March 27, 2017

March Book Reviews

March Book Reviews

The end of March approaches, so it's time for me to do my monthly book reviews. Even though this is only the third month I've done this, I enjoy going back through the books I've read and trying to pick the best and the worst. Some are easy to choose, others are hard.

March has been a weird month here in Maryland. The weather has gone from spring-like to snow and repeated. The poor plants can't decided if they should be blooming or not. Half the cherry blossoms in DC died because of a sudden snow/ice storm we had. Hopefully the weather is more stable wherever you are. I also didn't get a lot read this month. Not because I was especially busy. It was just a slow month for reading. But on to the reviews.


Best Books


Carve the Mark- Veronica Roth

My Rating: 4 stars

What I Liked:

The galaxy. Veronica did a great job building a believable galaxy with nine (if I'm remembering correctly) different planets. My favorite, however, would have to be the one most of the story takes place on. Having two types of people living on it and calling it different things was much more interesting than a planet where everyone's the same and gets along.
The cultures. I also think she did a good job building two vastly different cultures. The peaceful Thuvhians and the warlike Shotet. Each had their own traditions, ways of life, and language.
 Currentgifts. Because what's a book without some cool powers? Currentgifts are abilities given by the current, a thing that runs through everything in the galaxy. (Think the Force from Star Wars.) They can vary from bringing peace to being unable to feel pain.
The protagonists. Cyra has a currentgift for pain, and Akos has a currentgift that makes him unable to feel the current. How that works, I haven't the faintest. Personally, Cyra was my favorite. She had such a great background. Plus she was so kick-butt. Every time the book switched to Akos I couldn't wait to get back to her. Each character had their own flaws and strengths.

What I Didn't Like:

The prophesies. There were people in the galaxy that had fates, if I'm remembering the right term. Basically, it's something that's going to happen to you no matter what you do. They're obscure but always come true. I just don't like unchangeable fates. It limits things and people are always trying to get away from them. This is more of personal thing, so you may like that.
Implications. Veronica implied things between two girl characters that I didn't appreciate. The book would have been perfectly fine with her attempts at "diversity".
 It was long. This was a big book. Not that it didn't keep me turning pages, but maybe it could have stopped sooner. That cover, however, is awesome. As a side note.

Note: Many people didn't like this book because it wasn't Divergent. But, hello, this isn't. Divergent was dystopian, Carve the Mark is sci-fi. They're completely different books.

The problem with become famous on your first books is that you can't write something different without people complaining. If you want to read this book for more like Divergent, try something else instead. If you want to see an author you love try a new genre fairly successfully, go ahead and read it. My rant is complete now.


The Hidden Twin- Adi Rule

My Rating: 4 stars.

What I Liked:

The plot. It was one of those plots where the protagonist is trying to do something, but every time they get close, something drags them away again.
Standalone fantasy book. You don't find a lot of standalones in the fantasy genre. Most a five book epics that if they fall off your bookcase are likely to squish you. It's nice to read a single book and know the whole story is done.
The redwing. Redwings are the children of humans and beings called the Others. People hate and fear them, even though the protagonist of the book is the only real one for a long time. She doesn't have a name but she was still a great character. Sassy should have been her middle name. That was my favorite part about her. I can't resist a good sassy character.
Worldbuilding. This was a unique fantasy world. It reminded me of Indian culture for some reason, probably because of all the different gods. It was also interesting because the place they lived only had warm water and lots of fog and ash. Cold water was a rich person's treat.

What I Didn't Like:

I didn't fully understand everything. The world was great, but I didn't fully understand the rules. I felt like it might be an alternate Earth, but I'm not sure. It could have used more grounding.
The ending. It wasn't a bad ending, it just felt rushed. The climax was over so quickly, you could blink and miss it. And it had like a two page resolution. Not a bad thing, but I prefer a little longer wrap-up.
Goal wasn't very clear. I had a hard time figuring out where the plot was going. I know it was partially the redwing trying to discover who she is. But the blurb talked about her being used by people, and that didn't really come in. It could have used more clarity.
Love triangle. *Gag* The redwing meets a reporter in the first few pages and is instantly attracted, and then later she meets the younger prince and falls in love with him too. Both boys obviously like her back.

I did have a slight bit of confusing when I picked this book up. I thought it would be about changlings for some reason. Maybe I read the blurb wrong. Then when I read it, it wasn't even close. So, just a warning to make sure you know what the book is about before you start.

Worst Books


Glass Sword- Victoria Aveyard

My Rating: 3 stars

What I Liked:

The cover. It's really pretty. The crown, dripping with blood. But shouldn't a book called Glass Sword have a sword on the cover? Or is that just me?
Page turner. I did keep reading this, even if the book was annoying me. It could also be because I'm stubborn.

What I Didn't Like:

The plot. It continued to steal from other books. Plus a lot was covered, but there didn't seem to be anything consistently driving it forward. People, like Shade, just up and died for no reason. (Highlight the sentence if you want to see the spoiler.)
Mare. She continued to annoy and grate on me. Headstrong to the point of stupidity one minute, a total drama queen the next. She kept acting like she was the only important person in the whole book and the only one who had to make horrible choices. No one else "understands" her. The rant Cal gives her near the end perfectly sums up my feelings.
Everyone else. All the other people annoyed me too. Backstabbing and cruelty at every turn. And why don't we just make "Anybody can betray anybody" the title of the series, since that's all Mare says and all that happens.

Sorry if you love this series, but I just don't. I'll keep reading it, partially to see how it ends and partially to see if it gets better. But it's not exactly my thing.


As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale- Liz Braswell

My Rating: 3 stars.

What I Liked:

The original parts of the story. While I didn't like some elements of the plot, the parts that were completely different from the Disney movie were great. The bad guy was so demented and the thought that Belle and the Beast have a connection is interesting.
Awesome cover. The dark tones of the cover go well with it's subtitle of twisted tale. I especially like the Beast silhouette rising above the words.
Belle. Though this wasn't the Belle of the Disney movie, she was smart and resourceful. She used her knowledge she got from books to help her. I understood her feelings about her situation, and I liked how strong she was.
It explained some things the movie didn't. Like why the Beast's portrait looks like a twenty year old when he was cursed at eleven. Or how a whole kingdom disappeared and no one thought that was strange.
It wasn't black and white. Many of the characters, Belle's mother especially, where straight cut good or bad. They did things they thought were right, but actually weren't. Like the villain. Or the curse. It was nice to see that.

What I Didn't Like:

Too twisted. The prologue was a repeat of the one from the movie word for word. That is where the story went wrong. It tried to be like the Disney movie and not like it at the same time. It would have been better if she had dropped the parts of the movie and just went with her original idea.
The characters. Like the previous point, the characters tried to be the movie version and the twisted tale version at the same time. It just didn't work for me. Gaston especially annoyed me. (Although that is his nature, right?)


Notable Mentions


Everything Everything- Nicola Yoon

My Rating: 4 stars

Now, I'm not a big romance reader. Or a reader of books that feature protagonists with a disease that they could, and probably will, die from. But this book was exception, in the fact that it wasn't really a romance, and the main character lived! (Amazing, I know.) I actually picked it up because I watched the movie trailer and decided it might be worth a try.

This book was actually, to me, a self-discovery novel. Maddy learns about the world and who she is, not in a bad way, over the course of the book. I think the novel would have been fine without Olly, but I guess the author couldn't figure out another way to get Maddy out of the house.

This paragraph is about the ending, so if you want to read it, just highlight it. That twist at the end was so surprising. I thought Maddy would die or something at the end. But instead, it turns out her mom has been lying to her the whole time? Wow, mind blown.  You go from loving her mom, to being scared of how mentally hurt she is in pages. It was an excellent twist.

Yeah, there were problems. But there was lots of good things too. Even if you think you're not a romance reader, give this book a try. You may like it.

Other Books Read

RoseBlood- A. G. Howard- 4 stars
Poor Unfortunate Soul: The Tale of a Sea Witch- Serena Valentino- 3 stars
The Legend of Holly Claus- Brittany Ryan- 5 stars
Rebellion of Thieves- Kekla Magoon- 4 stars
The Turncoat's Gambit- Andrea Cremer- 4 stars
Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book- Jennifer Donnelly- 4 stars
City of Thirst- Carrie Ryna- 4 stars
The Game- Diana Wynne Jones- 4 stars

If you want reviews for any of these books, be sure to follow me on Goodreads. I do my best to write a review for every one. They may not be very good, but practice makes perfect, right?

Let's talk! What are the best, and worst books you've read this month? What are your thoughts on authors trying new genres? Tell me in the comments.

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