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Tag Archives: Thursday Review

Which means, I totally should, right?

If you’re a reader, then you’ve probably come across that book that stays with you and leaves you unable to think but you want to rant and/or rave about it to the closest person. I’ve come across three such books that rendered me useless afterwards. I refuse to review them because I couldn’t do a proper job of it. I refuse to read them again because that’s a scary idea. Maybe after I’ve rambled at you, dear reader, you can help me find my courage to do so. These books are definitely worth a second read.

a conspiracy of kings

Title: A Conspiracy of Kings
Author: Megan Whalen Turner
On Goodreads, I rated it: 4/5 stars

Megan Whalen Turner is a fantastic author!! I discovered her back in seventh grade and like many other fans, I’ve been waiting for her next book to release after this one. This one, it just, was everything and nothing of what I expected. I WANTED MORE GEN. I got Sophos. Who is a very endearing character but GEN. After my *extreme* initial disappointment I enjoyed the story completely, especially towards the end because while it had a few cliffhanger strings to keep us wanting, it was a stand alone by (I love those books that can be part of a series but are completely satisfying without needing a sequel) so more GEN. I mean SOPHOS. I became attached to this young king. So read it. All of the books from Megan Whalen Turner are satisfying, brilliant, page-turners.
mockingjayTitle: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
On Goodreads, I rated it: 3/5 stars
Mockingjay, Mockingjay, how shall I put this? I loved you, I hated you, I fear you. Emotionally it was everything I could have expected but plot-wise it was a bit lack luster. Going at a neck-breaking pace I fear I felt detached from most of the characters for the most part. I’ve not yet resigned myself to some of the fates of these much loved characters. I had a love/hate relationship with the ending. Collins is a brilliant author though and I absolutely loved her previous series, The Underland Chronicles. So I’m definitely eagerly awaiting her next book series.
the fault in our starsTitle: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
On Goodreads, I rated it: 3/5 stars
A friend highly recommended this and my curiousity got the best of me so I picked up Mr. Green’s book not too long ago. I’d read Paper Towns (one of Rosey’s favorite reads!) a while ago and while it was stirring, I can’t say contemporary is my thing. Sadly such was the case with this book. I had a hard time liking Hazel and I found it quite predictable but I’d be heartless if I said it didn’t twist my heartstrings a little. Augustus and Isaac were more likeable and I appreciate the very real take on terminal illness that didn’t pull back at all with its punches. With a lot of touching moments at the end of the book, I can say this is worth going to sleep at 4am. Great book, easy to recommend.
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the adversaryTitle: The Adversary
Author: Erin M. Evans
Pages: 352 (Ebook)
Rating: 2.5/5

A bit late of a review, I received a copy from Netgalley for review.

In the 3rd book of the multi-author SUNDERING series kicked off by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the award-winning Erin M. Evans throws her signature character Farideh into a maelstrom of devilish politics and magical intrigue. Captured by Netherese agents and locked away in a prison camp, Farideh quickly discovers her fellow prisoners are not simply enemies of Netheril, but people known as Chosen who possess hidden powers, powers that Netheril is eager to exploit—or destroy. As Farideh’s friends and sister race across the landscape on a desperate rescue mission, Farideh is drawn deeper into the mystery of the Netherese plot alongside two undercover Harper agents. But will her closest ally turn out to be an adversary from her past?

I’m starting to realize why these authors are the ones chosen to take part of the Sundering series. They are *brilliant*. Evans had my attention from the start, I didn’t know if i would enjoy this one, mostly because I wasn’t sure what to expect. Not knowing who the cast of characters were, I kind of stumbled around lost for a good long while in the beginning which made it hard to sit down for a continuous read. Once I got a grip on the who’s and what’s I think I started to enjoy myself.

Then the middle hit. I had to put it down until I had a chance to sit down and plow through it in one sitting just so I could get it done with. The plot slowed down to a crawl as all the characters struggled internally and while I got a great glimpse to their relationships, it was really hard to not just skim through after a while.On the other hand, the characters! I just loved each and everyone. Most of the characters I had fun reading weren’t human and it was interesting expanding my knowledge of the Forgotten Realms. One particular favorite was Mehen, the twins’ adopted father, a dragonborn. Wish I could have read more about him! The end had some lovely fights and Farideh stole the show. I enjoyed it much more than the rest of the book.

If you’re looking for an author with solid characterization skills and an ability to bring a fantasy world to you completely Evans is the one. This was a decent introduction to her but maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had picked up her other books first. Perhaps in a different mind frame I could have enjoyed this story better. I’m not sure. Have you read it or any of the Sundering books so far?

Happy reading
~Tally


ophelia and the marvelous boyTitle: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy
Author: Karen Foxlee
Pages: 240 (Ebook)
Rating: 3/5

I received a copy from Netgalley for review. This book is coming out on January 28th, so you can pick it up quite soon too!

Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn’t believe in anything that can’t be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia’s help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy’s own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy is a truly remarkable adventure that I for the most part enjoyed. I love museum settings and think that this is a story that both boys and girls can enjoy, especially as a read-out loud to a class story. In fact, I started out reading it out loud to a friend but ended up falling quiet and reading it to myself. Oops.

Ophelia was interesting, more so than the Marvelous Boy who I refuse to speak about for spoilerish reasons (also because I might end up yelling about a specific thing again. Which is a good thing, that means the author did good!). She meets him and refuses to believe in his fantastical stories about wizards and keys and the end of the world. I nearly wanted to smack him myself after he kept making Ophelia go after keys, it got a bit tedious. My favorite scene would have been Ophelia and the ghosts, that struck as the Snow Queen’s evilest of deeds. More so than the misery birds or the wolves, or that she wanted to kill a boy. The misery birds were pretty neat and scary, wish I could have seen more of them in the story.

It was a great read though I felt like the ending and the fight with the Snow Queen was rushed and slightly anticlimactic. The Snow Queen gave me the chills and I loved the flashbacks of Ophelia and her mother, but the other characters seemed to lack some character building. The ending came at a satisfying point even though I wanted it to continue for just a bit longer so I could get a few remaining questions answered! Overall though, I was happy to have picked this up and would definitely recommend it to any youngster or young of heart.

Stay warm!
~Tally


the collectorTitle: The Collector
Author: Victoria Scott
Pages: Ebook!
Rating: 3/5

He makes good girls…bad.

Dante Walker is flippin’ awesome, and he knows it. His good looks, killer charm, and stellar confidence have made him one of hell’s best—a soul collector. His job is simple: weed through humanity and label those round rears with a big red good or bad stamp. Old Saint Nick gets the good guys, and he gets the fun ones. Bag-and-tag.

Sealing souls is nothing personal. Dante’s an equal-opportunity collector and doesn’t want it any other way. But he’ll have to adjust, because Boss Man has given him a new assignment:

Collect Charlie Cooper’s soul within ten days.

Dante doesn’t know why Boss Man wants Charlie, nor does he care. This assignment means only one thing to him, and that’s a permanent ticket out of hell. But after Dante meets the quirky Nerd Alert chick he’s come to collect, he realizes this assignment will test his abilities as a collector…and uncover emotions deeply buried.

 Dante’s awesomeness was what made me pick this book up, and at the beginning, made me cringe to no end. TOO OVER THE TOP. But he settled down and I found myself chuckling and shaking my head each time he interacted with Charlie. Half-defensive, half-incredulous to find himself in her company I loved Charlie at the beginning. So sweet and naive. Then I had a bit of trouble liking her toward the end of the middle part, that made me lose interest for a while. And I never did like Blue, I’m sorry to say.

Dante, he’s very cocky but did I find him attractive (you know beside drooling over the cover?)? Not really, he sounded very much like the teenager he is. Though I do believe we’d get along grandly as friends. Maybe… Minus the long, long, and longer inner struggle that he seemed to gravitate towards. Don’t get me wrong, they include some really nice, feelsy moments but mostly I just waited impatiently for Ms. Scott to go on with the story. The ending was a bit predictable and anti-climatic but it did leave me slightly curious to read the next book.

The Collector was a really enjoyable book to read. If you don’t mind a slow-paced plot but with some pretty interesting cast of characters, I would recommend it. The paranormal aspects aren’t really present yet but I can feel Victoria Scott saving up for some neat suprises!

Happy Reading!
~Tally


seranfyllTitle: Seranfyll
Author: Christina Daley
Pages: (Ebook)
Rating: 5/5

Warning: Excited babbling ahead.

The thirteen-year-old slave girl lives in the country of Yoan, where slaves aren’t allowed proper names, let alone anything else. After being sold by a gambler and “bought” by a thief, she ends up purchased by an eccentric young nobleman named Lord Domrey Seranfyll…while he’s drunk. He’s so smashed that he actually buys nine other slaves with Rain and takes them to his massive manor in the countryside, which is rumored to be haunted. In fact, loads of rumors surround Lord Domrey. Like that his horse can fly. Or that he’s a devil.

But after getting even more intoxicated, Lord Domrey does something rather peculiar: He sets all ten slaves free that same day. And then he passes out. Many of the newly freed slaves leave, but Rain chooses to stay and look after the odd young lord. He freed them, so he can’t be as bad as people say, right?

But Rain’s going to learn quickly that choices have consequences, and that being “free” means much more than what she thought before.

It’s so hard for me to find a book that I can’t put down nowadays. I absolutely LOVED this book! I don’t care what age you are, READ THIS. It made me smile, it made me laugh, it made me sad and cry and, hate the characters and want to protect them and Rain, she’s such a beautiful, flawed person who loves those she cares about so much!

The writing was great, I had no problems with it, almost couldn’t believe it was self-published. Loved it. There were some slow moments in the plot but I don’t think you could have changed much without losing a necessary part of the story. My favorite characters were definitely Rain, Domrey, and the horses. Domrey for trying so hard to be a better person. The horses for being freaking awesome. And Rain for being brave enough to make choices for herself.

The book touches not only on magic (the house! the apple tree! I cried over that part, hah) or the flying horses (they have an awesome place;) ) but on becoming a family and facing their problems together, like alcoholism, slavery, betrayal, and gambling. It’s a story interlaced with pure honesty, hatred, and ambition. There are sleigh rides and mage battles, flying carpets and a light touch of romantic love.

I dearly hope you enjoy this as much as I did, definitely a book you or your young readers need to check out!

~Tally

(P.S. As a warning, there are a couple of scenes that are quite difficult emotionally. Ages 10+)


invisibleTitle: invisible
Author: Cecily Anne Paterson
Pages: 270 (Ebook)
Rating: 3/5

 I got a free copy of invisible from Amazon, this is Paterson’s first book and while I had a few problems getting into it, once it picked up emotionally and storywise, I was really impressed.

Jazmine Crawford doesn’t make decisions. She doesn’t make choices. She doesn’t make friends. Jazmine Crawford only wants one thing: to be invisible. For Jazmine, it’s a lot easier to take out her hearing aid and drift along pretending that nothing’s wrong than it is to admit that she’s heartbroken. She starts to come out of her shell when she’s forced to be in the school play and even makes friends with bouncy Gabby and chocolate-loving Liam. But can she stand up to the school bully, and is she strong enough to face the truth about what really happened to her dad?

Why did I have trouble getting hooked? I couldn’t tell for sure what age Jazmine was, be it that I wasn’t paying attention or clues weren’t given soon enough. It drove me crazy. I’d pegged Jazmine as upper high schooler but once it was established that she was junior high level, it brought a more profound level of feeling to the story, at least, to me.

Bullying is a hard subject to write about and Jazmine went through a lot of ups that had me grinning at all the cuteness and simple happiness. Then there were moments that she’d retreat and leave me aching in sympathy. The worst part was her journal, kind of predictable but at the same time Paterson made it agonizing to read. Ahh, and I loved how the Secret Garden play (and Miss Fraser!!) helped Jazmine and the ending, just lovely and perfect amount of touching.

I’d recommend this book to everyone who might have a youngster (say 10+)  and to those that don’t. It’s a rough ride but also has its inspiring moments. Touching bases with many topics that are sometimes hard to acknowledge such as physical disabilities and depression I did truly enjoy this book for how honest it was. Read it!

~Nataly


something strange and deadlyTitle: Something Strange and Deadly
Author: Susan Dennard
Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 388 (Hardcover)

The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

 I absolutely loved this book! It went by far too fast but it was thoroughly satisfying, gory, and heartwrenching. This book…. is exactly what the book doctor perscribed for my reading slump that I’ve bee experiencing. It was exciting, thrilling to feel an author wholly enjoy writing the story. You dont come across many authors that can do that.

The characters…. were amazing. None of them white or black but a dizzing array of greys I absolutely loved them all. At first I was skeptical as to what Eleanor saw in Daniel Sheridan but boy, I was head over heels along with Eleanor. Dennard wrote some intense moments between the two that had me grinning.

The plot itself was winding like Philadelphia’s streets (or I imagine they are so) but it developed Eleanor’s relationships quite well even though i found her reactions a bit over the top, I still enjoyed her. The ending was intense, bitter, bittersweet, and still has me reeling from it all. Absolutely. Can. Not. Wait. For. The. Next. Book. And its coming out soon!

~Tally