a quick read because of the lack of descriptions so I flew through it. It cleansed my palate after reading Empire of Storms and made me ready for the next (hopefully) great read.

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{Bookish Thoughts} Goodreads: A blessing or a curse?

Do you ever wish that you didn’t read a review or check the average rating for a book on Goodreads before giving it a go yourself? I love Goodreads, I truly do because it helps me keep track of the books I’ve read and the books I want to read. I discover a lot of new books I might not of heard otherwise as well. I also get to connect with other great readers through posting and reading reviews. I always thought Goodreads was miracle-sent but lately, I’m been thinking resentful thoughts.

I can’t think of a single book that I’ve read in the last 6 years (joined GR in 2011) that I didn’t research on Goodreads beforehand. I don’t know about you, but I’ve just become so conditioned when it comes to reading. I always need to skim reviews and gouge the average ratings. This is something I NEVER used to do. I used to read the synopsis and if it sounded good I’d buy or borrow it from the library.

I’m so glad that there’s a great resource where I can checkout what other readers are thinking, but lately, I’ve also been irritated with how it influences my reading decisions. I feel like my initial perception of a book and rather I’ll enjoy it or not is being influenced by other’s opinions. I try to take other’s views with a grain of salt but I still find myself shying away from 3.5 or less starred books regardless of the varying opinions.

Do you feel like Goodreads is a curse and blessing? Do non-amazing ratings make you iffy? Is Goodreads affecting your choice in reading a certain book? Do you wish that you could start taking leaps of faith again?