My Thoughts On… The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

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Title: The Upside of Unrequited
Author: Becky Albertalli
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

 

My Thoughts:

Oh my goodness! This book was a-freaking-dorable! I had heard of it on booktube and I thought it sounded good but at the time, I wasn’t really into contemporary. But thank you Owlcrate for this amazing book. I instantly fell in love.

I guess the best place to start is with how relate-able Molly’s situation is. While I was not the fat girl in high school, I was that awkward tall girl that is taller than most people, even some teachers, and no body wants to date the freakishly tall girl. Needless to say, I empathized with Molly right away and her feelings of always being the one without a boyfriend! Then there is Molly and Cassie’s relationship and how sweet it is and I especially enjoyed seeing Cassie’s sass come out in Molly!

In case you didn’t know, and I don’t know how you would…this is my first LGBTQ novel. And I really enjoyed it. Now, I know this was fluffier than some out there, but it was a nice change and I definitely think I will be intentionally reaching for more LGBTQ books in the future.

Also, this was my first Albertalli novel and I am SOLD. I can’t wait to read Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agendas…which will also be another LGBTQ novel! Two birds, one book!

SO!…Have you read The Upside of Unrequited? If not, what are you waiting on?!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo

My Thoughts On… Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

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Title:
Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King
Genre: YA Fiction
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Summary from Goodreads
There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

 

I read this book in April and typed up my thoughts but I never posted them. I seem to be really bad about that.

I loved this book so much…I read it in almost one night! It was fun, entertaining and a great light read. The setting was so refreshing. I haven’t read many pirate books, let alone one with a female protagonist. Alosa was such a fun character. A “female Jack Sparrow”…like the cover says. She was sarcastic, stubborn, and confident. And she marched to a beat of her own drum. There is a little bit of violence and a little bit of romance. (He is swoon worthy, if I do say so myself!)

I cannot wait for the next one!

Have you read Daughter of the Pirate King? What did you think? Do you have any other good pirate books to recommend (preferably ones with female pirate protagonists)?

xoxo

Elite by Mercedes Lackey (Hunter #2) – Review

Title: Elite
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Hunter #2
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

Joy wants nothing more than to live and Hunt in Apex City without a target on her back. But a dangerous new mission assigned by her uncle, the city’s Prefect, may make that impossible.

In addition to her new duties as one of the Elite, Joy is covertly running patrols in the abandoned tunnels and storm sewers under Apex Central. With her large pack of magical hounds, she can fight the monsters breaking through the barriers with the strength of three hunters. Her new assignment takes a dark turn when she finds a body in the sewers: a Psimon with no apparent injury or cause of death.

Reporting the incident makes Joy the uncomfortable object of PsiCorp’s scrutiny—the organization appears more interested in keeping her quiet than investigating. With her old enemy Ace still active in Hunts and the appearance of a Folk Mage who seems to have a particular interest in her, Joy realizes that the Apex conspiracy she uncovered before her Elite trials is anything but gone.

As the body count rises, she has no choice but to seek answers. Joy dives into the mysterious bowels of the city, uncovering secrets with far-reaching consequences for PsiCorp… and all of Apex City.

 

My Thoughts:

Well! I enjoyed this book much more than the first one! There was much more plot development in this book. I really enjoyed how Mercedes ran multiple plot lines side by side and they seemed to have nothing to do with each other…but they might…or they might not and it just supposed to look that way…you just don’t know.

This story picks ups where the last one left off. She is now an Elite and is starting to enjoy life a lot more without cameras following her and Ace being locked up. She finally feels like she has found a group of her own and is making a place. Her uncle seems to think there is some shady business going one (which is not new considering there was some thoughts like that throughout the first novel) and sends her to monitor the sewer pipes under the Hub. He doesn’t let her know what he is thinking and just says to let him know if anything is funny going on. Which is all fine and dandy…until she finds some disturbing things down there.

Then you have got the Ace situation where the Army is not keeping him under as tight of wraps Prefect Charmond would like. They are letting him use his magic out with them instead of treating him like the criminal he really is. I mean his hounds left him. People say animals have a better sense of things…so why are you trusting this guy that lost his hounds! Stupid people! And soon they will learn the error of their ways!

AND THEN while all of this is going on, there seems to be some kind of serge where more and more Outsiders are escaping and terrorizing the city (or the area around the city since they can’t get past the barriers).

As I said before, I really did enjoy this book more than Hunter. Hunter was definitely a set up novel and in that sense, it did a good job. The reader gets introduced to a few more characters (good and bad) and you get to see a little more of Joy’s personality come out.

Let me know your thoughts on this if you have read it or if you are thinking that you might want to!

xoxo

Hunter by Mercedes Lackey – Review

Title: Hunter
Author: Mercedes Lackey
Series: Hunter
Genre: Dystopian, Fantasy
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

They came after the Diseray. Some were terrors ripped from our collective imaginations, remnants of every mythology across the world. And some were like nothing anyone had ever dreamed up, even in their worst nightmares.

Monsters.

Long ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were ripped open, and it’s taken centuries to bring back civilization in the wake of the catastrophe. Now, the luckiest Cits live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the hideous creatures fighting to break through. Others are not so lucky.

To Joyeaux Charmand, who has been a Hunter in her tight-knit mountain community since she was a child, every Cit without magic deserves her protection from dangerous Othersiders. Then she is called to Apex City, where the best Hunters are kept to protect the most important people.

Joy soon realizes that the city’s powerful leaders care more about luring Cits into a false sense of security than protecting them. More and more monsters are getting through the barriers, and the close calls are becoming too frequent to ignore. Yet the Cits have no sense of how much danger they’re in—to them, Joy and her corps of fellow Hunters are just action stars they watch on TV.

When an act of sabotage against Joy takes an unbearable toll, she uncovers a terrifying conspiracy in the city. There is something much worse than the usual monsters infiltrating Apex. And it may be too late to stop them…

 

My Thoughts: 

I seem to be of the minority when it comes to this book. A lot of people did not find it enjoyable. I, however, did. I thought it was cute. There were elements that I have seen a million times…BUT there were a few things that I had not come across very often.

Some of the things I liked about this book was:

  • The protagonist, Joy. While I can see how many people see her as a self-righteous “turnip”, I admired her selflessness. She always was cool, calm, and collected. That is something I am trying very hard to be more of and it was inspirational to have an example (fictional, or not). I have read reviews where people accused her of being “meek and self-conscious” but I didn’t see her that way. Joy is a strong character that holds on to her values. While she does cry a lot in private, she tries hard holds herself together and doesn’t fall apart. She also doesn’t let what is going on in her life get in the way of her job. I say that being able to keep your head on when you really want to freak is not meek. It’s smart and disciplined.
  • The Hounds! Come on! Who wouldn’t want giant dog-like creatures that you go out and kick ass with!
  • The Mythological beings. I love reading about the different mythological creatures throughout this book. Wyverns. Red Caps. Knockers. Mages. Vampires. It is all so fascinating. I don’t see those very often…perhaps I am not reading the right books for it. I also enjoyed hearing how to take out the different Othersiders. If I wasn’t such a big chicken, I would love to be a Hunter.
  • The conversational writing. Mercedes wrote in this easy going style. It was like you were reading Joy’s journal or she was telling you the story.

A few things I didn’t care for:

  • The beginning was a lot of information and I don’t feel like i got much out of it. To be honest, I don’t remember much of it. It was a bit of a dump and almost caused me to stop reading. I would much rather just start the story line and then learn about the world as the story builds.
  • The post-apocalyptic, dystopian story. There just wasn’t anything special about it. It reminded me a lot of the Hunger Games at first. Luckily, once Joy got to Apex, things changed a little. I don’t think I could handle reading the exact same story over again.

Overall, I say it is a fun, easy read. I say if you really enjoy dystopian novels, give it a try. Once you get into it, it might surprise you.

Are you interested in reading Hunter? Let me know if you do!

xoxo

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas – Review

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Title: A Court of Mist and Fury
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #2
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

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.

 

My thoughts:

No words. There are no words to describe my feelings right now. This book has left my heart cracked open and me utterly breathless. I saw a picture on Pinterest that said ACOMAF should have been titled “A Court of Pains and Feels” and that is the absolute truth.

I think into a year-long depression until the next one…

**WARNING** I do not know how to write this without MINOR spoilers. I’ll try to keep it vague and most definitely won’t spoil the ending! But still…beware.

There are so many layers to this book, like it is unbelievable. It is like an emotional roller-coaster. My feelings followed in suit with Feyre’s. At first I was definitely Team Tamlin, but then I abandoned ship (hehe, see what I did there!) and realized I wanted my own Rhysand. (And no, this is NOT a love triangle. I applauded Feyre and feel a certain kinship with her because once she is done, she is done!)

So you start off right where you left off in ACOTAR. Happy Tamlin, Lucien, and Feyre. But Feyre is fae now. She went through so much Under the Mountain. She went from human to immortal. Feyre is a completely different person. I know Tamlin thinks he loves her, but love is blind. He doesn’t see what she did Under the Mountain. What she endure, suffered through, conquered. And now he is trying to “protect” her. My opinions are very strong on this matter. He should protect her by learning to harness her powers. By learning to protect herself should any threat arise…because didn’t he learn the first time that someone can come in and ransack that pretty little house of his and steal everything. But tisk, tisk, Tamlin. You failed.

Now, I am not saying that at the beginning I loved Rhysand. I did not. I still thought of him as the evil, conniving beast that wanted to make Tamlin suffer. BUT, he did not lock Feyre away. He did not make her do anything. Honestly, he saved her from getting married when she was asking for anyone to help her. He taught her to read. He encouraged training to learn how to maneuver her new fae body and powers. He seemed like he wanted what was best for her. He let her meet his friends before she decided to work with him. That is a more than what we can say about Tamlin, forcing her to be a pretty little wife when she has proven herself a warrior. Tamlin was a toxic relationship and I applaud SJM for showing girls that no matter what happens, if something is wrong, get out! There is something better for you.

The thing that gets me the most is that RHYSAND fought for her. RYHSAND tried to kill Amarantha while Tamlin just kneeled and begged. That right there should have been a clue, but I was too distracted to notice. I mean I did question why he wanted her alive, but I never thought much further than that.

Sooo….when this book started, I did not know where this was going. I did not think about the king and Julians missing pieces. Then once I found out about the plotting war and that it didn’t end with Amarantha, I realized where this was going and I hoped Feyre to be as much of a badass as Celaena. And boy, was she. Such a fire coming out of one girl. And, as SJM does so well, she was real. She made mistakes. Said things she didn’t mean out of emotion. Forgot she even had powers to use because of pure panic. She was flawed. All of her characters where flawed.

“To the stars that listen and the dreams that are answered”

There is so much angst and dancing around feelings in this book, it was driving me crazy. But then…once everything was out in the open…PRAISE!!! I couldn’t stand the happiness. And I almost couldn’t take the truth of how so much of the first book was not what I thought it was. It just stunned me. I could literally feel my heart swelling with joy.

And I am so thankful that she did not leave us hanging and taking the ending at face value. Those last two chapters were like a breath let out that I had been holding throughout the two before it. And HOLY CRAP!…I don’t know what else to say!

One thing I do feel like I should note are the R-rated scenes. Yes, this is a mature novel. There are inappropriate scenes for younger crowds. If this were a movie, it would be rated R for sexual scenes. If you don’t like it, then don’t read it. It is SJM’s book and she can write it however she wants. Personally, I liked it because it didn’t feel like a Juvenile book. I like YA, I do. But being in my mid-20s, sometimes they feel so young for me. I liked that they were written for an adult who likes YA. This has actually moved me into thinking I might try some things actually labeled as NA. I don’t understand books that have violence and grotesque killing scenes and people dying, but the “passionate romance” falls flat, except some heavy kissing. Make it real. Maas is not for everyone. And I applaud her for writing what she wants and not bending over to what others think or say.

And on a side note…I love the dress she wears to the Court of Nightmares. It is not by any means something I would wear, but I love it. It just says power that Feyre put it on, walked into the court and owned it. BAM!

Sarah J Maas is freaking brilliant. Like how does someone create something that can break you and make you whole all at the same time?! Every piece of this story is so well crafted and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.

I do not want to read anything else right now. Everything else will fall short and that isn’t fair to those books. I definitely see myself re-reading both ACOTAR books by the end of the year! And again before ACOTAR3!

xoxo

Stolen by Lucy Christopher – Review

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Title: Stolen
Author: Lucy Christopher
Series: N/A
Genre: Contemporary, YA
Rating: 2/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.

This is my story.

A letter from nowhere. 

Sixteen year old Gemma is kidnapped from Bangkok airport and taken to the Australian Outback. This wild and desolate landscape becomes almost a character in the book, so vividly is it described. Ty, her captor, is no stereotype. He is young, fit and completely gorgeous. This new life in the wilderness has been years in the planning. He loves only her, wants only her. Under the hot glare of the Australian sun, cut off from the world outside, can the force of his love make Gemma love him back? 

The story takes the form of a letter, written by Gemma to Ty, reflecting on those strange and disturbing months in the outback. Months when the lines between love and obsession, and love and dependency, blur until they don’t exist – almost.

 

My thoughts:

I am not sure of my feelings about this book.

Honestly, I find it quite strange. Like how can someone make it through airport security with a drugged companion and not get questioned. And how can security cameras not catch this guy or track what flights he has been getting on. That just seems wildly unrealistic.

This was my first real experience reading a character driven novel. And I  am not sure this is for me. I am not sure that characters are enough to keep me loving a book. I continued listening to this because I was interested in finding out what happens and if she makes it back home, but I was not attached to the characters at all.

What grips me into a book is the plot twists, action, and situations. A good book for me is one that currently switches situations, like once one is resolved, then another erupts and propels me forward in to the story. Stolen just kind of felt stagnant for me.

Even though it is not my favorite. I do understand why people love it. I can see how Ty’s twisted mind and obsession with the land and preserving it and how that carries over into “saving” Gemma can be beautiful. But maybe I am to literal and objective for that. Or maybe I just need to read further outside my comfort zone and one day I will see it. But for right now, it just seems like Stockholm Syndrome.

Regardless, I don’t feel like I can give you a definite yes or no on my recommending it. I say, go with your gut and if it sounds like it intrigues you, give it a shot. I mean…a lot of people seem to love it.

xoxo

 

 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas – Review

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Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses #1
Genre:Fantasy, NA
Rating: 5/5 Stars

Summary from Goodreads:

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow over the faerie lands is growing, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

 

My thoughts: 

I don’t even know where to begin with this book…

I guess I could start with the fact that Sarah J. Maas can do no wrong. At least for me. She is such an incredible author. The journey she takes you on through her books is just unbelievable. Like really… I don’t know  how she does it. (That’s probably because I am not that creative, but that is beside the point).

So let’s start from the beginning. I was hooked on this book from the first page. I started reading it immediately after I finished Heir of Fire (so amazing, btw) and I just fell right into this new world.

**“I threw myself into that fire, threw myself into it, into him, and let myself burn.”**

I could definitely see the Beauty and the Beast elements. The taking her to the castle, him technically being the “beast”, a curse to be broken, and so on. This was my first fairy tale retelling and I really enjoyed it. I liked seeing how a story can be torn apart, twisted, and put back together into something beautiful, but different.

**”Be glad of your human heart, Feyre. Pity those who don’t feel anything at all.”**

The book was kind of broken into two parts, before the Mountain (more beauty and the beast elements can be found here) and Under the Mountain. And what happens right before they go under the mountain is nothing compared to the sick and twisted happenings that go on under the mountain. Like Rhysand! Really! Do you have to be such a critter!

HOWEVER! After it is all said and done, I do see what he was doing and why. That still doesn’t change the critter-ness of it. Like why take such an interest in Feyre.

**“There are those who seek me a lifetime but never we meet,
And those I kiss but who trample me beneath ungrateful feet.
At times I seem to favor the clever and the fair,
But I bless all those who are brave enough to dare.
By large, my ministrations are soft-handed and sweet,
But scorned, I become a difficult beast to defeat.
For though each of my strikes lands a powerful blow,
When I kill, I do it slow… ”**

And that ending! I was not expecting that to happen. I can’t wait to see what happens in the sequel! It is just open to so many things. I really don’t know where were are going from here, but I can’t wait to find out.

What were your thoughts? I’d love to know!

xoxo