trees crept in book cover

And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 6th 2016
Pages: 352
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Stay away from the woods…

When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?

Let me start by saying, with the exception of classic macabre like Lovecraft and Poe, I do not read horror. It’s just not my thing. I’m also a wuss, so there’s that. However, here and there I watch horror shows like American Horror Story and Stranger Things. Weird! I know! I’m not sure why I watch but don’t read. But anyways. I kept seeing And The Trees Crept In popping up everywhere. I was also on a Stranger Things high and wanted MORE. That’s why I picked up And The Trees Crept In. What the heck? Ya know.

So here are my thoughts on And The Trees Crept in, one of the most unique, nail-bitey and terrifying books I’ve read in a long time.

Initial thoughts right after I finished And The Trees Crept In: What the heck did I just read? Not really sure. But it was O.O and has my mind spinning like crazy. I’m still trying to make it work in my head. It’s not what I thought it would be but it’s just as good as I wanted it to be? I sound almost as mad as Silla! Poor poor Silla. She and her little sister Nori run from an abusive father right into a sinister mansion with a terrifying creature in the woods. Poor Silla has nothing but her sister Nori. Her aunt Cath who she thought would take care of her is “looming the wheel”. And the mansion, La Baume, is not a magical and safe fortress like Silla’s mom always said it was. It’s musty, rotted, decrepit, and sick. It’s rundown, uncomfortable, and dangerous.

This book had me tantalized. It sucked me in and wouldn’t let go. At one point my fiancé said something to me and I looked up with crazed eyes. Then he guiltily looked away. I was that absorbed! I just needed to know what was coming next. I guessed but was never right. This author rocks! I really don’t like horror and rarely psychological. However, this book has gotten me curious and curious-er about other horror-rific YAs. Maybe I’ve discovered a new interest? Regardless, I REALLY enjoyed And The Trees Crept In.

It was unique and captivating. My only quip was that sometimes I would get very confused. I understand that it was the author’s intention to confuse us because Silla was slowly going mad. However, at times I was beyond confused and had to reread passages to try and understand. I wished it was a little more reader-friendly.

four-half-stars
Dumplin

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie WestP.S. I Like You by Kasie West
Published by Point on July 26th 2016
Pages: 330
Goodreads
four-stars

Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

I tend to start drafting reviews in my head while I’m reading a book. Obviously the final outcome changes because a story can get better, or in some cases worse. For instance, a few chapters in and I was already planning on giving P.S. I Like You a 2-3 star rating – the lowest ever for a West book! Why you ask? Well…

This story revolves around my new #spiritanimal Lily. Every word out of her mouth is hilariously sarcastic and so well timed. Most of the time her family, peers and even best friend Isobel, have no idea what Lily’s talking about. She truly lives in her own little indie-rock world. 
 
One day Lily scribbles music lyrics on her desk in Chemistry class, and then the next day some mysterious person (who we quickly find out is a boy) writes the next verse. Eventually these two start passing notes back and forth, first discussing how awesome indie-rock is, and then sharing personal items about their life. Isobel may be Lily’s best friend, but there’s parts of Lily that she doesn’t share with anyone, that is, until her mystery pen pal comes along. Both Lily and “he” are able to say in writing to a complete stranger, more than they’ve ever been able to share with anyone else. 
 
West tries to trick us by throwing in three different guys who could be Lily’s mystery pen pal, but the moment “he” was introduced I knew immediately it was him. I became angry because I was loving P.S. I Like You so much and I felt like West had let me down by making it incredibly too obvious.
 
So how did I end up giving this book 4 stars? Because the story became even juicer once “he” was revealed! When Lily finds out whom her letters have been going to, she freaks out. She’s afraid that once this individual realizes its her, he will be disappointed. For someone who wears whatever she wants and says whatever she wants, Lily has low self-confidence in herself and how the world perceives her.

This story was cute. Not the best West book in my opinion but maybe the best character building in terms of Lily? Not sure. I think West needs to write many more books so I can get a larger sample to compare. 😉

four-stars
Dumplin

Frostblood by Elly Blake

Frostblood by Elly BlakeFrostblood (Frostblood Saga, #1) by Elly Blake
Published by Little on January 10th 2017
Pages: 376
Goodreads
two-stars

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating - yet irresistible - Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her - and from the icy young man she has come to love.

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.

I’m giving Frostblood 2 instead of 1 stars 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.

two-stars
Bookish Thoughts for Wordpress

{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?

Dumplin

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. MaasA Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 626
Goodreads
five-stars

Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas's masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

Do you ever start drafting a review for a book before you even finish it? This is what I started doing with A Court of Mist and Fury. I had a lot of thoughts running through my head so I started jotting them down before I forgot them. Emotions and thoughts are so fresh while reading. Sometimes I think my reviews are actually more thought provoking and energized when I jot notes down while reading.

I felt an emotional attachment to Rhysand in book one, now in book two, I am helplessly in love with him. His shell cracks and his mysteries began to unravel in A Court of Mist and Fury. All the other courts see Rhysand as this tough, murderous, cruel and conniving High Fae Lord, when in reality he’s thoughtful and kind. He cares so much about his Court that he sacrifices himself time after time. He also clearly cares terribly for Feyre.

Feyre is slowly wasting away in body and mind in A Court of Mist and Fury. She’s struggling with adjusting to life as an immortal fae. She’s also experiencing PTSD after being imprisoned by Amarantha under the mountain as well as being forced to kill two innocent fae in order to rescue Tamlin and the rest of the faes entrapped by Amarantha’s curse.

We, and Feyre, learn so much more about the Night Court than we ever learned about the Spring Court. Feyre realizes that Tamlin has purposefully kept secrets about his court from her. The few new tidbits she learns shocks her because she holds such different views on these matters. After a huge blowout with Tamlin, Feyre is whisked away to the Night Court by Rhysand and his cousin Morrigan.

My mind has made so many comparisons between Twilight and A Court of Mist and Fury. Tamlin started reminding me of Edward Cullen which was not a good thing. Like Edward did to Bella in Eclipse, Tamlin starts hiding important and dangerous facts from Feyre. He treats her as such a small fragile thing and won’t allow her to make her own decisions. Enter Jacob, I mean, Rhysand who knows how strong Feyre really is, mentally and physically. He encourages Feyre to embrace her strengths and budding abilities. Rhysand respects Feyre enough to make her own decisions. Swoooon.

Long story short, I don’t like Tamlin anymore. He reminded me too much of a character from another series that I despised.

I LOVED A Court of Mist and Fury. I loved it even more than A Court of Thorns and Roses. We learned so much more about Feyre’s world and met a sleuth of wonderful new characters. We also learned that everything isn’t so black and white like we were set to believe in book one. There’s so many lies for the good and bad that we begin to learn about.

I’m going to waste away waiting for book three…

I give this book 5+ stars for awesomeness and addictedness.

 

five-stars