reviews · YA

“The Babysitters Coven” by Kate Williams (Review)

Hello friends! Can I just say, I was so happy when the publisher allowed me to read this ARC! I’d seen this ARC on Netgalley and just really liked the concept BUT this was not what I was expecting so here we go!

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my views of the book. All opinions stated are unbiased.

STATS FOR THE BOOK

Length: 368 Pages

Publication Date: September 17th, 2019

Goodreads Rating: 3.59 Stars out of 22 Ratings

SYNOPSIS

Seventeen-year-old Esme Pearl has a babysitters club. She knows it’s kinda lame, but what else is she supposed to do? Get a job? Gross. Besides, Esme likes babysitting, and she’s good at it.

And lately Esme needs all the cash she can get, because it seems like destruction follows her wherever she goes. Let’s just say she owes some people a new tree.

Enter Cassandra Heaven. She’s Instagram-model hot, dresses like she found her clothes in a dumpster, and has a rebellious streak as gnarly as the cafeteria food. So why is Cassandra willing to do anything, even take on a potty-training two-year-old, to join Esme’s babysitters club?

The answer lies in a mysterious note Cassandra’s mother left her: “Find the babysitters. Love, Mom.”

Turns out, Esme and Cassandra have more in common than they think, and they’re about to discover what being a babysitter really means: a heroic lineage of superpowers, magic rituals, and saving the innocent from seriously terrifying evil. And all before the parents get home.

WHAT I LIKE

  • Babysitter witches, must I say more. I really enjoyed the idea of the “sitters” but I did have some small qualms with this idea. I’ll write more about this in my “WHAT I DON’T LIKE” section of the post. I’ve always just adored reading about witches and their craft! It’s kind of a weird hobby but ya know-
  • The cover is absolutely stunning! I adore the color scheme and just how abstract the colors are aligned.
  • The storyline was easy to follow! It didn’t feel slow paced at all which is sadly something that makes me hate most books.
  • Esme and Janis’s friendship was realistic.

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

  • Our main character Esme acts more so has the nature of a 10-year-old than an actual almost 18-year-old. It was really… It just made the story less worth reading.
  • It felt like the author was trying to force the magical elements at times. I feel as though the whole “sitters” idea was cool, just not planned out well enough.

OVERALL OPINIONS

I actually really liked this book even with the problems I found! These problems could be easily amended by the author or just straight up ignored by the reader. However, I don’t believe that these issues are too big of a deal for me.

Truthfully, at first, I was unsure what to rate this book.

I mean, yes I love the idea of witches. But I also can’t say that I believe the author executed this theme well.

I liked how the characters interacted, but I didn’t like the main character at all.

So what do I rate this book?

Overall, I will be giving this book 4 out of 5 stars!

Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful day!

Tell me, how do you feel about immature teen characters? Do you like them or is it something that makes it difficult for you to get through the book?

 

 

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reviews · YA

“Crown of Coral and Pearl” by Mara Rutherford (Review)

Welcome back to the blog, friends! Today’s post is a book review! (I’m catching up on my Netgalley arcs)

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my views of the book. All opinions stated are unbiased.

STATS FOR THE BOOK

Length: 384 Pages

Publication Date: August 27th, 2019

Goodreads Rating: 4.41 Stars out of 59 Ratings

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.

WHAT I LIKE

  • The relationship between the sisters, Nor and Zadie, just felt real. The whole thing just felt authentic which really was a plus to the story!
  • Nor’s loyalty. Nor was not only loyal to her family but she was completely loyal to her home.
  • Ceren was the perfect villain but also was your stereotypical villain. If you like stereotypes, you’ll like Ceren as a villain.
  • The plot kept me wanting more. Every time you thought it was getting boring. BAM! Something happened in the story to spice it up!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

  • The romance with Talin was actually terrible and not worth putting into the story in my opinion. The entire time reading this, I just kept waiting and waiting and waiting for this romance to actually develop. And it never did. As someone who really enjoys reading romances, this really let me down.
  • The ending was not wrapped up at all.

OVERALL OPINIONS

I really enjoyed this book for the most part. My favorite thing about the story was just the sister bond. Not all authors are able to execute this very well so for me, that made the story that much more worth reading.

Also, just the fact that the plot was good up until the end. But personally, I would have preferred everything to be nicely wrapped until in a bow. I wouldn’t say this made the story terrible, I just think it could have been done better is all. The ending is one that you would expect for a sequel and that is not the case here.

I’d recommend this book for Fantasy readers as a whole. I think everyone could find something to like about this book! Honestly, so long as you can make it through the underdeveloped romance, you may love (or at least like) this book!

Overall, I would give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars!

Thank you for reading! Have a wonderful day!

Tell me, if books have romance, how do you feel is it’s underdeveloped? Do you care or is it not a huge deal for you? 

TBRs

TBR: May

Hello! Welcome to my May TBR!

Update: My laptop was saved by UBreakIFix. Thank goodness. It was stressful having it break during the week prior to finals. So I’m glad to be back!

On to the TBR!

The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

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The Handmaid’s Tale is not only a radical and brilliant departure for Margaret Atwood, it is a novel of such power that the reader will be unable to forget its images and its forecast. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead, a monotheocracy that has reacted to social unrest and a sharply declining birthrate by reverting to, and going beyond, the repressive intolerance of the original Puritans. The regime takes the Book of Genesis absolutely at its word, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population.

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid’s Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

Admittedly, I did watch the TV show first. I know, taboo right? But with the third season coming out, I decided I would try to read the book. Either way, I had been wanting a reason to read it but now I have an excuse!

There There by Tommy Orange

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There There is a relentlessly paced multigenerational story about violence and recovery, memory and identity, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people. It tells the story of twelve characters, each of whom have private reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind in shame. Dene Oxendene is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death and has come to work at the powwow to honor his uncle’s memory. Opal Viola Victoria Bear Shield has come to watch her nephew Orvil, who has taught himself traditional Indian dance through YouTube videos and has come to the powwow to dance in public for the very first time. There will be glorious communion, and a spectacle of sacred tradition and pageantry. And there will be sacrifice, and heroism, and unspeakable loss.

OK! This is one of the required reads for my Ethnic American Literature summer course. I’m not that excited about reading it but I’ve read the reviews on it and they seemed good so I’m hoping it lives up to the reviews!

The Huntress by Kate Quinn

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In the aftermath of war, the hunter becomes the hunted…

Bold, reckless Nina Markova grows up on the icy edge of Soviet Russia, dreaming of flight and fearing nothing. When the tide of war sweeps over her homeland, she gambles everything to join the infamous Night Witches, an all-female night bomber regiment wreaking havoc on Hitler’s eastern front. But when she is downed behind enemy lines and thrown across the path of a lethal Nazi murderess known as the Huntress, Nina must use all her wits to survive.

British war correspondent Ian Graham has witnessed the horrors of war from Omaha Beach to the Nuremberg Trials. He abandons journalism after the war to become a Nazi hunter, yet one target eludes him: the Huntress. Fierce, disciplined Ian must join forces with brazen, cocksure Nina, the only witness to escape the Huntress alive. But a shared secret could derail their mission, unless Ian and Nina force themselves to confront it.

Seventeen-year-old Jordan McBride grows up in post WWII Boston, determined despite family opposition to become a photographer. At first delighted when her long-widowed father brings home a fiancée, Jordan grows increasingly disquieted by the soft-spoken German widow who seems to be hiding something. Armed only with her camera and her wits, Jordan delves into her new stepmother’s past and slowly realizes there are mysteries buried deep in her family. But Jordan’s search for the truth may threaten all she holds dear.

I actually won this in a giveaway but I’m so happy I did! I loved reading The Alice Network and when I had found about Quinn’s new book, I was just excited! Honestly, I don’t know much about the book but as someone who loves WW2 books, I think I’ll like this book.

So I’m going to end the TBR here. I have a lot of books on my TBR but these are the three I’m for sure planning on reading this month!

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Book Tag

Tag: The Liebster Award

I love doing tags and this has always seemed like an interesting one to do! Thank you to Sara for nominating me to do the tag!

THE LIEBSTER AWARD RULES

  1. Acknowledge the blog that gave it to you and display the award
  2. Answer 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  3. Give 11 random facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  5. Give these blogs 11 questions to answer

11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I want to own a mini pig but can’t because I have two dogs. It is my goal to have one someday though!
  2. I’ve never been on a rollercoaster before even though I live about thirty minutes away from a theme park. One time I almost rode on one but then, as I was the next person in line to get on the rollercoaster, lightning struck. They closed the ride and ever since I have believed that day was a sign that I am not meant to ride on a rollercoaster.
  3. I’m graduating from college a semester early. so I will be graduating in December 2020 at the age of 20. Everyone thinks this is wonderful but really it means that I have to sort my life out sooner than later.
  4. My dogs are my best friends and I don’t know where I would be without them. As someone with anxiety, they really have helped me so much! I don’t know where I would be without them.
  5. My third year working at my job is April 23rd. That’s also the same day as Shakespeare’s birthday. That my friends is a spiritual bond.
  6. Eeyore is my favorite all-time Disney character! There is no explanation, he’s just literally the best.
  7. Currently, I have three essays that will be due in the next two weeks, but like many other college students, I have spent my time productively watching Netflix.
  8. I don’t really like audiobooks because I can’t follow them.
  9. Anything vanilla scented is the best.
  10. My favorite type of dessert is banana pudding and nothing can change that.
  11. I love eating at the Olive Garden but can only do so once or twice a year. I wish I was rich enough to waste my money there!

11 QUESTIONS FROM SARA

What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year?

The Alice Network was so good! It was one of those books I read while I had time to waste but I’m glad I did.

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Which book that you already own are you most looking forward to reading?

Probably The Women in the Castle! If you can’t tell by now, I seriously love reading WW2 Historical Fiction.

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Which upcoming release are you most excited about?

I can’t wait for The Fountains of Silence! Honestly, who didn’t know this would be on the list. I mean, I haven’t really posted about it but I have loved all of her books.

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What’s your favorite TV show right now?

I actually just finished watching Reign which was amazing!! It was a very historically accurate show. I mean, the ending was tragic but also emotional. This show was just all the feels! Now I have to find a new show to watch which is gonna be rough.

What’s the last movie you watched and how was it?

The last movie I watched was The Curse of La Llorona and lemme tell you. It was terrifying. It had way too many jumps scares for me to handle! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a wonderful horror movie, it just relied on the horror aspect a little much for me. Otherwise, though, I mean, I won’t see it again, but it is a movie worth seeing at least once in your life!

Are there any tropes that you just can’t resist?

We all, by that I mean me, need to be realistic with ourselves. A troupe I love because I honestly find it a little comedic and what not is love triangles. You feel so bad for the people involved in them yet, when it’s obvious one pair will never be together, it can be light-hearted and funny. I just say that because usually if there’s a love triangle, the one you don’t like is the one that doesn’t get the girl so it all works out for the reader. Not so much for the character though.

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would you go?

So I actually haven’t been on a vacation since I was 8 and you can tell because I don’t know where I would want to travel. I want to say that if I could go anywhere it would be France. I’ve been studying the French language for about 6 years and would love to be able to practice it while being surrounded by a different culture than my own.

What’s your favorite dessert?

I actually accidentally already answered this in my random facts about me but I love banana pudding and banana cream pie. Honestly any dessert with bananas in it I will usually love.

Do you have any pets? If so, please feel free to share pictures!

Y’all! I got two pets! They’re girl dogs that are sisters and they are so precious!

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What kind of job could you never do?

I could never do anything math related. For the longest time I wanted to be a Veterinarian and then I had an epiphany. I’m terrible at math and science, more so math but still. Thus, I would be a terrible accountant or Veterinarian.

Coffee or tea, and how do you take it?

Coffee all the way! I usually get an iced vanilla coffee with 2 creams, 2 sugars, and whipped cream! Why yes, I am a stereotypical white girl-

MY NOMINATIONS

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MY QUESTIONS FOR YOU

  1. What’s your favorite book?
  2. Dogs or cats, and why?
  3. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
  4. What book do you think would be best made into a musical?
  5. What’s your favorite book to movie/TV show adaption?
  6. What’s your favorite place to eat out?
  7. What’s your favorite song?
  8. What book would you like to see made into a TV series?
  9. What’s your most anticipated book release of the year?
  10. What do you think is your spirit animal and why?
  11. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be?

Thank you for reading! To those, I didn’t tag feel free to answer a question in the comments! I’d love to hear your answers! Have a great day!

Fiction · reviews

The Magicians Original Graphic Novel: Alice’s Story (Review)

Welcome to another beloved book review!

I received this book via Netgalley. This does not affect my views of the book. All opinions stated are unbiased.

STATS FOR THE BOOK

Length: 208 Pages

Format: Graphic Novel

Publication Date: July 10th, 2019

Goodreads Rating: 3.83 Stars out of 29 Ratings

SYNOPSIS FROM GOODREADS

“Alice Quinn is manifestly brilliant, and she’s always known that magic is real. During her years at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, she rises to the top of her class, falls in love with Quentin Coldwater, and witnesses a horrifically magical creature invade their dimension.

It’s not soon after graduation when Alice, Quentin, and their friends set their sights on the idyllic setting of Fillory—a place thought to only live in the pages of their favorite children’s books—where magic flows like rivers . . . But in this magical realm nothing is what it seems and something darker lies behind the spellbinding facade. It is in the darkness where Alice will discover her true calling and her life, and those friends forever changed.”

WHAT I LIKE

  • The story is different but the same as the first book. It shows how Alice navigates the world instead of solely focusing on Quentin. It’s different from the usual Magician novels but personally, I like seeing how Alice’s personality develops throughout the graphic novel.
  • I love that its a graphic novel. Every other book in the Magician series is in the usual book format so it’s a, I suppose, fun way to read the usual story. The art gives the book a more entertaining aspect.
  • The unrequited romance! Gosh! I honestly love reading about unrequited love and although it’s not a major plot point, for me, it was so important! Penny has always been one of my favorite characters so it was just all the feels when reading about Alice and him and their adorable unrequited love!
  • This novel is very much so parallel to the TV series.
  • It’s completely possible to read this without having read the series or saw the TV show! It starts from the beginning so you don’t truly need to be caught up to understand the plot which is so important!

WHAT I DON’T LIKE

  • The art style. I’ll be honest, I’m very judgemental about how art is in graphic novels. Or how art is in general. Now, this is not meant to be rude about the art but the art was too simple. It almost felt as though the art didn’t give the story any pizazz. And don’t even get me started on how the characters are portrayed by the artists involved. I just feel as though there could have been a tad bit more effort put into the art.
  • Alice is kind of a bland character. Don’t get me wrong. She is a bland character who is fairly undynamic throughout the novel which can throw people off.

OVERALL OPINIONS

Honestly, I loved how the authors went about recreating the Magicians story while changing the main character. Alice was always viewed as just the love interest in the TV show and book series. It gave me a different perspective from the one I used to have about Alice.

However, the art style just really kept pulling me out of the story. It was too distracting at times which usually is good but as someone who didn’t enjoy the art, it made the story not as worth reading.

I’d recommend this book to anyone that enjoys the theme of the supernatural. Although this is based on the book and TV series, it is easy to read regardless. The novel starts at the beginning making it easy to read even if you know nothing going into it. This is a graphic novel for fans of magic.

Overall, I would give this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you for reading! Have a great day!

Tell me, do you like graphic novels? If not, what’s your favorite genre of books? Are you very particular about how the art looks in graphic novels?

 

Discussion · school

The Thing About Majoring in English

Hey Friends! Welcome back to the blog!

Today we will discuss what it means to mean an English Major-

But first, let’s begin with some popular stereotypes!

  1. “What can you do with an English degree?”
  2. “It’s a useless degree to have.”
  3. And my favorite, “All you can do with an English degree is teach.”

Following up on those questions, here are some pros of the degree!

I’ve learned to communicate.

What do I mean by this? I mean that I’m able to write well and push ideas through. Everyone can talk but not everyone can communicate. It’s a skill set I can genuinely say I’ve learned throughout my degree.

My appreciation of literature has grown.

Going into an English Degree, you would presume that I would have loved reading. I didn’t. I’ve always had trouble reading and for a long time, it just wasn’t worth it. Admittedly, deciding to major in English was not because of a love for fiction. But over time, I’ve learned to love to read. Not just loving the creative writing but understanding what the writer actually means. Literature is so much more than just reading books and I’m thankful I made the decision to learn that.

There are tons of jobs out there.

This honestly could be seen as a pro and con combined. An English Degree is very versatile and there’s not a true path out there for us. There are so many options but there’s a stereotype that all you can do is teach BUT THAT is so far from the truth! To prove this, here are some possible jobs for English Majors:

  1. Editing
  2. Publishing
  3. Copywriting
  4. Going to Law School

Those are just four of a world of possibilities.

Moving on, here are some cons of the degree!

Books are great but sometimes there’s just too many to read at once.

Real talk though. More times than not, you will be assigned at least five books per English class. This means that’s about 15 books a semester if you’re in three English classes. There’s a good chance that books will be assigned at the same time and sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with the material. It can ultimately kill your love of reading because you get burnt out. Unfortunately, it happens to us all. And that’s okay. It’s okay to take a step back and remember to breathe. Sometimes unrealistic expectations are unavoidable.

I’ll be honest, that’s the only con I can think of right this second. There are some others but it’s important to remember both the pros and cons when looking at a major!

That’s really it for this post! Tell me, what degree are you majoring or did you major in? Was it worth the time and effort? If you could go back in time to do a different degree, would you?

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

 

Discussion · personal

Discussion: YA Books with Elements of Addiction

Hello, welcome back to the blog!

This was a post I was unsure of making.

Recently I read a book in YA that had a main theme of addiction and it made me think. Should the book have been able to discuss addiction as openly as it did?

Yes, the answer does seem simple.

The main idea I’m thinking about isn’t just addiction, its how young kids have begun to read YA at. When’s a good time to introduce addiction.

Personally, I know some parents would prefer to have forewarning of if a book has any sort of theme dealing in with addiction. It’s the same way as having a trigger warning in a sense.

I want to believe the answer is a simple yes, YA books should be able to speak openly about addiction, but for former addicts. It can hurt. That’s how its the same question of the necessity of trigger warnings.

Even if the book triggers addicts, even then, where do we draw the line if we can’t define it right now?

Whether we should be thinking of how YA can affect the mindset of addiction in Young Adults or if we should be concerned with how speaking openly about addiction hurts former addicts, I’m unsure. I can’t define what the answer is. It’s an opinionated idea.

So, yes, the answer does seem simple. But there’s just so much more to the conversation than just a simple answer.

I’m done ranting for now so tell me this, what’s your opinion? How do you feel addiction should be gone about in YA novels?

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Easter!